Many people know what happens when you use buzzwords and jargon in a Presentation. It makes people alienated when they can’t understand some terms. Especially when they think that other people probably understood what they couldn’t. Business buzzwords and jargon is one of the biggest barriers facing people from understanding many presentations.

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Is Using Acronyms Always a Bad Idea?

Using acronyms and jargon can sometimes make things easier to understand, but these words are not suitable for everyone. A presentation for people outside your organization should not contain too many of these terms. The same goes for PDFs and documents you send to clients and people who are not in your industry. Understand that if they don’t understand a word, they will either search for it online or just skip over it. Neither of which helps your product.

People will usually zone out when faced with something they don’t understand. It also makes them feel like they are not “in the know”. People don’t like being left out, so they decide to not think about it instead.

But We Ask People to Let Us Know if They Have Any Questions

This is basically the same approach that many school teachers apply when teaching a class. They explain something and then ask people if they understood the message. Of course we know that many people will not raise their hand because they don’t want to be embarrassed, or maybe they don’t want to look bad in front of their seniors.

Tips on How to Use Acronyms Effectively

When proofreading your presentation, look for terms and ask yourself if they are really necessary. Remove any extra jargon from the presentation. In case you want to keep an acronym, make sure to also explain it in simple terms when you use it for the first time. Also, write the acronym in words next to each of them every time.

Making the presentation more accessible might take a little more time, but if having more people on-board will help you, then removing jargon may pay dividends.

Image Courtesy:

Fun with words by Wrk2345 [CC BY 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons