The allure of jargon, especially in the business world, can be tempting. Smooth sounding phrases repeated in meeting after meeting can become part of your office vernacular—and that’s fine as long as you understand, and your coworker understands, what you really mean when you sputter out a phrase.
But it’s when this business jargon grabs its coat and hits the streets that things get tricky. You must adjust your business speak to meet the needs of people outside of your professional world. Even answering a simple, “So what do you do for work?” can be a challenge for some. It takes a pause and careful consideration. It involves moving outside of your business world and into the world of your fellow conversationalist. It might take a moment of quiet strategy before you find the right collection of words to convey your story, but the pile of silent, unused phrases will speak volumes to how your message is received
Curious about this business jargon we speak of? Well, take a look at the two examples below. What conversation would you rather take part in? Who would you want to do business with? And if you’re still itching to immerse yourself in silly lingo, we made this just for you.
I’m an expert. I know the ins and outs of your business. I know how to juggle tough deadlines, client needs, and quarterly quotas. I’m an innovator and a thought leader. I love what I do, and I’m eager to grow your reach within your industry. I know you have a very specific wheelhouse—it’s what keeps business on track and helps your bottom line stay in the black...
I’m an expert in your industry, and I know you’re excited to tell the right people all about what you’re working on and how you can help them with your unique service or product. So, how will I go about doing this?
Well, one way is to avoid phrases like "wheelhouse,” "bottom line," and "grow your reach." Instead, I’ll write clearly, using language that your customer would use in everyday speech. This doesn't mean I’m not an expert, or that my writing is devoid of personality. It just means that I’m communicating like an adult, and respecting the fact that others may not know your business jargon.
Communicators, you’ve been warned. Don't be a Jarg Jargonson.