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Tip #1: Avoid speaking HR-ese.
You don’t have to dumb down your language, but at least connect with employees and C-suite execs using more plain-speak. For instance, don’t say “value-added,” Segal advises. “We have our own language, but when we’re in the boardroom, we need to tone it down a bit.” Segal also says to avoid using “proactive,” “synergy” and “outside-the-box.” Rather, “just put the box away. We do much better at the table when we use plain speak.”