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Talk Techy to Me: How to Explain Technical Things in Simple Terms

A lot of startups in the tech industry are having a hard time making themselves heard. More often than not, it’s because they struggle to break down the techy bits in their business model or product into terms that the average Joe can understand.

You’ve started your own company, put the dream team together and the first clients are slowly trickling in – so far, so good. Expanding the business is at the top of your agenda. All you need to do is get the word out, but it seems like you’ve hit a wall. Sound familiar?

Increasing your outreach and putting your company on the radar of potential clients requires one thing above all else: you need to be able to talk about technical topics in simple terms that make your message accessible to a broader, non-technical audience. After all, if no one gets what your product is doing, why should they invest in it?

Focus on impact

Rather than rabbit-holing into the nitty-gritty “this is how it works” side of things, concentrate on the bigger picture. Shine a light on what your technology can do – and why that makes it different to already existing solutions out there.

For example, explain how your target audience can benefit from your services in terms of revenue, customer engagement or even cybersecurity. The specifics of the underlying technical process are secondary for the moment.

Help potential clients and investors realise the value they’ll gain from purchasing or investing into your product and show them how you can take their business to the next level.

Avoid jargon

What you consider to be a basic technical understanding might be all Greek to others. Keep that in mind when diving into tech talk and don’t assume baseline technological knowledge right away.

Instead, start out simple and take it from there. You want to engage with your audience – and the best way to do so is to speak in a language they understand. What you don’t want to do is scare them away by overwhelming them with a flood of technical vocabulary.

Yes, API and NFC roll off the tongue easier than Application Programming Interface and Near Field Communication. But if the people you’re aiming to attract don’t have the first idea about the meaning behind these acronyms, they will lose interest before you even get the chance to show them how they can make the most of your technology.

The goal is to get your message across without giving your audience the feeling of being left out, so make sure everyone is on the same page and familiar with the basics instead of throwing them in at the deep end.

Know your audience

Finally, it’s important to keep your target audience in mind. Who do you want to reach, other businesses (B2B) or potential customers (B2C)?

When targeting other companies, highlight the profit potential of your product and don’t skimp on technical details. The use of jargon is actually a plus in this case, so now’s the time to get techy.

For B2C, snappiness is key – keep it short and sweet. Unlike B2B, where the tone is usually more impersonal, you also want to use a chatty, informal style when positioning your product to potential customers.

As a rule of thumb – and this applies to both B2B and B2C – you need to be able to explain why your invention deserves to be called a breakthrough technology. What’s so disruptive about it?

If you live and breathe tech, that’s great. Just make sure you communicate your enthusiasm in a way that everyone can understand. And if you’re able to inspire that same passion in others, you’re already halfway there.

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