The Idiots are still trailing The Da Vinci Code, but someone likes us. Click here for the 800-CEO-Read Best Read list for 2005.
Why Business People Speak Like Idiots follows its own advice. It's blunt, lively and chocablock with personality.
-- Wall Street Journal
Dull, verbose, evasive language that disguises empty-headed cliches with jargon-drenched hype is pilloried in this diverting indictment of everyday business-speak. The authors are consultants, and their familiarity with the subject, enhanced through their side job peddling "Bullfighter" anti-jargon software, gives their irreverent critique a funny, knowing edge. Besides ridiculing some ripe samples of corporate pseudo-communication, they offer advice on the art of "persuasion" in every genre, from the humble e-mail to the shareholders' address, and throw in tips on public speaking, dress and deportment.
-- Publisher's Weekly
Don't keep this book to yourself. Read it. And then give it to everyone you work with. Slip it onto your boss's chair after hours. Foist it onto colleagues who use words and phrases like "win-win," "value add," "think out of the box," "utilize" and "strategic." By doing so, you just might transform the paradigm of your global enterprise.
-- USA Today
Not only is the book laugh-out-loud funny, but by outing the exquisite nothingness of corporatespeak, the authors - who survived the very mechanism that created corporate bull - make it OK to publicly acknowledge what we've privately thought for years: These folks are full of it. Who do they think they're kidding?
For those who daily create or consume business communication, each sentence of the book will likely result in laughter, a hearty "Amen!" or some measure of painful truth. Or all three.
-- The Times Record
The business world can take a simple idea and turn it into a paradigm with parameters faster than a mouse click -- and the affliction keeps getting worse, no matter how many consultants are hired to promote clarity. The new book, Why Business People Speak Like Idiots, by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky should be required reading in America's suites and cubicles.
-- Boston Globe
"Bull has become the language of business," declare Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway and Jon Warshawsky, three colleagues at Deloitte Consulting, in their new book, Why Business People Speak Like Idiots (Free Press). It is a quick, enjoyable read filled with examples of obfuscation, meaningless jargon and verbal tedium that will be familiar to anyone routinely subjected to company-wide e-mails, press releases, PowerPoint presentations and consultant reports. At times their attempts at cleverness either fall flat or are distracting; at other times, it's hard to figure out why the book is organized the way it is. But their recommendations on how to make a straightforward, interesting and compelling presentation ought to be considered mission critical for infomediaries interested in increasing their bandwidth and monetizing skills in a world-class, knowledge-based economy.
-- Washington Post
Dear Jon, Chelsea and Brian,
I hate you guys. Nay...*despise* you, for what you and your %*&^$! book
have done to my happy little world.
I just finished it. Loved it; implementing its principles everywhere
I go; giving it to clients and colleagues alike.
My problem is with you: you've over-sensitized my personal bull-dar.
Before I read your book, I quaintly skimmed and ignored corporate-speak
messages like the one below. Now I stop and study them like a bad
traffic accident on the side of the 101. I get so angry that I have to
kick the dog. I pull my hair out. Stop to take a Valium.
I didn't have this stress in my life before reading the book. NOW
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?
Thank you thank you thank you for making this kind of bullshit your focus and passion. It's an American business tragedy, this corporate BS epidemic. I've lived it, been affected by it, and now crusade against it in my own little way.
Dear Brian, Chelsea and Jon,
I feel like I know you from the "Bullfighter" days. (My husband) Bob was very amused by many of your emails and would forward them to me. I was also amused.
I read a review of your book in USA Today yesterday, bought the book today, and read it in its entirety. I loved it! I know that I should call you and tell you this, rather than send an email, but it is 10:15pm, ET, and when I looked at my "to do" list for the rest of the week, know that the phone call would not happen...
I work at a job that I love as a Cultural Consultant handling Special Projects for International Professional Relations. I recently went to Banda Aceh as a tsunami relief worker and was asked to provide a "short" journal of my trip to professional colleagues. I was conflicted when writing it, because as a cultural professional thought I should be more culturally tolerant of a few incidents that occurred on the trip. However, I decided to stick my neck out and write the journal from a heartfelt position rather than be politically correct. Your book gave me professional validation that it was an OK thing to do - thanks!...
Thanks for the good read and more than a few good chuckles.
Based on a recent review in USA Today, I read your book "Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter's Guide." It was a delightful story of how so many have gotten off the beaten path. I'm so glad someone has finally stepped up to the plate to throw some darts at these masters of jibba-jabba.
I've installed the Bullfighter software and aimed it at a variety of documents. Although I feel vindicated that certain high-level executives are a bit too wordy, my own writing is also in need of improvement. As a computer geek, a former Scrabble expert, and science enthusiast, I had amassed a six-digit vocabulary of the incomprehensible kind. While I gradually learned that most of it is utterly useless outside of those respective venues, I still need to tone down the rhetoric. So I'm glad I got a wake-up call from you guys.
Greenville, South Carolina
Richard Lederer and Martha Barnette host A Way with Words, which airs on National Public Radio on weekends. Recently Martha dragged our own Jon Warshawsky into the studio for an intense interview. If you missed it, click here for the entertainment event of the year.