Please! Don’t Use Industry Speak

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I know you’ve done this. We are all guilty at one time or another of talking in our very own version of, what I call, Industry Speak. We start to describe what we do for a living, or what procedure we use to accomplish something, and we use words and phrases that are “Inside the Beltway.” What does that mean? Exactly my point. Politicians know when they get into politician speak and mindset, they are basically talking to the folks in Washington, DC with whom they interact everyday. The rest of us listening to them, are left wondering: “What are they trying to say? I don’t get it.”

I see this all the time with clients. They are so used to talking to “their people,” that they use terms that they assume all of us know. As a Success Messaging Consultant, I want you to flip that notion on its head. If you ever want to grow your business beyond “your tribe,” you need a different approach and a more varied vocabulary. Assume the person, or audience, listening to you has NO idea what you’re describing. Be extra clear with your explanations.

Let me give you an example. I used to work in the world of TV news as an anchor, reporter, and producer. If I were asking you for a 1:10 package at 6, and a VO -SOT :45 for the 10, would you know what I was asking? Probably not. But a reporter or editor would know that I was asking. I’m requesting that the reporter produce a fully, packaged report on the news event they covered, 1 minute 10 seconds in length – (that time includes their on-camera stand-up if they have one) – for the 6pm newscast. I then asked for a re-packaging of that same report – now as a Voice-Over for the anchor to read, with a soundbite  included, for the 10pm newscast.

Do you get the drift? When talking to your peers, go for it. In those instances, you can use all the slang and technical mumbo-jumbo you want, and you can get away with it. BUT, if your goal is to broaden your business niche, reach an ever- widening audience, and be more successful, then please do me and your audience a favor: Don’t talk in Industry Speak!

Mary Jane McKittrick has extensive experience in Entertainment TV, Broadcast TV News, and Corporate Communications. Ms. McKittrick is a proven expert at packaging messages that are compelling and newsworthy. Her expertise is now helping success- driven entrepreneurs, coaches, and thought leaders, make their voices heard and their messaging matter. Mary Jane’s clients are finding success because they are using an approach that is quick, concise, and memorable.


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