It's no surprise that the more complex the topic, the harder it is to simplify. Too often the person sharing the information (usually an expert on the subject) is so eager to provide all the details that the explanation becomes overly complicated. Audience members just want to know what has changed and what to do--but they get lost in a sea of jargon and background junk.
But it is possible to explain even complicated information in a simple way. My role model is Davis & Company's technology director, Casey Gatti. Casey manages the firm's IT needs (and, in his spare time, creates videos and develops games and apps.)
Periodically, he needs to let staff members know that software needs to be upgraded, hardware is being . . . all that kind of stuff.
Casey often uses email to communicate what he's working on. Not too long ago, he sent us a note giving a heads up about an upgrade he was going to install over the weekend.
I'm sharing Casey's email with you because it's a best practice of how to communicate about technology. It's simple, clear and personal. The message is not geeky or technical. Can you say the same about your company's IT communication?
(BTW, none of his colleagues--professional communicators-- help Casey write his messages. I wish I were as good at technology as Casey is at writing!)
Here it is:
I'll be upgrading two of our network switches tomorrow at 8 a.m. The upgrade will take roughly 1-2 hours.
What does this upgrade do?
This upgrade will make our network operate at 1,000/Mbps speed. It is a welcome change from many of our computers capping at 100/Mbps due to the network switch that they currently run through. This will relate to faster connectivity to our internal servers. (This will not affect web/internet speed.)
Will this affect me from doing work?
Well, hopefully you'll be sleeping or mowing your lawn during this timeframe. If you happen to be working, please keep in mind that the STU/Cumulus server may not be accessible. However, the email and Davis consulting/graphics server will be accessible. If you plan to come in to the office, let me know.
Let me know if you have any questions.
How simple is that?