Meaning 1: The art of using a string of trendy buzzwords in a manner to give the impression of deep understanding of a subject, while obfuscating the substance in a manner to overwhelm the listener and gain a superior standing in a dialogue, likely involving sales, consulting or technology. Meaning 2: To muddle human perception, typically by direct frontal lobe assault, with an avalanche of corporate jargon and near-words.


When a speaker launches into a series of statements inundated with jargon and buzz, it has several effects:

  • The listener feels under-educated and under-informed for not understanding the subject matter.
  • Nobody really understands one another, in which case nothing good can come of it.

One of the greatest ways to lead and attract others is to make them feel good about themselves. At the risk of oversimplification, we know the basics: use their name, listen, praise them. However, when confronted with a display of buzzwords and jargon, it often has the opposite effect: it shames the other person.

If you must use specialized terms, buzz or jargon, take the time to define, explain, then find common meaning and understanding with your audience. Use understandable and common words instead of those specialized for your line of work. This relates to a well discussed subject, “The Curse of Knowledge,” wherein experts, leaders and strategic thinkers often use abstract and colorful vocabulary to describe what they do, while the meaning is lost on those who do not share that vocabulary and common understanding. Read on more about that challenge here.

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.