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

ByRick Deutsch

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

Don't talk above your audience

Don’t talk above your audience

If you are in the audience of a lecture in a cruise ship, what do you want to hear? A dissertation on the Higg’s boson? Or fresh fun pages out of USA Today?  Most of us want to learn something, but we are on vacation, for holy sake! KISS – Keep it Simple Speaker!

My rant is about cool insider words some speakers use that make them sound smarter than us. They come across as condescending – but oh, they are so smart. The word that bugs me this week is “curate.” Gee what a word. As in I’m curating the business.  A lofty and once rarely spoken word outside exhibition halls. You know like a curator of a museum.  Curate has become a fashionable code word among the aesthetically minded, who seem to paste it onto any activity that involves culling and selecting. Lately, it seems among bloggers and speakers, curate is code for “I have a discerning eye and great taste…..and I’m better than you.


In ecommerce terminology, curated commerce refers to creating unique product lines that provide customers with a distinct collection not offered by other online retailers in a market. Curated commerce helps shoppers discover products based on their personal preferences. Curated commerce is often compared to the online version of shopping in exclusive and personal boutiques. Please stop saying curate, unless you run a museum.

Remember the word “paradigm?”  Oh yeah, that was the one that turned heads. What a smart person he/she must be – they know what a paradigm is. Gosh. As in we developed a new paradigm…. Is that a pair of digms?  What’s a digm? But you say it like “pair of dimes.” So a 20 cent piece?  Luckily that one has died.

As a speaker you need to communicate to your audience. Make sure they understand everything. Don’t be above them with “edu-macated”  words.

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