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Eyes down for keynote buzzword bingo - a Brian Sommer masterclass

Brian Sommer Profile picture for user brianssommer October 11, 2021
If you can say ‘blockchain’ without cringing, maybe you’re ready to sell enterprise software. I recently caught a masterclass performance and wants to share the best practices with you. Enjoy!


This week, I watched, in amazement, as a tech executive give an amazing 30-minute keynote where virtually every single sentence contained not one but two or more buzzwords. You’d think he’d start repeating himself but he managed to make this talk one of minimal redundancy. It was a true masterclass of technology hyperbole. I even got excited listening to it just to hear what else he could come up with.

So, if you’d like your keynote, virtual or in-person, to be the best in jargonistic, hyperbolic lingo, here’s a practice aid for you.

Your buzzword starter set 

As you craft your presentation script, you’ll want to incorporate many of these trending descriptors so that your talk is epic, mind-altering, mind-blowing, legendary, etc.  Done well, these buzzwords should guarantee your firm a double-unicorn valuation!

  • Algorithmic
  • Always On
  • AI/ML/AI-Infused
  • Analytics/Modern Analytics/Intelligent Analytics/Smart Analytics/Predictive Analytics
  • Big Data/Dark Data
  • Black Label/White Label/Private Label
  • Borderless
  • Business Building
  • Business Transformation/Digital Transformation
  • Day One
  • Fuzzy Data/Fuzzy Analytics/Fuzzy Decisions/Fuzzy Matching
  • Game-Changing
  • Global/Global Platform/Global Workforce
  • Instantiation
  • Intelligent Nudges/Intelligent Compliance
  • No-Code/Low-Code
  • People Platform/Services Platform/ERP Platform/Platform for Change
  • Process Automation/Robotic Process Automation
  • Process Redesign/Re-imagination/Reengineering/Reinvention
  • Self-Correcting/Self-Aware/Self-Driving
  • Service Delivery/Service Tickets
  • System of Record + System of Engagement + System of Intelligence (btw, four vendors used this with me this week. This equation could go supernova within the week)
  • Talent Intelligence
  • Ticketless
  • White Space
  • XaaS (anything as a service)/Xform (transform)/X marks the spot

Ways to describe your prospects and their business processes

So that the audience can better appreciate the delta between the fantastic future state your solution promises and the status quo, you’ll need to paint a picture of their pitiful current state. For that you need descriptive language. That means words and phrases like:

  • Complacent
  • Frustrated
  • Hobbled by Technical Debt
  • Ineffective
  • Inefficient
  • Invisible
  • Outdated
  • Overwhelmed
  • Overworked
  • Non-responsive/Unresponsive
  • Non-State-Of-The-Art
  • Unappreciated
  • Unloved
  • Unrecognized

Super superlatives

And you’ll want superlatives to slather onto your products. Words like:

  • Authentic
  • Competitive
  • Dynamic
  • Ethical
  • Forward-Thinking
  • Genuine
  • Hyper
  • Infused
  • Integrated
  • Persuasive
  • Pervasive
  • Powerful
  • Real
  • Simplicity
  • Ultra

Sprinkle in some acronyms for gravitas

Don’t forget to add acronyms to the pitch. These abbreviated terms add an air of seriousness to even the most outlandish claims. Use some of the following (whether they apply or not):

  • ASC606
  • CARES Act
  • D&I/DEI
  • DTC
  • ESG/Sustainability
  • IRR
  • IT/OT
  • MRR
  • NFT
  • Rule of 40

The value prop

And, of course, no pitch is complete unless you describe the value you create for your customers. You’ll want phraseology like:

  • Agility
  • Capability Building
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Disruptive
  • Empowerment
  • Engaged Employees
  • Future of Work
  • Future-Proofing
  • Game-changing
  • Mastering Change
  • Modern Business Model
  • Resiliency
  • Revenue Growth Management

Et voilà!

Put it all together and you could get something like this:

The Age of the Biometric Blockchain is materially altering the Future of Hybrid Work. Our highly adaptive, collaborative human leaders are enabling a mega-generational shift in stakeholder solutions that power today’s and tomorrow’s factories of the intellectual future. Why? The cost volatility of competitor’s binary solutions is triggering a disruptive force in the industry. It also warrants a sentiment sensing and problem-solving market need that only cloud transformational firms, like ours, can effectively mitigate. And, only we can present the complete omni-channel solution that empowers change at scale. Isn’t it time your firm explored the new art of the possible?

My (mickey) take

So, before your next virtual user conference sessions kick off, update your drinking game or buzzword bingo (hat tip to Frank Scavo) cards with the above. And be sure to thank these leaders for their leadership (#TYFYL) when an exemplary buzzword generator of a speaker fills your PC monitor. The bar has been raised based on what I saw last week. What new greatness is to come?

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