Ditch the Jargon

May 9, 2019

 

For many of us it feels good to drop some jargon into a conversation. The use of jargon is code for, “Listen up, because I’m an insider.”

 

Jargon makes us feel like one of the cool kids.

 

Regardless of how good it feels to differentiate yourself this way, I want you to ditch the jargon.

 

Yes, you may be leveraging jargon to be feel important, but I’m asking you to think out-of-the-box for a minute.

 

Let’s do some back-of-the-envelope calculations, shall we?

 

Jargon plus substantial information equates to a lot of moving parts.  It’s a lot more work for your audience to grasp your meaning, especially if they are not native English speakers. 

 

To peel back the onion further, jargon will NOT take you from soup to nuts. Jargon doesn’t stop you from boiling the ocean, either. Not at all!

 

In fact, my ballpark estimate is that the use of jargon is more like a cookie cutter approach. Phrase by phrase has to be analyzed, and that is a lot of work for your audience. Worse yet, when there are gaps in understanding, you are forcing the listener to fill in the white space, and you may give them a headache.

 

Let’s blue sky a bit. 

 

We may be talking about a 5 percent delta, but it's your job as a speaker to be clear and precise. To create an impressive body of work, you should aim to avoid words and phrases that are understood only by the in-crowd.

 

What’s the value proposition here? 

 

You won’t sound as cool, but your words will have more impact when you SAY IT PLAIN.

 

Okay, here's the bottom line.

 

Instead of thinking laterally, just think. Instead of speaking about cannibalizing a product, state that a new product is stealing market share from an existing product.

 

You get the idea.

 

Say what you mean as directly and simply as you can. Your experience and confidence will shine through and your audience will understand that you are a credible source of information.

 

Yes, jargon is a short-cut for insiders, but when you pepper your language with too much of it, you sound kind of silly.

 

I’ve got your back,

Cheryl

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