Software development is a field where your technical skills matter, but they are not the only skills you will require to progress in your career. Soft skills are critical to performing your job effectively for the following reasons:
- You require communication skills to present your ideas to the client, teammates, and other stakeholders.
- You must have the emotional intelligence to guide your teams throughout the project development.
- Leadership qualities are essential to help other developers in your team learn and grow.
This article will talk about the tips software developers can use to present their new ideas.
Highlight the value of the idea
Anyone will show interest in your idea if they think it can add value in some way. When presenting your idea in a developer meeting, it is essential to align your presentation to your audience’s interests. Your idea might be great, but it will not impress the audience if it’s irrelevant to them. For instance, if your idea is about a chatbot solution, tailor your presentation to include tangible steps the audience can take to automate customer service with chatbots. In this manner, they will understand the value of deploying chatbot solutions rather than just understanding what chatbots are.
Idea presentation should be tailored for the audience
It is essential to customize your idea presentation according to the audience. It is why you should try to know about them as much as possible before the presentation. If you are presenting your idea to a group of android developers, your focus should be more on the technical aspects such as the tech stack, cloud platforms, and design patterns. However, if the same idea is to be presented to a room consisting of managers, you have to be more tenacious with your approach – rather than technicalities, focus on the business part of the idea. Since different audiences have different focuses, your idea presentation should be tailored to meet their interests.
Slides are a tool, not the messenger
Microsoft PowerPoint is the standard for presentations, but it is just a tool and nothing more. When you present your idea to people, the onus is really on you to deliver the message coherently. You can use the medium of a presentation to help communicate your message, but it cannot do the job for you.
When working on your presentation, you must include important information in the slides to engage the audience. Here are some pointers to keep in mind when you’re preparing a presentation for your idea.
- Keep the words limited and avoid paragraphs or long blocks of text. It helps people focus on the main idea rather than having to spend time reading the text.
- Be careful about the font you use. It must be consistent throughout your presentation and should be readable by everyone in the room.
- Avoid complex designs in the slides. Use simple graphs and tables that are easy for the audience to read and understand.
- Wherever possible, use pictures over text to better represent the idea you are trying to convey with words.
Convey idea as a story
Your idea presentation doesn’t have to be boring like a news report. While software developers are good with data representation, it is the engagement part where they lack the developer soft skills. Your idea presentation should be an amalgamation of data and a storyline to simultaneously inform and engage the audience.
Try to tell a story around the idea. For example, if you are selling an idea about an app for cryptocurrency, start with the storyline of how decentralized currency can help underdeveloped nations improve their financial infrastructure. Present data on how cryptocurrencies in recent years have skyrocketed and what sort of technology goes behind building an infrastructure to support crypto.
During your presentation, your body language should also convey a story. We suggest you watch TedTalks on various topics to see how business leaders present their ideas to learn from them.
It is essential to practice in front of a mock audience. As a software developer, you might know the information you are about to present inside out, but the presentation is also important to impress the audience. If you skip slides or force something into your talk, you will come across as disorganized and unprepared. You must practice your presentation until it has a natural flow.
Developer presentation practice will also allow you to evaluate the equipment and the presentation’s content for any issues or mistakes. And remember, if something goes wrong during the presentation, keep your composure and carry on.
Presenting your idea as a software developer will put you through some anxiety, but feeling overwhelmed is okay. Public speaking is a soft skill out of most software developers’ comfort zone. We hope the tips we have shared above will help you deliver a successful pitch for your next big idea.
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