Technical Briefings

Steps for success!

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The technical briefing is a no-nonsense speech that conveys technical information to a critical audience. The briefing is the most common kind of speech presented in today’s workplace.

There are various formats for briefings, but most are speeches to inform. Briefings provide and explain important facts in a way that allows the audience to quickly grasp and understand how to apply those facts. Examples include: An engineer briefs a group of managers on a current project. A research scientist reports on recent findings. A marketing executive presents a briefing on a product test. A line manager briefs a division chief on production progress. A supervisor explains a new company policy to subordinates. A lobbyist briefs lawmakers on the expected impact of proposed legislation.

Follow these steps to succeed with your technical briefing:

  • Know your audience in advance so that you use appropriate levels of technical material and jargon. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time by being too difficult to understand or too boring.
  • State the purpose of your presentation in a single sentence. This sentence will serve as the focal point for your entire presentation, and should recur throughout your talk. For most technical briefings, assembling enough support material is far less of a problem than whittling down a vast amount of material to a manageable amount. Try to select only three or four primary points that support your main message, and state each one in a single sentence. To finish your briefing, summarize the main points you’ve presented, and include any conclusions you have made clear in relation to them.
  • Arrange your material into an outline containing an introduction, body and conclusion. State your main message early in the speech, reinforce it throughout the briefing, then restate it in your conclusion.

Whether you’re selling cookware in a department store or explaining research results to a group of geneticists, these basic steps remain the same. Your audiences – whoever they are – will appreciate the clarity and focus of your excellent technical briefing.

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