I just finished reading Chris Brogan and Julian Smith’s new book “The Impact Equation”. Now I’m not going to go into a big review here since I already did that one Amazon. Click here if you want to read it. What I would like to do instead is go through an exercise from the book entitled ‘Use Small Words’ (page 98 if you’re following along).

The idea is that we over-complicate things when we should focus more on being simple. How do you describe what you do, what your company does, what you believe in, etc.? Chances are you trip over your own words and realize that you just mumbled a whole bunch of mambo jumbo. I know I do. How many times have I set next to someone on a plane and received the notorious question ‘what do you do’? I want to get better at it so let’s start.

First, I’m going to go through the exercise without thinking of small words. Then, I’m going to re-think my answer and use small words.

Describe what you do for work. Describe what your company does.

I am a marketer working in demand generation. I basically run programs that fill the top of the funnel with leads for the sales team. Third party emails, webinars, content syndication programs, online display, paid search. Stuff like that.

The company I work for is a software company. We provide marketing automation software which allows marketers to automated messaging (primarily email) to send to the right person at the right time.

This makes total sense to a marketer but probably not to many other people. Now I’m going to try and use small words.

I am a marketing manager at a software company. My job is to find people in the market who have a problem we can solve. I use various types of tactics to do so including email and online events.

My company helps marketers do more with less. Our software enables them to automate tasks that are often manual and then track their returns with more accuracy.

It’s not easy – you try it! We are so consumed in what we do and what we are good at, that we sometimes assume that everyone knows what we are talking about. It’s tough! How would you describe ‘marketing’ if someone didn’t know what it was? Tough!