The process is not long or arduous, but they do take a little thought and consideration as you develop your presentation.
1) Do you understand your audience?
The first step in ensuring you use appropriate language is to understand your audience. Can you identify what their understanding is of the subject you will be presenting? Do you know what views they may already have are? Do you know their background – how easily will they understand what you are about to discuss with them? How old are they? Is your audience predominately male or female?
This is a sample of the questions you can ask to ensure you understand who will be sitting in the room when you present. You need to ensure, before you start writing your presentation that you can answer enough of these questions so you can confidently state to yourself that you understand your audience.
2) Frame the presentation in their language – make it relevant to the audiences objective
Once you understand your audience steps 2 and 3 becomes much easier. Step 2 is simply framing the presentation in the language of your audience. For example, if you are trying to sell a project to your management. You could describe to management the technical benefits of the project. This may win them over, but more than likely, they will nod their heads and go “Yes, that’s nice but we have other priorities”. Management isn’t concerned with technical perfection. Instead you need to present to them that the project will demonstrate value to them, it could be reduced costs, or improved efficiencies, etc…
Frame the presentation around what your audience wants or needs to hear.
3) Avoid jargon
The most common mistake in technical presentations is to use jargon. Its a mistake to believe that just because you know what a technical term or acronym means that your audience will (even if you describe it once). This applies even in situations where you are presenting to other technical specialists. Unless you are confident that the audience you are presenting to understands EXACTLY what you are saying when you use “jargon” avoid it. It may mean that you have to “dumb down” your presentation. Your audience wont appreciate not understanding (or worse misunderstanding) you.