Stock metaphors are diluting your message.
Social media went wild for it and everyone agreed we hate jargon. And yet it is everywhere. Indeed, it is the commonness of certain phrases that makes them jargon. So how do we free ourselves from its clutches?
A good place to start is stock photography. Just like jargon, every right thinking person hates stock photography. We despise its over-acted poses. We loathe its homogeneity. And, above all, we hate its omnipresence.
The solution to avoiding poor stock imagery is simple: get better images. You can search for images with greater nuance. You can pay more to access a better quality image library. Or, budgets allowing, you can commission original work. Doing these things takes time, money or both.
Browsing through Stephen’s list of jargon, it’s striking how many phrases employ imagery.
Thinking outside of the box
Low hanging fruit
Lipstick on a pig
Blue sky thinking
Our jargon problem is a stock image problem. This one is about the images we conjure with words. As with stock photos, the solution is simple: get better images. Doing so will take time, money or both. But the cost of failing to find better images is an audience that switches off.
Whether in meetings, at conferences or in the various bits of branded content that are churned out every day, stock metaphors lose you eyeballs and ears and, most importantly, the minds they are connected to.