How to Ensure You Aren’t Saying Something Else

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I’ve talked about acronyms a lot in my blog because it is an easy to item to change to ensure you engage your audience. I still get push back that everyone knows what this or that acronym means, but many times they mean something different because of age and geographic differences.

For example, the acronym OPP to a child or teenager in the early 1990s probably thinks of the Naughty by Nature song called “OPP-Other People’s Property”. Well, I remember that song, but OPP here in New Orleans also refers to Orleans Parish Prison. Same three-letter acronym, but completely different meanings. Be careful when you present because audiences will be diverse in education level, professions, gender, geography, and age.

Think about how it sounds to sit in the audience while another person slings acronyms at you. You sit there lost wondering when the torture will end. Does NBE mean anything to you? Probably not, but to avid Transformers fans it means Non-Biological Entity, but to me it sounds like MBE which is what I thought it was for a long time. You can see that acronyms never help, they only trash your presentation and create misunderstandings that now need to be set straight.

What are some acronyms that you’ve heard or seen that mean something different to you than what the presenter intended?

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