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In an earlier post we had written about the importance of thinking thematically. Theme as a creative structuring principle for your presentations, a way of making all the pieces of the puzzle fit together with clarity and impact.

Today, we’ll look at theme in a slightly different way: as the basis of developing corporate stories.

In any form of ideation, the first question is, where does one begin? To point us in the right direction, experts have identified what they call “reputation platform themes”:


As a theme, this helps to convey what it is the organisation does. In other words, core activities, abilities, accomplishments and achievements. While this may be self-evident to the person from the company or corporation concerned, remember that it’s all new to a new audience, or prospective client.


This theme addresses the expectations of both internal and external stakeholders… Listing the benefits is a good place to start, as it also helps to remind you of the core promises. For the purpose of developing your corporate story, you will need to decide whether you will have different stories targeting each specific audience or one story that fits all. One practical suggestion would be to take the audience through all the different benefits, with a summation that is true across the board.


Everyone knows that the best stories make an emotional impact. With reference to corporate storytelling (which is what a presentation is in a nutshell) that emotion is related to the conflicts, struggles, challenges and successes of the corporate journey. If there is a personal story that is pertinent to the company story (for example: turning points in the life of the founder), it makes sense to include it. The arc of the story creates a bond with the recipient and the link thus formed is stronger, and more memorable.


This makes a powerful theme, as it relates directly to the vision, mission and values of the company whose story you are telling. While these words may seem over-used, it is worth remembering that what will make them come alive is a powerful story. And if you’re wondering about how to create that powerful story, why not refresh and rewind to some tips shared earlier?