In our latest post, WTT’s Editor-in-Chief Rachael Bull sets out why it’s high time we say goodbye to business speak.
Whether you’re an SME writing to customers or a leader writing to employees, it’s time to say goodbye to business speak or, as I like to refer to it, BS.
During the COVID crisis, we’ve seen communications become more human, more personal, more authentic. As we slowly ease into this ‘new normal’ that everyone’s talking about, we’re thinking about what we actually want to go back to… and what we want to leave behind for good.
High up on my list is a different way of writing in business – in both internal and external communications. Here’s why.
1. People want human connection.
We’re at home. We’re craving connection. People want to hear from people – whether that’s a leader or a brand. But with BS, there is no connection. It’s purposefully non-unique and unemotional, it sounds the same as everyone else. It might feel ‘safe’, but it doesn’t drive anyone to do anything.
To connect with people, writing needs to have character, energy and life. It needs to spark emotion and action. Otherwise… what’s the point?
Business owners are constantly battling to beat their competitors, but often end up sounding exactly like them. Leaders want to engage employees, but by embracing the ‘safe’ monotony of BS, they end up doing the opposite.
2. More than ever, people need clarity
In times of uncertainty, people are afraid. They want reassurance. They want to feel informed. They crave stability and security. BS and convoluted language do the opposite. They confuse, overwhelm, alienate, even frighten.
Whether writing to colleagues or customers, using BS can lead to inaction, mistakes, reputational damage.
3. Trust has never been more important.
The thing with BS? It’s fake. There’s no authenticity. Now, more than ever, people are holding leaders and brands more accountable. They want transparency, they want purpose. Humility. They all help to build trust.
As does vulnerability. Covid is a leveller – no one is immune. Seeing leaders and brands as people – warts and all – helps create an emotional connection that builds trust. Speaking from the heart, rather than through a BS filter, can break down barriers you didn’t know existed.
4. It wastes time – to write it, to read it, to decipher it
When people write in BS, they are literally translating words they have in their heads to different, more complicated words. That takes time.
Then, whoever is reading these new words has to take the time to read the lengthy paragraphs of long words and sentences. And then to decipher them back into something simpler. What a waste of time for all involved. Given that we spend 20% of our time at work reading, how much time would we save if we avoided all this?
5. Now is the time to shake things up, not ‘revert to type’
Now is the time to reset. We’re doing it in lots of different ways, at work and at home. Ditching BS and replacing it with authentic, human language that connects needs to be part of this ‘new normal’.
Business speak doesn’t reflect the tone and mood of the time we’re in.
Let’s not go back.
Want to ditch the BS but don’t know know how? Want to bring personality, energy and authenticity to your comms? Want to write stories that sell but don’t know where to start? My two-part writing masterclass next week guides you through exactly all that. Find out more here http://4486481.hs-sites.com/powerful-writing-brings-business-to-life.