Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

Technologists Are Humans Too

In Presentation Tips on August 23, 2011 at 9:33 am

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Just Because Technologists Think Logically, Doesn't Mean They Are Robots. Appeal to Them as People Too.

I was presenting at a local technology association event on a topic related to tweeting during presentations.  At this particular event, another person also presented to the group.  When he learned that presentation skills was my expertise, he said he’d welcome feedback on his presentation.

After the evening was over, I gave him some feedback.  He done a lot of things extremely well and I offered him a few suggestions.  Then I asked him about his PowerPoint slides.

“I notice on some of your slides you had a lot of bullet points and a lot of words.”

“Yeah, I normally don’t do that.  But I figured this was a really left-brained audience and so I thought I needed the bullet points.”

“Here’s the thing, technologists are humans too.”


People Are People

I went on to explain to him that the using slides with lots of bullet points doesn’t help the technologist any more than it would help someone we traditionally think of as right-brained.  It’s a human thing.  Pictures with two or three words help all brains retain the information better than a slide full of words.  Pictures help all brains transfer the information to other situations.  Pictures are more visually appealing to all brains.

Last time I check, technologist enjoy good movies just as much as the next guy.  Technologist are extremely creative problem solvers.  Technologist put a lot of heart and commitment into their work.  Technologists are proud of their work.

So if you’re presenting to an audience of technologists, don’t assume because they’re smart and logical that a impactful presentation, with an appeal to the emotions and visually appealing slides won’t work with that audience.  Technologists are humans too.

What Do You Think?

Did I get this wrong?  Do you think you need to present differently to a technology audience?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and your experiences.  Leave notes in the comments below.


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