Visual trends provide great inspiration for videos, but you should avoid trendy words, also known as buzzwords. Why?

Well, there are a couple of reasons. For one, they date your video. Today’s hot phrase becomes tomorrow’s stale language. If you want to get the most out of the time, money, and creative energy you put into your media – don’t give it an expiration date. It can be hard to predict exactly when the word that everyone is using will become the word that everyone rolls their eyes at. But that fresh & new feeling rarely lasts more than a few months.

Another reason to be careful is that when everyone starts using (and over using) a word, its meaning starts to shift. This creates opportunities for misunderstanding. For example, the word “disruptive” can mean doing business a different way, revolutionizing how business is done, or destroying previous methods of doing business. These are three very different ways of doing business – and not all of them will match your brand. I even heard someone use the term “disruptive” to mean bringing equity to business. It gets confusing, to say the least.

With videos, we want to communicate precisely and effectively and if one word or sentence means different things to different people, then that way of communicating should be avoided. Many buzzwords depend on nomenclature specific to a particular trade or industry. Other buzzwords are adaptations of idioms specific to a particular language. So using buzzwords also makes our messages less accessible to different cultures. This means one word used in the USA could mean something else in the UK or in South Africa. Even though all three countries have English as a shared language, the cultures are different.

Here’s a great list of example buzzwords from The Hartford.

And one last reason to avoid buzzwords: their use says more about the speaker than the audience. I’m not saying you use buzzwords for this reason, but sometimes people use them because they want to appear smarter or stylish. The root of buzzwords is a certain kind of insecurity. Audiences are smart and they can figure out when a brand or a speaker is trying too hard. Ideally all video content comes from a place of truth, not inflated truth.

We work with our clients to remove extra words and get to the essence of their product, their mission, and their connection to customers. In that process, we recommend removing all buzzwords.

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