Ask Them If They Want to Learn - Deepstash

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How to Explain Complex Ideas (Like Tech) to Those Who Don't Understand

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't be bothered with learning. Before you start, ask them if they want to learn.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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 imagination or interest of the audience.
  • Make the data actionable. Facilitate cooperation between technical people and communicators.
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.

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, internalize and later recall even complicated information.

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 crucial. When someone is speaking, most of the information we receive comes through their body language, enthusiasm and tone of voice. It's our overall experience of the speaker that counts.

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.

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?"
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.