Oklahoma City business coaches Mike Crandall and Tim Hast agree.
“Almost every client we've worked with to improve sales has too many buzzwords or acronyms,” said Crandall of Sandler Training. “The single greatest danger in using them is making clients, prospective clients or others feel not OK. When someone uses words we don't understand, we don't feel OK, which causes a tremendous psychological disconnect often leading to lost business.”
Hast advises clients to “lead with your most important thought, and don't use vague words or try to impress others with big words. The problem with buzzwords is that they very quickly become clichés,” Hast said, “and cliches are like polyester suits and white belts; they make us seem jaded and trite.”
Mike Joseph, an attorney with McAfee & Taft, maintains a list of drafting principles to give younger lawyers whom he asks to write contracts, briefs or memos. Rule No. 74 of the document is to avoid multiple terms and phrases, from apples to apples, bandwidth and “get on the same page” to proactive, synergy and win-win.
Oklahoma City human resources consultant Gayla Sherry says buzzwords especially are an impediment to younger workers.
“Most don't want the jargon,” Sherry said, “and prefer managers to get directly to the point and then move on.”
10 most used but misunderstood buzzwords: