We all complain about jargon. So why do we use it so frequently? On the one hand, we use it to show that we belong to an “in-group”. We’ve been initiated and we know what we’re talking about. If others understand it, we know they’re part of the group. If they don’t understand, we know they’re outsiders. So jargon can be an important “group grooming” tool. It can also make you seem arrogant and stuffy to anyone who is not initiated.
More importantly, we use jargon because it can be a good communication tool; it’s a very precise and efficient way to communicate with other people who know the code. For people who don’t know the code, however, it’s confusing and irritating. As you hone your communication skills, remember that jargon is very appropriate in some situations; very inappropriate in others. The video will help you understand the difference.
When we want to let people know how smart we are during a speaking presentation, we often dress up our language. We use more formal diction, bigger words, and formidable phrasing. We often toss in a lot of jargon as well. Typically, however, it doesn’t work. We just sound stuffy, self-important, and boring. We’re trying to show the audience how smart we are which is always a losing strategy. Much better to show the audience how smart they are. You do this by speaking human — conversational, easy-to-understand, and plain spoken. As the saying goes, you should eschew obfuscation. Learn more in the video.