Every industry has it’s own internal operational language. You’ll find jargon inside companies and even departments within companies. Though jargon is helpful for those “in the know,” it breeds confusion with an outside audience. Jargon is here to stay and its important to productivity — the jargon we use with people on “the inside” makes our communication more efficient and effective. Many businesspeople stumble when they change audiences by not code shifting from internal operation language (that would be jargon) to open, universal language.
In theory, you could define the jargon you use when speaking to an external audience, but why bother? Defining your terms would only serve to muddle and lengthen your message. Instead, drop the jargon and speak to your audience not just in terms they will understand, but terms they find familiar.
Consider how you would make the same presentation about a new initiative at your company to these different audiences:
1. Investors funding your business
2. Customers contracting for your product or service
3. Your internal production team
4. Your child’s classmates on career day
Even if your subject were exactly the same, you’d need four different presentations to connect with these audiences. Don’t have time for that? Think again. The alternative is watching eyes glaze over and people check their watches. Your kid might forgive you, but the other three won’t.