The Art of Evangelism
By Roman Strobl on VI 16, 2006
Today I crossed again the post of Guy Kawasaki about evangelism. So very true. I would add one more important thing - "Speak their language". You can't be an effective evangelist unless people understand you. By that I don't mean speaking in the native language, but rather using words which the people are using.
One example of this - Sun provides the reference implementation app server for Java EE 5 in form Glassfish. The official name of the product is: "Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0". If I would want to be correct during my presentations, I would say "Java System Application Server Platform Edition 9.0". But I don't, instead I say simply "Glassfish" or "Sun appserver". Why? Because people understand it better when I use the language they use.
Similarly I was asked before to say and write "NetBeans IDE", not "NetBeans" and "Plug-in Module" instead of "Plug-in" or "Module". So I apologize for not being completely correct about the branding of the products/technologies, but I think it's more important that people understand you when you speak/write about technology.
But this goes further than that - developers can easily recognize if you speak with marketing-speak. Believe me, I tried it - I spoke about a technology I didn't understand with marketing-speak (explaining how great it is) and you can see it on the people, they look like thinking "why should I care". So instead of marketing-speak it's better to show great features, teach people how to use some technology or API or explain how can this product/technology help them, in the language they use, not in corporate-speak.