I often hear technical specialists express their frustration that the board, in their view, does not understand the technical aspects of proposals presented to them. This can be seen as a lack of technical expertise on the part of the board and there is a concern that if technical advice is not heeded, it will increase specific and critical risks.
Board members are not generally appointed for their technical expertise. In fact, a recent report by Apollo Communications showed that the most commonly held qualification by board directors in the ASX100 is a Bachelor of Arts. This is in contrast to the degree mostly commonly held by CEOs of the same companies, which is a Bachelor of Science.
Even where board members have a technical background, it is not their role as directors to provide technical expertise. Therefore, they will rely on your advice when it's necessary for their decision making.
Knowing your audience is an important part of any effective communication. How can you convey the pertinent factors, including the risk implications, without being bogged down by technical detail and specialist jargon?