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How to Play Buzzword Bingo

Do you attend a lot of boring meetings? Here's a fun way to make them more interesting. (Whiskey might help, too.)

Boring meetings are the bane of the business world. However, you can make them a lot more interesting by playing "buzzword bingo."  It's easy.

Simply print out this column (there's a "printable" version link underneath the "like" buttons), and hand out copies to your friends and colleagues before a big meeting.  Be sure to bring a full mug of coffee and have a pot (or two) ready by the meeting room.

Keep your copy atop your notebook, like you're taking notes.  Each time a speaker uses a buzzword for the first time, circle it. Every time you reach a multiple of 10, take a drink. If all the players are paying attention, you'll reach for your coffee mugs at the same time! Hilarity ensues.

(The game is even more fun, of course, if you add a little whiskey to your coffee before the meeting–although it should be noted that many companies frown on this.)

In any case, by the time the meeting is over, all the players will be nicely caffeine-buzzed and ready to get some actual work done.

By the way: I've heard rumors that a version of this game is played by analysts at Gartner who are forced to listen to multiple vendor presentations.  Bottoms up!

Here's the list:

  • accountability
  • actionable
  • actualize
  • all-hands meeting
  • analysis paralysis
  • back-end
  • ballpark
  • best of breed
  • best practice
  • big picture
  • bleeding edge
  • blue-sky thinking
  • bottom line
  • brick-and-mortar
  • client-centric
  • closure
  • componentize
  • conceptualize
  • co-opetition
  • critical path
  • customer-centric
  • customer-focused
  • cutting-edge
  • drill down
  • ecosystem
  • empower
  • end-to-end
  • enterprise-wide
  • fast-track
  • framework
  • globalize
  • goal-oriented
  • going forward
  • holistic
  • incentivize
  • industry-leading
  • leading-edge
  • leverage
  • mind-set
  • mindshare
  • mission critical
  • monetize
  • negative growth
  • next generation
  • nimble
  • offline
  • offshoring
  • operationalize
  • out-of-the-box
  • outside the box
  • outstanding
  • paradigm
  • power shift
  • principle-centered
  • prioritize
  • proactive
  • productize
  • proprietary
  • ramp up
  • reach out
  • reality check
  • recontextualize
  • regroup
  • repurpose
  • result(s)-driven
  • rich media
  • rightshoring
  • rightsize
  • risk effect
  • robust
  • scalable
  • sea change
  • seamless
  • secret sauce
  • siloed
  • smartsize
  • solutionary
  • solutioning
  • soup to nuts
  • stand-alone
  • state-of-the-art
  • strategic fit
  • strategic gap
  • streamline
  • stretch the envelope
  • synergy
  • tail risk
  • talking points
  • task force
  • third generation
  • tip of the iceberg
  • touch base
  • turnkey solution
  • user-centric
  • validate
  • value-add
  • value chain
  • value proposition
  • visibility
  • vision statement
  • win-win
  • world class

Now, if only some enterprising entrepreneur would turn this game into an iPhone/Android app, we'd really have something, eh?

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Last updated: Mar 2, 2012


Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.

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