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

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Three repentant consultants cut through the crap of Â?corporate speakÂ? and show what it takes to make a statement in your own voice.

Surprise! This isn’t another press release screaming the praises of a “bleeding-edge” business book promising best practices for shifting paradigms, leveraging knowledge capital, and empowering first movers to think out of the box.

This is simply a direct appeal to all those in business who wants to succeed without sacrificing their personality to read WHY BUSINESS PEOPLE SPEAK LIKE IDIOTS: A Bullfighter’s Guide (Free Press; March 2, 2005; $22.00). “Entire careers can be built on straight talk,” the authors attest, “precisely because it is so rare.”            

Written with a sharp sense of both humor and purpose, WHY BUSINESS PEOPLE SPEAK LIKE IDIOTS is a refreshingly useful guide to clear, authentic, and persuasive business communication. The authors, Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky, are the creators of the CLIO Award-winning “Bullfighter” anti-jargon software, which has attracted national media attention and hundreds of thousands of users worldwide. As reformed consultants, they have firsthand experience with mind-boggling jargon, fact-free updates, hard-sell hype, and dull presentations delivered on autopilot.

So what does it take to break the vicious cycle of jargon? For starters, WHY BUSINESS PEOPLE SPEAK LIKE IDIOTS exposes the four common “traps” that otherwise intelligent professionals fall into:

•    The Obscurity Trap catches idiots desperate to sound smart, and seduces them with message-killers like technical terms, acronyms, wordiness, and evasiveness. Escape route: Use plain English and candor, and stick to messages that are short and sweet.                                    

•    The Anonymity Trap lures idiots into outsourcing their unique voice and getting lumped together under the polished veneer of templates, conventions, and e-mail. Escape route: Dare to be imperfect, find the humor, and pick up the damn phone.                    

•    The Hard-Sell Trap pushes idiots to over-promise, relentlessly accentuate the positive, and deny the existence of glaring flaws and screw-ups. Escape route: Show—don’t tell; intrigue—don’t bludgeon; and own up to bad news and flops.                    

•    The Tedium Trap lulls idiots into dumping prepackaged numbers on their audience and droning on in pointless generalizations. Escape route: Be spontaneous, make the details specific and relevant to listeners, and tell a story.                

Along the way, business people at every level will find hundreds of tips, techniques, and examples to help them inform rather than impress, let their convictions show, mix style with substance, and be themselves. Eminently practical, wickedly funny, and truly unique, WHY BUSINESS PEOPLE SPEAK LIKE IDIOTS just might free the business world from the tyranny of obfuscation, exaggeration, arrogance, and boredom—one brilliant career at a time.                        

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Brian Fugere is a senior partner and former chief marketing officer at Deloitte Consulting LLP and an award-winning public speaker. He lives in Danville, California. Chelsea Hardaway is president of Hardaway Productions, a brand and communication consultancy. A former global brand director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, she lives in Montara, California. Jon Warshawsky is a manager at Deloitte Services LP, where he helped start an e-Learning practice. In 2000, he founded Cappuccino, a newsletter covering organizational change and learning. He lives in San Diego, California.


A Bullfighter’s Guide

By Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky

March 2, 2005

$22.00 / $32.00 in Canada

ISBN: 0-7432-6909-8

Free Press

To download high-resolution digital images of Free Press covers, authors, and selected interior illustrations, as well as press releases, author bios, and excerpts of current and recent titles, please visit http://resources.simonsays.com. Visit Simon & Schuster on the Web at http://www.simonsays.com.


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