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Telling your story without the jargon

If there is one thing that the tech and startup industry loves, and reporters can’t stand it’s the use of jargon.

When thinking about how to tell your story watch out for vague language, industry specific language, abbreviations, jargon and adjectives.

The next time you feel the need to shift a paradigm, scale a platform, leverage the unknown, obtain industry-wide buy-in or join a solutions team, by all means do it. Just don’t tell a reporter you’re doing it, because all that meaningless jargon makes you sound like a moron.

Journalists are interested in the facts, your insights, your anecdotes and experiences and will quickly lose interest if bombarded by acronyms, bold unsubstantiated claims and sales messages. Plain English, that anyone can understand is the key to telling your story and amplifying your message.

If you hear any of the following words coming out of your mouth or being included in written communications to journalists, you need to rethink your message.

  • Solution
  • Best practice
  • Next generation
  • Ecosystem
  • Scalable
  • Platform
  • Optimise
  • Leverage
  • Synergy
  • Core competency
  • Paradigm
  • Orchestrate

Also, don’t assume that someone reading your press release, case study or event invitation knows anything about your business. A journalist can easily receive over 100 messages just like yours each day. At best, they may skim them so it’s likely that your release will be forgotten in an instant if it’s not easily understandable and to the point.

A great example of what a bad press release looks like and how to fix it comes from Jeremy Porter Communications ( But notice how easy it is to transform an incredibly poor piece of writing into something compelling and easy to read.

The simple rules are

  1. Never assume the reader knows anything about you
  2. Avoid industry-specific jargon where possible and explain it simply when it’s unavoidable
  3. Don’t use a long word when a short one will do
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