4 Simple Tests



Without intending to, most industries generate their own unique language. We can spend so much time wrapped in our own areas of work, and with the same people, that our very own brand of otherwise incomprehensible acronyms and industry jargon become an effortless and everyday part of what we do.

Too many organisations make the mistake of allowing this language to creep into the way they communicate with their customers and the general public.

Check over your communications, read your literature and listen to the way your people answer the telephone or talk to customers face to face. What language do you use to tell people what you do? What is the simplest version you can come up with to describe what your service offers, or what your product does?

There are four tests you can apply to see if it is simple enough...

1. The Small Child Test
Can a small child understand?

2. The Grandma Test
How do you tell your (or someone else’s) grandparent what you do? Before you all chorus that your grandma is super-bright, this has nothing to do with sprightliness or intelligence, it’s more about different generational experiences.

3. The Charade Test
Can you describe what your service does without speaking?

4. The Martian Test
Imagine you meet a Martian in the street (set aside your own curiosity for a moment). How do explain what you do?

Is the name of your service easy to say? Is it easy to ask for? If a person arrived at reception, would it be easy for them to explain why they are there?

Try the above tests to describe what you do. I’d love to know your answers.