Geek Speak


Many techies find it challenging to communicate technical information to technologically-challenged people. What should be a brief run-down of an IT issue at the end of the day could easily stretch over hours between such differently-wired individuals. It is very important that techies know how to communicate their IT world to non-technical parties, whether for the progress of little and big projects, for making a compelling case for a budgetary appeal, for information sharing via presentations, and for simple networking.

One of the challenges a techie runs into is assuming the other party understands more than it does! A techie may use IT acronyms without thinking twice but a non-techie won’t be able to decipher an IT acronym from a Star Wars character. It is best practice to  assume the person you are speaking has a lesser technical background, and has little or no clue as to names of projects/programs/codes used in the day-to-day.

When someone can see how information relates to day-to-day activity, they are more likely to lean into that information, regardless of how challenging the content. Techies should read their audience and understand how their information affects the person they are speaking to and to relay that information; it will help encourage the listener to focus through the EC2’s and XML’s.

Non-techies can be very intimidated by IT lingo and worse, can feel defensive if the techie constantly asks if something makes sense. A better way to ask the same question is to ask general questions about the topic, and if the non-techie’s brows are furrowed, turn back and explain it a different way.

Being able to relay niche information can be difficult but a little attention to detail can make it easier and it is well worth the effort in the end.
Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at