Simple Story Tip #2: Use Words People Understand

Are you confusing your audience when delivering a talk, a deck, a sales pitch?

There is one simple thing that a surprising number of people forget: You have to use words that your audience understands.


But so often neglected. Like shockingly often.

Think of all the things you’ve read recently. Decks. Ads. Memos.

The default mode seems to be to use language that doesn’t resonate.

There are two versions of this problem:

#1: Being way too technical and insidery:

E.g., Our ESG compliance solution is geared to the 3PL provider of LTL. (That is a meaningful sentence to about 0.00001% of the world.)

Easiest way to avoid this: have non-experts read your stuff. Your partner, your friend. Your kid. What confuses them?

#2: Super vague aspirational language:

E.g., Where Passion Meets Excellence. Great! Are you a watchmaker? A hotel? A car rental company?

Or, e.g., The World’s Greatest Marketers! Good for you! How do you define “greatest”? Is it the same way I do? Probably not.

Easiest way to avoid this: actually know who you are, what makes you distinct, and tell people. With depth and specificity.

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