If you’re anything like me, you know the challenge of trying to explain complex or complicated information in a more easily understood manner. It can be done as long as we’re willing to take the time to research creative ways to present with simplicity. Albert Einstein said it best with these words: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
Recently I read an article from 2014 published in The Fast Track which made some good points on this topic that I’d like to share. They include:
1. Be concise. Take your information and work at boiling it down to its bare bones. It’s like turning it into a tweet with the goal being to distill it to what’s absolutely necessary.
2. Improvisation. This skill teaches us to creatively think on our feet, which is vitally important when explaining a complex concept or idea. Often this is required when we need to shift tactics if our listeners aren’t grasping what we’re saying.
3. Storytelling. When we weave our data or statistics into a story it’s far more compelling and will most likely engage our listeners. We’re viewed as more dynamic when we convert information into a meaningful story.
4. Visual metaphors. According to research conducted by the Journal of Consumer Psychology, visual metaphors prompt (e.g. light bulb to convey a new idea) participants to have better insights than those not shown an image. Various images can be found on sites like Flickr, Pixabay, etc.
5. So what? Let’s force ourselves to constantly seek relevance by asking “so what.” This gets to the heart of what matters most to our listeners. People listen more attentively when they hear how they’ll benefit.
In summation, we can and should take a complex idea and convey it with simplicity. When we do this we’ve achieved a critical communication skill.