Enraging Corporate Buzzwords
Enraging Corporate Buzzwords

Nothing freaks me out more than this accept maybe people with gold in their false teeth. I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel rage when I sit in corporate meetings or even socially as I listen to the corporate vernacular and rubbish people have flowing out of their gobs. It reeks of pretentiousness and has created a little exclusive club of fake folk that 1991 is calling back HARD!

It is unfortunate that in 2017 people still need to be subjected to listen to some dude who flew down from Joburg last Friday already with a nice suite but the wrong tie, a remote digital pointer that never works and a side-path gelled hairstyle that looks like a young jersey cow freshly licked his head enroute to his presentation saying crap like, "There are a lot of pain-points that are out of scope for this forum. Let's take those offline and the key stakeholders can circle back and touch base later.” Sound Familiar?  – what utter nonsense…this is generally when I want to vomit in my mouth and simply walk out cos all this person actually tried to say was “I don’t have the balls to deal with this now and I’m going to make this someone else’s problem later.”

Enraging Corporate Buzzwords

We all fall victim to these ever so often and I have become more and more conscious of it everywhere. It certainly is not limited to any race group or even age group, in my opinion it is just a reflection of social and corporate decay. I do however, feel that we have this within our control to a greater or a lesser extent. Why do these words exist and why do they keep getting used? In my Opinion, it’s simply because the business world has become increasingly difficult to convey messages to one’s audience and one can understand that business leaders and management will try to say things differently in the hope that the message gets across and resonates with their audiences quickly.

STRONG APPEAL: If you rate yourself as a speaker, please DO NOT use industry specific abbreviations. It doesn’t make you sound smarter, more intelligent or even remotely sexy…frankly you are generally seen as a complete arsehole by your audience of which most are usually your staff, and very often people who are not in your industry end up completely frustrated and your message is totally lost cos you were being a complete idiot. NEWSFLASH – It takes the same facial muscles and effort to say “For Fork’s Sake” as it does to say “FFS”!

We live in a time where the only thing seemly within our control is our ability to remain individually authentic whilst our other once revered values as South Africans, like honesty and integrity, gets decided for us because our President is a criminal and obvious thief and now we all somehow get tarnished by the international world cos we just like him…didn’t you know??!

So Mr/Ms CEO, Business Manager or Corporate Leader Person out there, if this resonates with you and you’re starting to get a bit hot under the collar, you are exactly the wet I’m referring too so best you loosen another shirt button, change your hairstyle whilst you’re at it and please, pretty please, get real with your speak!

How do I do that? He asks… It’s simple – Learn to speak with authenticity. Mr/Ms Speaker you need to understand your audience better and take a leaf from the Superstars when they perform concerts all over the world…Learn some authentic, local words and use them in your presentations…learn to say them with passion. Words like,”Lekker, mos, somer”. After all, we are South African. We love our own authentic words a whole lot more than listening to nonsense like, “At the end of the day, our bottom line KPI’s drive client centricity on every level of this drill down”. You could have just said, ”Love your clients, Hosh”.  In Cape Town it will mean so much if you said,”Tjek, not now” rather than “It’s not on my radar at this stage” cos actually, nobody gives a penny about your radar. I’m over simplifying and being more than a bit tongue in cheek here but I think you all get my drift.

The world over there is a very strong move away from corporate culture and a serious level of disdain has developed. People leave the office as soon as they can whereas I clearly remember staying at the office for drinks in the 80s and having much stronger work relationships. However, I digress.  

Adapt to your presentation to your audience and do some harder work for the millions you earn – top down approach mos. When in Rome scenario…Lose your stiff upper lip, tight top button and get real man! Do you realise that you could well get a standing ovation if you managed to say a simple thing like “IS YA” nearly anywhere in the Western Cape. It’s really not that hard ma bru…just get authentic! Your classes at Dale Carnegie 1993 has its place and definitely taught you a thing or two but a refresher in authenticity is sorely needed and if I had anything to do with it, your next business course would be called GETTING REAL!

Here are my most hated Business Buzzwords and Abbreviations including some Social Media talk that has ruined our language…please feel free to post some of your own and help me fight the pretentious, the false and all those with phony side-path hairstyles and superior attitudes as we make our world authentic again…one word at a time…

Corporate Hate Phrases

  1. At the End of the Day (Sounds even worse when said with an Afrikaans accent)
  2. Blue Sky Thinking
  3. Paradigm Shift
  4. Value Proposition
  5. Circle Back
  6. The Low Hanging Fruit
  7. Game Changer
  8. Paradigm Shift
  9. Not on My Radar
  10. The Elephant in the Room

Abbreviations & ANNOYING Shortened words incorporated from social media

  • TOTS - totally
  • B2B – business to business
  • YOLO – You only live once
  • Cray – Crazy
  • Devvo - definitely
  • CLM – Career-limiting move
  • Obvs – Obviously
  • Adorbs – Adorable
  • Nom – this food is delicious
  • Tweeps – People who follow you
  • Random – All I can say is that the word random no longer means random as we know it
  • Amazeballs – Amazing (my most hated word)

Time to get real with Business Leaders – SKRIK WAKKER – You’re audience has grown…unfortunately you haven’t!