12 May Mr Pinot & Mr Grigio

The Apprentice is back on our screens providing a regular dose of Sugar and bringing with it a new round of business buzz-phrase nonsense and baffling bravado from the candidates.

No one likes a show-off, least of all the British, which is why watching the overblown confidence of each new crop of Apprentice contestants is such a guilty pleasure.

Each year they take the bravado, swagger and self-aggrandisement to new levels. They mix it with the usual business jargon that drives people mad. Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway has often written about the subject, calling for an end to all the “blue sky thinking”, “going forwards” and “pushing the envelope”.

There have been some great lines in previous series. Who can forget Stuart “The Brand” Baggs last year uttering the now infamous line: “I’m not a one-trick pony, I’m not a 10-trick pony – I’ve got a field of ponies waiting to literally run towards this job.” What?

Whilst as entrepreneurs in normal life we are not usually looking for our moment of fame, we are selling ourselves as well as our products. Whether we are speaking to a prospective client or networking at a breakfast meeting we really should be wary of going too far with jargon. Catch the article in The BBC Magazine “The Apprentice Bragging Game” http://bbc.in/isqXcB for a wonderful reminder of some of the best lines from back series.

My favourite is by Katie of series three. A personal jab at project manager Adam after he brought her back into the board room: “When your best friends are Mr Pinot and Mr Grigio, I’d watch it…”

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