Interview with Anne Janzer, Author of Writing To Be Understood
A few years ago when someone asked me to explain a technical concept and I couldn’t successfully get through to them or didn’t have time, I would send them this link. ;)
And it seemed funny the first couple of times I did it.
It wasn’t until someone did it to me that I realized how obnoxious it was. I eventually stopped asking for them for help, because I knew they weren’t very good at explaining things and didn’t have the patience to help me.
I also realized that I didn’t want to be like them. I needed to get better at explaining technical concepts. Ever since then, I’ve been on a quest to improve how I communicate technical concepts when I write and speak to people and audiences of varying levels.
I sat down with Anne to debunk the misconception that if someone doesn’t understand a technical concept immediately, then it’s their fault. They’re too much of a layperson, and they should look it up. But it’s actually the explainer who needs to do a better job of explaining, and in today’s *Build* episode, we’ll explain why!
In next week’s episode, we’ll provide techniques on how you can get better at explaining technical concepts to a mixed audience or to a layperson.
As you watch today’s episode, you’ll learn the following:
- Why people may not get our explanation
- Why we assume our audience knows what we’re talking about
- Why people on the receiving end of an explanation find the explainer to be less smart if the explanation cannot be easily understood
- Why people are bad at explaining technical concepts using simple language
- Why we have a tendency to over-explain
- Why over-explaining isn’t helpful either and being brief is better
- The three questions to ask yourself about your audience before you communicate with them
Listen to the episode on iTunes!
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