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How to Effectively Explain Technical Concepts to a Non-Technical Audience

Technical people often find it hard to express their ideas and explain technical concepts in a way that non-technical people can understand just because they’re so used to thinking and communicating in jargons.

If you’re one of those techies who have great ideas to share then there are definitely ways for you to simplify the expression of your ideas so that more people will be able to relate to your topic of interest.

Explain the What, Who, Why, Where, and How

When you are trying to explain a technical concept, be sure to discuss the what, who, why, where, and how of the concept.

What: Define and describe what the concept is.

Who: Describe who may be interested in using the concept or idea you’re writing about. For example, if you’re writing about databases then you might discuss who would use them or benefit from them, depending on the context of your discussion.

Why: Describe the purpose or the advantages of the technical concept you are writing about. This will enable the reader to gain an appreciation for it.

Where: Describe where the concept may be applied. For example, you can explain how wireless bridges can be used both in the home and office settings or how databases can be used in both e-commerce and in traditional businesses.

How: Describe how the concept works. If you’re giving a very detailed description of how the concept works, you might consider writing separate blog posts for each of the technical aspects involved so as not to overload the reader with information.

Use analogies

Use analogies when explaining a technical concept, as this would allow the reader to relate the concept to something that they more easily understand. For example, you can use the analogy of the filing cabinet when describing databases.

Use examples

Examples also help the reader gain a better understanding of the concept you’re writing about. Using practical examples enable the readers to relate the concept’s application to their daily activities or experiences. For example, when explaining the benefits of using databases, you can give examples of how they’re used – for storing passwords, for retrieving bank account information, and others.

Use simpler, more common terms

When you’re a technical expert, it’s easy to assume that the reader understands your lingo. However, try to think of simpler terms that non-technical persons are more likely to use. For example, instead of using the term combo box, consider using drop-down list or list box instead. As another example, instead of saying writing data to disk, consider saying saving information on the disk.

Author Bio:- Reina Marie Gonzales is a professional technical writer who currently works full time as a freelance writer. Click academic freelance writing jobs to find out more about freelance writing jobs.

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