The theory of relativity is complex, yet Einstein summed it up in “e=mc2“. Steve Jobs created magnificent machines, but half their beauty was in their simplicity. Having a great idea is one thing, but being able to make it look easy is near impossible.
When you’re wondering how to get your ideas off the ground, simplicity can be your greatest asset. If you can pitch your idea in 30 seconds, you’re on your way to success.
One of our daily jobs as copywriters is to help make complex ideas easy to understand, without dumbing down the content. While we do this through clear and simple writing, it’s a skill that can be applied across all facets of a business, from explaining tasks to employees to pitching yourself to clients to generating sales. Here are our top tips for turning the complex into the clear.
Visualise your problem
Putting pen to paper can help you clarify your ideas, get a better understanding of what you’re trying to say and bring up questions you hadn’t thought of asking. Whether you invest in good visualisation tools (such as MindMap) or simply spend a bit of time with paper and markers, taking your idea into the visual realm is one of the best ways to simplify it.
The act of putting something down on paper also has the added benefit of making it tangible. All the loose threads that exist in your head need to be solved and laid down in front of you, so your idea naturally has to sort itself out.
Ask better questions
If you’re still struggling to simplify things, asking questions can be a great way to get back on track. Along with finding ways to answer common questions people may have about your idea, being inquisitive can also help you think about your idea in new ways.
Focus on why it matters
The best way to explain a complex idea to someone else is to only focus on what matters to them. How is this going to affect them? What does it mean to them? Phrasing your idea in this light cuts out all the irrelevant complexities that sit around your idea, and hones in on what makes your idea so great in the first place. Plus, your audience is more likely to be engaged and pay attention if they can understand why what you’re saying is meaningful.
Use familiar concepts
No matter how original your idea is, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to explain anything for the first time. You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by explaining your idea in terms of what you already know. By framing your idea in terms of what’s already out there, your idea can automatically become a whole lot simpler.
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