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How to avoid business jargon in your writing

How to avoid business jargon in your writing

Effective communication is an essential ingredient for business success. But when it comes to writing marketing content or communicating with customers, using cliches and business jargon can often have the opposite effect – muddying the water and confusing customers.

So, how do you write helpful, engaging business content without reverting to stereotypical jargon, buzzwords and technical language?

Keeping your content simple and easy to understand

Using industry phrases and buzzwords can leave your audience feeling disengaged and uninterested in what you have to say. In contrast, using plain English helps you communicate clearly and effectively. Using plain, simple language helps you connect with your audience, so customers understand your messaging without getting confused and bored.

So, what can you do to keep your business content and customer communications as clear and simple as possible?

To make your content stand out:

  • Don't jump on all the latest buzzwords – as industries and technology evolve, new terms and phrases will inevitably appear. But don’t feel you have to use the latest buzzwords to be relevant. There are often simpler, straightforward ways to explain your meaning, without having to use phrases that could alienate your audience.

  • Don’t assume that your audience is a subject expert – credit your customers with intelligence and the ability to understand complex ideas. But don’t assume that they are necessarily a subject matter expert in your field. Don’t use highly technical language and ensure you explain your messages in a way that everyone can understand.

  • Use plain English wherever possible – if you can explain a product feature or customer benefit in 20 words, don’t use 50 words. And keep the language you use as plain and simple as possible. Getting ‘wordy’ doesn’t make you look intelligent, it just confuses the messaging and alienates customers that don’t share this vocabulary.

  • Link to explanations of technical terms – if you must use niche terms and technical phrases, use hyperlinks to link to explanations of these terms. This gives readers the option to find out more about a specific term (if they need to), without you having to use up your word count explaining what this term means.

  • Spell out all abbreviations and acronyms – where you’re using an abbreviation or acronym, spell these out in full the first time around. Then put the shortened version in brackets. For instance, if you’re talking about AI or GST, write artificial intelligence (AI) and general services tax (GST).

When customers connect more closely with your marketing and promotional materials, that can lead to better brand loyalty, increased sales and improved revenues.