Like professionals in pretty much every industry, meeting and event planners have a language all their own—so much so that the CIC (Convention Industry Council) created a glossary just to help you keep up.
And when you get into the meeting industry niches, it gets even more complicated. I remember going to my first ACEHP (Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions, formerly known at ACME or Alliance for Continuing Medical Education) conference and, after frantically scribbling notes during an hour-long general session, having absolutely no idea what the presenter had just said. I turned to my neighbor for enlightenment, but she was just as baffled as I was. (Note: Here’s one of the handiest little sites around if you ever find yourself in a similar situation: Acronym Finder.)
We can’t help it, we just seem to be hard-wired to have some way to identify each other as members of the same group and, now that secret handshakes have gone out of fashion, we seem compelled to do it verbally. And I guess that’s OK, at least once you’ve boned up on your appointed jargon and can toss out acronyms like a pro.
But what about those general business-isms that tend to infest our conversations—can we at least lose some of those? This all came to a boil for me as I was speaking not long ago with some real professional-grade jargoners. They were pulling the trigger, and pinging, and circling back, and closing the loop until I was worn out from ducking all those impactful deliverables that they were streamlining from the low-hanging fruit to ensure that spot as thought leaders. It was exhausting!
What’s your most cringe-inducing piece of business-speak? And do you have any thoughts on how we can right-size or otherwise leverage some of this lingo out of our vocabularies?