As a tech professional, you need to demonstrate your expertise and value to the team. In fact, with so much responsibility on software developers, engineers, and other technical staff, communication skills are more important than ever. Check out this article for some helpful tips on how to address people the right way in the tech industry.
Prioritize Your Audience
Before you even get into the nitty-gritty of your product, service, or software solution, it’s critical to understand who you’re speaking to. It’s easy to get wrapped up in your own expertise, but that can lead to some serious miscommunication. You need to define your audience and create personas that represent your key stakeholders. This approach can help you understand where the pain points are in your users’ lives. For example, if you’re setting up software that helps people calculate their monthly payments on a VA loan, your target should be veterans. If you’re designing a tool tracking technology, your target may be construction workers or people who work in an industrial setting.
Know the Basics
As a tech professional, you may be tempted to focus your attention on the technical aspects of a solution rather than the user experience (UX) or user interface (UI). However, working with non-technical stakeholders, you need to remember that the UX and the UI matter just as much as the data and logic behind the solution. Your audience wants to see how the product will work for them before it even exists. In other words, you can’t just skip the UX and UI phase because you know how everything works behind the scenes. If you do, you risk losing support from the rest of your team and wasting valuable time.
Take a Moment Before Speaking
When it comes to communicating with stakeholders, it’s important to take a moment before you engage with them. Give yourself a chance to slow down, collect your thoughts, and get clear on your ideas. Some reflection will not only make you sound more poised, but it can give you an opportunity to identify any assumptions that you’re making. Making assumptions can lead to miscommunication and can cause your ideas to fall flat. If you find that you’re nervous or anxious, take a moment to regulate your breathing and clear your head. Failing to address discomfort can only lead to more miscommunication.
Communicate With Visuals
Visuals are proven to help boost comprehension and retention, especially when you’re working with non-technical stakeholders. You can use images, graphs, charts, and diagrams to help illustrate your ideas and walk through the problem-solving process. You don’t have to create complex visuals or get an expensive designer to make them for you. Instead, you can use some basic software to create simple graphics. If you’re presenting your project roadmap, for example, create a bar chart or a project swimlane diagram.
Address the Needs of the Business
When you’re communicating with stakeholders, it can be easy to get wrapped up in user needs. The user is important, of course, but you also need to look at the big picture. You must consider the needs of the business and understand how your tech solution will meet those needs. You need to demonstrate that you’ve thought through the problem-solving process and understand how your solution will impact the business. If you’re presenting a new software solution, for example, focus on how the solution will help increase sales, reduce costs, or improve other metrics that matter to the business.
As a tech professional, you need to be able to clearly communicate your ideas. This means that you need to be able to explain complex ideas in simple terms and use visuals to augment your presentation. Most importantly, you need to be able to communicate effectively without sacrificing your expertise. With enough practice, you’ll be able to speak your audience’s language and prove that you’re an integral part of the team.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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