Always worthy of a giggle in the office is “business speak”.

And I am not talking about the ability to speak in multiple languages in a meeting, rather the over-used terms that everyone has grown to hate (and can make you sound like you are trying way too hard and actually have no idea of what you are talking about).

Over the years I am sure many of you have played “bingo” with certain words in meetings. And it seems these words aren’t going away, just evolving into different, more elaborate ones. Although always great to see that some of the oldies are still in favour!

Forbes is even running a poll to vote on the most ridiculous ones.

Top tip – What not to say.
So before you get everyone on the same page to drink from the fire hose and give 110%, you may want to drill down and leverage some past learnings while thinking outside of the box. After all we have a hard stop so it will be a challenge to get our ducks in a row by then and take it to the next level.

If you know what’s good for your career you won’t use too many of these phrases – instead deliver your message in a clear and concise way, saying exactly what you mean, in the right tone and manner.

And after all… “it is what it is” (no sh*t!!!)


Time to brush up on your linguistics. There is nothing worse than meeting business colleagues and having no idea of how to pronounce their name, or seeing other people fumble through it. Do your research people, as it can be a sign of disrespect in a lot of countries.

More than a billion people now share just 100 surnames in China, with Wang, which literally means “king”, being the most popular, followed by Li and Zhang (which has risen by 4,718% in popularity in just 13 years ). So I would take the time to know how to say these!

Presently only about 300 Chinese surnames are used. The Chinese generally address each other by family name and an appropriate title or by both family and full given name together, with the family name first. The obvious reason for this custom is that it helps distinguish all the Zhangs, Wangs etc from one another.

The most popular Western surnames are – Smith, Jones, Brown, Johnson and Williams.

Over the last 100 years, the number of people named Ahmed, Singh and Ali, has increased by more than 1000% each.

Other widely used names include – Singh, Patel, Sato, Suzuki, Takahashi, Rodriguez, Martin, Muller, Murphy, Hansen and Gonzalez.

For some fun on a Friday – see what your Chinese name would be…