Let’s be clear from the beginning, I’m not referring to foul language here. I’m assuming that you have enough respect for your audience that you don’t swear or use other socially inappropriate words when you speak to them. What we will discuss here relates to language that your audience understands and relates to in your presentations. A common mistake by inexperienced presenters is to use language which is not understood ny their audience. Traditionally this has been a common problem in technical presentations, where the engineer will deliver a talk that only rocket scientists can understand. But the issue Is not confined to technical presentations. Too often management and sales presentations are afflicted with inappropriate language as well.
What do I mean?
Imagine an engineer, lets call him Bill, describing a engineering proces to a group of non technical managerss… Chances are you seeing a Bill standing in front of an audience delivering a presentation heavy in information and technical terms. The audience of non technical managers are all sitting there with glazed eyes because they have no idea what Bill is saying to them, but they are too polite (or proud) to interrupt him and tell him the truth. The problem is Bill has delivered a technical presentation believing he could use his engineering language and everyone would understand him. He needs to use the language that will be understood by his audience. If he’s presenting to engineers he can use engineering language, but if he’s presenting to management he needs to use language that management will understand and relate to.
How? We’ll cover this in the next entry…