What is the harm in an Acronym
It is an old idea but oh so accurate still and I still use the Benny Hill sketch (never assume because you will make an ASS of U and Me), when out networking.
But on this occasion recently I assumed something, and I was wrong. It was around LinkedIn and the mobile App and its ability to scan in another LinkedIn users code to connect to them.
When I was asking the person to connect, I assumed he did not use this simple way and they then went and did exactly that!!
Make it Clear
So, you should never assume that people know or don’t know, you need to find out. Assuming someone knows something can lead to an ineffective exchange, where you have actually lost the person on an assumption and they did not let you know that you had.
The person may feel foolish that they don’t know, or at the other end they may feel insulted by your phrasing. In some cases they could assume a wrong meaning completing confusing them, so, It is better to include it as even if the person knows then it will be affirmational for them.
No Acronyms Please
As I attend a lot of events from networking to conferences over the last decade, I have witnessed over a thousand presentations ranging from the dire to the sublime, but one thing continually annoys me and that is an acronym!!
Presenters still add these to slides and have them in their verbal presentations, but you should not do this unless you are presenting to people in the same niche part of your industry where not to know the meaning would hinder them. Believe me this is a rarity, so drop the acronym, or explain it on first use.
Also, some acronyms have more than one meaning, as an example someone used FOC. Now I am not sure about you but that means FREE OF CHARGE, which actually in context meant no sense. When I enquired from the user the meaning it was FOREIGN OWNED COMPANY!!
Now I am not known for being timed so I will very often ask the deliverer to explain what it means, for mine and the audience’s clarity. This then forces the presenter to let us all know and also consider their use of acronyms. If people don’t know what it means apart from being a bit embarrassed or annoyed you may have lost heir attention, and if its one person then it is likely to be others.
Some people use them to show off, but I suggest a better bet would be to use them but explain them straight away.
Assumption can trip you up and lose your audience be it a 1-2-1 or thousands so STOP using them and if you are going to assume then assume, we as an audience don’t know. If we do it is affirmational, and we feel good that we know
TTFN…………………………………………Ta Ta For Now (one for the older readers 😊 )
This blog is written by Tony K Silver, author of Networking; It's all about the room, and is based on 40 years experience working in businesses.
Tony has been in business for over 40 years, starting as a mechanical engineering Apprentice, then in his mid 20's he ran a department that was invoicing £1M a month. In his 30's he became joint Owner/Director of a company with sole UK responsibility. In his 40's he was an Account Director wit a portfolio of well known names.
Made redundant in 2008 he has built up an extremely strong network in the Thames Valley. He achieved this by networking extensively and then taking the relationships onto LinkedIn. This has allowed him to secure a job, strengthen his network and in 2017 decide to set up the business as it is now