Non-O blood group ‘linked to higher heart attack risk’

A woman having chest pain

People with a non-O blood group have a slightly increased risk of heart attack and stroke, research suggests.

Scientists say it could be because higher levels of a blood-clotting protein are present in people with A, B and AB blood.

The findings could help doctors better understand who is at risk of developing heart disease, the researchers said.

But a heart charity said people should focus on giving up smoking and eating healthily to reduce their risk.

The research, presented at the European Society of Cardiology congress, analysed studies involving 1.3m people.

It found that 15 in 1,000 people with a non-O blood group suffered a heart attack, compared to 14 in 1,000 people with blood group O.

Although the increase in risk was small, when applied to a whole population the numbers become more important.

Previous research found that people with the rarest blood group – AB –

The most common blood group in the UK is O, which 48% of the population have.

There are a number of factors which can increase the risk of heart disease, such as smoking, being overweight and leading an unhealthy lifestyle.

These are all things we can do something about – unlike our blood group.

Which group you belong to is determined by the genes inherited from both parents.

Study author Tessa Kole, from the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, said more research was needed to work out the cause of the increased cardiovascular risk in people with a non-O blood group.

And she said looking at the risk for each individual blood group would help.

She said: “In future, blood group should be considered in risk assessment for cardiovascular prevention, together with cholesterol, age, sex and systolic blood pressure.”

People with blood group A – who are known to have higher cholesterol – may need a lower treatment threshold for high blood pressure, for example.

The analysis looked at coronary events in more than 770,000 people with a non-O blood group and more than 510,000 people with an O blood group.

Around 1.5% in the first group and 1.4% in the second experienced a heart attack or angina.

They also looked at cardiovascular events in 708,000 people with non-O blood and 476,000 with O blood, which affected 2.5% and 2.3% of each group respectively.

When the researchers looked at fatal heart events, they found no major difference in risk between the O and non-O blood groups.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said the findings would not have a large impact on the current guidelines used to assess someone’s risk of a heart attack.

“Most of a person’s risk estimation is determined by age, genetics (family history and ethnicity) and other modifiable risk factors including diet, weight, level of physical activity, smoking, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.

“People with a non-O blood group type – AO, BO and AB – need to take the same steps as anyone wanting to reduce their CVD risk.

“That includes taking sensible steps to improve their diet, weight, level of physical activity and not smoking, and where needed, manage blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.”

Turkish authorities block Wikipedia without giving reason

Turkey has blocked all access inside the country to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

Officials said “an administrative measure” had been taken, but gave no reason why.

Turkish media said authorities had asked Wikipedia to remove content by writers “supporting terror”.

Turkey has social media sites including Facebook and Twitter in the past, usually following protests or terror attacks.

The Turkey Blocks monitoring group said Wikipedia was unreachable from 08:00 (05:00 GMT). People in Istanbul were unable to access any pages without using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

“After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website,” Turkey’s Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying, giving no further details.

However, the Hurriyet daily newspaper said Wikipedia had been asked to remove content by certain writers whom the authorities accuse of “supporting terror” and of linking Turkey to terror groups. The site had not responded to the demands, Hurriyet said, and the ban was imposed as a result.

Turkey Blocks and Turkish media, including Hurriyet, said the provisional order would need to be backed by a full court ruling in the next few days.

It’s become all too familiar here: the endless “loading” icon followed by the message “server timed out”.

Blocking websites is a common tool of the Turkish authorities: Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have suffered the same fate several times, and numerous anti-government sites are inaccessible.

Critics say it smacks of Turkey’s repression of free speech: over half of all requests to Twitter to remove content have come from Turkey, and the country now ranks 155 of 180 in the press freedom index of the watchdog Reporters without Borders.

Social media was in uproar as news of the ban emerged, with some users speculating that it might be a bid to suppress criticism on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Wikipedia page.

Mr Erdogan narrowly on increasing his powers, but the issue has deeply divided the country.

One Twitter user that has a section on “controversies and electoral misconduct”, and cites claims that the government suppressed the No campaign through “arrests, control of the media and political suppression”.

The Turkish government has previously denied censoring the internet, blaming outages on spikes in usage after major events.

Wikipedia has also faced censorship in other countries, including , and .

Breast surgeon Ian Paterson case: ‘Hundreds’ of other victims

Ian Paterson

Hundreds of patients will seek compensation after a breast surgeon was convicted of carrying out needless operations, solicitors have said.

Ian Paterson, 59, was found guilty of 17 counts of wounding with intent, relating to nine women and one man in the West Midlands.

Thompsons Solicitors said 350 women were now bringing a High Court case.

A lawyer who investigated Paterson asked how he could “get away with what he was doing” in the NHS for so long.

Paterson, of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, was also found guilty of three counts of unlawful wounding at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.

The surgeon, who treated thousands of patients during his career, exaggerated or invented cancer risks and claimed payments for more expensive procedures in some cases, the court was told.

The seven-week trial heard the accounts of 10 victims – representing a sample of those Paterson treated – operated on between 1997 and 2011 at the privately-run Little Aston and Parkway hospitals in the West Midlands.

Jurors were not told Paterson carried out hundreds of unnecessary operations on NHS patients, with a hospital trust paying out £17.8m in damages and legal costs.

He was granted bail and is due to be sentenced in May.

Law firm Slater and Gordon said there could be “hundreds, if not thousands” of other potential claimants.

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Jade Edgington said the experience left her feeling “violated”.

Jade Edgington was 16 when she found a lump in her breast and had four operations by the time she was 19.

She has now found out three of those procedures were not necessary.

“You feel almost a bit violated – like, well hold on a minute, essentially someone has stuck a knife in me unnecessarily,” said Ms Edgington, 28.

“He made you feel completely like you were in the best hands that you could possibly be in.”

She said she had been left physically as well as emotionally scarred.

“All that could have been avoided – what was it for?”

Police said some of his victims believed Paterson wanted to “play God” with their lives and it is believed the surgeon may also have been driven by financial gain.

As a result of his work, he owned a luxury home in Birmingham’s Edgbaston area, numerous properties in Cardiff and Manchester and a holiday home in the US.

Paterson invented what he called a “” – leaving breast tissue behind to achieve a better cosmetic effect – and performed it on many of his patients.

By doing so, he left them in great danger of developing secondary cancer, jurors heard during the trial.

Linda Millband, from Thompsons Solicitors, said: “There are an enormous number of people who have suffered through having the incorrect diagnosis and have had totally erroneous treatment, and there are others who have been over-treated…

“Our case is not only against Mr Paterson, it is also against Spire Hospitals and the Heart of England Foundation Trust – and our allegations are that neither of the hospital authorities took the necessary steps to protect our victims and clients.”

An independent , by lawyer Sir Ian Kennedy, found concerns about Paterson dated back to 2003 but were not dealt with for four years.

Sir Ian told programme: “This is an unalloyed tragedy, but there are wider implications – how was it for so long, in the National Health Service, that Mr Paterson was allowed to get away with what he was doing?”

He said lessons “must be learned”, adding: “The NHS is fine, but there continue to be dark corners, such as the one we’re exposed to now, where things continue to go wrong.”

He said “a number” of issues need to be looked at, including “the quality of leadership” and “the amount of information which comes out from what people are doing and reaches the board”.

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Debbie Douglas: “He has mutilated me”

Sir Ian said that while there had been colleagues of Paterson who tried to bring the matter to managers’ attention, there also had to be “a system of confidence and good management of people so they know where to go and feel confident they can do so”.

He stressed that “the welfare and care of patients” was paramount, rather than budgets or “keeping x or y happy”, adding: “The women were central, and that was lost sight of.”

“There are things going wrong in the National Health Service, all the time,” said Sir Ian, though he pointed out this was not unusual for such a large organisation.

“What we have to concentrate upon is stopping them, finding out early and so on. These women have been given a life sentence of anxiety.”

  • In 1996, Paterson was suspended by a previous employer, but two years later he was appointed to the Heart of England NHS Trust
  • In 2004, an internal report on his conduct made recommendations that were not acted upon, and he continued to operate until mid-2011, the Kennedy report said. He was eventually excluded by the trust and 642 patients were recalled
  • In 2012 he was suspended by the regulator the General Medical Council

He said it was important to “stand up to charismatic, powerful, apparently good-performing professionals”.

“Lots of people in the National Health Service do the easy job – they work around them. ‘Oh yes, he’s difficult, we’ll try another route’.

“That doesn’t speak to the interests of patients.”

In total, Paterson operated on 4,424 people, although he treated thousands more privately.

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What is cleavage-sparing surgery?

Emma Doughty, clinical negligence solicitor for Slater and Gordon, said the true number of Paterson’s victims was hard to gauge.

“Although we have seen hundreds of claimants, God knows how many this actually affects,” she said.

“There are hundreds if not thousands of claimants (between various law firms) and then we have got to think about people who haven’t come forward, people who have died and so on.

“It’s on a huge scale.”

Spire Healthcare, which runs the hospitals at Little Aston and Parkway, said: “What Mr Paterson did in our hospitals, in other private hospitals and in the NHS, absolutely should not have happened and today justice has been done.

“We would like to reiterate how truly sorry we are for the distress experienced by any patients affected by this case.”

Heart of England NHS Trust said: “We welcome the verdict and appreciate the distress caused to Ian Paterson’s patients and families.”

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MPs say ‘dominance’ of big home-building firms must end

Houses under construction in Bristol

MPs have called for an end to the dominance of big home-building firms to fix the “broken” housing market.

said the eight biggest firms built more than half of all new homes.

MPs said the government should do more for smaller builders who do not have the scale to bid for big projects.

But the Home Builders Federation, which represents large and small businesses, said only big firms could spread the risks large-scale projects pose.

The committee also said local authorities should prepare land for home building.

That would include providing the infrastructure needed, such as roads and public transport.

“The housing market is broken, we are simply not building enough homes,” said Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee.

“Smaller builders are in decline and the sector is over-reliant on an alarmingly small number of high-volume developers, driven by commercial self-interest and with little incentive to build any quicker.

“If we are to build the homes that the country so desperately needs, for sale and for rent, then this dominance must end.”

The committee found that smaller builders struggled to obtained land for development, as local authorities focused on large sites which only big companies could afford to take on.

The Homebuilders Federation said: “We fully support the committee’s call for measures to assist smaller builders, encourage new entrants and scale up specialist housing sectors, such as the retirement housing market.

“The vast majority of the big increases in housing supply in recent years have come from the larger, mainstream builders – but we need more builders of all sizes and specialisms if we are to tackle our acute housing shortage.”

In February the government promised to build more affordable houses and help people buy and rent, after admitting the current market was broken.

The included giving councils powers to pressure developers into starting building on land they own.

Ministers also pledged to make renting more “family-friendly” with longer tenancies offered.

However, Labour called the measures announced “feeble beyond belief”.

Ted 2017: Elon Musk’s vision for underground road system

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Musk released this video to explain his vision

US entrepreneur Elon Musk has outlined his vision for a tunnel network under Los Angeles and shown how it might work.

Mr Musk also told the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference he planned fully autonomous journeys across the US by the end of the year.

He spoke about how he wanted solar-powered roof tiles to be standard on “every home” within 50 years.

And he explained why he is committed to sending a rocket to Mars.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Ted curator Chris Anderson, the founder of Tesla and Space X said that he was inspired to consider a tunnel system to alleviate congestion because he found being stuck in traffic “soul-destroying”.

He showed off a concept video of how the multi-layered tunnel system might work.

Cars would stop on a trolley-like device and the ground would open up to carry them below. Cars would then drive off the platform and another would get on to be returned above ground.

He said that his vision was to have “no limits” to the amount of tunnels, but to find ways to cut the cost of boring and to speed up how quickly such tunnels could be created.

“We have a pet snail called Gary, and Gary is capable of moving 14 times faster than a tunnel boring machine – so the ambition is to beat Gary,” he said.

The firm he set up to oversee the project – The Boring Company – took up less than 3% of his time, he said, and it was run by interns and part-timers.

“It is pottering along.”

Susan Beardslee, a senior analyst at ABI Research, said the project sounded like a “moonshot”.

“He has shown his ability to be a visionary, and I believe he can take tunnelling and apply the financial capital and technical expertise, but this is not a go-it-alone project.

“He is addressing the need to look at congestion – but it will have to be a public/private partnership,” she said.

“Musk is good at coming up with a very different way of looking at things, and this might work better somewhere where it can be purpose-built rather than retro-fitted.”

Mr Musk is rarely out of the headlines these days – recently notching up another landmark for his Space X business when it launched a recycled rocket as well as starting a new firm – NeuraLink – that would aim to augment the human brain with computer technology.

His semi-autonomous Tesla car fleet has been under scrutiny since a fatal crash in May 2016, but Mr Musk showed no signs of slowing down his ambitions for the firm.

He promised a “fully autonomous” journey across the US “by the end of the year”.

“From a parking lot in California, cross-country to New York or from Seattle to Florida, these cars should be able to go anywhere on the highway system,” he said.

He also revealed that he had test-driven the semi-autonomous electric truck Tesla plans to unveil in September, saying it was “so nimble”.

“You will drive it around like a sports car,” he said.

“In a tug-of-war between a Tesla semi and a diesel semi, the Tesla would pull the diesel uphill.”

Ted curator Chris Anderson asked Mr Musk why he had so many diverse interests – on Earth and in Space.

“The value of Tesla is to accelerate the inevitable use of sustainable energy and if it accelerates that by a decade, then that would be a fundamental aspiration,” said Mr Musk.

But, he added, the advancement of space technology was not inevitable and would only happen if someone worked hard to make it a reality.

“It is important to have an inspiring future and if it doesn’t include being out there among the stars, that is incredibly depressing.

“I am not trying to be anyone’s saviour.

“I just want to think about the future and not feel sad.”

Smartphone ‘orders’ body to treat diabetes

Smartphone controls mice cells

Scientists have used a smartphone to control the activity of the living cells inside an animal.

The fusion of biology and technology was used to control blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes.

The idea, , could be applied to a wide range of diseases and drug treatments.

And the Chinese researchers say the approach could pave the way for a “new era” in medicine.

The first step was to turn normal cells into living factories.

They were genetically engineered to manufacture drugs that control blood sugar levels such as insulin – but only in response to light.

The technology is called optogenetics and these cells would kick into gear when exposed to specific wavelengths of red light.

Then comes the tech – a set of wirelessly powered LEDs and a smartphone app to control them.

Researchers at East China Normal University in Shanghai implanted the system into mice and were able to control diabetes with the tap of a touchscreen.

The team said the findings “could pave the way for a new era of personalised, digitalised and globalised precision medicine”.

The scientists needed to take tiny drops of blood to know how high the blood sugar levels were so they could calculate how much drug to release inside the animal.

Their ultimate goal is a fully automated system that both detects sugar levels and then releases the right amount of therapeutic chemicals.

This idea is clearly at an early stage, but it is not limited to diabetes. Cells could be engineered to manufacture a wide range of drugs.

Prof Mark Gomelsky, a molecular biologist from the University of Wyoming, said the study was an “exciting accomplishment”.

He added: “How soon should we expect to see people on the street wearing fashionable LED wristbands that irradiate implanted cells engineered to produce genetically encoded drugs under the control of a smartphone?

“Not just yet, but the work provides us with an exciting glimpse into the future of smart cell-based therapeutics.”

Tesla looks to Mexico to lure engineers for California plant

SAN FRANCISCO — Tesla Inc. is recruiting engineers from Mexico to work on robotics and other automated equipment at its California factory, according to LinkedIn postings viewed by Reuters, as part of a hiring push to ready the plant for mass production of the upcoming Model 3.

The electric vehicle maker, which prides itself on its “Made in America” credentials, aims to build 500,000 cars a year by 2018 at its plant in Fremont, Calif., south of San Francisco. That would be a six-fold increase from 2016.

A recruiting poster published on LinkedIn by Tesla’s senior technical recruiter, David Johnson, listed 15 types of engineers the company would be seeking at a May 5-8 recruiting event in Monterrey, Mexico.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its Mexico hiring plans.

The Silicon Valley carmaker is under the gun to accelerate production and save money as it readies for volume production of the Model 3 in September. The company’s future profitability hinges on its success, and high hopes for the mass-market vehicle have helped push Tesla shares up 47 percent since January.

Mexico boasts a substantial pool of educated manufacturing engineers, with 19 automotive plants owned by global automakers including General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Volkswagen.

Tesla’s Johnson wrote in a post that he hoped to interview manufacturing and mechanical engineers with experience in “Body in White” (BIW) manufacturing. That is the stage of assembly in which sheet metal components are welded together to make up the outer frame of the car.

“Check this out if you are interested to work with the most complex and automated equipment in our Fremont plant! We are looking for controls, robotic and weld engineers!” posted another Tesla employee, Dominik Knapp, on his LinkedIn page.

Tesla has been actively hiring in the past few months for assembly-line jobs at the Fremont plant. But finding manufacturing engineers, who are in even shorter supply than software engineers in Silicon Valley, is a tougher challenge.

Doug Patton, president of SAE International, a professional association of automotive engineers headquartered in Pennsylvania, said Tesla’s search for engineers in Mexico underscored a dearth of talent in the industry.

“There are many more jobs than engineers, this is an engineering problem across the board,” he said.

U.S. automakers and suppliers will sometimes bring employees from Mexican plants to the United States for short-term assignments, but Patton said he had not heard of any company recruiting on a “wholesale basis” as Tesla appeared to be doing.

Tesla’s vice president of production, Peter Hochholdinger, has experience in Mexico, having been involved in the launch of Audi’s high-tech plant in Puebla.

NSA to end warrantless collection of emails and texts about foreign targets


The National Security Agency (NSA) will no longer collect Americans’ emails and texts to foreign contacts mentioning certain surveilled individuals, according to a New York Times report published on Friday.

The collection of such communication was a part of a larger surveillance program that allowed the NSA to collect and read the emails and texts without a warrant. The highly controversial program was the subject of much criticism after it was leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

SEE: Why email encryption is failing, and how to fix it

Following the New York Times report, the NSA issued an official announcement where it said it was limiting its collection of data for the sake of US citizens’ communications privacy. Per the announcement:

NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target. This information is referred to in the Intelligence Community as “about” communications in Section 702 “upstream” internet surveillance. Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.

The NSA used the program to determine if certain American citizens were linked to terrorists, or terrorist organizations. However, many organizations have come out against the program, with the ACLU calling the NSA’s actions “illegal.”

As reported by the New York Times, the collection of the communications began as an accident. The data collection was originally ruled as a Fourth Amendment violation, but the NSA was allowed to continue collecting the data when it proposed that it be stored in specialized repository with limited access.

The revelations around the NSA’s surveillance methods initially sparked a strong interest in email encryption. Newer services like Lavabit (used by Snowden himself) and Protonmail hit the market, while major providers like Google and Yahoo upped efforts in encryption as well.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. The NSA will officially end the collection of American emails and texts with people overseas that mention foreigners targeted for surveillance.
  2. The surveillance program allowed the interception of such communication without a warrant, and was unveiled as part of the Snowden revelations.
  3. The collection of such data sparked a renewed interest in email encryption, as a means of protecting one’s privacy.

Samsung Galaxy S8 users report phone randomly restarting, no clear fix yet


Reports of random reboots have started trickling into the XDA Developers forums and Samsung’s own Galaxy S8 forum. The restarts are happening at random times on multiple carriers and with both S8 and S8+ devices.

Recommendations for how to fix the issue have been numerous: Remove the SD card, move installed apps to the onboard memory, run device maintenance and delete apps it flags … and none of them seems to consistently work.

To make matters worse many Samsung owners are reporting that their devices are restarting when just sitting idle. Speculation as to a cause is rampant, but there is yet to be an acknowledgement or statement from Samsung about the issue.

Reboots aren’t the only problem

There have been several issues dogging the latest Galaxy devices along with reboots: Red tinted screens, a moving home button, Bixby activation issues, and a less-than-stellar drop test report are all in the news lately.

See: Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus: The smart person’s guide (TechRepublic)

Initial reviews of the phone have been positive, but early reports aren’t given enough time to start finding all the bugs in the system. It’s hard to think of a flagship device that hasn’t launched to initial fanfare followed by constant reports of problems. Samsung isn’t alone in bad press, but it comes at a critical time for the brand.

The stakes are high for Samsung

The Galaxy S8 launch is a watershed moment for Samsung. On the heels of the Note 7 disaster the company needs to be hyper vigilant and quick to tackle bad press with patches and solutions, and it needs to do it in a humble manner.

That doesn’t seem to be the case, at least in terms of Samsung’s statement about red-tinted screens. Samsung, as reported in the Korea Herald, seemed dismissive of customer complaints, stating, “We will upgrade the software because of some dissatisfied customers although there is no problem in the phone itself.” It may just be a software bug, but that doesn’t mean customer perception is to blame.

See: Acquiring mobile users is expensive, but here’s why they’re worth the cost (TechRepublic)

The fix for red-tinted screens has rolled out in Korea and is expected to make its way to the US soon. Bixby activation issues are said to be resolved by a fast tap on the button, and the shifting home key is reportedly to prevent screen burn-in.

And the reboots? No word yet, but the hundreds of replies to posts about the issue indicate it may be more than an isolated issue. Samsung users are notoriously loyal, so it seems unlikely that the reboot issue will alienate current fans.

Those fans aren’t who Samsung needs to worry about—it’s the rest of the market that are potential customers. Unresponsive and blame-shifting companies aren’t like to capture hearts and minds.

The three big takeaways for TechRepublic readers:

  1. S8 users are beginning to report random reboots of their devices. The cause is currently unknown and Samsung has yet to issue a statement about it.
  2. The reboots join the Galaxy S8 series’ red-tinted screens, lack of durability, Bixby, and home button issues as post-launch problems with the flagship device.
  3. Positive press is critical for Samsung right now—it can’t afford to have issues plaguing the S8 like it did with the Note 7. So far Samsung doesn’t seem to be doing a good job of responding to issues and soothing customers.

How to give an important presentation with confidence


We’ve all felt the fluttering butterflies in our stomach when the time comes to present to an individual or group several levels above us in the organization. These men and women may have significant power within the organization, longer tenures, and fancier credentials, making the prospect of a meeting intimidating. While you’re unlikely to permanently quell the butterflies as your career advances and these meetings evolve from middle management, perhaps to the CEO of a massive conglomerate, here are a few tips for success.

Start with an end in mind

Regard every conversation higher up in the organization as an opportunity. Even if you are nominally tasked only with providing information, or presenting material that is routine in nature, consider what two or three items you want to leave in the minds of those you are presenting to. Rather than regarding these types of meetings as a routine task of sharing information, look at them as a way to shape the future of the organization.

Furthermore, if you start with a couple of objectives in mind, it will guide the flow of your presentation and content. If your objective is to have a single point “stick” in the minds of the audience, you’ll be far less likely to present dozens of slides trying to cover all aspects of a topic.

SEE: How to avoid and overcome presentation glitches (free PDF from TechRepublic)

Assume everyone wants success

In all but a few rare cases, generally when you’re presenting content to someone, the audience wants you to succeed. After all, if you fail to convey the material or points, not only have you failed, but the audience has wasted their time. Next time you’re on the receiving end of a presentation, notice that most of the audience happily engages in during the first few minutes, hoping that the content and delivery are informative and engaging. This is especially true at the upper echelons of an organization, where time is increasingly precious. Take advantage of those first few minutes of your talk to engage and compel, and you’ll likely “own the room” for the remainder of your talk.

Play executive

One of the great traps many technologists fall into is seeing the world through the lens of technology. When you’re presenting up, particularly to non-IT executives or board members, they bring a broader view on the world and are likely trying to determine how technology affects that view or could be integrated into it. Try and put yourself in their shoes and see how the content you’re providing fits into their larger view. What concerns do they have? How might the topics you’re covering advance their objectives? The more you can tailor your content to the audience and their concerns, the more it will resonate.

Think big and bold

As I’ve coached technologists making these types of presentations, I’m often surprised how low they set their sights. Among peers they often share detailed plans for how they could improve the organization through technology, but then when interacting with people who can actually move the levers of the organization, they provide half-hearted assessments about what could be done.

As you think through your objectives for the presentation and put yourself in the executives’ shoes, don’t be afraid to make bold recommendations that could be successful if embraced by people several levels above you in the organization. Run through the laundry list of “If only…” items that you’ve lamented in the past, and if any are relevant to the content you’re presenting, don’t be afraid to lay your cards on the table and provide bold insights and potential plans of action.

Rather than regarding presenting up as a tedious and nerve-wracking task, where you’re put in the spotlight and expected to perform, look at it as a golden opportunity. You’ll have the undivided attention of people who are chartered with steering the course of the organization, and it’s a rare opportunity to help shape their decision making and ultimately help shape the future of the organization.