[Note: The following column was published in the last Shift Age Newsletter. If you would like a free subscription to the Newsletter, please click here and fill out the short subscription form]
Many of us attend conferences that are about certain topics, such as new technology, new behaviors or new forms of communicating. Speakers and panels get up on stage and spew new acronyms to show they are experts, or in the know, or specialists. Since we are not sure what they all mean, we think those who speak them must be smart. If we know what the jargon means, we feel in the know, and possibly, a sense of smugness creeps in.
When I speak about the future, people are sometimes surprised that I use simple language and stories to point out the trends and what the future might look like. Big concepts, macro trends and dynamic forces are simple, significant and profound, but speaking of them with lots of jargon is unnecessary and, in fact, false.
The short clip below is the ultimate statement ridiculing all those tragically hip, terminal insiders who think they can sound smart when reeling off jargon. Many of you have probably seen it, but watch it again in this context, and you might even laugh out loud at the jargon-speaking folks on stage at the next conference.
More seriously, as a speaker, I am always trying to get better at what I do. How can I impact the audience more directly? How can I be a catalyst for getting people to think about the future? Whenever I think I am good at what I do, I can take a look at the master wordsmith, George Carlin, and I am humbled.