Beware of Jargon in Your Presentations

At some point in most HR professionals’ careers they will have to give a presentation. Many of aspire to giving presentation on regular basis and hope to make the transition to “speaker.” (My aspiration.) In HR it is easy to get caught up in the jargon of the field. Beware of this. We get criticized sometimes for too much lingo. David Houle, a favorite Futurist of mine, talked about this in one of his newsletters. He said that we think that because a speaker uses jargon, often terms we don’t know, that they must be smart. And he added “If we know what the jargon means, we feel in the know, and possibly, a sense of smugness creeps in.” He mentioned that he tries to talk about futurism in simple terms and that often amazes people. I think there is a lesson in this for all of us. Regardless if you are talking to an employee, a manager, a boardroom audience or a large auditorium audience try to keep things simple. You will connect much better with your audience and they will walk away understanding more and will be amazed at your ability to explain a “difficult” subject.
I want to thank Houle for pointing out the following video from one of the, if not the, most incredible wordsmiths of any stage. Watch this performance and think of the last presentation you heard or gave. Did it sound like this?

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