deepstash

Beta

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

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 better they’ll understand the core concepts you’re showing them.

152 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

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

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

https://cuttingedgepr.com/free-articles/core-pr-skills/ten-great-ways-communicate-complex-ideas/

cuttingedgepr.com

10

Key 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.

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. 

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 ridiculous. The dopier the story, the more people may groan—but years later they remember it.

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 audience, the more important it is to actively create pauses or other spaces where misunderstandings can be voiced and clarification requested.

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 the cake part to a server and the icing to a program. “You want to be able to change frosting from chocolate to vanilla. If there’s paper between the two, you can lift up the frosting and replace it.”

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 complicated topic to an individual, you should seek to find out what matters to them, and then base your approach on those angles.

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 better they’ll understand the core concepts you’re showing them.

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 points across to help others understand a difficult concept. Describing too many details to others unnecessarily complicates the picture. You can always come back to those details later.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

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. 

2 more ideas

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.

one more idea

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.

7 more ideas