I'm delivering a presentation in which I want to mention people "who talk a lot" in companies. To me (non native english speaker), this term sounds a bit offensive.

I want to describe the kind of people that always talk about a solution, but never implement them. People that tell stories that never materialize. People that never deliver results, but are highly regarded just because they seem confident. People that create their worth through perception not results.

What would be the best 2-3 word expression of phrase to describe these persons without sounding offensive?

Thanks a lot!

  • Since no one actually welcomes 'constructive criticism', I'd refer to myself as someone who avoids being all talk. "So you know I'm not all talk, tomorrow I start with step 1." Oct 29, 2020 at 21:48
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    Since the idea you are trying to convey -- too much talk, too little action -- is intrinsically offensive, or at least critical, I'm not sure you can achieve your goal except by using words that don't mean what you want to say. Perhaps you can convey to us what your actual intent is.
    – Fraser Orr
    Oct 29, 2020 at 23:13
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    OT when a colleague worked for one company, there came a point when they needed to make savings, and they made the grave error of laying off the productive guys and keeping the bullshitters. The latter were very good at making an appearance of being valuable – they may even have believed it themselves. But inevitably the company soon folded. So no matter how you refer to them, they may not know your are talking about them. Oct 29, 2020 at 23:22

2 Answers 2


If you want a non-offensive option, you might just want to go with something like extremely talkative, because if you want to imply that they are all talk and no action, it is almost impossible to get your point across without sounding like you are insulting them.

But you could also say something like a lot of swagger, but little action, or even something like garrulous, the definition of which is:

"someone who is excessively talkative, especially on trivial matters."

This is usually used in a negative context if someone prattles on a lot.


You can talk about the importance of not only developing creative ideas, but also planning and implementation.

There are textbooks about project management.

More informally, you could say “We can’t be all talk and no action.”

But a lot depends on your position in relation to the people to whom you’re speaking.

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