Techies must learn to speak Newbie
I have lost count how many times in a client meeting I have come across this. The project team have discussed the business case, outlined the objectives, the desired outcomes and timings and it seems everyone is on the same page. Then the development team stand up and within two minutes they lose the group. You can see it in the eyes of people, they may be nodding but most are lost in the continuous stream of acronyms and tech speak.
No one one will own up to it of course for fear of sounding stupid. None will question an acronym or say “Sorry I don’t understand” Acronyms that are supposed to speed up understanding can in fact be the enemies of it. This is not a deliberate ploy on behalf of the techies but in my experience some do get a buzz from feeling as if they are the cleverest people in the room. It can make the newbies and less technical feel somewhat stupid and uninformed.
I often start a technical meeting by saying “I am not sure how much everyone knows about the technical side of this so I am going to assume you all know nothing. Please don’t be offended if aim telling you something you already know.” The reaction is often more one of relief from the newbies than offence from the techies.
As we as digital communication specialists I firmly we must articulate our solutions in the most understandable and accessible way possible. Only then can hope to bring our clients with us and to prove the business case for their investment.