The Creative Group recently published a list of the most annoying and overused buzzwords in the advertising and marketing industry, and “social media” topped this year’s list.
Also in the top five were “synergy” and “ROI, ” which are still annoying people five years after they appeared on a prior survey.
Here’s the list:
1. Social media/social networking
5. ROI/return on investment
6. Extra value/value added
9. Social media expert
11. Moving forward
14. Going green
16. Think out of the box
17. Culture change
18. End of the day
23. The big idea
Which of these expressions have you been overusing lately in your speech or writing? Well, cut it out!
“When professionals need to grab attention or have an important message to deliver, excessive use of buzzwords can cause people to lose interest and tune out,” says Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group.
Surely you don’t want that to happen. Here’s how to swat those buzzwords:
1. Use a synonym or alternative expression that conveys the same thought.
2. Use only beefy words; eliminate the baloney. Does “at the end of the day” add anything at all to what you’re trying to say? At the end of the day, probably not.
3. Show, don’t tell. Use concrete examples to convey your thoughts. If your new turbodoodiddly is unique, describe what it can do (diddly) and state that nothing else on the market today can do that with a turbocharger under the hood.
4. Put these expressions on Buzzword Bingo cards and use them at your next meeting.