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6 Ways To Explain Tech Topics to Non-Technical People


Tandem’s software consultants often work with stakeholders who don’t have a tech background. Here are six tips for how to clearly communicate technical principles to anyone:

  1. Give context using examples of past work. If you’re talking with a stakeholder you’ve worked with in the past, it can help to draw upon that experience when trying to communicate something new.
  2. Tie the technical concept into real-life experiences. Demonstrate how the concept translates to real-life experiences and objects. For example, selecting options throughout the course of a wizard is similar to combining individual ingredients to create an entirely new dish.
  3. Tell a story about the user of the software. Paint a vivid picture of who will be using the software and how they’ll use it to give your stakeholder a better grasp of the user’s experience with the product.
  4. Connect the technical concept to a business result. Your stakeholder may have industry-specific terms that they use daily. Frame the concept using one of these terms to provide clarity in a way they can best understand.
  5. Explain how the concept might work in a well-known product. Compare the concept to a well-known object, like a tablet, to draw a connection between tangible benchmarks and the product you are working on. Highlighting the commonalities can break things down into more digestible pieces.
  6. Show, don’t tell. If words fail, try communicating visually: share your screen, pair, or work on a related example together.
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