Want to sound smarter at work? Avoid these 10 pretentious phrases
We all want to seem smart and confident in the workplace, especially when talking to a colleague or boss. But sometimes, the office jargon we use to sound intelligent can come across as showy and annoying.
One in five professionals say they dislike corporate jargon, according to the e-learning platform Preply, which surveyed 1,551 Americans working in-office or remotely. What’s more, the use of business jargon can even be off-putting on a job posting, with 70% of respondents saying seeing it in a job description influences their decision to apply and 20% of professionals saying that jargon in a job description is a red flag.
John Bowe, a public speaking expert, says that professionals can speak with greater impact by avoiding office lingo and other terms which aim to make themselves sound smart.
“The single biggest driver of bad public speaking is the desire to seem smart,” he tells CNBC Make It. “When you make yourself harder to understand, you’re making your listener’s mind work harder. Use simpler words and you’ll have greater impact.”
According to Bowe, here are 10 “puffery” words and phrases to avoid in the workplace.
These phrases can seem pretentious because they aren’t clear and concise — they dance around the real message a professional is trying to get across and can sometimes be misinterpreted.
Take “at this point in time” for example: Bowe says the extra words in this phrase draw attention away from your point. Instead, professionals should opt for brief and straight to the point words, such as “now” or “currently.”
“When time is money, extra words aren’t kind or pleasing — they’re distracting. Nothing shows respect like clarity,” Bowe said in a CNBC Make It article. “Don’t beat around the bush. People will appreciate you more when you say what you have to say.”
Phrases like “30,000 foot view” and “out of pocket” can also be confusing, according to Bowe.
″[Saying] ‘I’ll be out of pocket next week’ instead of saying ‘I’m unavailable’” can be puzzling, he explains. “My understanding is out of pocket is used to refer to expenses that you pay outside of your expense account.”
Ultimately, Bowe says using simple and easy-to-understand jargon will take you much further when it comes to sounding smart at work.
“There’s a great quote from Confucius about clever talk. And he said, basically, smart people don’t indulge in clever talk. They just are brief and to the point.
How to Use the 5 Senses — Plus a Secret 6th One — to Catapult Your Brand Experience
mortar presence. Without a strong and consistent brand experience, it would be difficult to attract customers. So what are the individual building blocks of brand experience?
Let’s zoom out for a moment to consider what “experience” actually means. We humans “experience” life through our five senses. Right. Duh. But here’s the catch: Many brands fail to capitalize on all five.
As someone curating the physical experience of your brand, you can more powerfully impact customers by appealing to all five of their senses in your brand strategy. This multi-sensory approach to brand marketing and brand execution is referred to as “sensory branding.”
Let’s take a tour of the five senses from a branding perspective, and look at some ways that brands can expand their use of sensory branding in their brick-and-mortar locations which are, in truth, their theaters of brand experience.
Related: In the Age of Sensory Overload, How Can Brands Define Their Identity?,
Of all the senses, sight gets the most press, but typically the spotlight shines on imagery and iconography. The golden arches of McDonald’s. The green silhouette of the Starbucks mermaid. The kind visage of Colonel Sanders on a bucket of KFC fried chicken. These icons are so indelibly linked to these brands that they’ve permeated our collective imagination.
Let’s instead open up the hood and peek at the color psychology that turns this engine. Just as soft lighting or harsh lighting can drastically alter the mood of a room, colors set the tempo of a branded environment.
The ubiquitous presence of yellow in McDonald’s branding conjures notions of sunshine, warmth and joy, making you think of childhood and smiley faces. The green of Starbucks and Whole Foods suggests robust health and a oneness with nature.
Recommendation: Use color theory to your advantage. Understand what feelings your brand intends to evoke, then deploy colors in your environments like secret agents, tasked with covertly pacing the moods and emotions of yor
The sense of smell — the “emotional sense” — travels a unique pathway into the human brain which connects it deeply to memory. Brands that are successfully married to pleasant scents within their customers’ memories have an added layer of seductive ability.
Consider Abercrombie & Fitch. The garments that fill its stores are drenched in its signature fragrances, creating powerful associations between these fierce, outdoorsy scents and the brand, as well as the lifestyle that’s suggested by the brand.
Upon your escape from the Abercrombie store in the mall, you may be subsequently lured by another powerful scent emanating from Cinnabon. The aroma of cinnamon just happens to be associated with warmth, comfort and perhaps guilty pleasure.
Fitness brands — to be certain — lack this kind of natural olfactory advantage, but there are preemptive measures that can be taken to offset this. For example, a scent diffuser can be employed to pump the energizing smell of eucalyptus into a gym or the relaxing scent of lavender into a spa.
Wholesale prices rose 0.7% in January, more than expected, fueling inflation increase
Inflation rebounded in January at the wholesale level, as producer prices rose more than expected to start the year, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The producer price index, a measure of what raw goods fetch on the open market, rose 0.7% for the month, the biggest increase since June. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a rise of 0.4% after a decline of 0.2% in December.
Excluding food and energy, the core PPI increased 0.5%, compared with expectations for a 0.3% increase. Core excluding trade services climbed 0.6%, against the estimate for a 0.2% rise.
On a 12-month basis, headline PPI increased 6%, still elevated but well off its 11.6% peak in March 2022.
Markets fell following the release, with futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average down about 200 points.
While the PPI isn’t as closely followed as some other inflation metrics, it can be a leading indicator as it measures the first price producers get on the open market.
The PPI increase coincided with a 0.5% jump in the January consumer price index, which measures the prices consumers pay for goods and services. Together, the metrics show that while inflation appeared to be subsiding as 2022 came to a close, it started the year off with a pop.
Economists are attributing the January inflation increase primarily to some seasonal factors as well as payback from previous months that showed more muted price rises. An unseasonably warm winter may have played some part as well, while fuel prices, which are volatile, also jumped during the month.
A report Wednesday showed that consumer spending more than kept pace with inflation, as retail sales increased 3% for the month and were up 6.4% from a year ago.
In other economic data Thursday, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims edged lower to 194,000, a decline of 1,000 and below the Dow Jones estimate for 200,000. Also, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s manufacturing index for February plunged to -24.3, well below the -7.8 estimate.
Fed policymakers are focusing intently on inflation, so the January numbers are unlikely to sway them from their stance that while progress is being made, no letup is likely.
“My expectation is that we will see a meaningful improvement in inflation this year and further improvement over the following year, with inflation reaching our 2% goal in 2025,” Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said in a speech Thursday morning. “But my outlook is contingent on appropriate monetary policy.”
Markets expect the Fed to increase interest rates a few more times this year, according to CME Group data, with the final, or “terminal,” rate ending around a range of 5.25%-5.5%, from its current 4.5%-4.75%.
The PPI increase came amid a 5% rise in energy costs but a 1% decline in food. The final demand index for goods climbed 1.2%, the biggest one-month increase since June. About one-third of that rise came from a 6.2% increase in the gasoline index.
The services index rose 0.4%, pushed by a 0.6% increase in prices for final demand services less trade, transportation and warehousing. Another big factor came from a 1.4% increase in the index for hospital outpatient care.
OCPD Officer Of Year Announced
OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department hosted its annual Officer of the Year Ceremony at the Princess Royale last month, recognizing Corporal Michael Kirkland.
Also nominated were PFC Edward Newcomb, PFC Mark Cutter, PFC Kevin Herbert and Officer Benjamin Panitch. Nominees were interviewed by Larry Yates, Tonja Sas, Charles “Newt” Weaver, Danny Robinson, and Lee Gerachis and then the group selected the honoree.
Kirkland has been a member of OCPD since April 2012. Kirkland was assigned to the Narcotics Unit in 2016, and then to the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team (CET) in 2018. Kirkland was promoted on Aug. 1, 2022 and reassigned to the patrol division. During Kirkland’s tenure in Narcotics and CET, his primary duties included the undercover purchase of CDS, covert surveillance, tactical response, technical investigative techniques, and the management of complex CDS investigations. Kirkland made countless undercover buys and handled numerous felony CDS cases. Kirkland exposed himself to danger repeatedly to accomplish the mission.
Volunteers of the OCPD Auxiliary Unit were also recognized for their contribution of 1,338 volunteer hours in 2022. Since the unit’s inception in 1999, Auxiliary Officers have volunteered a total of over 65,000 hours which translates to a cost saving of over $2 million to the taxpayers of Ocean City. This year, the Auxiliary Officer of the Year was awarded to Tonja Sas, an auxiliary officer since the program began and has donated over 5,000 hours to the department and community. She has retired from the unit after 23 dedicated years of service.
As part of last month’s ceremony, many officers were awarded departmental commendations for exemplary service. The following officers were recognized.
Silver Star: Cpl. Michael Karsnitz.
Meritorious Service: Cpl. Michael Kirkland and PFC Carl Perry.
Special Commendation: PFC Nathan Thompson, Ofc. Jessica Wieber (twice), PFC Christian Rodden, Ofc. William Mossop, Ofc. Anthony Helias, Ofc. Benjamin Panitch, Sgt. Kyle Murray, Ofc. Justin Koser and Ofc. Devin Bartrom
Excellent Performance: PFC David Whitmer, Cpl. Christopher Snyder, Ofc. Hailie Brumley, Natural Resource Police Ofc. Charles Tyler, PFC Patrick McElfish, PFC Christian Rodden, Cpl. Nathan Kutz and PFC Mark Cutter.
Employees recognized for their promotions included Captain James “Art” Grady, Captain Shawn Jones, Lieutenant Todd Speigle, Lieutenant Charles “Josh” Kelley, Lieutenant Allen Hawk, Sergeant Christopher Wrench, Sergeant James Rodriguez, Sergeant Kyle Murray, Sergeant Nicholas Forsyth, Corporal Nathan Kutz, Corporal Sean McHugh, Corporal Michael Kirkland, Corporal Justin Hoban, Corporal Neshawn Jubilee, Corporal Jacob Fetterolf, PFC Patrick McElfish, PFC Noah Friedkin, PFC Nathan Thompson, PFC Megan McHugh, PFC Nicholas Fleming, PFC Sierra Stevens and Police Records Management Supervisor Catherine Potter.
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