In today’s world of information overload, effective communication has become more vital than ever. Whether it’s a blog post, a company report, or a marketing email, the aim is to get your message across to your audience in a clear and concise way. Unfortunately, a common mistake made by many writers is the use of jargon.

Jargon can seem like a quick fix to convey complex ideas, but it can actually act as a barrier to communication. It can alienate your audience and make it difficult for them to comprehend your message, especially when writing for a broad audience such as the general public, customers, or clients who may not have a background in your field.

There are many professions that rely heavily on the use of jargon. For instance, the medical field has its own specific terms, such as “Walking Ghost Syndrom” which is used to describe a condition where a patient is conscious and able to move, but appears to be unresponsive. Similarly, the financial and legal industries are known for using complex terminology that can be challenging for non-experts to decipher.

Why do people use jargon?

People use jargon for various reasons. One of the key reasons is to express complex ideas or information more effectively to others in their field. Jargon can also serve as a shorthand to communicate with each other, as it conveys a lot of information in a single term. Additionally, the use of jargon can give people a sense of belonging and demonstrate that they are part of a specialist group. However, we need to remember that while jargon may be beneficial within our particular field, it can be confusing and inaccessible to those who are not familiar with it.

What’s wrong with jargon?

Firstly, it can alienate your audience and make it difficult for them to comprehend your message, particularly when writing for a broad audience who may not have a background in your sector. Secondly, the usage of specialised language can also cause confusion, as different industries may have different interpretations for the same terms. Furthermore, using jargon can make your writing appear pompous and inaccessible, giving off the impression that you are only writing for a select group of individuals. Finally, the use of jargon can slow down the pace of your writing and make it less compelling. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to write in a clear and concise manner, using language that is easily accessible to all.

So, how do you prevent using jargon and write for a broad audience?

Know your audience

Before you start writing, it’s important to understand who your audience is and what they know. Ask yourself, “What do my readers need to know in order to understand my message?” This will help you determine the level of detail and technical language that is suitable for your audience. It will also help you decide on the right angle from which to approach to your topic.

Simplify your language

Simplifying your language is an easy way to make your writing more accessible. Use short, simple sentences and avoid complex vocabulary. Don’t be afraid to explain technical terms or concepts in plain language. If you need to use a specialised term, make sure you provide a definition or explanation.

Use analogies and examples

Analogies and examples are a great way to help your audience understand complex concepts. By relating the concept to something familiar, you can make it easier for your audience to grasp the idea. For example, if you’re writing about a new software system, you might explain how it works by using an analogy to a system that is already familiar to your audience, such as how traffic lights work.

Avoid industry-specific acronyms

Industry-specific acronyms can be a major barrier to communication for those who are not familiar with your field. While it may be tempting to use them to save time, it’s better to spell out the words in full, especially if you’re writing for a wider audience.

Get feedback

Getting feedback from others is important to see if your writing is effective. Ask someone outside of your field to read your writing and give you feedback on whether they found it easy to understand. This will help you identify any areas where you can improve and make your writing more accessible.

Say “No!” to Jargon

Writing for a wide audience requires a different approach than writing for a specialist audience. By avoiding jargon, simplifying your language, using analogies and examples, avoiding industry-specific acronyms, and getting feedback, you can ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and accessible to all. The goal is to communicate your message effectively and reach as many people as possible. Say goodbye to jargon and start writing for a wide audience today.

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