Management Speak. For some, impenetrable; this is the use of language that is rife in our modern environment. Examples can be found almost everywhere these days. It’s commonly a subject for ridicule – Google ‘management speak‘, images of David Brent and ‘Bulls**t Bingo’ cards abound! If you pay attention, I bet you’ll be amazed at all the unexpected places you’ll find it lurking.

‘Touching base’, ‘blue sky thinking’, ‘unique selling point’ and ‘outside the box’ are so commonly used now that we barely bat an eye when we hear them. So, are these corporate buzzwords and ‘expressions of intent’ just harmless fun or could they be doing real harm to the relationships in your small business?

For those using ‘management speak‘ there can be tangible initial benefits. It can increase levels of self-confidence and it’s easy to feel that what you are saying has added gravitas. Some people believe it makes them look more intelligent. It can certainly add some flair to a presentation or a sales meeting!

However, the dark side of using too much of this ‘other language’ relates to communication. We feel that open and honest communication is the cornerstone around which all good businesses are built.

A Simple Tip

If your sales pitch is laden with fabricated terms and business jargon, there’s a real risk that your potential client will come away feeling confused and, in some cases, inadequate…’Am I meant to understand this? I’m lost’. Making someone feel uncomfortable or placing barriers in the way of forming trust is far from a good place to start. 

A common acronym springs to mind:






‘Management Speak’ Conclusion

The clearer you are then the less margin for misinterpretation and crossed-wires there is. No one wants a potential client, or colleague, to spend more time trying to decipher what your ‘management speak’ meant than actually understanding and focussing on the content. Feeling heard is an important element for clients. If people can’t see that you’re truly listening it can lead to alienation and the relationship can deteriorate. 

Our advice would be stick to plain English as much as possible. Or, as Elvis would say, ‘A little less conversation, a little more action please’!