How to stop obfuscating your audience
Ditch the jargons and speak plainly
You just delivered a highly-charged elevator pitch. And now it’s the Q&A segment. And then it’s as quiet as a grave. Puzzling? If the responses were twiddling thumbs and blank stares, you might’ve been spewing 20 buzzwords per minute.
Monkey see, monkey do
Bizspeak, office lingos, jargons and buzzwords — I am as guilty as the next person. It’s rather easy to fall into a habit when everyone else is doing it. There are times I find myself unconsciously stuffing words into conversations and explanations. Substituting jargons and using office slang helps me communicate better at work. It builds better rapport as well.
Yes. Buzzwords and office phrases are not entirely bad. It has its benefits when used strategically with the right audience.
However, it gets bad when you start to use it excessively and unnecessarily. Worst is when you use it pretentiously to make you sound that you are already part of a group, or even a *thought leader*.
Take it away Dilbert.
Communications need to be clear
As technology advances, our attention span becomes shorter (even shorter than a goldfish). Time has become an even more valuable commodity. More and more people have less and less time — nobody has time to sort through all your gobbledygook to understand your message.
Hear me out. Limit your use of highfalutin jargons and excessive euphemisms. It’ time to let *bizspeak* take the back seat.
A simple cure
When the situation calls for it, remember to use plain words instead. Period.
Here’s my personal list of overused phrases/buzzwords and their alternative plain words:
- At the End of the day
- Moving forward, we will
From now on/In future, we will
- Out of the box(adj.) idea
- Not enough bandwidth
Busy, not enough capacity
- With regards to
- Basic Fundamentals
Redundant. Fundamentals will do.
- Streamline operations
Make more efficient/Organise
- Deep dive
Examine in detail
- No brainer task
Foremost/First priority/No. 1
- Off the top of my head
fancy filler — drop it.
- Pain points
- Free Gifts
Redundant. All gifts are free.
Use Exclusive, or any other adjective will do.
Stop boring your audience with lame bizspeak and verbal diarrhoea. Drop the fancy fillers and get right to the point. People will pay more attention to you when they actually understand what you’re saying.
There are more jargons and buzzwords out there, what’s on your most annoying list? Do let me know which ones you think should go here!