We all use business clichés from time to time. As much as I claim to loathe them, I’m guilty of it too. Using a cliché in a small internal meeting might induce eye rolls, and it’s fun to mock them on Top 10 lists. But when those tired expressions make their way into news releases, blog posts, tweets, and other communications intended for large audiences, it’s a serious problem.
At IABC’s recent conference, they highlighted the absurdity of these terms with what they dubbed “The Worst Speech in the World.” (see below)
When you’re communicating with an audience, keep things simple. It is exceedingly rare for jargon and clichés to add actual value to a conversation. More often than not, they confuse and distract the reader/listener…and I assure you that nobody thinks they make you sound smarter.
I bet most of us could quickly come up with a list of many common business clichés…things like blue ocean, paradigm shift, silos, circle back and leverage. In addition to those, be wary of the unique clichés that small groups develop. At our firm, we have terms we use for certain reports and documents that help us internally, but would mean nothing to a client. Those words can be sneaky, because they’re common in your culture, but have little or no meaning outside of it.
That said, in an effort to build synergies with our clients and prospects and offer an outside-the-box post that is sure to be a value-added win-win, I’d like to leverage this tidbit of snackable content to help you giggle on a Thursday afternoon.