The Future As Seen By Me In 2010

Well looky here, things one has scanned in eh. (ignore the photo, that's some guy that made some accounting software, not sure what became of him ;) MIKE RIVERSDALE is fuming. The expensive headphones he bought in Sydney three weeks ago have just died. His first reaction is not to randomly spill expletives into his coffee, but to use his iPhone to vent his frustration to his Twitter con- tacts, under the moniker Miramar Mike. "I will also put, 'What should I do?' It's a conversation. I'm reaching out to the people following me." The council predicts hand-held digital devices such as smartphones will rule the world in 2040. They already rule the life of Mr Riversdale, whose company WaveAdept helps businesses adapt - their computing sys- tems to allow staff to work from anywhere - and with anyone. In order of fre- equency, he uses his iPhone to tweet (1136 followers; 8363 tweets since joining), e-mail, make phone calls and use online services, such as checki

10 Ways To Explain Things More Effectively

I love IT Departments, no really, I do - they are normally filled with passionate people playing with shiny toys that get information out and about. However, they also need a lot of help talking with the real world because they are mostly male.

TechRepublic has come up with 10 awesome reminders of how to communicate with real people which I will now be printing and giving to every IT geek I work with* :-) - 10 ways to explain things more effectively

But why use it - let me explain ...

#1: Keep in mind others’ point of view
IT Department - without the business to service you are nothing, try and work out where they are coming from as this is about job survival.
(business - ditto, without technology I bet you'd be dead on your feet within a week.)

#2: Listen and respond to questions
People want to use the tools the best they can but without asking the "stupid questions" they can never learn to. And remember, there are NEVER stupid questions, just useless/irrelevant answers so give the real answers as succintly as possible.

#3: Avoid talking over people’s head
Jargon, leave it in the server room with ya IT mates where it belongs. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "It's not big and we're not impressed", don't let the business think that about you because once they do you're one step away from being replaced.

#4: Avoid talking down to people
You are NOT the worlds expert on everything!
No, they do not know about the latest version of Windows Flux Capacitor, nor do they want to - and that's OK. Oh, if you *sigh* during a conversation, you have lost. And if you ever lie you will be fuond out.

#5: Ask questions to determine people’s understanding
I know about XML, you know about HMTL, my wife knows about websites, my son knows how to play games on the computer. We all know something, find out before putting people into a box - it'll save you words, breath and heavens above you might learn something (sorry, starting to "talk down", my bad)

#6: Focus on benefits, not features
This for me is the BIGGIE (hence I made it big).
No-one cares about version numbers, no-one cares about vendor support contracts, no-one even cares about computers. What they care about is what the tool can do for them. When talking with the business imagin that the only thing they are thinking, over and over and over, is, "What's in it for me?" and that's the only thing you have to do, answer that one question - nothing else, that's it, "What's in it for me?"

#7: Use analogies to make concepts clearer
This is a skill that you can gain and you will be loved for using it as we humans are story animals.
Remember, Dan Carter didn't come out of the womb kicking a rugby ball but over time he has learned through practice, coaching and doing it on the day.

#8: Compare new concepts to familiar ones
No-one likes to unlearn stuff. It can make us feel useless, embarrased and threatened.
So instead of saying, "Forget what it did in version 1" say, "In version 1 it did XYZ, in version 2 it still does X and Y but now Y is replaced by Z which means you can [benefit]"

#9: Use the concepts of subsets and supersets
To be honest I don't quite see how this can be used in everday conversation and the example from the post didn't really explain further. Over to you ...

#10: Confirm that your explanation makes sense
Did that help?

* I will also be giving a copy to every accountant I have to deal with as well as every to full of themselves to see they're talking business wank


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