To Jargon or Not To Jargon?

It is my belief that the use of jargon in any speech, public relations related or not, is a very tricky business.  When is it correct to use jargon-esque terms, and when should the jargon stay in the dictionaries from which they came? 

I will be the first to admit that I am a pretty simple person as far as how I like to receive my information.  As a future public relations professional, I wonder if I am going to have to change this about myself.  I prefer information to be painted very plainly, in black and white terms, and no fancy words that I might possibly not understand.  It isn’t that I am not educated enough to understand trickier words, I just think an important aspect of being a good public relations professional is being able to speak in clear terms, terms that can be understood by people beyond your own target audience.  Of course, the goal is always to focus on your own target, but isn’t it possible that you may extend beyond your target when delivering speeches that are later to be quoted in papers, online news forums, etc?  This is exactly the reason that for the most part, I think speeches should be delivered in the clearest possible vocabulary.  Trying to impress your audience with big fancy words may only push them away from you.

I’d like to focus on the for the most part that I previously mentioned.  I do believe there are certain instances where some jargon is necessary.  For example, the introduction to new technologies and services often requires a bit of jargon speaking, but I think there is a way to be sure to explain what each term means.  In my opinion, there is no bigger turn off when listening to someone speak than someone who clearly wants to make you feel as though you should already understand exactly what he or she is talking about.  It is condescending, and in the world of public relations there is no room for that; speaking to an audience in a condescending tone is the quickest way to alienate them.


~ by emily074 on December 1, 2009.

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