Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” We often become so immersed in our day-to-day language that we don’t stop to consider someone else’s knowledge on the subject before attempting to explain something.
Something that seems simple and easy to understand by one individual can be a complex matter to another. Unfamiliar terms can cause confusion and create unwarranted conflict. Words are powerful and it is important that people know how to carefully craft them so that their message is presented as intended.
There are many situations in which individuals can use jargon in their conversation – especially in the financial technology space where acronyms flood the industry’s vocabulary. However, jargon is only acceptable when an individual has identified that the members of their audience will thoroughly understand the language used or if the speaker takes the time to break down their word usage.
For example, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary states, “A unicorn is a mythical, usually white animal generally depicted with the body and head of a horse and a single often spiraled horn in the middle of the forehead.” If you were to poll the general public on what they believe a unicorn is, the majority of responses would likely align with the Merriam-Webster definition. However, fintech professionals, especially those who have reached unicorn status, know that the word “unicorn” takes on a completely different meaning in our industry.
Speaking engagements, product demos and websites are all very public instances in which buzzwords feel easy to use, but it is important to ask if these words will be understood by the audience that is hearing or reading them.
When building a brand, it’s essential that companies are intentional with their word choices. Claiming to be the “best company ever,” gives potential customers a broad statement that they’ve probably heard before yet giving insight into what features your company offers can provide valuable information into what makes your company stand out above the rest.
It is also important to make sure that you are conscious of word choices internally. Fierce Inc. research showed that 97% of people believe that a lack of alignment within a team directly impacts the outcome of any given task or project. The words that you choose to use can either help develop your team or cause a negative chain of events.
Increased digitalization changes our everyday practices. It is crucial that subject matter experts, leaders and company representatives take time to ensure that when writing or speaking, words that may have multiple meanings are clearly defined within the context of the situation. With new technology on the rise, understanding what language to use for different audiences is a critical element of successfully communicating and exposing your brand to the public.
Interested in learning more about how to best communicate with your audiences? Contact us today.