You know the look I’m talking about…the one similar to a dog
looking at a ceiling fan (so ably demonstrated by our family pet, Belle). “The look”
has also been referred to as the “deer in the headlights look” (Sorry, I
have a pet deer…so please refer to said dog.) It’s that look you may get after
you’ve just explained your theory, concept, or next million-dollar idea. It
made complete sense to you. It had everything…explanation, application, reward.
Why on earth is your audience (one person or a hundred) looking at you like you
just spoke in gibberish? Perhaps, to their ears, you have.
It is seen or heard so often, especially in the internet and new media
world. There are ideas, applications, websites, widgets and entire companies
that may offer something to a potential consumer or their business that could
change their lives…or, at least make them easier. But the explanation was so
bogged down in industry speak that they tilted their head nodded and said
something like…”Cool, let me get back to you.” Never to be heard from again.
Let me give you an example with this line from a blog (that
shall remain nameless) regarding the recent Open Social platform from Google.
APIs will allow
developers to leverage Google’s social graph data, so that third parties can
start pushing and pulling data into and out of Google and non-Google
applications…It also formalizes the concept of activity stream so that some
applications can contribute events and some other applications can filter them,
mash them up and display them to the user. Huh? (Refer to picture top left.)
Don’t get me wrong this is a very concise description of what Open
Social is and in all fairness, from a blog that counts a lot of long time web
and new media types as its readers. But if a not so technical type happens to
be searching for info on Open Social, this is kinda scary, don’t ya think?
By the way, real world translation of the above; Open Social will
let you create one profile that can be viewed by multiple social websites like MySpace,
LinkedIn, and many more. (Note, not Facebook) Those that are into programming
can also create applications that can run on all of them. It’s one stop
shopping for social networking.
I’m not suggesting you “dumb down” the information just go the extra mile
to know your audience and talk to
them…not at them. Talking the way people listen
will not only make it easier for them to share your excitement, they’ll also respect
you more for caring enough to speak their language.