by Fred Miller
You DON’T Impress People with Words they don’t know.
You make them feel Stupid! In your next presentation, avoid buzz words, acronyms, and techno-speak.
The goal of all communication -- verbal, written, or visual -- is the same. We want the audience to GET IT as quickly as possible. Using words they don’t understand will quickly lose them.
People from many occupations, generations, industries, clubs, and geographical areas use words and phrases that strangers fail to comprehend. Even when speaking to people in the same industry, we use language that’s common to you, but may be new to them. How long have your listeners been in their positions? The words you choose may have different meanings in their world than in yours.
Plain and simple language RULES!
Example: I work with people in the financial industry. They present information about topics like ETFs, mutual funds, and derivatives. Some in the audience will nod their heads up and down like they grasp everything that’s being said. Many don’t! And they won’t work with advisers they don’t understand. Who likes feeling stupid? We see the emperor with no clothes, but no one says anything.
If you think those Buzz Words are unavoidable, try this at the beginning of your talk:
“My industry, like many of yours, has buzzwords, acronyms, and language that outsiders may find to be unfamiliar and may not understand. It’s my job to make sure my message is understood.
To accomplish this goal, I need us to make this agreement. If you hear anything you’re not 100% sure of in terms of meaning, you’ll raise your hand so I can explain it.” [Raise your hand and continue.] “I am not moving forward till all hands are raised!”
You have given the audience permission to not understand and let you know.
In formal and informal presentations and in your elevator speeches:
DO NOT USE buzz words, acronyms, and techno-speak.
Do that, and I guarantee: Your next presentation will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!
Fred Miller (fred@NoSweatPublicSpeaking.com) is a Speaker, International Coach and Author. Businesses and individuals hire him to improve their public speaking and presentaiton skills.