It makes it harder to understand.
Surely one of the most basic objectives of communication is that the person you're trying to communicate with understands what you're really trying to say.
We are all native in normal speak but have acquired buzzword banter as a second language. Somewhere deep in our grey matter, our neurons are working overtime to translate between the two – and we don't always get it right.
Buzzwords can render our message misleading – whether intentionally or not.
It demonstrates fuzzy thinking. And potentially insecurity.
To explain something really well, you generally have to understand it really well. The reverse equally applies.
The overuse of buzzwords can demonstrate a fuzziness of thought. If you're using it to sound more intelligent, you don't. You sound insecure.
If we talk like this internally, we will start talking like this to our customers. And that's a horrible thought.
When you're talking to a business (like a bank, as an example), you need the banker to tell you the facts without the fluff.
You're on your own time. You don't want to be translating from buzzword to normal to understand your finances. Likewise the banker doesn't want to be translating from the buzzwords s/he hears internally to an appropriate customer dialogue.
It's not about dumbing things down for the customer. It's about being as clear as possible. And that will get you sales no matter what business you're in.
If we make it hard for people to digest, they won't.
In a world where I'm bombarded with daily emails, links, ads, texts, calls, webinars, videos, tweets, posts and pictures (and that's just from my mum) if you're going to make it hard for me understand, I'll move to the next thing.
The more information we get, the less responsibility we feel for understanding it and the more selective we are about consumption.
All roles within the heaving corporate society so many of us inhabit every day have an element of communications to them - so take some responsibility for the health of others.
Guard yourself against the buzzword virus as you would against others - dose yourself with common sense, don't stand too close to those who are infected and cover your mouth if you feel like you're going to spray.
Stand down little neurons; this is one battle you shouldn't have to fight.
Jane Grace is a corporate communications manager at ANZ NZ.