Be better than buzzwords: 3 traps to avoid for effective communicationMunira Rangwala
In today's digital age, where information is just a click away, effective communication becomes the difference between building credibility and sounding straight-up ridiculous. It is therefore all the more important to check and cross-check your facts before publishing them, as the internet opens it up for criticism from varied quarters and if found flawed you will be called out for your ineptitude. Usage of catchphrases and buzzwords may make you sound knowledgeable, but if you use them incorrectly your logic will be fundamentally flawed and your credibility questioned. Hence, it’s wiser to safeguard your reputation by fact-checking your statements before publishing them. Never take your readers and internet users for granted, they will lunge at you and tear you apart if you publish misleading information.
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Avoid the following three traps to ensure your diction is accurate and statements are factual.
Trap #1 - Using inaccurate statistics
While writing an article or even while generally talking to someone, how often are you tempted to throw in numbers? For example, if you’re publishing a post on women education and you write a statement like “80% of females in the rural areas of India are still deprived of education”. Such statistical data needs to be backed with recognised research or a credible source and not be published under an assumption. Understanding the story behind the numbers is critical to effective communication.
Trap #2 - Making assertions of your own
What makes the use of inaccurate statistics worse? Making faulty assertions. For example, let's revert to the above example of women education. When you support your inaccurate statistics by stating that the reason behind inaccessibility to education for females in rural areas is because teachers are unwilling to live in a village and teach, you are drawing your own conclusion. By doing so you not only misguide your readers with improper facts and information, but you will also be called out for your hollow assumptions.
Trap #3 - Using jargons you don't understand
It’s always tempting to use jargons to sound like an expert, but always remember that seasoned professionals emphasize on clarity and brevity for effective communication. Instead of using buzzwords try to create meaningful dialogue. When you develop the ability to actively listen, your responses will be more valuable than corporate speak. Resist the temptation to string together buzzwords that you are not confident about. Buzzwords like 'brand evangelist' and 'cutting-edge' are losing their essence and therefore it will do you good to pass the temptation to use them.
In today's digital age, it is rare to be able to engage someone in conversation. But when you do get the chance, choose your words carefully if you intend to leave an impact with what you have to say.