Using your big words

Business meetings are tough enough, but one sure way to turn off customers is using a lot of industry-specific jargon. Every industry has their own lexicon, including acronyms and shortcuts that only industry insiders understand. It’s a natural tendency for all of us to talk in terms we understand, even if we are discussing things with people outside of our industry circles.

It’s the business equivalent of telling inside jokes that only someone who’s known you for years understands. It’s like telling secrets or talking in code. Even if you take the time to explain what your terms mean, often it is an afterthought or in response to your attendees’ inquiry. And, really, no one truly wants to learn your industry – they just want you to know it and explain it in a way that makes sense to them.

In business meetings, just like any gathering, you’ll find your attendees will be more willing to listen, believe and act on what you’re meeting about if you speak in a language that includes them. Even if you explain what your terms mean, you are better off avoiding industry-specific terms and talk in universal terms. Industry jargon will confuse your customer or client and, what’s worse, make them have to think – and thinking leads to indecision.

Clean it up and leave the industry lexicon for the water cooler. Impress your prospects and clients by using simple terms and alternative descriptions and analogies for your industry language. What you’ll find is a greater understanding and an audience more willing to take action because they are included and feel just as smart and up-to-speed as you are.