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Bang A Gong, Get Your Biz Speak On

It’s downright insane how people communicate in the business world. We’re told to “ease users into the monetization channel” and to “create social-local campaigns to increase the optimization levels of our consumer-centric engagement.” Yet, what does it all mean? Can we use humor to get to the bottom of why we talk with ridiculous combinations of words? This conversation will use a series of games to highlight the worst cases of business-ese and debrief as to how we got here. Games include “simultaneous” translation, invent-a-word, two horrible truths and a lie, among others. We want to have real interactions with people who are the worst offenders to understand the "why." We want those caught in the trap of deciphering cryptic missives to share their horror stories. Ultimately, we’ll develop ideas that can ameliorate the situation. If not, then at least we’ll laugh. Come armed with your best (worst) business jargon and be ready to play along and "brainstorm solutions."

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. What are the most egregious examples we’ve seen? Sharing experiences lets us know we are not alone in our pain.
  2. How can we use humor to get to the bottom of business-ese? If we look at these issues in a different way, does it help us to understand why we communicate this way?
  3. What is our collective experience around BS business language? That is, are there common experiences we all have?
  4. Does jargon exist that actually facilitates communication? Are there terms and expressions that actually make it easier for folks to understand what we’re trying to communicate?
  5. What are things we can begin doing to change how we communicate so we don't fall into the traps of business-ese?



Carla Borsoi, VP, Consumer Insights, AOL

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