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Trying to be the Smartest Woman or Man in the Room Might Backfire

By Adrian Miller

Have you ever read something and about halfway through you muttered to yourself, “what the heck are they trying to say?”

Of course, you have; I have as well.

Writing something that is filled with industry or professional jargon, replete with words that no one would ever say, accomplishes nothing. That’s right, nothing. You might come across as a knowledgeable subject matter expert, however at the end of the day, the readers don’t have a clue and will probably give up before they even finish the article.

There is one exception and that’s when you are writing exclusively for other subject matter experts where everyone is trying to be the smartest person in the room. In that case, the more jargon the better but for everyone else, keep away from confusing your readers. It never ends well!


Write in “real-speak” and use verbiage that the “lay person” can understand.

Read your document aloud to make certain that your writing resonates and sounds natural.

Ask someone else to read your article and get their honest opinion. It helps if they aren’t in the same profession.

If appropriate, insert some mild humor into the article. Most people like to smile.

Create a library of topics so that you always have something to write about.

Read a lot of articles in your field to get a better handle on the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to content creation.

Have fun with your writing. If writing is painful, you know who to call!

It can be difficult to let go of the jargon that many of us use when speaking with your colleagues but just remember, your colleagues aren’t your audience. Keep that in mind and you’ll do just fine.

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