Beware: Buzzwords Can Actually Compromise Your Business

Posted by Factor Funding Co. on December 30, 2014

Today's business world is all abuzz with the latest jargon that continues to take the place of formalized trade language. Gone are the days when business leaders carefully chose their wording and avoided slang at all costs. Now, buzz words easily fly around corporate America's board rooms, giving way to a new language trend that has some questioning if such words are really necessary and appropriate in the business arena.

In fact, buzz words and phrases like “hit the ground running,” “guru,” and “think outside the box,” and “rock star” may be fun to say and make you sound hip and young. However, in the end such language can actually do your business a serious disfavor. Before you use or allow popular buzz words to be used in your next meeting, you should realize the detriments that may come with such wording.

Buzz Words Are Overused


Even while they sound trendy and fun, buzz words can actually run the risk of being severely overused. As you give your presentation or try to motivate your team, you end up sounding like you do not know the right words to use and are covering up your own ineptitude with jargon that you assume everyone should understand.

Similarly, when you pepper your presentations with kitschy slang, you may lose your staff's respect because they assume you are trying too hard to impress them. While using a buzz word or phrase once or twice during a meeting may be acceptable, you would fare better to use more formal and professional language with your company.

Buzz Words Can Be Confusing

As difficult as it can be for you to imagine, some of your company's staff may not spend all of their free time online. They may lack Twitter and Facebook accounts and hold to more traditional ways of getting their information, such as reading the newspaper or magazines.

With that, when you intertwine this jargon with your speeches and slide show presentations, you run the risk of confusing people who genuinely want to understand what you are saying. When you use words or phrases like:

  • Ping
  • Big Data
  • Value Add
  • Bleeding Edge
  • Herding Cats

you actually may lose the effect that you were hoping to achieve. Instead, your best attempts to dazzle may be met with looks of confusion or frustration, causing you to have to start your speech all over again and explaining it in a different manner altogether. Rather than confuse people on whom you rely to keep your company afloat, you should simplify your presentation by using language everyone will readily understand.

Buzz Words Are Insincere

When you call your team together for a meeting, you want to demonstrate that you are engaged, interested and motivated in their success. However, when you begin to use buzz words like “push the envelope” and “face time” repeatedly, you may actually be showing your own lack of enthusiasm for the project at hand.

In fact, your team probably looks to you when they gauge the amount of enthusiasm and drive they are supposed to have for their work. When you cannot even convey your own interest without relying on trendy jargon, they may think that you are covering up your boredom or that you underestimate their dedication to and talent for the project.

Buzz Words Are Tacky

Let's face it: If you are a young twenty-something just starting out in the professional business world, you can probably get away with letting buzz words overtake your everyday conversation. However, when you are a mature business leader with your own company or in a role of authority over a team of people, you actually risk becoming tacky and irreverent when you use these words and phrases.

Just as every social media trend has its heyday and fifteen minutes of fame, today's most popular buzz words may actually be irrelevant and embarrassing by the time you intersperse them with your speech. When you expect to command your team's respect and attention, you should lose this less than impressive vernacular and go back to using more formal and professional language.

Buzz Words are Unprofessional

When it comes down to it, today's most popular buzz words can in fact be quite unprofessional, especially when you hold your own team to a high standard in their work, appearances and ethics. When you start slinging around words and phrases like:

  • Game Changer
  • Growth Hacker
  • Pre-revenue
  • Touch Base

you risk losing your team's respect simply because they may believe that you are trying to dumb down your conversation or that you are trying to implement a more relaxed work environment than you intended. Using objective and professional language can be imperative to your company's success and to your ability to maintain control of the direction in which you intend to guide your business.

Buzz words have infiltrated the modern business arena and become commonplace in many boardrooms and work floors. However, before you let this kitschy jargon make its way into your corporate world, you should understand how buzz words can actually harm your company and your role as a business leader.

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