The Best Ways to Present Complex Material

Giving a presentation can be difficult enough, but presenting complex material can make for a quite a challenge.  It is difficult enough getting people to listen to basic information, much less trying to impart complex concepts.  So how do you present complicated information in a way that anyone can understand?  There are a few important tips for presenting complex material that will educate and motivate your listeners.

Be Concise

The simpler you can keep things, the more likely your audience will remain focused.  Try keeping your opening light and interesting, while breaking down the core of your presentation to the bare bones.  Throwing facts and figures at an audience is likely to cause a great deal of confusion and will end up doing more harm than good.

Utilize Stories

Oftentimes complex material is just as difficult to listen to as it is to present, so make it more interesting by incorporating the information into stories.  Not only will this make the concepts much easier for the audience to understand, but it will be much more compelling to listen to as well.  When you use stories in your presentation, you connect with your audience and allow them to become more engaged in the topic.

Use Visuals

Many people understand complex material when they can see it.  Using visual images such as graphs, pictures, charts, or visual metaphors allows the brain to apply meaning to the information.  Teaching something new is hard enough, but if you have ever tried to learn something just by listening it can be quite difficult.  Visuals will help the audience to actually understand the concepts.

Tap Into Prior Knowledge

Whenever you are trying to present complex material, it is helpful to incorporate information they already know.  Connecting prior knowledge to a new concept is a popular teaching technique that has been successful.  It seems simple enough, but building on knowledge that the audience already has will help you to explain new concepts.

Leave Out the Details

When you understand a concept fully, it is easy to think of every detail as important, but when you are learning something for the first time many of those details can seem overwhelming.  The truth is some things just aren’t as important as others.  Decide which information is most relevant and avoid oversaturating your audience with irrelevant information.  You can always come back to those extra details once they have a basic knowledge of the concepts.

The key to explaining and presenting complex material is resisting the urge to say it all.  Break down the topic into basic points and keep it simple.  Add a little bit of creativity to peak audience interest and you will find that what once seemed too complex to explain, has now been broken down into an interesting and informative presentation.