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16 tips to help technical experts explain solutions to non-technical people




Technical leaders must regularly present new technology products, concepts and ideas to fellow leaders, clients and colleagues. In situations like this, many tech professionals (some say from experience) start to get blinded by the audience and are afraid to think they’ve lost the room. However, that may not be the case. Most stakeholders are very interested in the new technologies they use every day and know the difference the right solution makes, but they don’t understand the concepts and terminology in which the ideas are presented. There is a possibility.

When technical experts take the time to put themselves in the shoes of non-technical people, it will be easier for them to create presentations that highlight the benefits of the solutions they recommend so that the audience understands and accepts them. Here, her 16 members of the Forbes Technology Council share their experiences and help fellow technology professionals better explain new technology solutions to their non-tech clients and colleagues.

Members of the Forbes Technology Council share tips to help tech professionals explain their solutions to non-tech stakeholders.

Photos courtesy of each member.

1. Ask the client to explain the problem first

It is a good idea to ask the client to describe the problem before proceeding to describe the software solution. From there, you can take a real problem and explain how the technology offers a real solution to that problem, rather than jumping to feature sets, architectures, and concepts. This makes the technology easy to digest and buyers can apply it from the start. – Tracy Davis, TRAX Analytics

2. Tell a customer-centric story

In my experience, the best way to help non-technical stakeholders understand the benefits of your solution is through good old-fashioned storytelling. I start by putting them in your situation and state of mind. Then I walk you through the solution in an easy and direct way. Now let’s talk about how the solution will ultimately benefit the customer (customer). -Thomas Griffin, Optin Monster

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3. Focus on problems and solutions

Everyone understands the problem and the solution, technical or not. As long as the problem description and the new product’s solution are simple and elegant, it’s easy. Confusion only arises when the problem cannot be explained in simple terms. – Garima Kapoor, MinIO

4. Share analogies (but not metaphors)

Analogies are a technology communicator’s best friend. Hopefully, you will be able to articulate complex topics in familiar language while conveying important messages. Avoid metaphors such as “This is Uber for” because it can make your audience roll their eyes. – Eamon Barrett, Remi Eye

5. Turn technology into value

Adjusting your communication style is important. Refine your use of jargon and translate it into value. What is it for these non-tech stakeholders? They need to have a clear understanding of the value they are getting and why it matters. You should keep those personas in mind when building your product. – Alfred Kahn, OvationCXM

6. Focus on how you benefit, not how it works

An effective strategy is to connect technology to business outcomes. Use analogies from successful products that non-tech-savvy customers may have used in the past, avoiding the trap of only describing technology. How you make money will always matter more than how it works! – Murli Thirumale, Portworx by Pure Storage

7. Compare new solutions with those already familiar

Even non-engineer stakeholders can understand the concepts that technology companies are working on. We all use digital, platform-based ecosystems in our everyday applications, and these concepts can be applied across industries. When I describe how healthcare platforms are revolutionizing the patient experience, I use Amazon, Netflix, and Uber as examples that resonate and are familiar. – Michael Servinis, League

8. Meet where the audience is

Your solution may be groundbreaking, but your stakeholders need to be able to understand it. When developing new technologies, you meet people where they are rather than asking them to learn a new language to access your product. As a leader, innovate tools without alienating clients or colleagues must be created and balanced. – Christine Saviria, JOOR

9. Polish your elevator pitch

Think of it in terms of an elevator pitch. Clearly, use analogies to point out the problem, prove that the problem really exists, and explain how to solve it. Also, talk about money. How will it scale and how is it expected to make money for startups? – Arturs Kruze, Magebit

10. How to describe everyday events

It’s often very helpful to use analogies comparing technology concepts to what we experience in our daily lives. For example, when talking about how APIs work, I like the restaurant and waiter analogy. Just like an API sends a request to a database and returns output, a waiter sends a request to the kitchen and returns food.And when all else fails, use a meme! – Nate Masrak, Ribbon Health

11. Show Them The Money

Money first! If you can’t explain how to generate revenue, why build something? Every technical feature should lead to benefits that can be quantified and explained with revenue potential in mind. – Mattias Bergstrom, Internet of Everything Corp

12. Create a short video

For both external marketing and internal education, we recommend providing a short video overview of the latest concepts. With more and more user-friendly video editing tools available today, you and your marketing team don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to create effective videos. It takes practice, but consider providing your own narration for your personalized, conversational videos. -His Judit Sharon of OnPage Corporation

13. Share use case scenarios and demos

There is nothing better than sharing a use case scenario that shows that the old method is not as effective as the new method (proposed product or design). Great technical leaders often demo their products in an audience environment to ensure the expected results.This will allow for smoother and more transparent conversations when gambling your capital! – Kevin Huber, IT Outlet

14. Clarify how it helps the organization achieve its goals

Honestly, if you can’t explain the technology to key stakeholders, you question its value. Ultimately, our job is to help organizations achieve their goals. How will this new technology support and benefit your organization? Few people care about the inner workings of the technology. They want to know the real benefits. – Tabitha Lieberman, Brightwork Health IT

15. Summarize benefits in one sentence

By paying attention to what something does rather than how it works, you can convey its relevance. Features are tools, and most people don’t need to hear how tools work. They want to know what the building is. If you’re familiar with the product, you know all about it. It’s important to be able to zoom out from the bells and whistles and boil the benefits down to one plain sentence. – Lewis Wynn Jones, ThinkData Works

16. Share real world examples of current users

Real-life examples are some of the most powerful tools to show the benefits. Benefits are often named or displayed in relation to a fictitious client such as Law Office XYZ. Potential users don’t have much to do with this method. Showing real users in real scenarios between your feature list and testimonials is a powerful way to make your benefits tangible. – Kevin Corte, Univention




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