Teaching With Jargon

If you are a writer or speaker a great tool to be used is an understanding of the level of intellectual alignment your audience has with the subject you are speaking on. The great mistake teachers or speakers make is the assumption that the people they are speaking to understand what the speaker has forgotten they ever needed to learn. There was a point you knew nothing about what you are now teaching and it isn’t about you, it is about the audience.

I see it quite often with experts in specific areas of business trying to help with the best of intentions. They want to teach people their craft but they teach the new students utilizing the learned jargon of their craft operating under the assumption “everyone knows the basics of what they know.” Since students don’t want to constantly be asking for clarity because it can make one feel inadequate, and an audience doesn’t have the freedom to, they will most likely become demotivated or tune out of your presentation.

There is no harm in brief explanations of your jargon for the sake of the room. Don’t assume people have the knowledge you do.

Acronyms can alienate and jargon is an acquired language. Having a fluent french speaker give a presentation to French I students is not going to help them learn french, no matter how badly they want to.

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