“Why Business People speak like Idiots” – Brain Fugere , Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky is a thorough fast paced book about the extent of bullshit that one comes across among management folks. A lot of times, be it presentations, be it in discussions , be it in seminars, mails etc , one does come across a lot of management jargon which comes in the way of clear communication. In the book authors cautions about the four traps that makes people get in to bull speak.
1. Obscurity Trap : If a person wants to somehow impress and not inform, then he resorts to Obscurity trap . By using jargon and evasive words, one tries to make the presentation as obscure as possible. However there are sometimes when unknowingly a speaker falls in to Obscurity trap. The way to come out of the trap is to use mono bi syllable words in the communication and try to consciously use simple, effective words
2. Anonymity Trap :This typically happens when the person gets lost in the templatized world, structured process oriented world, etc. This often results in a presentation or document which has no personal touch of the owner. There are few ways to overcome this trap. Firstly, by losing some of the polish . Secondly, by making some funny quotes, grabby headlines, Anecdotes, one can bring in the personal touch
3. HardSell Trap : This trap is evident among people who always talk about what’s on their mind, but never put themselves in other person’s shoes and try to communicate their stuff. Some times they offer sugar coated statements and often resist delivering bad news. The people who fall in this trip are also those people who have the fear of being different, fear of facing critique on their product, pitch, talk that they are communicating. One of the ways to avoid this trap is to kick the happy messenger habit, demonstrate instead of mere words , so that at the end of the day, audience can connect to the presenter in a better way
4.Tedium Trap : People fall in this trap who don’t pack emotional content in to their presentation. They are more fact oriented, as is oriented and do not make an effort to entertain the audience. People need to understand that entertainment is at the core of all the activities, be it selling a product, pitching a plan, project review etc , there is always a need for entertainment. To stir the audience, it is important to weave a story using visual metaphors, intriguing words, what’s the point stories etc .
The book also provides a list of common bull words that are widely accepted as meaningless terms. Besides a software by name Bullfighter can be downloaded from their site and run through the documents to obtain the bull index of any document.
Overall , this book serves the reader a remainder of the importance of concise, clear and effective jargon free communication.