Technical Presentations for Non-technical Audiences

Mac computer sitting on presentation desk.
Photo by: Patrick Robert Doyle

Whether you are unveiling a new machine learning algorithm to your non-technical CEO, or whether you are helping your relatives remove that pesky app they swear they never downloaded, presenting technical concepts to non-technical audiences can be difficult and nerve wracking. However, it does not have to be this way. There are a couple of guidelines that I like to go by, and they have worked well so far. Because I am passionate about technology, I can get carried away explaining how it works. Unfortunately, my audience does not always want the in-depth explanations I can provide. However, by adjusting my presentation I can get the information they need across, give them relevant follow up information, and hopefully make them want to learn more. The following are my top 3 guidelines for presentations in no particular order.

Don’t dumb it down

Look at your audience

Be approachable

By adjusting these guidelines according to the type of audience you are presenting, it can lead to a very successful and engaging presentation. The more practice you get, the more you will understand how to tailor these guidelines to each audience.

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