Communicating Technical Topics to
Non-Technical Audiences: A Four-Part Workshop

Have you ever had a client look at you like you’re speaking another language? Does your staff get frustrated when the boss doesn’t get it?

Whether in-person or virtually, there’s a lot at stake when communicating with clients, elected officials, executives, and others who have little time and less background in your area of expertise. You often get one chance to make a positive and memorable impression and it needs to go well.

Build Stronger Presentations

Build Stronger Presentations with Audiences

Impactful and memorable communications are essential to advancing your career and business goals. To this end, we created an intensive, interactive online 4-part workshop to help technical professionals communicate complex ideas to non-technical audiences, both in-person and virtually.

During the workshop, participants learn to:

  • Deeply understand and connect with the audience.
  • Ask insightful questions to understand the “real” problem.
  • Use storytelling for lasting impressions
  • Use compelling visuals to increase memory and attention.

What Makes This Workshop Different?

Using her expertise in transportation and engineering, Shelley Row tailors each workshop session to address the specific needs of technical professionals. 

Know Your Audience

Session 1

Know Your Audience: Who Are They and What Do They Really Care About

You’re focused on what you want from the audience – being awarded the job, approval of the project, and agreement on the next steps. But they are focused on their needs and interests concerning the project. Unless you shift your perspective to see their viewpoint, you are unlikely to have a meaningful impact and get closure. Learn how to analyze the audience and design a presentation or briefing that is laser-focused on their real issues.

Learning Objectives:

  • Delve deeply into your audience so that you know their real interests and concerns
  • Tailor your approach to meet their needs instead of yours
  • Understand what you want from them and what they want from you

Session 2

Asking Powerful Questions and Listening Between the Lines

Technical professionals tend to jump into problem-solving before truly understanding the people or project. Instead, powerful questions get beyond a surface understanding. Skillful questions uncover the “why” behind a project and its importance to the client, citizen, or decision-maker. Active listening makes your client, citizen or boss feel heard and validated and can calm a tense situation. Learn to listen between the lines to discover increased communication, calm agitation, and connect with the client.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to use powerful questions that get under the surface of the key project players
  • Create questions that you can use with your real-world clients and projects
  • Develop effective listening skills that calm agitated citizens, clients, or politicians so that they have the brain power to hear your key points
Asking Questions
Be Memorable

Session 3

Be Memorable: Harness the Power of Storytelling

There’s a lot at stake. You must memorably communicate your work to a client, prospective client, elected officials, executives, or the public who have little time and less background in the subject area. You get one chance to make a notable impression. Through the power of neuroscience, we can learn the secret to connecting with the audience. The secret is storytelling. Stories bring transportation to life: in public hearings, briefings to legislatures, city councils, and more. Through the use of stories, you fully represent the impact of your work on people in a way they relate to and remember.

Learning Objectives:

  • The neuroscience behind storytelling
  • The fundamentals of story structure
  • The use of emotion and data in storytelling
  • Applications of storytelling to transportation

Session 4

Design Impactful, Brain-Friendly Presentations That Stick

Your research results and project options are described by graphs, charts, and words (lots of words). They fill the PowerPoint slides. The content seems mind-numbing to the unfamiliar. The analysis is complicated and can’t be simplified. Or can it? And now, you must present this information in a webinar which makes connecting with your audience even more difficult. Webinars don’t have to be mind-numbing. Learn tips to design webinars that are engaging, interesting, and clear. Discover simple techniques to design your visuals for positive impact and leverage the power of storytelling.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn the tricks of designing an impactful webinar that connects with the audience
  • Create slides that reduce cognitive load so that the audience isn’t exhausted
  • Develop stories that create lasting connections
  • Design presentations with a focal point and visual images to enhance your hard-core results
Design Presentations

What clients are saying…

Shelley was the perfect fit for our group. Her message is useful and applicable for so many association executives regardless of their role. CEOs took away skills that help them talk to their boards about organizational decisions and other executives learned approaches that help them approach decisions that affect their departments and work culture with more confidence.

Aaron Hernandez

Powerful, convincing tips you can not refute.

Mark Croarkin

Great presentation, easy to understand and use.

Ed Correa

Engineers need help and she can help us.

James Todd Daley

Become a Memorable Presenter