I was listening to a radio interview recently in which the guest made a point by recounting a conversation she’s had with her teenage son.  She concluded by saying, “That was T-M-I.”

The host’s next question was, “What do you mean by T-M-I?  That can mean a lot of things.”

Now, the host may have known this shorthand term for “too much information,” but a good interviewer  never assumes that their audience knows.  I’d say most acronyms, other than the most familiar ones like F-Y-I, the CIA or the U-N, should be stated in full the first time, before you start using their abbreviated form.

For example, the E-U has been around quite awhile, but Americans don’t talk about the European Union much. Those letters could stand for different things in different places. If a listener has to mentally pause to think, “What do those letters mean?” for even a moment, they’ve tuned out and you may not get their attention back.

To avoid a communications melt-down, watch out for technical language, unfamiliar abbreviations, slang terms and pop culture references, unless you’re
absolutely certain the audience will immediately “get it.”

Heck, when I was just starting out in TV new, when you said  T-M-I, you were referring to the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant and its near melt-down.  That’s quite a different story from today’s T-M-I.”

Photo credit: Stock.xchng/merlin 1075

The following two tabs change content below.

Janet

Digital Media Strategist | Brand Journalist at Vasil Media Group
Award-winning TV Journalist, Author and Speaker Janet Vasil helps knowledge experts, especially medical, health and wellness professionals, use digital media to attract new patients, customers and clients. Discover how to increase your visibility, credibility and profitability online as a media-recognized Authority in your field, positioned to "Get SEEN, Get HEARD and Get CLIENTS!"

Latest posts by Janet (see all)

Tagged with:

Filed under: Communicating with ImpactInterview Tips

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!