Friday, January 7, 2011

Eliminating corporate speak

Here is something I came across that you may find useful to read…especially point 3 – 

Corporate speak” is the gobbledygook that slows down progress and understanding in companies across the world. This problem is not just limited to large corporations; it also runs rampant among small businesses, entrepreneurs and lawyers. It is often a symptom of your environment. Could you imagine telling a loved one about the synergies of red wine complementing the innovative marinade on your steak dinner, not to mention having the bandwidth to sit down and commiserate with your counterpart? If you did…you’d often be eating alone.
So let’s make a resolution to ban corporate speak in 2011. But how? Here are three questions to ask yourself when successfully merging action-oriented planning steps to directives…I mean…when you actually write something:
1.   Who is my audience? Yes, your audience may use corporate speak. However, your message may be more effective by avoiding corporate speak in such an environment. Go through your writing and identify any words that your loved ones won’t understand. This doesn’t work in technical documents, but it will in 99% of everything else. If you can use plain, short language in a land of corporate speak you’ll be amazed at the response.
2.   Why am I using that word or sentence? Many people use corporate speak because it makes them sound smarter. Most people assume “sounding professional” is the same as “sounding smart.” It’s not. Let your intelligence shine through your ideas. People often use complicated sounding words simply to sound intelligent. Don’t be that guy (or girl)!
3.   Less is more. People seem to think that the longer something is, the more intelligent or important it is. This is especially important in email. Many people glance over long emails. Can your entire point be summed up in three regular sentences? I bet it can. Try it and watch how soon you’ll be able to sum up everything in one single sentence.
By eliminating corporate speak in 2011, your natural intelligence and creativity will shine!  I also think you’ll be amazed at the response. Smart people who can communicate clearly, succinctly and quickly will succeed!

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