How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

How to Avoid Using Jargon in Media Interviews and Communications – Tips from a Media Trainer

There is a reason you may be seeing lots of articles about the overuse of jargon. It’s especially important to avoid using jargon in media interviews.

What would you think or feel if you heard this statement from a company spokesperson?

“We’re incentivizing our brand evangelists to virally spread our high-level content by gifting them with digital aviation rewards. It’s this outside-the-box thinking that yields us much more than the low-hanging fruit our competitors pull down, which is mission-critical given our current bandwidth.”

“Ummm…what?” might be your answer.

It would probably be clearer and easier to listen to this statement:

“We created a program that allows fans of our content to share it and earn airline points. It’s creative thought like this that’s helping us to grow more quickly than our competitors, which is especially important with our current staff and resources.”

Simple and clear language is usually the most effective way to communicate in almost any situation. It’s best to avoid using jargon in media interviews because your audience may consist of a variety of people with a range of knowledge. Generally, you will want your message to be well understood by the vast majority of people who will hear it or read it.

Jargon is defined in the Merriam Webster dictionary as follows:

“Jargon – (noun) – the language used for a particular activity or by a particular group of people.”

The use of jargon seems to be increasing, especially as the use of technology and Internet spreads. Some jargon is useful, but this is usually within the confines of people who work within a specific industry. Because jargon is often used with people of varying backgrounds, it is often misunderstood.

People may use jargon for several reasons:

• They don’t know how to explain something in simpler terms.

• They want to appear more eloquent or knowledgeable than they are.

• They are afraid that if they use more plain language people will assume they don’t know their industry’s jargon.

• Or, they are unaware that they are doing so.

In media interviews or presentations, before you use jargon, consider the knowledge base of your audience and their frame of reference. If you are accustomed to using a lot of jargon that is specific to your industry and you are addressing people outside of your industry, think about the alternate meanings your words may have to them.

What happens when people don’t understand your jargon:

• They may stop focusing on what you’re saying as their minds fixate on trying to figure out the meanings of the terms or words they didn’t understand.

• They may feel that your message is not meant for them, so they may tune you out.

• Or, they may feel that you’re trying to speak above their level, which may cause them to resent you.

How to know when to use jargon. Ask yourself:

• Is the jargon the best way to communicate your thought or to represent an object, concept or process?

• Who is your audience? Will your audience understand the jargon you are using? If not, would learning the meaning of the jargon help your audience members? If so, are you able to define the jargon for them?

Here are some ways to catch yourself using jargon, so you can curb it when needed:

• Set a digital recorder near you when you’re on the phone or meeting with people. Play it back and listen closely for the unnecessary or excessive use of jargon.

• Review your written correspondence to see how much jargon you’ve included. You could even keep a list of jargon that you don’t want to use and search your documents for the words or terms you want to omit.

How to know if you are using jargon:

• Are the words you are using NOT in the dictionary? If not, they may be jargon or they may be made up.

• Are many of the nouns you use actually verbs that have been modified to become nouns?

Instead of using jargon, aim for clearer, simpler language. It will help you to be better understood and received by your audience.

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217. Or, you can email us at [email protected]

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Media Interviews and Speeches

The use of acronyms and abbreviations seems to have increased significantly over the past decade, primarily due to the growth of texting and the shrinking of sentences to fit within Twitter’s character limits.

Acronyms and AbbreviationsThe use of acronyms and abbreviations in media interviews or speeches can often create confusion, turn people off and, possibly, make you appear less eloquent than you are.

The difference between acronyms and abbreviations:

An acronym is pronounced like a word and is generally comprised of the first letter of each word in a phrase. Example: SWOT (which stands for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats”).

An abbreviation consists of the first letter of each word in a phrase or name, but each letter is pronounced individually. Example: D.I.Y. (which stands for “do it yourself”).

Of course, the above acronym and abbreviation could each have other meanings, but these are among the most common meanings for them. This brings me to the first of my tips for using acronyms and abbreviations effectively in media interviews or speeches:

1. Avoid using acronyms or abbreviations that could easily be confused with more commonly known ones. For example, if my team and I referred to our company as “E.M.T.”, rather than Expert Media Training™, a large percentage of people would be confused because “E.M.T.” is commonly used to describe an “emergency medical technician”. The difference is vast: if there’s a speech emergency I can help you, but you probably don’t want me intubating you.

2. Avoid using abbreviations or acronyms that may not be known to the majority of your audience. If you are in a media interview or giving a speech that will last more than a few minutes, and you plan on using an abbreviation to refer to something with a long name, explain this the first time you mention the full name associated with the abbreviation. This should be practiced during your media training, so you become fluid with your delivery.

3. If you can create an acronym for a system you have created or something else you want people to remember, this can be very useful for marketing and for making you memorable. If you plan to use the acronym in a media interview or speech, explain what it means early on.

4. In broadcast interviews or speeches, don’t use abbreviations that contain more syllables than the words themselves. Example: using “G.W.P.” (5 syllables) instead of “gift with purchase” (4 syllables). You could probably get away with this in an article you author, but this kind of “marketing speak” rarely impresses people.

5. If, during an interview or speech, you use abbreviations that are replacements for slang expressions, like “LOL” or “OMG”, know that this will convey a certain image of you. If you use these facetiously, it will shape your image in a different way.

6. If you use too many acronyms or abbreviations throughout your interview or speech, people may think you spend too much time texting and not enough time working…unless you work in social media, perhaps.

7. Choose your acronyms and abbreviations as consciously as you would other words and phrases, and you should be fine. I was tempted to use a lot of acronyms here, but I didn’t want you to TIWAJ. (I’ll let your imagination work on what TIWAJ could mean.)

For more media training and presentation training tips provided by Media Trainer Lisa Elia, the founder of Expert Media Training™, visit https://expertmediatraining.com/blog

Media Trainer Shares about Preparing for Presentations: Questions and Answers from Shark Tank Teleseminar

Media Trainer Shares about Preparing for Presentations: Questions and Answers from Shark Tank Teleseminar

Inspired by ABC TV’s Shark Tank, I recently hosted a complimentary teleseminar, with Financial Expert Dean Erickson, to share tools, advice and strategies on helping entrepreneurs calm their nerves, on preparing for presentations and on landing great sponsors and lucrative business deals.

During the Get Ready for Shark Tank Teleseminar, I received many great questions from attendees. In case you’ve missed this on my Facebook page, here are the questions, along with my answers.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to post them on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ExpertMediaTraining

Q: What if you are presenting something that is completely new: nobody else is doing or has done it in the past? How do you run projection numbers? Service business.

A: If your concept is brand new, most investors would want to see proof of concept, so you should provide the service and create a track record of measurable results. Projections will be challenging, but if you can show that there is a viable market and that you can make money, and that you can expand the service offering beyond what you can provide as an individual, investors could be interested.

Q: How do you protect your idea during the Shark Tank/pitching process?

A: Consider working with an intellectual property (IP) attorney, who can help you with copyrights, trademarks and patents. Beyond that, if you’re approaching investors (not the Sharks on Shark Tank), you can ask them to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) before you share the details of your idea. If you’re going on Shark Tank, remember that it’s televised, so don’t share anything you wouldn’t want to broadcast to the world.

Q: How much of the development process will they assist you with if the idea is complex?

A: Each Shark (and each investor) is different. The Sharks generally want you to have developed the product beyond the prototype phase so that you can present them with an idea of manufacturing costs, and so you can have had time to sell the product and test the market. There are some investors and venture capital firms and business incubators that help more with product development than others. This is where research comes in.

Q: Will the Sharks consider working with me if the concept of my idea is simple, but the construction is a bit more complicated than my level of expertise?

A: It’s possible. However, the Sharks more often invest in a business that’s going than they do in an idea that needs development from the beginning. Most investors would expect you to do the legwork of finding a designer or engineer to help you develop your idea further, before you approach them.

Q: Which Shark in your opinion would you recommend?

A: Each Shark has his or her specific abilities, personality traits, interests and industry connections. It’s good to think through what you need and how you work best, and then consider which Shark would be the best fit for you. However, as you can see by watching the show, sometimes the Sharks surprise you, and the Shark you’d never imagine would step up and say yes to a deal does, and the Shark who seemed like the obvious fit for the project declines.

Q: I noticed how the contestant will tell the Sharks that they do their own social media and SEO. Is that necessary to do your own labor or delegate it?

A: You don’t have to handle your own social media or SEO. However, as the head of your company, you should be very involved and know your numbers. Social media is used by most companies for marketing and PR purposes, so the management of social media should be taken seriously as a marketing/PR function. SEO is also an aspect of marketing, so you should know your numbers, such as numbers of unique visitors to your site, and, possibly, demographics of your site visitors.

Here are more links you might find useful:

About our Pitch Coaching

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Media Interviews and Speeches

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

 

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

What is Influence and How Do You Increase It? Tips from a Media Trainer

What does it mean to have influence?

What is Influence? blog post from Los Angeles Media Trainer Lisa Elia

Influence is not controlling, nor is it pushy.

To have influence with others, you have usually earned it through your experience, integrity, knowledge and willingness to share your wisdom.

When you are influential, you communicate in a way that makes people want to listen to you. This comes through in your body language, your written communication and your speech.

You have influence because you have a sense of maturity about you, and this doesn’t mean you’re any certain age. You could be 20 and still have the maturity to lead others.

To influence others, you show others that you’re enjoying your life. People want what you’re having.

You have the ability to get things done, and this is why people listen to you.

You are focused and on a mission to create the life you want and to help others create the lives they want.

You know that to make great changes, you want to reach more people with your message and your creations.

My challenge to you is this: list 3 things you can do over the next 3 days to increase your influence.

Here are some ideas:

1. Share more tips and/or inspirational thoughts on social media.

2. Look for new groups to join on social media and join the conversation.

3. Think of 5 new important messages you want to share.

4. Add a press room and/or speaking room to your website.

5. Offer to speak at a gathering where people need your information or would want to learn about your product.

6. Look at HARO leads and submit yourself to be considered for media interviews with some of the journalists and TV and radio producers who have posted queries.

7. Create some videos in which you share tips or product information and post them on several video distribution sites, your social media networks and your website.

Please feel free to share what you intend to do, or come back in a few days and share what you’ve done, to have greater influence.

For more tips on how to increase influence by sharing your message, creating an online press room and more, read these blog posts:

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer

https://expertmediatraining.com/authenticity-message-from-media-trainer

Media Training Tips on The Language of Your Brand in Media Interviews

https://expertmediatraining.com/brand-language-media-training-tips

How to Create an Online Press Room That the Media Will Love, from a Los Angeles Media Trainer

https://expertmediatraining.com/online-press-room-tips-from-media-trainer/

Social Media Tips to Create Relationships with the Press

https://expertmediatraining.com/social-media-tips-from-media-trainer/

If you know that it’s time to grow your influence in the world, and you want to learn about our services, visit https://expertmediatraining.com/services-media-training-and-presentation-training/.

 

Media Trainer Shares Message Delivery Lessons Inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tips on How to Deliver a Powerful Message from a Media Trainer

Martin Luther King, Jr. changed the course of history, not only in the U.S., but around the world. His words of inspiration and powerful speeches are still shared on a daily basis, quite often by people who were not even around when he was alive, because he knew how to deliver a powerful message.

What makes Martin Luther King, Jr. so quotable and memorable is a combination of the content of his speeches, his vocal style and his body language.

Anyone who is trying to create an impact in the world can learn from this man, but you must do it in your own way. While many might argue that the world needs more people just like Martin Luther King, Jr., the world also needs people just like you.

Some things to emulate from the good Dr. King:

Message delivery tip #1: Speak your truth.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Message delivery tip #2: Choose your words carefully and craft your message thoughtfully.

Dr. King’s words were like poetry, which is one of the reasons he is so quotable.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

See what I mean? Poetry.

Message delivery tip #3: Inspire people with your message delivery.

Few speeches are as inspiring as the “I Have a Dream” speech. If you’ve never heard it, watch in on YouTube.

Did you notice how Dr. King paused and varied his vocal tone throughout his speech?

Technical elements to emulate in your message delivery:

  1. Don’t be afraid to use pauses to make points.
  2. Vary the inflection and even the volume of your voice to keep people engaged and to move the audience.
  3. Keep your posture strong, but not stiff and use eye contact to connect with your audience.

Of course, there’s much more to message delivery, but this will help you gain awareness of what you may want to work on and what already do beautifully.

Now that you’ve learned a few tips on how to deliver a powerful message, would you like some additional media training resources and tips?

If so, visit these links on our site:

What is Influence and How Do You Increase It? Tips from a Media Trainer

Authenticity and Your Message – a Note from a Media Trainer


This post was written by Lisa Elia, a Los Angeles-based media trainer, presentation trainer, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients for media interviews, speeches, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has trained clients for interviews with The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Wall Street Journal, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has been interviewed and shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Fox News, Entertainment Tonight, E! Entertainment, and many others. To discuss your training needs, contact the Expert Media Training office at 310-479-0217.

 


How to Commit to the Moment, Advice from a Media Trainer and Communication Expert

“Committing to the moment” is something almost any acting student hears over and over again. However, anyone who speaks publicly or who is interviewed by the media can also benefit from creating a practice to help them commit to the moment.

Ideally, in any interview or presentation situation, you want to be completely engaged. The moment you stop listening or being fully present, even for a nanosecond, you risk missing an important point or not answering a question as eloquently as you’d like.

When you truly commit to the moment, with the understanding that every time you are being interviewed by the media or speaking to a group that is your only opportunity to reach your audience with your message at that precise time in history, you will be effective and you will have few regrets.

The ability to commit to the moment generally comes from your habits and preparation. Consider the following:

How do you clear your head and focus on the interview or presentation, without allowing your mind to wander on to other matters awaiting you at the office or elsewhere?

Do you have a ritual to help you shift your attention from whatever you were doing prior to an interview and onto the interview itself?

Do you maintain daily habits that keep your mind sharp and your energy up?

I recommend practicing being fully committed to the moment during situations where the stakes are not very high, such as a casual staff meeting or even when you’re walking down the street or buying a latte. If you’re generally a multi-tasker, it may take some concentrated effort to really listen and connect with the barista or to notice the sights, sounds and smells around you. Doing this on a regular basis will help you become more aware of the sensation of being fully present.

Now that you have tips on how to commit to the moment, do you need additional media training information? Check out these blog posts:

What Are We Saving It For? A Media Trainer’s Thoughts on Committing to the Moment

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Media Interviews

Top 10 Media Relations Tips – Media Training Tips from a Media Trainer

Media Training Tips on The Language of Your Brand in Media Interviews

For additional communication tips, check out my Confident and Clear Communication program.

 

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You?

Does the Way You Talk About Yourself Help or Hinder You?

Quite often we’re unaware of the little ways in which we tell people exactly what we think of ourselves. I’ve heard people say things like, “It’s been such a tough year; we’re really struggling,” or “Well, I have a little business I run out of my living room,” or “I’m just getting started so my business is really small.”

Just hearing yourself say those words aloud reinforces small, limited thinking and a self-image that isn’t as professional or successful as the image you’d probably like to have of yourself. While you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not, you can frame things in a way that’s more proactive, positive, and expansive.

Here are some tips on how to communicate your story effectively:

1. Most people don’t want to do business with someone who’s “really struggling” because they may fear that you only want their business because you need the money. Most people want to feel that you are selling them your product or service because it’s truly a good fit for them. Save your tales of woe for people who are not your potential clients or key influencers who could refer clients to you, and don’t allow others’ negative talk to bring you down. (An aside about struggle: Stuart Wilde wrote a great little book called, Life Was Never Meant to Be a Struggle, in which he stated that everything requires effort, but struggle only comes into play when we assign it emotion. Choose to stay out of struggle.)

2. If you have a small company, are there advantages to that? Perhaps, you could present your company’s small size as a benefit, such as, “We’re a boutique firm that provides great personal service to our clients.” 

3. Choose to speak in a manner that reflects your best self and your brand. For example, if you’re a relationship expert, communicate warmly and expressively so people perceive that you’re coming from a place of understanding how people think and feel. People sometimes ask me if it’s okay to use profanity. My answer is, “If that suits your brand, then yes!”

r. Do the words you’re saying instill confidence that you can deliver the results your clients desire from you? There was a fitness trainer who used to run around saying, “I’m so stressed out.” A friend noted that being “so stressed out” probably was not appealing to her clients or potential clients who sought out fitness as a way to relieve stress. So true!

Take the Talk Test

Audio record yourself in various situations, including:

• when you attend a business or networking event, so you can learn how you present yourself to strangers;

• when you’re conducting new business meetings/sales presentations, so you can hear what your prospective clients/customers hear;

• and when you’re talking to your family and friends because it’s often with those closest to us that we play down what we do and try to fit into others’ limited views. Yet, this is one of the most important times to NOT do this.

Rewrite Your Story

If you hear yourself speaking in ways that don’t present you or your company in the best light, do this exercise.

1. Write out, word for word, each sentence you spoke that felt weak or made you appear less confident than you’d like to be.

2. Think about how the most self-assured, established person in your field would present and feel about themself. Then, re-write each sentence in words you think this person would use.

3. When you have your new, more confident statements written out, read them aloud. While you don’t want to memorize statements, exercises like this will help you change your communication style.

Your body language also impacts how you’re perceived. I cover this in other posts (see below) and in my programs. Focus on how you speak and who you’re being in every situation to communicate your story most effectively.

Your brain absorbs every word you speak.

Say good things!

 

Here are a few other articles you might enjoy:

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

What Is Influence and How Do You Increase It?

Authenticity and Your Message

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

Ace Every Presentation or Press Conference – Tips from a Media Trainer and Speaker

Before you make any presentation—whether it’s on the phone, in person or via Skype—or deliver your message at a press conference, the best thing you can do is to prepare yourself.

Once you’ve prepared your presentation, polish it, refine it and rehearse it again. Great presentations lead to sales, joint partnerships and prosperity!

Ace Every Presentation or Press Conference - Presentation Delivery Tips from a Media Trainer and Speaker Presentation delivery tip #1:  Establish your goal.

Think about your reason for making this presentation. For example: Are you trying to establish a connection with a new person or group of people who could become clients, referral sources or associates? Or, are you trying to sell them something?

Presentation delivery tip #2:  Write an outline.

Write out what you want to cover in the presentation. (It’s generally not a good idea to read something word-for-word, unless you’ve trained at sounding natural reading from a teleprompter or script.)

Presentation delivery tip #3:  Follow this format.

If you’re making a presentation where you’d like to attract new clients or associates, here is a simple format to follow:

  • Introduce yourself.
  • Establish rapport. (You can spend around a few minutes doing this in a long, in-person meeting. In a phone call to someone who’s busy, you may have only 30 seconds to do this.) Allow your natural humor to come through, but avoid cliches and bad jokes.
  • Identify your audience’s need or problem.
  • Present your solution to their need or problem in a broad sense.
  • Explain the details of your solution (your product/service).
  • Tell your audience how they can work with you or access your product or services to solve their problem.

Presentation delivery tip #4:  Be friendly and accessible. But don’t be overly familiar, which can ring false if you don’t really know the person/people to whom you are speaking.

Presentation delivery tip #5:  Use the appropriate tone to suit your audience. If it’s a more formal business situation, speak in a more professional manner. If you’re speaking with people who like the “warm fuzzies,” you can be more warm and fuzzy.

Presentation delivery tip #6:  Rehearse your entire presentation at least a couple of times. You’ll notice that it will get smoother and your confidence will increase each time you do it. If you can record it on an audio or video recorder, you can review it.

Presentation delivery tip #7:  Refine your presentation. After you’ve rehearsed and reviewed your presentation, identify sections you can smooth out and determine whether or not you should change the order of your presentation points.

People feel more comfortable working with people who come across as knowledgeable and confident. If you prepare and polish your presentations, you will prosper!

Do you want additional media training tips and advice? Use these links:

How To Prepare for Presentations – 6 Tips to Make Effective Presentations – from a Presentation Trainer

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Media Interviews and Speeches

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings – Nonverbal Communication

 

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