I was recently at a cafe with my friend when the waitress came over and asked if we were ready to order coffee, “As ready as a Game of Thrones fan awaiting the premiere of the final season”, I said.
The waitress got my drift, maybe due to the cringe-worthy GoT reference or because she could hear the desperation in my voice, “I’ll have an extra hot, three-quarter, decaf, long black with two stevia’s, please,” I said. My friend stared blankly at me, puzzled.
OK, I’ll admit, at first I thought she might be surprised at my sociopathic decaf section of the order, especially being 7 a.m. on a Monday. But she turned to me and said, “Have aliens landed and taken you hostage? What language did you just speak?”.
Although the waitress understood my coffee order, my friend was left startled, wanting to run a mile away from me and my non-sensical coffee, which highlights one of the main problems in communication– ‘geek speak’.
Geek speak is a specific vocabulary used by those immersed in a particular field. This jargon is commonly used in specialised professions and can sometimes transfer across to everyday conversation.
Now, I’m not talking about the abbreviations we all use from time to time- like LOL, WTF and BTW; Geek Speak refers to technical language that the average person will most likelynot understand.
So while my deranged coffee order didn’t appear unusual to me or the waitress (who if you’re reading this, I’m sorry you have to put up with my ridiculously-foolish, long-order *please love me*), my soon-to-be ex-friend was shocked. And understandably, because I was ‘speaking geek’.
Geek speak is used for several reasons, 1. you want to sound sophisticated 2. it’s a habit and 3. you want to appear knowledgeable. All of these reasons are justified. However, you’re not going to appear very sophisticated when the person you’re communicating with hears “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”.
Image via Giphy
There’s a time and place for geek speak. However, understanding your customers needs is vital. If you’re having a conversation with someone, pulling out fancy-schmancy words left, right and centre, do you think they have understood what you’ve said? Probably not. And if you’re going to use terminology specific to your field, make sure you explain what it means to the person on the receiving end.
Want to know more about geek speak? Watch our short video here with Front and Centre’s Director Grazina Fechner
It’s our favourite day of the week because… TIP TUESDAY IS HERE‼️ This week Griz explores ‘Geek Speak’ 🤓 and how using those fancy-schmancy words might be causing you more harm than good! Watch & learn 👩🏼🏫Posted by Front and Centre Training Solutions on Monday, 15 April 2019
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