In the course of a year, I hear a lot of public speakers. And one of my biggest pet peeves is people who insist on using clichés at every opportunity – more than you can shake a stick at.
Don't they realize this makes them sound dumber than a box of rocks? Can't they think outside the box for once and come up with something that's not older than dirt?
I mean, really – someone may be sharp as a tack, but if he just falls back on hackneyed clichés 24/7, at the end of the day what kind of impression is he likely to make?
That he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, that's what.
I understand – when you're up in front of a crowd, you're under the gun. Feeling like a deer in the headlights. But resorting to clichés to get your point across is a zero-sum game. Why not come up with a new way of expressing your thoughts, run it up the flagpole and see who salutes?
Sure, every once in awhile, people who speak in clichés can seem amusing. But hey – even a blind squirrel finds an acorn sometime.
So here's the bottom line:
In the final analysis, clichés only make you sound as if you just fell off the turnip truck. And they should be avoided like the plague.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my…Point of View.