Smart Dinner Party: Your New Go-To Corporate Voice

A marketing responsibility I see often undervalued is the creation of Organizational Voice—the tone you use consistently across different media.

I often work with corporate clients who never developed a Organizational Voice, so I end up creating it for them. The “Voice” I prefer for most business conversations with people who are not specialists in the field is what I call “Smart Dinner Party.” How would you sound if you were sitting next to a person you’ve never met at a dinner party—a person who is quite bright but doesn’t know your field? Conversational. Jargon-free. Friendly. Personable. Ideally, even helpful.

"Smart Dinner Party:" Speak as you would to a bright non-expert
Bayskes via Flickr

Consider “Smart Dinner Party” as a guide for the way you communicate with customers. Or at minimum, use it to calibrate. You can always create something in with a Smart-Dinner-Party tone and then ratchet the formality up or down depending on the comfort of the internal team and the expectations of targeted customers. (Need some help targeting the right customers? Try this guide.)

To be sure, “Smart Dinner Party” is not your only choice. A colleague tells me SalesForce.com (aka Salesforce) trains people on the “Aloha” voice. “Aloha” is a wonderful phrase for an Organizational Voice. You can feel what “Aloha” means: even more casual than “Smart Dinner Party.” This tone is a bit too casual for some enterprise audiences, but depending on your audience, it might fit you better.

What is YOUR Organizational Voice? Do you have one already? It’s time!

Takeaways

  • Whether you use “Smart Dinner Party,” “Aloha,” or something else, pick something.
  • Embrace the voice you pick and discuss what it means with those creating customer-facing content. Consistency counts!

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