The world requires influential engineers with a passion for stories

Everyone wants their ideas to strive, even engineers.

Skip to the end for some tips for your next presentation.

Engineers are often depicted as uncommunicative cavemen. The talking is best left to other people, isn’t it? Rarely would one assume that a non-lawyer leads a law firm or a non-medicine a hospital.

I currently write about how storytelling can help to communicate, even engineers.

Many of the storytelling topics deal with getting people to work together better.
Currently, it is fashionable to use the BAPO acronym for business organization.

In B, P, and O, it is clear how to use storytelling, but how the A?

All software engineers should aim to become better in the business topics, the people, and the organization domain. But in their core domain, are there any benefits to using storytelling? After all, these are often technical topics. They should be as objective as possible. Shouldn’t they?

Science is truth

In school, we are getting taught that information and knowledge should be presented as factual as possible. Natural science focuses on this approach. It seems like a worthy goal, but a drawback is the ability to spread the idea. Many dissertations are pretty dry. In contrast, the best scientific presentations are not. There is a difference.

Mixing facts and emotions

This difference often comes from elements that break with the facts. The use of comics and memes is just the tip of the iceberg. In my opinion, one of the reasons for the success of Dilbert is that he plays with factual and emotional context. Uncle Bob also successfully relies on these. He interweaves technical topics with small anecdotes from his life.

Many technical workers are forced to deal with human-related topics, even though their crucial work is factual. Why is that so?

The two screws

There are usually contradicting ideas. Take, for example, the two designs for screws (picture). From a factual level, they both have their advantages and disadvantages. But they are from different inventors. Every inventor wants his idea to win. So to convince, we will address the emotions behind a problem.

In this sense, every technical discussion is like a business discussion. The same techniques can be applied. What is different is the currency.

Tips for your next technical presentation

These tips allow you to inflate the importance of every message.
You can share a lot fewer details than without this auxiliary information.

  • be like the audience: dress more or less formal. Speak similar in language and tone.
  • point out common identity/goal: recall past events
  • stress your experience: profit from expert credibility
  • engage the audience and trick them into commitment
  • present a complex problem, like climate change/ your primary business goal, then relate your problem artfully to it, show that you can solve it
  • stress that the results are the latest and nobody has seen them, creating a feeling of scarcity