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Twenty Smart Business Buzzwords

Some words may grate on your nerves, but business leaders are still using "disrupt," "synergy" and "ideate." You should too.
Spend any amount of time in a corporate environment and you'll likely notice there are some words that seem to come up on a daily basis. Certain verbiage becomes part of the corporate culture and soon, you may feel as if you need to use it to fit in.
While they can change from one day to the next, most corporate buzzwords have a positive meaning. They're used to boost morale and motivate everyone involved in the conversation. Here are 20 of the top business buzzwords that you should make an effort to work into your vocabulary.

1. Impact

Impact is a powerful word that has become a favorite of business professionals. Grammarians argue that the word is being used improperly, urging you to use "affect" instead, but businesses love it.

2. Corporate Synergy

Half of the people who use this term likely don't even know what it means. It usually refers to coordinating and collaborating more effectively in an organization. You'll want to use it where appropriate on an ongoing basis.

3. Disruption

When something interrupts the status quo, it's termed as a disruption. Many people are tired of this word but it's not going anywhere.

4. Deep Dive

Some may call it brainstorming, but many professionals say they're going in for a deep dive when they need to come up with ideas.

5. Core Competency

When someone is competent, it hardly means that person is outstanding. But in business, core competencies refer to the things a company or a person does best.

6. Incentivize

If you want someone to buy what you're selling, you need to offer an incentive. This word describes that effort. It can also refer to the act of motivating a person to get something done.

7. Outside the Box

These days, it's rare a business doesn't want its workers to think outside the box. Even though the term itself isn't outside the box anymore, it persists in conversations.

8. Bleeding Edge

This is one I've been hearing more and more lately. When being "cutting edge" isn't quite enough, we get this term for being ahead of trends.

9. Move the Needle

This term is often used in sales or marketing, when a certain amount of effort is required to make a noticeable difference.

10. Ideate

As if there weren't enough terms for coming up with ideas, here's another one.

11. Unpack

Once you've come up with those ideas, you'll need to unpack them to thoroughly examine them.

12. Wheelhouse

A wheelhouse shelters the person steering a boat but in business, it refers to a person's specialty area.

13. Reach Out

Nobody refers to calling or emailing someone anymore. Instead, they "reach out."

14. Deliverable

This is a quantifiable good or service provided as a result of completing a project. A favorite term of project managers, this word has spread like a virus.

15. Amplify

In music, this means an increase in volume. In business, it means to improve. It often is used in the context of social media, since an amplified message is one that is shared more often.

16. Out of Pocket

All this term means is that someone will be unavailable for a period of time.

17. Drill Down

If you want to get to the root of an issue, you merely drill until you reach it. This is the metaphor that has brought this term to the boardroom.

18. Ping

Once a tech term, this word has quickly emerged as the best way to describe sending a message to someone.

19. Bandwidth

Another tech term that has made its way into the corporate environment. In day-to-day context, it is often used to ask if someone has time available to talk or work on a project.

20. Low-Hanging Fruit

Some have requested that this term become obsolete, but it is nowhere close to doing that. It often refers to sales deals that are easier to close than others.
Whether you're pitching your product or networking with others in your field, you may be seen as a more reputable colleague if you use the right terminology when you're talking. The fact is that corporate buzzwords will probably never go away, so it's important to learn to speak the lingo.


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