Another DEMO ‘No, No’: The phrase “going forward…”

Lucy Kellaway is a columnist for the Financial Times and the workplace commentator for BBC Radio’s daily Business Brief, where she serially kvetches about poor business jargon and why you should never use it.

Tonight I caught her hilarious take on our latest “lethal” and “horrid phrase:”
Going forward!

With DEMO 2008 on this week, we’ve had several posts on the virtues of public speaking, how to improve your company presentations, and what to say (or not) to would-be investors. So, I thought you ought to consider to Lucy’s take on why “going forward…” is a phrase that will only set you back.

The first trouble with the phrase is that it’s almost always redundant. The sentence means exactly the same thing without it. If, on occasion, there is a need to spell out the idea of the future, we have some perfectly good words already. For pompous people there is “henceforth,” and for the rest of us there’s “in the future.” The second trouble is that “going forward” seems to gesture confidently toward the future but is utterly vague on timing…

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Presenting at DEMO: 12 Do’s. 5 Don’ts.

Founder Ben Yoskovitz, publishes the terrific Instigatorblog. Ben has shared several posts with us on leadership, funding, and building the ‘perfect company blog’. Today’s pick is on the dreaded topic of public speaking.

Next week Ben will launch his startup Standout Jobs at DEMO 2008. Debuting at such a conference is a big decision for any founder — especially when you have to give your pitch in 6 minutes, on stage, in front of hundreds, like at DEMO. Ben notes that for many founders, “it will be the most important, most stressful, and biggest presentation they’ve ever given in their lives.”

The prospect prompted Ben to write about how to prepare for presentations of all kinds, including team meetings and VC presentations.

Ben’s first piece of advice: Commit to memory 5 phrases you should NEVER utter in a presentation:

* MAKE SOME NOISE!!!
* Um…
* Did That Make Sense?
* What Else Can I Show You?
* I Guess That’s It.
… here is why if you need further explanation.

Now you’re ready for Ben’s 12 Tips for How to Improve Your Presentation better. Read More about Presenting at DEMO: 12 Do’s. 5 Don’ts.