The one-sentence summary
Capture people’s imagination by avoiding jargon, sameness, hard sell, and boring material.
- Bull has become the official language of business. Every day we are bombarded by an endless stream of filtered, antiseptic, jargon-filled corporate speak, all of which makes it harder to get heard, be authentic, and have fun.
- It doesn’t have to be that way. This is a guide for those who want to get on without leaving their personality at the door.
- The second people get to work, they usually trade the wit and warmth of their normal voices for a corporate stamp of approval and the comfort of conformity.
- This is not because of some evil corporate conspiracy. It’s the result of four traps:
1. Obscurity trap: jargon, wordiness, and evasiveness.
This can be overcome by avoiding long and pointless words, keeping everything short, and coming to the point.
2. Anonymity trap: corporate clones sound like everyone else.
This can be overcome by ditching templates, keeping imperfection in presentations to show humanity, using humour, and picking up the phone.
3. Hard-Sell trap: fear, habit and bad role models are all guilty.
This can be overcome by using the ‘non-sell sell’, by kicking the habit of the relentlessly happy messenger, and by apologising properly for mistakes.
4. Tedium trap: most people ignore things: “And this is interesting because?”
You can overcome this by entertaining people, bringing things to life, using their point to make yours, telling stories, and having style.
- If you can rise above these traps, it is possible to capture people’s imagination, stir their enthusiasm, and tell them the truth. Even at work.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- You can rattle through this book fast, laugh at the absurdity of much work language, and pick up some helpful tips for railing against the conformity of work.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- It is extremely American, with all the examples to match.
- It is very much a rant, so it’s like listening to someone having an outburst in a pub, with a few good ideas thrown in.