Jargon, hackneyed expressions, industry lingo, management speak – most of us have used it, and many of us have it thrust upon us on a day-to-day basis in the meeting room, in our business correspondence or from our boss.
Research by the Institute of Leadership and Management found that ‘a quarter of British workers find corporate jargon to be a pointless irritation’. Many of us find jargon incredibly annoying, especially online when our only means of understanding is from words. If those words are confusing or need interpreting, we’re likely to click away to the competition. So, let us just ‘peel this onion’ a little more, shall we? (see what I did there?)
So, if you use jargon in your website copy or your blog posts, you’re likely to be putting off a potential 25% of your readers. Can you afford to lose customers for the sake of a few words?
Just because you’re in business doesn’t mean that you must pepper your website and blog posts with jargon. It’s not clever, and it doesn’t endear people to you or your business, and if it takes too much mental work to interpret your words, it might just send them off to your competition. This is the nature of words; they can make the difference between a loyal customer and a click off.
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
I agree. It has been said that those who use business jargon are often trying to appear more intelligent. If you don’t talk a certain way in real life, then don’t talk like it online. It is pretentious, you don’t look smarter, you just appear to want to look smarter.
If your place of work is saturated with such words it may be natural that some of them will rub off on you and you may find yourself unintentionally using them. In this case, it takes a little more effort to eliminate these words from your vocabulary. Perhaps a little ‘thinking outside the box’ is needed here. (There, do you see how annoying it is?)
Jargon disguises the real meaning of your words. So speak as you would to a layman, and you’ll attract a larger audience. People who know your business won’t be put off by simple words but those who don’t know your business will certainly appreciate it.
Cleansing business jargon from your blog and website will make you and your business easier to understand. It will also make you sound like a real person, not some unapproachable super-business.
Hone your communication so that you don’t need to rely on jargon, hackneyed expressions or industry lingo to get your point across. Use simple language and you will create more impact and attract more readers.