Upon arriving at the office one morning, I opened my Microsoft Outlook and saw this email:
Hello Jeff. I am writing to find out who at your company would be responsible for evaluating suite-of-services solutions that expand your competitive advantage across the enterprise.
“Suite-of-services solutions.” “Competitive advantage across the enterprise.” Could someone translate that into English for me?
If this salesperson’s goal was to promptly get his email deleted, he succeeded. I can’t think of any reason on Earth why a prospect would bother responding to such a message. Not only is it a red warning flag that a salesman is stalking you, the message is full of annoying junk language.
Sadly, junk language is not limited to email sales pitches. It’s seemingly everywhere in today’s business world.
I’m amazed at the drivel that too often comes from the mouths of professionals at networking events. Go to any cocktail party mixer, ask someone what they do, and you might get an answer that sounds something like this:
“I engage progressive, forward-thinking Fortune 500 companies that are seeking to shift their paradigm and adopt more of a global platform. I facilitate the development of strategic, integrated, highly actionable management solutions, which will boost their bottom line.”
When people talk like this, they’re trying to sound impressive. Unfortunately, when we use twenty-five-dollar words, industry jargon and the latest, in-style buzzwords, we end up sounding anything but impressive. Convoluted double-speak is often used to cover up the fact that the speaker really doesn’t know what he or she is talking about.
Plain English, carefully crafted and skillfully delivered, is far more impressive than the gobbledygook that too many people believe sounds “intellectual.”
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Jeff Beals delivers presentations to a wide variety of audiences nationwide. Presentations are adapted to fit your organization’s goals and can be keynote speeches (30 to 90 minutes) or workshops (two to four hours) covering the following topics:
- “Self Marketing Power: Branding Yourself as a Business of One”
- “Tons of Room at the Top: the Attitude of Success”
- “National Signing Day: What All Professionals Can Learn from College Football”