#4 Avoid Insider Language – 101 Ways to Attract More Visitors

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Hey Digital Communicators, I’m John Falke from Johnny Flash Productions and Amplified Impact, and this is 101 Ways to Attract More Visitors, a practical guide for churches to amplify their impact and reach their communities. Now let’s amp it up.

#4 Avoid insider language. Have you ever been on a website or reading a book or sitting in a presentation and you didn’t know what they were talking about because they were using some insider language or jokes? Maybe they were using names or acronyms that aren’t familiar to you or that guests wouldn’t know what they mean.

If you don’t have to use insider language, then don’t use it, and if you are in a situation where you need to use some insider language at your church, maybe you need to talk about someone that your church is connected to or, or some experience that happens at your church that has a cool name… then add a sentence or two about what that is or who that person is so that everyone who’s listening feels included in the conversation.

Do you accidentally exclude visitors and new people by using insider language? @johnfalke Click To Tweet

There’s nothing worse than saying, “Oh yeah, Betty Smith had this happened to her last week” and people are sitting there thinking, “who is Betty Smith? You haven’t mentioned her at all. And then you just start talking about her. Like, we’re all supposed to know who that is.”

So instead say, “Betty Smith, who’s a long-time member at our church who’s been coming here longer than I have, she is now in her nineties. And she recently had a stroke” or whatever. At least now I feel like I’m included because I knew who Betty Smith is.

Or if you say, “Betty Smith, one of our missionaries who is in Kenya that we’ve been supporting for a long time, just send me an email and said,” versus just saying Betty Smith said this, well then you don’t really know who Betty Smith is. So evaluate your website, your print materials, your announcement scripts, people that are going to be speaking from the stage or from the front, whether it’s the pastor or other people that are speaking and try to remove as much insider language as you can and when you have to use it.

Be sure to put a little quick description in there so that people who are there for the first time will feel like they’re included in like you want them to understand what’s going on. If you want to see a really funny video, check out “Shoot Christians Say” on Youtube. It’s a really great video about clichés that Christian say. In the next video, I’m going to show you how to make your parking welcoming to visitors. Until then, amp it up.

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John Falke

John Falke (aka Johnny Flash) is a church communications expert from Washington D.C. He founded Open Resources in 2008, which has been utilized by churches from 150 countries, and the Amplified Impact church communication training program. Over the course of a decade he helped his church grow from 500 to 2500 in weekly attendance. He speaks regularly at conferences, authored the Photoshop For Ministry seminar series and has written articles for several major magazines.

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