In this short skit from Nancy Duarte, Bob and Finn tell us to avoid clichés. Why are clichés bad?
Once upon a time, an original idea or phrase grabbed people's attention. So much that people used the phrase all the time. Over time the edges became rounded and no longer had much impact. Now when the phrase is used, it shows a lack of original thinking.
How many times have you heard these gems. What goes around comes around. Sitting ducks. What if Fred gets hit by a bus.
The hit-by-a-bus phase is often used in business. You're in a meeting and someone pipes up, "Fred is the only one who understands the XYZ application. What if he gets hit by a bus?"
Because this phrase has been used so often, most people in the meeting yawn and move on. I like to change the cliché to a slightly different version. "What if Fred gets hit by a tricycle?"
This usually draws a round of laughs and helps the team solve the real problem. So be original in your thinking, writing, and presentations and create ideas that are new and entertaining.