Rid Yourself of Marketing Speak and Write Like a Human

Written by Shannon Fisher

March 24, 2014

When we become business people, we sometimes lose our ability to talk like human beings. Here’s an actual quote from someone’s LinkedIn profile:

"Buddy Bob has 20 years experience in business development driving strategic growth and product visibility for leading edge products in various markets."

So… uh... what does Buddy Bob do, exactly? I don't know either.

Let’s assume significance and validation are the goal of corporate gibberish. I mean, we all want to be taken seriously, right? What we don’t realize is that we don’t have to use bumblespeak to do it.

Jargonized

The author of that content was taught that to scale virally, it’s important to generate strategically. To synergize the capability to facilitate, he must be willing to reintermediate robustly. This may seem fanciful, but it’s true!

Cut the guy some slack—he’s harnessing his bandwidth. And by harnessing his bandwidth, I mean completely alienating his audience.

Don’t write stuff no one wants to read!

A natural voice attracts and engages readers. It shows off your personality—which is really fantastic, by the way. And proves you’re human.

So, how can you stop confusing your audience and avoid sounding ridiculous?

Use common, everyday words and phrases:

  • Use not utilize
  • Must not shall
  • Before not prior to
  • Examine not examinize

Use pronouns

Talk about you, we, me. Make it personal. We like that.

Avoid jargon

If you can’t avoid it, explain it.

Get real

Stephanie Hay knows that if anyone is going to be honest, it’s her mom. She uses the Mom Test to weed out crap content.

Your mom may not be your target user, but she is a real person who’ll call you on your bullshit. That’s what this exercise is about: forming real assumptions, and then writing what’s real as a means to establish trust.

Read your work out loud

Seriously. Do it. It’ll make a difference.

And if all of this feels like too much, start by pretending you’re talking to a friend and write down what you say. That’s your authentic, human voice. And that authenticity will get our attention and inspire confidence.

Thanks for streamlining the deliverance of super-impactful convergence to leverage compliance. It’s a win-win, you guys!