The big dictionaries regularly announce new words they've added to the UK's lexicon. This year, instead of adding a word to the dictionary, I'd like to take one away instead: deliver.

Unless you're running a postal service, 'deliver' might be the word that's preventing you from connecting with your readers.

There are lots of instances where you might legitimately write deliver:

Father Christmas will deliver millions of presents tonight. That's the midwife who delivered our baby. Deliver us from evil...

But delivering improvements to servicesDelivering on priorities for all stakeholdersTaking responsibility for the delivery of the project? No. No. No. 

If you're a logistics company, great. If you run a homebirth support service, absolutely. But if, by 'deliver', you mean doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it then you're missing the chance to say something more specific, emotive and inspiring. 

Instead of 'delivering improvements to services', how about 'making sure everyone can access mental health services on demand'? Rather than 'taking responsibility for the delivery of the project' you could be 'getting the new library ready for students'. 

By homing in on what matters to your readers, you encourage them to care about your achievements, rather than distancing them with bland jargon. Even politicians have cottoned onto this, so I think it's time we all caught up.

That's my challenge to you for 2020. Eradicate 'deliver' from your vocabulary, your emails and your LinkedIn profile and say something less boring instead. Unless you do actually work for Royal Mail of course.

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