Learn to summarize

IT professionals know a lot of details. We understand complexity. We appreciate nuance. We see lots of variables. We live in a world of changing dynamics. The challenge in communications, however, is all about simplicity. Deciding which details are important in the context of a particular discussion, presentation, or report is essential. And sadly for those of us who appreciate the wonder and possibilities of the world of detail, most details are unimportant to clear communication. Rather, we’ve got to get to the gist of the matter. And then not cloud the picture. We’ve got to have the ability to … Read more

Clear and precise communication

We always want to be clear. Sometimes we want to be precise. When we’re discussing low-level, concrete issues like technical specifications, we need to be precise. Most of the time, though, we need to read between the lines. We need to understand what’s not being said explicitly, what’s not being well-articulated, what’s motivating someone to try and shape an outcome. Illogical and irrational The world is not a logical place and it’s not filled with rational people. This is the major flaw in economic theory, and it can be a hurdle in how technical people approach problem solving. We like … Read more

Take 20 minutes to learn the best presentation tips

What are the attributes of a good presentation and how can you adapt them to the next one you develop? Below are three links – two videos and an article – that clearly and concisely lay out some of the best presentation tips and simple truths about great presentations. The first video teaches us that: You’ve got to tell a story Go low tech in the preparation phase (don’t start off in PowerPoint!) For design, less is more Rehearsal is perhaps the single most important aspect of preparation (that’s often overlooked) The second video (that deconstructs the Steve Jobs presentation formula) … Read more