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Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide

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Book Overview

Ole! If you think you smell something at work, there's probably good reason--"bull" has become the official language of business. Every day, we get bombarded by an endless stream of filtered,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

This Is The Real Thing, But Useless To The Clueless

Picking up this fine little book at home was exactly like being back at my office, optimizing adjacencies with the resources who share my Herman Miller Contemporary Dynamic Office Solutions Individual Modular Action Station -- because everyone at and above a certain level, in the office where I toil, SPEAKS EXACTLY AS PORTRAYED IN THIS BOOK. This is real, people -- synergizing your bottom-line best practices to leverage a value-added, results-driven mindset for your core competencies. And here's the true kicker: You can show this book to one of the imbeciles who actually employs such rhetorical baloney as a matter of routine, and he/she will think it is some sort of management textbook... seriously!! If you are one of those who already has bought into the vision of total-immersion corporate B.S., then you are a lost cause and there's no need for you read this book because you're far too clueless. But for the rest of us -- for us normal people -- this is an absolutely hilarious read.

This should be required reading for a college degree.

Which of the following proposals do you prefer? BUSINESS-DOUBLESPEAK: "The historical trends have led me to conclude that by doubling or even tripling our efforts of efficiency on the domestic front, it will yield a new entity of massive synergistic proportions. I therefore wish to present to you this exhibit (a composite of metallic and mineral elements) acquired from licensed retail channels as a symbol of our new alliance. Your acceptance of this strategy would launch a series of initiatives culminating in an event that would be in compliance with local and national authorities and internationally recognized by virtually all foreign governments. Your prompt feedback in this matter is in the best interests of all stakeholders." PLAINTALK: "Will you marry me?" If you think the above example is absurd, think again because it's exactly how lots of business people write their emails, PowerPoints, and reports. It's also how graduate students write their research papers. It's also how lawyers write their legal briefs. Ironically, I think the very people this book could help are the same people that don't recognize they have a problem. For those people that already write in a plain concise style, this book is a very entertaining review of business writing nonsense. Sadly, genuine people thinking hard about real solutions to problems are outnumbered by pretenders just blowing smoke.

Put a stop to the bull with this little guide

It's happened to all of us. We read something, then read it again and think, "I don't get it. What was that about?" When this happens, take comfort knowing that it's not you. It's the author. Most of us have caught on to corporations' bull. My favorite: When they say "synergy" at a merger announcement, we know they mean "layoffs." Why say, "utilize" when "use" does the job nicely? But not all of us come with built-in bull radar and we don't know all the bull words. The book teaches more than killing jargon. The Bullfighter's Guide looks at four traps that stop our messages from getting across clearly. Meet our first guest: Obscurity Trap. It's the empty calories of communication. Meaningless and wasteful. At least, when we get such calories from sweets, we enjoy it. Not with the obscure talk. To beat the guest at his game, use plain language. Next up is the Anonymity Trap. Companies love to assimilate their people. Get them all to talk the same. Produce the same results. Leave the personality out. While templates make jobs easier, they also lead people into this trap. Add a jolt of personality and you won't have trouble dodging this one. The Hard-Sell Trap sounds like its name. The mascot for this one is the "stereotypical car salesman." Customers have gotten smarter and when they sniff out a hard-sell, they run. The last guest is Tedium Trap. Reports and presentations that spout out numbers in droves put people to sleep or cause their eyeballs to roll. Fight the bull through storytelling, conversation, personality, and recreation. Throughout the book, the authors cover these four traps and give examples of how to duck them. Hey, they even do makeovers on presentations by replacing cheesy art with pictures that have impact and bring out a chuckle. Also included is a listing of movie titles with great quotes and themes that fit most business presentations. Oh, no, the authors don't encourage you to present the whole movie -- just a clip -- enough for effect. If only high schools and colleges would adopt this book and its approach. Writing for school has become too structured; it's no wonder we struggle with creativity. When can we see a sequel with more examples? We need a lot of help breaking years of bad writing habits with great laughs along the way. It's not often a book comes along that's a pleasure to read while it teaches.

Absolutely Brilliant! The best I've read this year

This book is worth every dime of three times its price. Funny, engaging, and above all, true! I haven't enjoyed a business book so much in a year (and I devour them.) By all means, buy this book - especially if you're in charge of ANY corporate communications or sales messages. I can't wait to read another by Brian Fugere.

Excellent book! Its about time someone cut thru the esoteria

How many times have you read a phrase in a book, financial report, consultant's report, or technical journal that, when you finished, you asked, "What did that just say?" If this esoteric jargon drives you nuts, and makes you wonder why the author uses these terms/phrases, then WHY BUSINESS PEOPLE SPEAK LIKE IDIOTS: A BULLFIGHTERS GUIDE is a book to read. IDIOTS calls to task the disingenuous garbage many corporate types call "reporting." Many just wanting to get by will drink the koolaid and allow these items to pass without exception. Fugere, Hardaway, Warshawsky are three consultants, "addicts" if you will, who have decided to get off the jargon-riddled bandwagon. They detail how generic corporate atmospheres have mutated business from one of communication and meaning to one of faux intellectual elitism. Those deriding this seemingly overwhelming problem have found that speaking to the masses is much easier when one tries NOT to speak Greek. The three authors, in an effort to spread the word virally, have created a software program called, appropriately, Bullfighter. The purpose of the program is to scour MS Word and PowerPoint documents to rid them of "jargon-mania." Every profession creates its own jargon so insiders can discuss their livelihoods in a form of esoteric shorthand. However, jargon becomes a problem when it is used to lord over others or make them feel inferior, Warshawsky said. The authors have studied the reception to their concept by setting up shop in an ever-busy Starbucks to take a simple survey. They showed patrons one of two actual company writing samples: one was jargon-less, while the other was the typical junk-filled jargon-based smoke and mirrors. The authors asked the patrons to assign adjectives to each communiqué. The jargon-laden sample consistently earned words like "rude and obnoxious" while the clearly written one was called "energetic" and "friendly." 'Nuff said. In sum, this book cuts directly to the chase of the confusing, mind-numbing rhetoric, and offers an alternative. As one who reads legal and financial documents for a living, this book fits the bill, and none too soon. If you read these types of documents in your work or are just tired of the insanity of double-speak, pick this book up and read it. Highly recommended.
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