In our increasingly complicated and data-driven world, many new developments are so complex that only experts comprehend their nuances. But what they don't grasp is how to tell the world about them. Communicating technical content to nontechnical listeners has fast become a critical 21st-century skill. Explaining what you do and why it's important drives funding, policy decisions, media exposure, public awareness, and customer adoption.
This groundbreaking guide will help anyone to deliver clear, persuasive messages that win hearts, minds, and budgets. Supercommunicator explains how to:
Distill details and data into big ideas
Deliver meaning to audiences
Use storytelling to captivate and educate
Humanize content to make complicated ideas more tangible
Layer harder ideas on top of easier ideas
Strip away complex language, jargon, and acronyms
Use analogies to explain unfamiliar areas
Master new digital modes of expression
Enhanced with a wealth of examples--from how the National Academy of Sciences used audience research to improve the way evolution is taught, to how NASA incorporated cutting-edge tools to visualize issues in climatology--this one-of-a-kind book reveals how to make the complex comprehensible, and the dry deeply compelling.
FRANK J. PIETRUCHA, president of Definitive Communications, has over 25 years of experience helping start-ups, established companies, and government agencies make challenging topics more accessible.
CONTENTS Introduction: An Elephant Named Digital Communication 1 PART I HOW DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING COMMUNICATION 7 1. Deliver Meaning 11 2. The Dawn of the Multimedia Age 19 3. What Is Multimedia? 25 4. Digital Media Changes the Way We Experience Information 37 5. Finding the Right Medium to Deliver Your Content 43 PART II KNOW THY AUDIENCE 49 6. Why Smart People Misread Their Audiences 53 7. Learning About Your Audience 57 8. Addressing Multiple Audiences 65 9. Researching Cultural Issues 71 PART III KNOW THY SUBJECT 75 10. If You Are Not a Subject Expert . . . 79 11. Advice for Content Experts 83 PART IV SIMPLICITY AND CLARITY 87 12. Simplify Your Content 91 13. But Don't Oversimplify 97 14. Focus on Clarity 101 PART V GUIDELINES FOR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION 105 15. Supercommunicator Basic Guidelines 109 PART VI HUMANIZE YOUR COMMUNICATIONS 119 16. Find Your Human Voice 121 17. Speaking Human . . . Without the Human 127 18. It's Story Time! 131 19. Testimonials: A Supercommunicator's Win-Win 141 20. Case Examples That Make Learning Real 145 21. What Not to Do When Speaking Human 151 PART VII GETTING AN AUDIENCE TO CARE 155 22. The Power of Personalization 157 23. Rational Thinking Isn't Always the Rational Choice 161 PART VIII BUILDING BLOCKS AND ANALOGIES 167 24. Building a Path to Comprehension 169 25. The Power of Comparison 177 26. Analogies in a Professional Setting 185 PART IX VISUAL AND INTERACTIVE 191 27. More than a Garnish 195 28. Quality and Integrity in Design 201 29. Visuals for Presentations 209 30. Let Your Audience Explore 219 31. Your Role as a Supercommunicator 225 A Debt of Gratitude 233 Notes 237 Index 245 About the Author 257