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It’s All Geek to Me

By Eric Albertson

The description of the fictitious Turbo Encabulator has long been used by engineers to warn against the use of technobabble. It has a lengthy and fascinating history, which includes this 1977 performance by Bud Haggart.

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There is most definitely a lesson here about avoiding the use of confusing jargon in our presentations. We should be conscious of our audience and sensitive to their familiarity with the terms that we use. We should only use jargon, acronyms and other technical terms if we are sure that our audience will understand them. If there is the slightest chance that they won’t understand, then we need to simplify our language. Remember, if they can’t understand your message, they can’t adopt it.

Here at Duarte, we also saw this as a challenge. We believe that visuals can help bring clarity to otherwise confusing information. So, we took this on as an exercise in graphic recording, wondering if illustrating this epic masterpiece of nerd-dom might somehow make sense out of the confusion. Here are the results of our efforts:

Now re-listen to the video while looking at the visual. Does it help? Can using a visual make even a purposely confusing, technical-jargon-filled message clearer? What do you think?

So, if you have very technical information to convey, consider evaluating the words you use and eliminating jargon that won’t resonate with your audience. Then, visualize! Use a picture to replace those thousand (technical) words. If you do, your presentations will be so strong, it will be as if they are powered by the modial interactions of magneto reluctance and capacitive deractants!

Topics Covered

Communication, speech, Video, visual

Written by

Eric Albertson

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