Could You Explain this to Me?

Very few people are truly good at explaining difficult concepts to an audience.  Whether it’s enterprise technology or complex drivers behind a new business strategy, someone who can use simple, understandable language to get the point across is hard to find.  If you can build this skill at an early age, you really set yourself apart from the field.  Experience is the best way to hone this talent, but here are two quick tips you can remember to help work at it.

Ignore your own point of view
This is especially true if you’re an expert.  It’s easy to forget that something perfectly understandable to you may be incomprehensible to others.  Even if you’re not an expert, two people can see the same thing in entirely different ways.  Start by seeing things through the other person’s eyes.

Focus on Benefits
If you find people asking “So what?” you’re probably giving them details like features, not benefits.  Focus your explanation on what’s relevent and understandable to the audience.  Special new quick-crumpling polymer bumpers don’t matter to anyone but engineers, but enhanced safety in 0 – 15mph crashes does.

Remember these two tips when writing or giving presentations, practicing speeches, or even just talking with coworkers.


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