Sounding smart doesn’t need jargon.
Picture this. You’re in an important business meeting and most of your colleagues sound like they’re speaking another language. It’s a unique hybrid of English and robotic speak – otherwise popularly known as jargon. It’s an all too familiar situation we can all relate to.
We’re all guilty of trying to sound intelligent by using acronyms or fancy complicated words and if you’re lucky, you can pull it off. But if you’re on the receiving end and have no clue about what those words mean, you could end up feeling isolated and disengaged with the conversation.
At Bunch, we believe in the simplicity of communication to convey a point that is compelling and resonates with our audience. Whether it’s talking to a client, a fellow team member or our favourite barista, language is the most powerful tool to create connections.
Now that everyone is increasingly time-poor, conversations need to be to the point to hold their attention in the midst of many distractions.
Here are our top tips to cut the confusion when speaking or writing:
- Keep it simple – don’t be verbose and complex! Instead, use a few simple words.
- Speak their language – use familiar words and be informal like you’re talking to a friend. Don’t use words that are not in the dictionary and stop using jargon or unknown or confusing acronyms. For example, SMEs could mean either small and medium-sized enterprises or subject matter experts, so just spell it out.
- Clarify – if you hear jargon or an acronym that you don’t know, just ask. Never feel embarrassed. It’s much worse to sit there in a meeting, nod along and then get caught not understanding the conversation eventually!
- Be authentic – show your passion when it comes to sharing your story or experience. Your examples will help connect a concept for your clients.
- Listen actively – don’t interrupt and listen carefully when you hear someone else’s story. Don’t distract from the conversation by judging whether your story is better than theirs. Summarise to check if you’ve heard them correctly. There’s a reason we have two ears and one mouth.
- Be a child again! – would a child understand what you’re saying? Yes, then you’re on the money. No, then take a moment to gather your thoughts and share your opinion, rather than talk for the sake of it. Use this as an indicator to make sure your conversations are hitting the mark.