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10 Business English Vocabulary Words to Talk Like a Professional

Make a good impression on managers, coworkers, and clients through using this professional business English vocabulary.

The term “buzzwords” describes words that are common and trendy. People love to say buzzwords because they think it makes them look good. In the business world, buzzwords can help your credibility by making you appear knowledgeable and professional. Even if you don't plan on using these words yourself, you need to know them because others around you in the business world will certainly use them.

The 10 Buzzwords

a) Core competency (n) – what you, your team, or your company does best

  • Our core competency is our use of artificial intelligence to recommend the most suitable options to our customers based on their past buying behavior.

b) Incentivize (v) – to motivate people to take an action

  • We provide our staff with the option of working from home to incentivize them.

c) Leverage (v/n) – something that you can use as an advantage in a situation

  • The company can leverage its distribution networks to get its new products into more outlets.

d) Align (v) – to get everyone working together with the same vision and the same behaviors

  • The company needs to align everyone to the mission of the company.

e) Scale (v) – to grow your business

  • If we want to scale our business successfully, we need to look at removing inefficiencies.

f) Add value (v + n) – to find ways to make a product or service more meaningful to customers (or in a general sense, to make something more appealing to someone)

  • The company is investing in the areas of the business that really add value to customers.

g) Synergy (n) – the benefits that come from two or more people/companies working together and taking advantage of each other’s resources.

  • We were able to achieve synergy with our suppliers by communicating more effectively.

h) Holistic approach (adj. + n) – thinking about the overall plan and not just one specific part of it

  • I think it’s important to take a holistic approach to this marketing strategy. How does this fit in with our overall brand as a company?

i) Buy-in (n) – approval or acceptance of an idea from someone else

  • If we can show customers how easy it is to use our product, we can get immediate buy-in.

j) Win-win (adj.) – an outcome to a situation that is beneficial to both sides of that situation.

  • If we can complete this acquisition, it’ll be win-win. They will get access to our technology and we’ll be able to take advantage of their patents.


1. New Style Pizza is exploring new ways to (scale/add value/incentivize) to its customers through faster delivery, healthier meal options, and an application for easier ordering.

2. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram was a real (win-win/leverage/buy-in) because both companies were able to achieve (leverage/synergy/core competency) by integrating their platforms.

3. The company (incentivizes/scales/aligns) its customers to order more products by offering special deals and unique promotions.

4. It’s good that you can satisfy one-hundred customers, but it’s important to know how you are going to (scale/leverage/incentivize) your business to one-thousand or ten-thousand customers.

5. We cannot make the decision until we get (leverage/incentivize/buy-in) from shareholders. We need them to approve the deal through a vote first.

6. When the company recruits new staff, it looks for people who (core competency/buy-in/align) with the goals and values of the company.

7. The company’s (scale/buy-in/core competency) is its commitment to high-quality design in each product that it manufactures.

8. We can (align/leverage/incentivize) our social media pages and blogs to inform customers of the new product.

Use the vocabulary above in the answers below.

1. Name a company and its core competency. How does it leverage this competency to strengthen its position in the market?

2. What is a company that you are loyal to and how does it add value to you?

3. Can you think of a company that started out small but has scaled their business successfully?

4. What was a time when you needed buy-in from someone else and how did you get it?

5. Can you think of a situation when you and someone else wanted different things? How could you get a win-win outcome?

6. Do you know any companies that are working together to get the benefits of synergy?


1. Add value

2. Win-win, Synergy

3. Incentivizes

4. Scale

5. Buy-in

6. Align

7. Core competency

8. Leverage


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