Written by Megan MacNeill

What the Jargon!
August 14, 2019

The single biggest problem in communication, is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

George is right! We all know someone who spills out jargon like a second language. Sure, they sound super smart. Know all the latest buzz words. And boy do they know how to kill a conversation because no one else around them has a clue what they are going on about! So if you don’t understand the conversation then it might as never have happened.  

Where did jargon begin?

So let’s go back to why jargon even exists. It was first developed to communicate quickly among groups working together (think surgeons while in the O.R. or soldiers in a war zone). Fantastic. It is a shortcut language for people with the same trade, industry or profession to communicate quickly and precisely.

So while it was intended to help it is now often use to prove expertise and bamboozle people into thinking they aren’t smart enough. Our hot tip – keep it simple, keep it RELEVANT.

Why is jargon bad for your personal brand?

Aside from the fact people don’t understand what you are saying, you have also alienated them. You’ve created an environment where they are frantically googling to keep up and worried they will look stupid if they dare ask what optimising bottom-of-funnel efficiencies means.  

We’ll save you the embarrassment. We are talking about closing more deals faster. Obvious right? Of course not, which is why you need to avoid jargon!

So to close more deals, those buying need to understand what is on offer.  

When is jargon okay?

When you are talking shop. Use jargon till the cows come home when you are with your cohort. If you are all experts in the same field, then it is likely you all speak the same language and that is totally fine. Just don’t forget to drop the lingo when an outsider enters the room.

Why we try to avoid jargon.

Okay so we claim not to use jargon; so on that basis we give you full permission to pull us up if we do. The truth is for many of us our jargon feels natural and we sometimes forget that others aren’t reading from the same dictionary.

We made a bold claim that we are here to help make your business relevant to your stakeholders both internally and externally as well as to your clients both existing and potential. To be relevant you need to be understood. Likewise, you need to understand what we are blathering on about.

We would love you to tell us what jargon you are struggling with in the HR and marketing space and we will gladly translate. Just ask, we have a rule that no question is a silly question. So be prepared for the ones we fire back at you.

Let’s find a language that works for all of us.

#GetRelevant

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