Make Technical Information Engaging

When it comes to technical information, many assume it’s naturally boring and impossible to make interesting. But that’s not true. Detail can be presented in a way that grabs people’s attention and makes them want to listen. Just think about how science teachers make complex topics fun or search for “make science fun” online – you’ll find tons of videos and talks demonstrating creative ways to explain difficult concepts.

So, why do people still overload their presentations with endless PowerPoint slides filled with data nobody can understand? Often, it’s because they worry that simplifying technical info will insult people’s intelligence or downplay the topic’s importance. But here’s

the thing: if people can’t visualise what you’re saying, they won’t buy into it. Imagine someone asking you to walk into a dark room blindly

– it’s uncomfortable and risky. Similarly, people can’t act on information they don’t get. So, instead of being condescending, adapt your message to your audience’s level of understanding.

Sometimes, the problem lies in the presenter’s expertise. They know their stuff so well that they forget what it’s like not to know it. Remember teaching a child to tie their shoes? You had to break down the steps and consider their small hands. Likewise, start at your audience’s level of experience. Motivate them to listen by showing how the topic relates to them directly. You don’t need to drown them in details; the goal is to create a clear picture, not overwhelm them.

Choose your words carefully. Don’t use technical jargon or distribute complex handouts expecting everyone to understand. If listeners struggle to follow, they’ll tune out. Instead, use familiar language and symbols everyone can grasp. Make statistics personal and relatable. For instance, rather than saying “1 out of 3 people will suffer from hearing loss,” say “8 of us in this room will have hearing loss.” Connect the numbers to real-life scenarios, like the time wasted on correcting mistakes equating to playing a round of golf.

Lastly, personalise your message. Share your “aha” moments or tell stories related to the topic. People remember stories better than facts and figures. I recall a history professor who lectured endlessly, making it hard to grasp anything. But a substitute who told stories about the French Revolution had us hooked and eager to learn more. By adapting your message and making it engaging, you show respect for your audience’s time and intelligence. And in return, you’ll earn their respect for your expertise.