A client writes me, “I have a QQ about the SOW and the KPIs before going to our CHRO.”
Translation – “I have a quick question about the Statement of Work and the Key Performance Indicators before going to our Chief Human Relations Officer.”
Acronyms work… until they don’t.
IF everyone knows the short cuts then it’s an easy way to communicate. However, if your audience does not use your specific alphabet soup language you will alienate your listeners.
Last week I worked with Samsung on a video shoot project. The time schedule said, “HMU at 9am”. According to google HMU stands for Hit Me Up which did not compute. Upon further scrolling HMU means Hair and Make Up. That works!
Some rules around using acronyms:
- Outline what the acronyms stand for. Have a glossary if you’re using many abbreviations or spell it out the first time you use initials. On our contracts we say: Speak For Yourself® (SFY) the first time. Then we use “SFY” for the rest of the contract.
- Limit the number of acronyms in your business writing or your document turns into alphabet soup.
- Use acronyms only for items that get repeated a number of times throughout your document. Otherwise, spell it out.
- Save casual acronyms for non-professional text messages. For this blog we would not write, “LMK your response and I hope you’re ROFL.” (Let me know your response and I hope you’re rolling on floor laughing.)
What are your favorite business and casual acronyms? LUK … let us know.
© 2021 Karen Cortell Reisman & Speak For Yourself®, All rights reserved
Photo Copyright: <a href=’https://www.123rf.com/profile_andrewgenn’>Andrew Grossman</a>
Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 2 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, #AlbertEinstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.
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