Paul Glen: 'Nothing but the facts' approach just won't work with business people

I've been talking lately about how IT and business people have trouble communicating. It goes beyond speaking different languages. The two groups really think differently.

If you believe I'm overstating my case, then try this experiment.

The next time you give a presentation to business people, do a follow-up a day or two later. You will likely find that nearly everyone in your audience completely missed your point.

The reason we often bomb when it comes to presenting to business people is that we misunderstand how they tend to process presentations and information. We make the mistake of believing that they think like we do. They don't.

Anytime you give a presentation, you need to share four things with your audience. And you have to think about what each of those four things means to nontechnical people.

Facts. Most presentations by technical people are built around facts. We believe that our obligation to our organizations -- and to the concept of truth itself -- is to present the cold, hard facts as best we know them.

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