Find Ways to Make It Matter to Them

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.

@emmm19

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Communication

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

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. 

Know What Details to Leave Out

When you understand a concept, it's easy to think of every detail as important, but when you're trying to explain that complicated concept to someone else, you should leave certain details out. 

Your main objective is to get a point across and help someone understand a difficult concept. Strange terminology, names, or specific processes rarely matter.

Let Them Learn by Doing

If you've ever tried to teach someone anything you know it's tough to just sit back while they fumble through it. However, if you want them to actually understand the concepts and learn, you have to let them do it themselves.

Resist the urge to take over. Sit back and let them figure it out on their own.

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RELATED IDEAS

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 online audience.

Infographics are making a big impact in communicating about complex topics, making information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. 

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IDEAS

Pacing or moving around as you talk can sometimes add to the excitement of the story, but it can also be distracting. 

It is a good idea to video yourself to see if there are any things you are doing that are distracting or give away your nerves. Fidgeting, fiddling, shifting your weight, swaying or playing with a pen are classic examples of this.

The SEE-I method for explaining ideas

We often find that we understand a topic but can't explain it to anyone. A simple method you could use to better understand and clearly communicate a concept is called SEE-I.

  • State it: Clearly state the idea in a single sentence or two.
  • Elaborate: Explain it further in your own words, using phrases like "in other words".
  • Exemplify: Give concrete examples and counter examples of the concept.
  • Illustrate: Provide a picture, diagram, metaphor or analogy of the idea.

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