Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Communicate in the Same Language
as Your Audience

Adjust your vocabulary to suit each particular group to which
you present. If they are shareholders, bankers, or accountants
and your topic is leveraged buyouts, you require a different
vocabulary than if you are talking to marketing people or
account executives on strategic selling.
     Each audience has its own unique language, familiar
expressions and sense of humour with which you must be
comfortable or you will not gain credibility.
     Be careful of semantics. The words you use will have
different connotations in different contexts. The same expres-
sion can be specifically or vaguely defined. Some words are
used in relative terms and others are absolute, such as large,
small, wide, long, easy, difficult, liberal, conservative, ethnic,
religious, expensive, cheap - it depends on how you use them.
Use meanings that are familiar to your audience. If necessary,
explain your own definitions.
     For example, "politics" can refer to our system of govern-
ment, in which there are political parties, or it can refer to the
power dynamics between people or departments in a company.
"Values" can refer to the company’s mission statement, or the
particular beliefs of individuals.
     In a sales presentation, there is a world of difference
between mentioning that a product is "cheap" or saying it is
"inexpensive" and "affordable". Different professions and in-
dustrial sectors use different euphemisms.
     For example, sales people are often titled "account execu-
tives", "account managers", "associates", or "product repre-
sentatives", even "technical consultants" rather than simply
     Recruiters sometimes call themselves "executive search
consultants", "human resource consultants", or "headhunt-
ers". I recommend that you use jargon only with appropriate

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