Presentation Corner – Much Ado About Nothing

The cliche, without further ado, or worse, adieu, gets used more & more by both young & old and experienced & non-experienced Toastmasters. This and other cliches really do detract from what you are saying & your message, I found a piece about the use of cliches that I wanted to share with you all

A cliché, is a trite, commonplace expression – a sentence or phrase usually
conveying a popular or common thought or idea. But the very fact that it has become a cliché,
through popular use – and overuse – suggests that the phrase has lost originality and ingenuity
and, thus, impact.

Using a cliché is like taking a familiar shortcut. At times, it can reassure listeners or allow you to
express yourself without thinking too much. Yet it shows a lack of imagination and robs the
language of interesting word combinations and fresh descriptions. The danger is that this path will
lead you to stale thinking. My advice: Avoid clichés . . . like the plague.

Don’t be lazy. Replace these over-used phrases. A good first step is consulting a thesaurus for
appropriate alternatives. Seek precision in your speeches and stories. Among the great joys of the
English language are the creative ways in which sentences can be fashioned. Take pride in mixing
and matching words to create new, evocative combinations that enrich your stories, speeches and

Nikki Quinn DTM

Programme Quality Director