How To Present A Technical Solution To Nontechnical Audience Without Boring Them

There are a variety of times when you may be called on to present technical data to non-technical audience. Nothing will bore an audience faster than if you jump into a jargon-filled and overly-technical presentation. That is the recipe for a snooze fest. We have some tips for you on how you can present your technical topic, but not lose your audience.

Your Audience and the Big Picture

Before you get underway on planning your presentation, first get an understanding on who will be in your audience and figure out why they may care about the information that you are presenting. For example, if you are explaining an emerging technology to your company’s Board of Directors, they are probably more interested in how it can be applied and what that means to the bottom line, not the ins and outs of how the technology works. Keep the question of “who” and “why” in the forefront as you work on your presentation.

Break your technical subject down into a few key concepts, that is, the overarching key things about what you are explaining. Those will be the points around which you will craft your presentation.

Use Graphics

Simple graphics are a great way to present technical information or obscure concepts. Your job, as the presenter, will be to figure out how to present the technical information. The key concepts or points you identified will be a great starting point for these graphics. Again, don’t go into extensive detail. Use basic symbols and arrows to show relationships and processes. Don’t get bogged down in the minor details.

Use Real World Examples

Try to include real world examples in your presentation. If you are talking about a technical term or concept, try to “translate” it into something that lay people can understand. For example, in water unit of measure called an “acre foot”. That does not have any real world understanding for most people. However, if you said it is the amount of water to cover a football field in one foot of water, then it becomes more vivid. Try to develop real world examples for your key points. This will help your audience better connect to the material. The more visual the descriptions you paint, the easier it will be for your audience to connect with the material.

Let Them Know Where to Find More Information

It is tempting to want to give the audience all the information, but you need to focus on your key points in your presentation. For some of your audience members, they may want more information that you have provided, perhaps some of the technical nuggets. At the end of a presentation you can include a slide that tells them where to go to find more information, perhaps the full technical document, the scientific report, or specifications.


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