Using “big words” when you speak makes you come across as insecure.
Studies have shown that using jargon a.k.a big words is a status symbol. Overusing jargons signals to others that you are not confident.
If you are trying to attract certain people but they are not privy to your jargon, you are actually painting yourself negatively like pushing them away and just leaving them confused. One of the main reasons is that we like to use big words and industry jargon. This jargon may mean something to us, but they mean nothing to the people we are trying to reach.
Following are some examples of business jargon that will help illustrate the concept:
- bang for the buck – a term that means to get the most for your money
- best practice – the best way to do something
- core competency – basic strength of a group or company
- due diligence – putting effort into research before making a business decision
- drill down – to look at a problem in detail
- scalable – an endeavor that can be expanded without a lot of additional investment
- sweat equity – getting a stake in the business instead of pay
- the 9-to-5 – business jargon meaning a standard workday
- chief cook and bottle-washer – a person who holds many responsibilities
Jargon is defined as language that is not well understood outside of a specified group. Therefore, useful language for one group could be a total jargon to another group. The only way to know if a term is jargon or not is to put yourself in the shoes of your audience. If you use difficult words that don’t mean anything to your audience, they won’t be able to get what you mean.
The point to writing and speaking is communication, and using a word only a few people know can get in the way of getting your point across. If you think about your audience first, you will always choose the right words.