Are You Full of Business Bull? Learn How to AVOID Corporate Jargon
I'm not going to sugar coat it for you: whether you're a mindset coach, virtual assistant, or website developer, you will come across hundreds of competitors, at business networking events.
The problem with 'crowded industries' is that they spew absurd corporate lingo, bizarre acronyms, and to be frank- made up words that I like to define as 'business bull'.
Nobody wants to be categorised as the 'all speak and no substance' kinda' person. And although we're all partial to the odd cringe-worthy cliché, our elevator pitches and business conversations are more likely to triumph without them.
I've whipped up three examples of corporate jargon phrases that I've come across most at networking events. Read on to find out why they've almost made my ears bleed, and how easy it is to come up with sensible, less irritating alternatives.
'We're a very results-orientated company'
Let's break this down: If you're 'results-orientated', what this technically means is that you perform a task and expect it produce an outcome.
Now, by the basic law of physics- that's the entire point. Truth be told, you're stating the obvious, and (poorly) dressing it up with pretentious and overused words.
If kicking arse with sales figures, or 'lead generation' is your thing, then that's completely okay; but remember that the 'hook' is in the specifics. So, don't hold back from explaining exactly what your business is offering:
'When it comes to attracting new clients through our content marketing strategies, our company is determined in achieving the right results'.
Confidence without arrogance is a beautiful thing. And it's not rocket-science either; notice how my example has highlighted all the pros of the company, without seeming condescending. Now you no longer sound like you've swallowed self-development book.
A little about myself? Oh, I always give 110%.
Sadly, I haven't just come across this on CVs, job applications, and LinkedIn profiles. '110%' has graced me (and many others, I'm sure) with its presence during rehearsed sales pitches, or even worse, at the beginning of those ice-cold introductions, at networking events.
First point: It is not humanly possible to 'give' 110% towards anything, (anything!) in life. Second point: Although you may think that 'emphasising' facts in this instance will make you seem like a hot-shot entrepreneur, it really, really won't.
What you're actually demonstrating, is a lack of thought and originality. Believe it or not, the term '110%' was recently listed as one of the 'Top 10 Most Hated Jargon Phrases' in The Guardian; because it's been churned out, chewed up, and regurgitated by business owners like yourselves, so many times.
Once again, be specific:
'I invest a great deal of effort into...'- and then finish off with baking cakes/ checking accounts/ whatever it is that you do.
See, with these added, and well-thought-out details, you rightfully come across as a professional; who genuinely gives a shit about their business and credibility.
'My team and I like to pre-plan everything.'
If there's ever the most pointless word in the Oxford dictionary, this has got to be it.
What does one even mean by, 'pre-planning?' Or 'pre-preparing?' (I can't even pronounce the latter without getting tongue tied).
I'm sure we all understand that 'planning' is something we do before a course of action. So, adding a prefix like 'pre' beforehand is both unnecessary and annoying.
Let words like 'planning' and 'preparing' fly solo, they're very capable of explaining what you intend to do, prior to a certain activity. And an extra FYI: this is a handy tip for both your writing and conversational skills.
My guess is that if you're guilty of using phrases like the above, then you're probably keen on timeliness. Punctuality is your thing, right? So, consider this instead:
'I'll need to plan this beforehand; I take great care in timeliness'.
Sometimes, simplicity is all we need. Whether you're delivering this alternative during a face-to-face, or a follow-up email, it is far more likely to receive an assuring reception from potential clients.
Samey-samey lingo is a sure-fire way to make you blend in with your competitors. Replace corporate jargon with phrases that are unique to you, and your leads may well warm to you like a sweater.
You have just under two months to get word-perfect for The Business Networking Show in Wolverhampton... Over to you.