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Enough with the ‘engage’, already!

How often do you use the word ‘engage’? Count how many times you wrote it in your last proposal, or brochure. You’ll find it hundreds, even thousands of times on corporate websites.

IBM 79,100 times ‘engage’ appears on IBM’s website,
UK Government 10,600,
GE 5,070,
Bank of America 3,270,
BP 696,
Walmart 346, and
General Motors 316.

It’s lost its meaning. Hugh MacLeod’s cartoon(above) illustrates the point. Hugh says, “What we really mean by ‘engage’ is simply communicating with people in real terms: Meaningful Conversation.”

Here are some other ways to say what you really mean. The word ‘engage’ could all-too-easily replace the more meaningful word or words in bold italics.

Let’s get to the point.
You’ll take notice if I give something relevant to you.
My ideas will stick if they stir feelings in you.
I’ll need to attract followers to make my ideas spread.
We’ll work together with organisations like IBM to help them improve their copy writing.
Most presenters fail to get the attention of their audiences.
Productive employers involve and enthuse their workers.
Jobseekers and sales professionals use their networking skills to find work.
You can now hire an expert to help you prepare for the talk of your life.
If you network with diverse people you’ll learn more about the world.
Will you take part in a debate about corporate gobbledegook?
What other overused, meaningless corporate words can you think of?


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