Part 2 Speakers, please use words most people have heard | Jargon doesn’t work on ships

ByRick Deutsch

Part 2 Speakers, please use words most people have heard | Jargon doesn’t work on ships

Let’s continue our discussion of phrases that are considered hip and make the speaker sound better than us. Last time we talked about “curate.”

At SpeakOnCruises.com we try to help out speakers in general. My next is “Call to Action.” Sometimes even the august staff of SpeakOnCruises say it. It really means what you are asking the other person to do something as a result of reading your stuff or hearing your presentation. On a ship, are you going to ask the audience to get up and march around the deck chanting your mantra? No, they are on vacation and only want to take a hour break from the hot sun, so they can play bingo at noon.

I have an MBA and we never talked about Call to Action. When I worked in idustry some smart MBA’s from the place up the street, Stanford, started using it. Whooppie Do! So at the end of your diatribe, you’re supposed to ask the person to 1. Send you an email, 2. Sign up for your class, 3. Fill out a form, 4. Send in their email address, 5. Text 38590 to get a white paper, 6. Send in $9.97 to get your book…..bla bla yada yada.

A synonym would be “please do this for me” Or “To get these benefits, do this.” Or “Next steps.” I like that one. Ta da! Not a phrase that sounds like: “CALLING ALL CARS…GET INTO ACTION…..A 244 IN PROGRESS AT 5TH AND MAIN….CALLING ALL CARS.”

General, what's your Call to Action?

General, what’s your Call to Action?

I certainly agree that if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It just the term “Call to Action” that bugs me. To me it sounds like General McArthur telling the troops that “I am asking you to save the country and apple pie by running headlong into the machine gun nest.”

Only my opinion as an observer of you earthlings.  Tune in next time when I rant about “value proposition.” Another one that bugs me. Remember an MBA from Santa Clara University is nothing to sneeze at.

…..he now steps down from his soapbox….
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