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Use short words, simple phrases in presentations

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Sometimes, the smartest people make the worst presenters. Their vast knowledge and mastery of industry jargon or technical details turn them into drones with slides.

Subject-matter expertise can interfere with your clarity when you give a speech. Attorneys who bog down their talks with legalese tend to bore non-attorneys in the audience. Municipal officials who discuss budgets at public forums often speak in a coded language with terms such as "dislocations" and "discretionary balances."

If you write a report, you can get away with dense words and phrases. Readers can pause and reflect on your meaning—and check a dictionary if they're confused.

Listeners, by contrast, need to keep up with you. If they don't understand what you just said, they may decide to tune out for the duration of your talk.

Short words work to your advantage. Familiar words with one or two syllables work best. Use "wise," not "perspicacious." Say "grief" rather than "despondency."

Industry lingo can muddy your message. Replace "compensation" with "pay" or "benefits." Lawyers can replace "consideration" with "fee" or "payment."

Some speakers load up on adverbs and other filler words. It's better to link your subject to your verb seamlessly. Replace, "We're indeed very fortunate to have access to such extremely valuable reams of incalculably mission-critical data" with "We're fortunate to have all this data."

When practicing your presentation, look for ways to streamline your remarks. Cut extraneous words or phrases.

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