“Hackneyed phrases become hackneyed because they are useful in the first instance; but they derive a new efficiency from the very fact that they are hackneyed.”
I think he means that clichés can be useful if you use the right ones. Use the familiar phrase if it expresses your meaning clearly, but not simply because it is familiar. Then it becomes lazy.
“Dog-tired” is ok, “sick as a parrot” is not.
“Original thinking” is OK, “Blue sky thinking” is vomit worthy
“From start to finish” is OK, “chapter and verse” is hopeless
“Starting tomorrow” is OK, “Going forward” is horrible.
This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.