It’s Drop the Jargon day today! Most of us know that we should leave jargon out of our communications, but not all of us can do it.
Why not use this day to ensure that your future communications are jargon free and engaging?
Business communicators should be, (but aren’t always), experienced at producing information in plain English. Even if we get it right in writing, we need to be sure that all of our communications are clear.
Generally, when we write we stop and reflect and re-read, when we speak, we may not do this.
When we speak to our colleagues, jargon can be inevitable, a shorthand understood by our profession. But it is a real communications problem when it is used to communicate with the public.
Why should we avoid jargon?
- When we keep our language clear and simple we increase readability which results in greater engagement.
- At a time when we have more access to information than ever before, our audiences will quickly move on if the communications are not clear.
- In a digital world, we do not share unnecessarily complicated information
- The media will not pick up your news that is full of jargon
And perhaps the best reason of all – Do not write to be understood. Write so that you cannot possibly be misunderstood.
How can we avoid jargon?
- Stay conscious of, and tailor your communications to, your audience(s).
- Only use the specialised terms where there is not an every-day alternative and you know that the audience will understand the term
- Don’t try to show off using big words
- Do not use a jargon term where perfectly ordinary terms will be just as effective.
- Use simple language that tells a story
- Use examples and anecdotes