Business jargon has long dominated corporate conversations, complicating straightforward discussions.

person reads dictionary to learn business jargon

My colleague Shannon and I tackled this issue a few years back by creating Business Babble Bingo—a playful yet enlightening game.

This game was our subtle rebellion against the meaningless buzzwords dominating meetings, presentations, and websites.

But despite the time elapsed, the problem of business jargon still muddles communication.

So, this article demystifies a few of the most overused phrases.

We’ll replace them with simpler alternatives to determine if you’re an experienced “thought leader” or new to the business world. Embrace this transformation for a definite “win-win” outcome.

  • 65 Examples of Corporate Business Babble — and What to Say Instead
  • What We Sound Like When We Babble
  • The Human We Could Sound Like

65 Examples of Corporate Business Babble — and What to Say Instead

1. Thought Leader

A recognized authority in a certain subject matter is often called a “thought leader.” However, you could also call them an “expert,” “authority,” or just … their name.

For Example

I just got back from coffee with a thought leader. >> I just got back from coffee with Seth Godin.

2. Opened the Kimono

An incredibly creepy way of saying someone shared information, “opened the kimono,” might be better replaced with such simple phrases as “told,” “shared,” “revealed,” or even just “said.”

For Example

He opened the kimono about his new book. >> He shared some information about his new book.

3. Core Competency

Technically, this expertise offers a competitive advantage, though it‘s often just used to indicate expertise. You could call this, well, “expertise” — or perhaps a “unique skill” or “differentiator” if you’re going for the original definition.

For Example

As you know, unicorns are his core competency. >> He knows a lot about unicorns.

4. Coming Down the Pike

It is another way of saying something‘s going to happen in the future. “Expect X” or…

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