July 17, 2012 by Charlie Walker
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing, sales management, Special Report - Sales & Marketing
We’ve all heard corporate-speak – words or phrases someone throws around with the intention of showing you how smart they, how plugged in they are and how they know so much more than you.
When those phrases start filling the air, most of us start looking for boots, because we know that pretty soon it’s gonna get deep and smelly.
That’s how we get buzz words — like ROI– and the real story behind the person who said it. In this case it’s, “I sound like a financial expert, even though I never took any finance classes in school.”
Of course, we need to give a big shout out to the people at Forbes magazine, who are responsible for soliciting and collecting these delightful corporate-speak terms. We’re merely sharing the wisdom they uncovered.
Forbes says its intent is to help MBA candidates acclimate to the language they’ll need to climb the corporate ladder.
For your amusement — and perhaps to help you understand exactly what that customer or company VP is saying — here are 10 top phrases selected from the Forbes’s collection of corporate jargon and the meanings behind them.
- We’re data-driven. Our decisions aren’t always random. When possible, we try to rely on facts.
- Let’s circle back to that./ Let’s put that in the parking lot./ Let’s take this off-line. Whatever it is you’re saying, shut up so I can go back to what I was talking about.
- We think outside the box here/ color outside the lines. Bold words that generally mean they wouldn’t recognize innovation even if it fell in their laps.
- Who’s going to step up to the plate? Somebody here is going to do this — and it isn’t going to be me.
- I’m driving a stake in the ground here. I’m the boss, and that means I can use this otherwise meaningless cliche.
- Incent it. It makes me sound clever when I turn words into verbs.
- You might think I’m sounding like a broken record here. What’s wrong with you? Didn’t you guys hear me the first seven times I told you this? Obviously not.
- Our product is all about added value. That’s a good thing, because it must mean our competition either subtracts value or doesn’t add any.
- The next big thing. I heard some young people talking about this, so I know it’ll make me sound cool.
- Show them our deliverable. This sounds like something that should arrive in a body bag. It’s actually our PowerPoint, but that makes it sound more important.