TJ Walker, CEO of Media Training Worldwide, business communications expert and friend-of-Evoca, recommends that business communicators delete jargon and weasel words to avoid sounding like “bureaucratic stooges.” “Going forward,” “If you will,” “As it were,” and “To tell you the truth” are among the least effective words spoken by business communicators. At every meeting of Toastmasters International, renown worldwide public speaking organization, the “Ah-counter” helps participants break the habit of adding useless, distracting words while speaking.
Your goal … is to communicate a message in the clearest and simplest manner possible, while at the same time building your reputation as a strong and forceful communicator. Strong and forceful are relative terms, so if you use all of the same buzzwords that everyone else does, you will always seem mediocre. Many businesspeople acquire their bad rhetorical habits at some point during their second year of business school or after having attended their third annual board of directors meeting.
Here are some of the worst offenders:
“Going forward . . .” What an utterly useless phrase. Use “in the future” instead. You wouldn’t tell your teenage son, “Going forward, please keep your room straight,” so why use it in a speech or interview? The sole purpose for using a phrase like “going forward” in a speech is to create the impression that you are saying something fancier than you actually are. So please, going forward, never use the phrase “going forward.” Read more