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

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.

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

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

https://lifehacker.com/how-to-explain-complex-ideas-like-tech-to-those-who-d-1512002346

lifehacker.com

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

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. 

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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Data

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

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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.

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.

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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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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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