|Don't do this.|
Geoffrey James catalogs the explosives:
Jargon consists of hijacking normal words and using them in odd ways to make them sound "businessy." Example: "We're reaching out to our customer advocates to leverage a dialogue on...." While others who speak fluent biz-blab might not take notice or care, everyone else cringes and rolls their eyes.Clichés
Fix: Use words as they're defined in the dictionary. Example: "We're contacting our customers to discuss...." That way, you'll sound more like a professional and less like a cartoon businessperson.
These are those metaphors that have been used so frequently that all the juice has been leeched from them. Examples: "out-of-the-box thinking" or "hitting one out of the ballpark." Clichés aren't just unoriginal but also reveal a lack of respect for the listener. If you really cared, you wouldn't trot out these creaky phrases.Prolixity
Fix: Avoid metaphors completely or use original ones. If that's too hard, tweak the wording of clichés to make them less cliché-ish. Example: my use of "leeched" rather than "squeezed" in the paragraph above. Worst case, adding "proverbial" can refresh a cliché with a pinch of irony. Example: "out of the proverbial ballpark."
Using big, impressive sounding words rather than smaller, common ones can leave listeners with the impression that you're pompous and pretentious. Examples: "assess strategic options and tactical approaches" (i.e. "plan") or "implement communications infrastructure" (i.e. "add wireless"). Fancy-schmancy wording adds bulk and extracts clarity.More advice here.
Fix: The core problem here is the need to feel as if your business and your activities are more important and impressive than they really are. The fix, therefore, is a big dose of humility. Business is neither rocket science nor brain surgery--it is, in fact, a place where plain talk is both valued and appreciated.