Are you a technical professional in need of help delivering a presentation to non-technical audiences? Right here, in part 2 (part 1) of the interview with Frank S. Adamo, he provides tips to get you on the right track.
Frank is an expert in the field of communicating. He recently joined Ken Blanchard, Brian Tracy & Stephen Covey in a new book, Discover Your Inner Strength!
RM: You worked in the chemical industry for nearly 13 years as a chemist, supervisor, lab manager and a lab consultant; and you have written a book, 31 Tips to becoming an Effective Presenter. What advice can you offer to technical professionals presenting reports or other findings to non-technical audiences?
FA: Very simple (no pun intended): keep it simple and concise and DON'T USE JARGON. Most Technical Professionals are very knowledgeable in their fields of expertise; however, most will be very detailed and comprehensive in their thinking. This is fine. They can have all the details, results and conclusions in the written report -- but NOT in a spoken presentation.
The mind works differently when we hear. We can generally comprehend the entire sentence by picking out key words and phrases of a sentence, much like a speed reader does. However, we can't do this when listening. If I decide to speak and stop in the middle of a sentence, e.g. "We have found a major cure for ," you have no idea what I plan to say until after I have completed the sentence.
Thus, avoid the long, drawn out sentences with multiple semicolons used in reports and perhaps daily speaking. By the time you complete one of these sentences, hardly anyone will remember the beginning of the sentence, thus your audience may get confused.
Divide your speech into short, concise sentences and pause a bit between major thoughts so that the audience can clearly understand your message. For other tips, please read my article on “Effective Presentations For Technical Professionals.”
Read the final part of the interview with Frank on Friday.