I’m guessing many of you have already seen this, but just in case you haven’t, Roy Tennant’s chapter in Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow is lovely. In addition to editing the entire book, Tennant wrote this chapter titled, “Talking Tech: Explaining Technical Topics to a Non-Technical Audience.” Here’s a list of the training tips he includes:
- Know your audience.
- Select the appropriate scope.
- Cultivate the right attitude
- Admit your ignorance
- Deliver in multiple modes
- Make accommodations
- Provide opportunities to participate
- Roll with the punches
- Ask for questions like you really mean it
- Be enthusiastic
- Be authentic
- Have fun!
I think it’s a good list to read when planning training and just before delivering training, too. I also think it could be useful if you have the opportunity to co-train with someone else. Talk to each other about the list and get input re: your strengths and re: areas for growth, too.
4 thoughts on “Tenets from Tennant”
ummm… and it’d be GREAT to share with the folks at your next 30-minute webinar on talking with techies and non-techies… http://www.webjunction.org/do/DisplayContent?id=19996
Thank you for noticing. I learned these things both at the feet of the master (my mentor, Anne Lipow) but also through sheer experience. I taught many workshops before beginning to do keynotes, and I can tell you that these “tenets” have stood me in good stead in both venues.
Sarah – EXACTLY! It’s perfect! I’m sharing it w/Ross 🙂
Roy – Thank YOU… for the essay and for stopping by my blog!
Thanks Brenda for sharing this. Diana used the points today during our training with the Perry-Lecompton library staff on Koha. I will definitely be making use of those points in coming presentations!