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Think Outside the Box. Avoid Cliches

Category: Client Relationships, Innovation, Performance, Communication, Relationships With Your Customers, Education & Learning, Productivity, Team Building
Posted by: Greg Alcorn on June 12, 2012

Oftentimes we’re told to avoid clichés: in speeches, in letters and especially when speaking to clients/customers. But why?

Here are some things you might not have known about clichés:

  • They are not always easily understood. Oftentimes the reasons we become annoyed with the use of clichés is because it makes the conversation confusing; therefore, we don’t know what the speaker is actually talking about. All of this makes the cliché completely pointless. It’s better to use plain, honest language than a flowery cliché no one understands.
  • Cliches can be anything. We might think of a cliché as a word or two but it can be anything from a phrase to a movie to even an idea.
  • They create an impression of laziness. This is especially true in writing. If you’re sending an email, try to come up with an original thought rather than inserting a quick cliché. Be inventive. Be creative. Don’t rely on a cliché to always get your point across.
  • They make people tune out. If someone hears a cliché that they have heard over and over again, their attention will no longer be on you but instead, something else. Over-used clichés make conversations banal and disinteresting. To really get their attention, use word, phrase or idea that is catchy and creative.


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Which clichés make you tune out? Which clichés are you trying to axe from your own vernacular?


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Posted Under: Client Relationships, Innovation, Performance, Communication, Relationships With Your Customers, Education & Learning, Productivity, Team Building