Communication Failures at the Collision Conference

Most technology professionals have a long ways to go.

Does the following company description make any sense to you?

Me neither. (How does one manage to put a single term [API] in a single, grammatically incorrect sentence thrice, anyway?)




Unfortunately, these types of confusing, jargon-laden company descriptions weren’t exactly rare at the Collision Conference in Las Vegas yesterday. As I walked around, I couldn’t believe how few placards qualified as clear, a point of viewed shared by others.

You have to wonder what some of these startup founders are thinking—or whether they’re really thinking at all. A mishmash of ostensibly topical buzzwords does not a compelling vision make. How some of these companies have received considerable funding is beyond me.

While I’m ranting about bad business communication, allow me to present perhaps the single worst slide I’ve ever seen:

You should never turn your back on your audience.

Don’t worry. I couldn’t read most of the words on that slide either, not that I tried really hard. (No audience member should ever have to squint.) Can you spot the other speaker faux pas here?

You should never turn your back on your audience. It’s the acme of unprofessionalism.

Simon Says

It’s obvious to me that most technology professionals have to make considerable strides with their communication skills.

Feedback

What say you?

</rant>

I’m not looking to irritate people with these posts. I simply want to call out confusing language. The offending parties should see better results if they simplify their messages.

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1 hopefully intriguing thought:

  1. michael einstein

    Phil,
    Wow – This is some bad english… (and that was some ironic use of bad english on my part…). This almost looks like one of those terrible “pfhishing” types of messages I get where someone is pretending to be from a bank that I don’t belong to and is trying to get my bank account number and social security number. Usual starts with something that is like “Due to our usual security protocol, we have detected improper use of your account and require revalidation of necessary information. Please contact us urgently with required bank account information to reset your necessary access”. (See.. I can quit my day job and start a credit card pfishing scam..).
    This may just be a case of english-as-a-second-language challenges (looks like some of the menus I read in NYC). And someone may also want to tell this firm that at first glance, I though it said “man-shape”, which is quite different (“man shaping is a process to reduce the follicle count of hirsute individuals), or on second glance, I thought it said “mash-ape” (which sounds perhaps like a name for one of those crazy US wrestlers performers).
    Had a good morning chuckle. Thanks!
    Regards,
    Michael

    Reply

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