Startup Guide: How to Talk About Your Tech

Matter

After months of iteration, you’ve built a new technology. Your voice assistant reads today’s headlines. Or your deep learning platform returns new techniques for disease management from thousands of medical journals. Or your disk storage hardware archives directly to Amazon’s public cloud.

Now, how do you talk about it?

Describing the mission and vision of a product or service is a challenge for all companies. But the task is particularly tall in the tech industry, where complex systems and specialized language make “About Us” pages look like collections of ones and zeros.

Who is your audience? How do you translate your tech and present it in an impactful, relatable way? Here’s your crash course:

Who is Your Audience?

If I were writing for an audience in Berlin, würde Ich diesen Blog auf Deutsch schreiben (I would write this blog in German).

The same goes for tech: define your audience, then translate your tech accordingly.

Industry analysts report on specific vertical markets. Identify the right analyst for you and review their policy for confidential information, often a written or verbal Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). Then, focus on the technical details of your product or service and how it compares to competitors. Examples: Gartner, Forrester, International Data Corporation (IDC).

Industry trade press cover specific vertical markets with an emphasis on case studies. Identify the right trade editor for you and review their editorial guidelines, often posted on the website. Then, focus on the applications of your product or service, and how partners and customers use it in the real world. Examples: Adweek, IndustryWeek, Nation’s Restaurant News.

National press cover the intersection of business, technology and society. Identify the right writer for you and review their column carefully. Then, focus on how your product or service speaks to a larger trend, and use data to show political, economic or socio-cultural impact. Examples: Business Insider, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal.

No matter the audience, ditch the jargon. When in doubt, send the copy to someone outside your industry. We sell platform-agnostic retail CRM software is not as clear as you think.

Also, if you haven’t discovered the Sideways Dictionary from Google’s Jigsaw incubator and the Washington Post, check it out. The site uses analogies and metaphors to decrypt tech terms.

How Do You Present Your Tech?

“Show, don’t tell” is the mark of expert storyteller and the secret sauce for talking deep tech. While many entrepreneurs immediately think, “slide deck,” there are several other formats to consider.

  • Case Study. Often the best people to talk about your tech are the ones who use it. Enlist a customer or partner for a testimonial or media interview to describe their pain and present your solution.
  • Survey or Report. Matter Account Manager Vanessa Boynton recently shared on LinkedIn: “Your ideas, predictions and aspirations mean nothing without real experiences, facts and figures backing them up.” Original research is a powerful way to show, not tell, the need for your technology in the market.
  • Infographic. You’ve heard a picture is worth a thousand words, and it’s true for complex tech. Use an infographic to show the inner workings of your artificial intelligence engine. Then, consider turning it into a fully animated video, social media images and other shareable, visual content.
  • Video. Would you rather read about a technology or watch a video? Research by Cisco and others says the latter. Miles Bergstrom, Matter video production coordinator, has your crash course on creating a killer branded video.

 

Ready to talk tech? Let’s nerd out.

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