I can't find a standard, is the most common use to have the abbreviation followed by the defintion? Example
NATO: North Atlantic Treaty Organization
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Whether you put the acronym or the name first depends on how everyone refers to it. If it's almost always an acronym, but you have to explain it on first reference, write it as:
New drugs to treat HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are promising.
If it's usually spelled out and you are introducing an acronym, or if it's referenced both ways, use the reverse:
Patrick Stewart starred as Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) alongside LeVar Burton, who was arguably better-known at the time.
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I have most commonly seen it the other way around.
.... North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO).....
I have also seen it as:
.... North Atlantic Treaty Organization or NATO for short,....
I have not seen it done in the way you described, but that also does not necessarily make it incorrect. It depends on context. When writing it in an article, or essay, it is usually strongly urged to write it out with the full name and then provide the acronym in parentheses afterwards. This usually designates to the reader that anything with that acronym thereafter represents the full name first mentioned.
The way you provided is usually provided as an appendix for people to be able to look up as a side to the writing.
I don't think there is any one rule that fits every case here. The golden rule, if anything, would be to not overburden the reader, but keep in mind what they can be expected to know up front. Not overburdening the reader includes not giving irrelevant facts just because you can; if the reader simply doesn't need to know what the expansion of the abbreviation is in order to fully understand the text, then consider whether you really need to spell it out in the first place. Maybe a footnote would be sufficient, and you don't need to include it in the prose?
You do say "technical" writing, so I'm going to go with some technical terms. Would you rather use...
I think you see where I'm going with this. At some point, you simply have to assume that the reader is familiar with some of the context in which your work exists. Otherwise, we wouldn't even have anything that qualifies as a meaningful language.
For your example of NATO the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also keep in mind the intended audience. If you are writing in a context where precision is critical, then obviously you should be using the full, official name. If your audience can be expected to know what NATO is, then you might consider just using the abbreviation, which is relatively widely understood in the western world. If your target audience can be expected to not have a clue what NATO is, then the chances that they will be able to understand what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization is probably aren't much better, so you will need to offer a short introduction anyway, at which point you can give the variant they are more likely to be familiar with first, and the other afterwards. For example,
NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization or in French Organisation du Traité de l'Atlantique Nord, is a military alliance originally founded in 1949. As of 2017, it consists of 29 member countries.
With the introduction out of the way, you should be able to relatively safely refer to them by merely the abbreviation, NATO, later in the text.
If you are uncertain, I tend to find that a good rule of thumb is to use whatever Wikipedia uses for the main article on a subject. You'd probably rather use car than automobile, and sure enough, if you plug automobile into Wikipedia, you end up at the page named car.
Always spell out the name first then the acronym:
A common three letter acronym (TLA) used in Michigan is Secretary of State (SOS) where all residents go to get their driver's license.
After spelling out the name and having the acronym in parentheses, you can use the acronym from there on out.
The most unobtrusive method is often the best. Many organizations and style manuals suggest using the full term on first reference, and then using the abbreviation on subsequent references.
"The Bureau of Land Management issued the order on July 16. According to BLM regulations...."
Many editors suggest that the "full term (abbreviation)" form is redundant; it assumes that readers are quite dense. This is not what good technical (or other non-fiction writing) should do. It's like the detestable habit of spelling out numbers and then also writing the digits in parentheses. These are the kinds of things that lawyers do to make documents seem especially important (and costly).
The AP Style Guide is an excellent reference for writing that involves government, business, and other organizations. AP specifies which agencies, such as the FBI and NFL, can be abbreviated on first reference.