As an expert in your field, of course you know each intricate detail about your idea or product. It can be difficult to distance yourself from the knowledge you possess. Understanding that the audience wants to know what you know is a great place to start. Just because you are an expert does not necessarily make you the best teacher. This is why professional athletes are not always effective coaches. Native speakers are not always the best foreign language teachers. The ability to take what you know and communicate it simply is a true talent. Think of it as veiling the intricacy of your pitch. This helps your idea land instead of going over the audience’s head. Slyly harnessing that hidden complexity is a powerful tactic.
You do not want your audience to feel like an outsider. If you continuously use acronyms, insider language and expressions that the audience may not be privy to, your audience may feel alienated. On the other hand, it is much more acceptable to use jargon if you take the time to introduce it to your audience. When you can work the definition of a new word or phrase into the beginning of your pitch, the audience will feel connected with you. Ultimately, be aware of places in your speech where the audience might get lost and use those as chances to let them trust you as a navigator.
At the end of your speech, you want your audience to be fully bought in. In order to do this, you want them to be able to feel empowered through your presentation. Presenting something new to someone in a way they don’t understand can often put them on the defensive. No one wants to feel uneducated. A great way to appeal to the masses is to take out complicated or superfluous language and replace it with more simple phrasing. This can be as straightforward as looking a complicated word in your handy thesaurus and finding its more common counterpart. This could also be starting from a more widely understood concept and building on that to help your audience gain perspective.
It’s okay to present complex thoughts and ideas—in fact, we encourage it. The more you can challenge your audience, the better. An audience that walks away from your presentation feeling like they learned something and that they are equipped with the tools to implement your new product or idea is your best-case scenario. Harnessing the hidden complexity of your pitch will ease your listeners into your field of expertise and bring them along for the ride. Just check out our video on the power of simplicity. Remember, connecting with the audience starts with getting on their level.
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