Do you talk a lot of crazy shit? (Why to ditch the jargon and speak plain English instead)

Much Confusion

Just got off the phone to {anonymous internet provider}.

My eyes are glazed, my mouth is dry, and my ears are manufacturing wax at an alarming rate.

All I wanted was to connect The Internet to my new house, man.

But something something line something cable rah rah rah technician call-out squawk mew boo hiss sorry, you’ll have to wait another month.

… is what I heard.

Crazy shit.

Crazy technical shit.

As a daft consumer, I have zero comprehension of what goes on in Internet land.

All I know is:

I want Internet.

I need Internet.

There are emails I gotta open, attachments I gotta download and missed episodes of The Bachelor I gotta stream.

So gimme Internet.


When I’m talking to a prospective provider, my only concerns are:

How much?

Words to do with codes, lines, cables, copper or what your technicoloured spreadsheet is telling you about the viability of our address is irrelevant.

Please don’t share your crazy technical shit.

I just want to know how you can help me.

And your customers feel the same.

Don’t be that baffling internet provider who becomes the butt of a copywriter’s irate blog post.

Instead, keep the jargon to a minimum.

Connecting with your customers, clients and followers - both online and in person - starts with speaking their language.

Using words they’re familiar with, understand and associate with your service.

Otherwise, you’ll lose ‘em.

(Hey, if you’re anything like me, you’re guilty of slinging technical terms around like a scholarly cowboy and leaving your clients in a whorl of dusty confusion. So, no judgement.)

Ditching the jargon doesn’t mean:

  • Treating your audience like a bunch o hicks.
  • Dumbing down your brilliance.
  • Failing to educate people about the cool shit you do.

It does mean:

  • Keeping things simple.
  • Explaining unfamiliar terms.
  • Staying conscious of what matters to your audience.

How to avoid slipping into jargon/crazy shit mode

Ask of every piece of written and verbal communication:

What question am I answering?
Who’s asking?
What’s the simplest way I can respond?
What words do THEY use to describe the problem?
Are there any technical terms that need explaining?
If so - what analogies or simple metaphors can I use to paint a picture?

You may slip up and blurt antidisestablishmentarianism in a moment of technical enthusiasm, but don’t despair; by always returning to the needs of the person in front of you - reader, follower, customer, client - you’ll keep your crazy shit to a minimum, and comprehension to a maximum.

And comprehension breeds connection.

And connection makes people see cartoon love hearts.

Try it and tell me how you go!  Doooo it.