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How to Make Complex Ideas Easy to Understand for Everyone

Give Context and Use Examples

The way you frame your information matters--the language, terms, and examples you choose to use will have a huge impact on what your audience remembers and understands.

Paint a verbal picture. You will make the problem tangible, and the solution appealing.

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How to Make Complex Ideas Easy to Understand for Everyone

How to Make Complex Ideas Easy to Understand for Everyone

https://www.inc.com/the-muse/how-to-make-complex-ideas-easy-to-understand.html

inc.com

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Key Ideas

Get to Know Your Audience

Presenting information is never about the presenter--it's always about the audience.

Get to know who they are, in order to use their common knowledge and experience: What's most important to them? What motivates them? What's their background? How do they prefer to communicate? What "language" do they tend to use?

The "One Thing" To Remember

To have a better chance of making complex information memorable, ask yourself these 2 questions:

  • If my audience will only remember one thing about my explanation, what is that "one thing?"
  • And, why should my audience care about this "one thing?"

Watch Your Language

While using long, technical words might seem impressive, it rarely helps anyone understand what's being said.

Opt for using simple, everyday language. Along those same lines, avoid any acronyms, jargon, or highly-niche phrases. When it's impossible to avoid, make sure to define any complex terms.

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Get To Know Your Audience

What’s most important to them? What motivates them? What’s their background? How do they prefer to communicate? What “language” do they tend to use?

By underst...

The “One Thing” They Should Understand

If something is too complicated, people are most likely to be confused by it, or worse, forget about it.

Ask yourself:

  1. If my audience will only remember one thing about my explanation, what is that “one thing?”
  2. And, why should my audience care about this “one thing?”
Give Context

The way you frame your information matters – the language, terms, and examples you choose to use will have a huge impact on what your audience remembers and understands.

So, paint a verbal picture. By sharing information, you make the problem tangible, and the solution appealing.

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What you say, and how you say it

When trying to explain complex information to an audience, the first task is to get the content of what you're saying right. 

How we communicate is also cr...

How much technical detail to include

Try not to use technical language. If you do, make sure it is absolutely necessary in order to help the audience understand or appreciate your point – and ensure that you explain the word or term immediately afterwards.

Keep your words as simple and clear as possible, and use real-life examples and illustrations where possible. But don’t patronize your audience.

How to use body language

If you look alert but relaxed, your audience will mirror this and feel the same way. Stand up straight, but relax any tension or stiffness in your body. 

It’s a good idea to gesture with your hands in such a way that helps to make clear what you are explaining – but only do this if it feels natural, and try not to wave your arms around unnecessarily.

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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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