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Technical writing at times can be difficult if you’re writing about technical equipment, gadgets or concepts. How you tackle the issue depends a great deal on the audience you’re writing for. This article explains four key groups of prospective readers and how you can adjust your writing to address them more effectively.
In technical writing, there are four target audiences in general:
- Lay persons
Each audience category has different needs that you need to reflect in your technical documentation. That’s why you need to have a good understanding of those needs before you sit down in front of your keyboard.
The term “lay persons” simply includes anyone who is not an expert in the specific subject matter you’re writing about. Sometimes the term is more narrowly defined as someone who has little or no technical background.
Most user manuals are written with lay persons in mind. They need to be written in a way that they do not presuppose knowledge that the average non-technical person simply won’t have.
The key to explaining new concepts is to start where your audience is and then work up from there. If you leave out steps, you may quickly leave them behind. So a straight-forward step-by-step approach is usually best.
Executives may or may not have a great deal of expertise in your particular technical subject matter, but you still need to explain to them clearly and efficiently what it is they need to know.
Unlike lay persons, they probably won’t have to actually use the information to operate equipment or gadgets or to perform certain tasks. Instead, they will have to make decisions based on your information.
Among the things they might want to know is what its marketing ramifications are, or how it might be used in their company, along with cost factors and alternatives. Make sure you know what they want to know and keep that in mind when you write your technical report.
Experts presumably have a solid background in your subject area, so you can skip the elementary information and can go straight to the more sophisticated and new parts of the information you need to communicate. They’re also familiar with jargon, and so in this type of technical writing, jargon can be used relatively freely because it creates a short-cut to effective communication.
Technicians are usually comfortable with jargon as well, at least to varying degrees. Unlike experts, though, they will need the how-to information since they are in charge of implementing things.
What about theory? That may not be their main concern. However, they will generally appreciate some information on theory and how it fits in with other applications.
Technical Writing for Marketing Results
When it comes to technical writing for marketing purposes, you will write to a mixed audience, so you should avoid jargon and write in a way that keeps readers interested.
If you’d like to find out more on how to write about technical information, claim Elisabeth Kuhn’s FREE special report on technical writing for marketing results — especially if you want more leads and buyers for your technical products and services. To download your FREE technical writing & marketing report, just click here: http://www.webcopywriterintl.com/techmarketing.html