Technology Speaking for Humans

So much of technology speaking is for the geeks. What can it do? How powerful is it? What’s under the hood? When’s the next one coming out? Sure there are the Steve Jobs’ of the world who make technology universal, but are there enough people who make it truly accessible, educational and actionable? We often don’t see this level of conversation and discourse in as many places one would hope.

Keeping in mind the following while planning and delivering your next technology presentation, keynote or discussion:

Strategy, not just speed
Technology is a tool; most people treat it like a toy. When discussing technology, it’s important to talk about it in the context of how it can actually make an impact on operations, employees and finances. 3-D Printing can create guns and organs and violins, but how will it be practically used in my office or in my home? Can it reduce my costs over time or is the capability simply not there yet? These questions often go unanswered in the name of the next tech innovation.

History, not just hard drive space
Like looking at strategy, talking about technology should provide us insight into what has succeeded and failed in the past. What challenges and pitfalls were faced for those who went about trying to implement this? What did they learn from the experience and what would they do differently? This sort of discourse can be great for community building and forward thinking.

Leadership, not just lag time
Putting the Internet of Things or Big Data or Cloud into action doesn’t just change the way you do business or store data. It also will change the way that you’ll need to manage employees and lead the next wave of thinking. Does anyone stop to think what the moral implications are of Big Data when they talk about how many insights can be generated with it? It should be a leader’s job to have this conversation internally and the technology speaker’s job to have this conversation broadly.

People, not just pixels
Although technology is inherently about computers, people are at the heart of every product and every piece of software that hits the market. In fact the old adage that technology is only as smart as the person using it has never been more true. But while there’s always a lot of excitement about all the brilliant things that can be done with the latest gizmo, there’s often less about how it will impact the day to day lives of real people and what it means in human terms.

Your audience will not remember your words. They will remember how you made them feel. Consider putting a little humanity back and see the difference it makes in how technology is discussed, absorbed, used and appreciated.