Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Toastmasters Competent Communicator Project 4

Tonight I will be giving a prepared speech for my Toastmasters group (See You Speak).  I was reading through the requirements for the speech I will be giving.  It is project number 4 from the TM Competent Communicator manual.  While reading through it, I was perturbed to see a short section on jargon.  Now, when it comes to jargon, I do think we all need to be aware of our audiences when we speak, write, or express ourselves.  If we want to be understood we have to communicate in ways that the people we wish to reach can understand.  That said, I think that some words that are considered jargon, have less to do with being characterized as being specific to a certain field of study or aspect of life and culture, but have more to do with the fact that they are not easy words to learn and that most people never get far enough in their own education to use those words with confidence.  For instance, in the manual the authors suggest replacing "conceptualize" with "imagine", "finalize" with "finish", and "implement" with "begin" or "use".  WTF?!  I disagree completely.  I think we should feel free to use words that are a little harder and are a little more specific.  Yes, some audience members may not feel exactly comfortable with using a certain term themselves, but a good speaker should be able to convey the word (and what it is expressing) within the context of their speech anyway.  I will not limit myself to words that are 'easy'.  Screw that.

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