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Ten smart ways to communicate complex ideas | Cutting Edge PR Insights: Boost Your Career

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Ten smart ways to communicate complex ideas | Cutting Edge PR Insights: Boost Your Career
Good communication helps people to understand and consider complex concepts by using techniques to simplify the concepts and create more impact. "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough," is a great observation from Albert Einstein. Therefore, make the effort to understand the complex idea

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Key Ideas

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Data

It comprises the facts without necessarily showing clarity to a situation.

  • What do the numbers mean and why should you care? Go past the data to capture the i...

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Logic

Carefully check that the logic of your case is clearly explained. Observation or even intuition can create an initial structure for explaining a complex problem such as an issue.

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Pictures

Pictures, visuals and images offer your audience an invaluable way of remembering the relationships between different variables. The right visual offers an easy way to see, i...

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Infographics

Information graphics or data visualization (infographics) are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly to a live or...

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Stories

Stories that summarize certain logics or relationships between variables are perhaps stickiest of all. 

When thinking up stories, don’t be afraid to channel the ridicul...

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Participation

Tools like data or equations or even stories are of limited value if an audience feels they can’t push back, disagree, or ask for clarification. 

The higher the status of your audien...

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Metaphors and analogies

See if you can simplify important concepts by using metaphors. 

“Think about a cake,” says Scott Johnston, senior vice president of product at Docker, likening t...

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Find ways to make it matter to them

We tend to learn best when we’re interested in something – and we’re interested in topics when they relate to us directly

When you’re trying to explain a complicate...

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Use details they already know

Find related information people already know, and expand on that.

The more you can pull from information people already have and analogies they already understand, the be...

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Leave out unnecessary details

When you understand a concept, you can find it’s all-to-easy to fall into the trap of thinking every detail is important. 

Your immediate objective is to get the main poi...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Ask Them If They Want to Learn

Generally speaking, if they're interested, they'll learn better, focus more, and actually take something away from the conversation. 

Some people want you to do the work for them and can...

Find Ways to Make It Matter to Them

When you're trying to explain a complicated topic to someone, it's best to show what's in it for them. For technology, you can usually play off of people's desire for security, privacy, or simplicity.

You want to find the hook that catches them and go from there. Keep fishing until you find what matters and the rest of the explanation is easy.

Use Details They Already Know

Find related information people already know and expand on that. For example, understanding what a blog is can be described as "it's a magazine, but online."  That's incredibly simplistic, but it gets the point across. 

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Signs of poor communication skills

  • People only approach you with questions or feedback when they absolutely need to do so.
  • If you walk away from a conversation or meeting and can’t remember what the other person said or...

Do a Self-Assessment

  • Take an honest look at how you communicate. Are you thorough, clear, and factual in how you convey yourself? How consistent are you in how you communicate?
  • Look at how clear you make your expectations—and how open you are to understanding what others expect of you.
  • Assess how do you handle “crucial conversations” that can be emotionally or politically charged.

Ditch Your Assumptions and Ask

To be effective in information gathering, you need to let go of assumptions and be aware enough to recognize when you’re jumping to conclusions, making judgments, or using labels.

Asking curious, open-ended questions encourages dialogue instead of dictating what other people should do or think, And the best communicators listen more than they speak.

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The argument from incredulity

Is a logical fallacy where someone concludes that since they can’t believe that a certain concept is true, then it must be false and vice versa.

Its 2 basic forms:

I c...

Basic structure of an argument from incredulity

Premise 1: I can’t explain or imagine how proposition X can be true.

Premise 2: if a certain proposition is true, then I must be able to explain or imagine how that can be.

Conclusions: proposition X is false.

It’s ok to be incredulous

... and to bring this up as part of an argument. The issue with doing so occurs when this incredulity isn’t justified or supported by concrete information, and when this lack of belief is used in order to assume that a preferred personal explanation must be the right one, despite the lack of proof.

At the same time, it’s also important to remember that it’s possible that the person using the argument from incredulity is right, despite the fact that their reasoning is flawed.

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