Nathan Minns

Presenting Complex Topics

In my work, I often collaborate with student entrepreneurs who are prepping for a big pitch competition. A common pattern I’ve noticed is their need to prove themselves to the judges. This often leads to students using jargon and complex language, thinking it will impress the audience and judges by demonstrating their expertise.

But here’s the catch: if the audience doesn’t understand those big words, the message gets lost. The worst-case scenario is the judges in the pitch competition struggling to recall your pitch because it was too complex.

Imagine the judges sitting in the judging room and asking, “What was that startup about?” only to answer, “I don’t know, they used a lot of big words & I didn’t get it. Let’s move on.”

It’s vital that you convey your product or service in a language they’ll understand.

My favorite tip to offer in these situations?

Pretend you’re explaining your concept to a middle schooler. If you know a middle schooler, that’s even better! Practice your pitch with them, take their questions seriously, and clarify all their doubts. If you can get your message across to a young teen, it becomes far easier for your audience to understand what you’re saying.

Remember, if a middle-schooler can get it, your audience most likely will too.

When breaking down complex topics, think about how you can simplify them, like you would when explaining to a young teenager.

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