Learn from the experience of Bob Graziano, CEO of Ford Australia, and just say what you mean. Earlier this year, Graziano was under fire for using meaningless jargon to announce that 1200 jobs were planned to be axed. Forget that the downside was negatively perceived, the use of meaningless words to announce this decision was portrayed as scheming. The use of jargon typically creates a completely abstract façade to mask what is really trying to be communicated.
Below you will find seven words and phrases (and our reaction when we hear them) that are like nails on a chalkboard to investors, journalists and everyone else that listens to countless pitches a day. Save yourself an eye roll and stay away from these words and phrases in your next pitch.
As in…Our company is poised to become a leader in the software development space. (Gee, I sure hope so, but we’ll be the judge of that. Just tell us what you do!)
2. Next-generation technology
As in…Our next-generation technology is the solution to today’s problems. (Well, that’s a lot better than last-generation or even current-generation technology.)
As in…By leveraging our dual-platform, your work is seamless. (How about “Using our…?”)
As in…Our cutting edge-technology is the next Google. (Probably, in fact, most-likely not. However, we might be interested if you just cut to the chase.)
5. Move the needle forward
As in…We are moving the needle forward. (Better than moving it backwards.)
6. Drinking the kool-aid
As in…We aren’t drinking the kool-aid here. (How about “We disagree?”)
7. Paradigm shift
As in…We are essentially shifting paradigms. (And we are “essentially” tired of listening to words and phrases with no meaning.)
By refraining from using words such as these, your message will come across more authentic.
Are you guilty of using jargon? What other words did we miss on our list?
-Nikki Griggs, Business and Marketing Associate, Tech-Rx