Using simple language is the smart thing to do

Saying that "the assimilation of binary composites across a spectrum of attractant receptors" might make you feel special that you crafted such a wonderful sentence and your academic ego will be paid in full.

Unfortunately, it comes at the cost of your audience thinking you’re a bit above them. Think of it as an academic armistice – a cease-fire.

Keep those ego bullets for the areas you actually need them and spare the rest of us from feeling shot down.

An audience that feels spoken down to, uneducated, or just plain stupid, will shut down during your talk and will not be engaged in your Q&A.

A lot of the work I do with academics and people in tech is to simply ask “what does that mean?” It makes sense that I’m not a subject matter expert in their field and people like me will make up a large percentage of the audience, so special attention needs to be given to using plain language that everyone can easily understand.

To achieve this, I get the person to give the academic statement and then follow it with “what I mean by that is”.

Often this triggers a simple statement that is easy to understand. I know and understand the importance of accuracy for academics to demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in their field.

With this in mind, having both statements will allow the entire audience to feel catered and everyone wins.

What are your thoughts on keeping language simple?

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