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Lesson 12. Make It Simple > Deflate Your Vocabulary - Pg. 51

Make It Simple 51 Should You Avoid Acronyms? Every profession and organization uses technical terms and acronyms. While acronyms cannot be avoided, don't assume that everyone will understand what they mean when you include them in your presentation. Plain English An acronym is a word formed by the first letters of words in a phrase. For example, radar is an acronym for radio detecting and ranging. Whenever you introduce an acronym, explain what each of the letters represents. There's nothing worse than listening to a speaker who sprinkles a speech with acronyms and never tells the audience what they stand for. Some listeners will feel left out, excluded from those "people in the know" who supposedly understand what you're saying. As a result, they ignore the rest of the presentation. Make It Conversational, with Pronouns Many speakers make their presentations unnecessarily formal by never using a personal pronoun. They constantly talk about "the company," "the organization," and "the department." In the military services, speakers were accustomed to using phrases like "the command has rec- ommended," and "the facility has decided." You'll be delighted to know that, according to recent directives in the armed forces, speakers are now expected to use more informal language in their presentations to make them more listener-friendly. Caution If your presentation has very few personal pronouns, or none at all, chances are it's much