Each day, the Zentera team is telling the story of how CoIP works. As CEO and chief architect of Zentera, I make sure everyone can explain it correctly to customers and partners. I care about the diagrams being correct and the right words being used – otherwise, the technology would mean something else. But, as a former engineer, I myself have a difficult time explaining CoIP without getting too deep into the technical details.

I was reminded of this habit during the 2016 Red Herring show. I presented to a large crowd of technical people —other awards finalists— but based on their reactions, they clearly weren’t technical in my field. The story I often tell, how CoIP is based on VoIP technology, failed to connect with them. They ended up confused and probably still don’t know what Zentera does. Very rarely have I ever felt nervous on stage— I’ve often spoken to crowds, since I used to be a professor. But during those five minutes on stage, I felt like the audience and I were communicating in different languages.

We may have won the Red Herring Top 100 award, but the real takeaway for me is that we need to adjust our messaging. Adjust it so that anybody from any industry can come to our website and understand what we do.

Speaking human is very important for a company. Before anyone is told how CoIP works or how it solves a problem, they have to first know what Zentera does as a company and why it matters to them. Most importantly, the message in those initial 10 seconds has to be simple enough for anybody to repeat.

That is the challenge I have given to the Zentera team–make Zentera speak human.