6508193-business-people-sitting-on-presentation-at-office-businesswoman-presenting-on-whiteboardA good rule of thumb is to not use jargon unless you know for sure that everyone in your audience will understand exactly what it means. Words and phrases we take for granted have become part of our everyday vocabulary and too often slip into our conversations, pitches, and presentations. And we often end up confusing or frustrating our listeners. It’s doubly hard for our non-native U.S. clients and colleagues. They’re not only translating everything they hear and say, they’re also trying to make sense of our strange sports metaphors and colloquialisms. They often don’t understand the nuances of American English and want to take what we say quite literally. Before your next presentation or con call, review your content and throw out the jargon!

Here’s a list of phrases to eliminate. If you have others you’d like to add to this list, please add a comment to this post.

“off the top of your head”
“hit the fan”
“on leave”
“let’s touch base”
“ballpark figure”