I might know a lot about the trades/occupations I’m in or I’ve been in, but when my girlfriend comes home and explains the things she’s seen or experienced at her job (operation nurse), I get mind boggled by the fact that I’m totally off ground when it comes to medical terms. Not that I’m not interested in them, but it’s a study on it’s own to get to know them. So I’ll just accept the fact I’m not knowing this and ask her for a plain English explanation ( 😉 to her delight)
Being a consultant, representative or expert, it doesn’t do me any good when I use terminology or technical jargon to bring the formulation of a problem across to whom I’m explaining it to. In my day-to-day work, I’m very keen on using anecdotes or explain problems by use of examples that they can connect/relate so they comprehend. Not to show off my skills, but it’s not their expertise and I should anticipate that.
Although I’m applying this, I still find myself falling back into explaining why stuff is going wrong, totally getting full into detail about i.e. why that DNS server isn’t properly processing it’s requests. In most cases I sense that the person I’m explaining this to puts up a vague expression on their face, but what if I’m not able to sense this… Will this scare of the person to never ask a thing again or will they just knot along… In case of a potential client this would mean a catastrophe on the sales end.
I think this is one of the harder things to any trade, knowing when to talk plain English instead of technical jargon. However the opposite is exactly the same, you could just as easily have a conversation with someone who does know.
My advice would to build up a arsenal of good anecdotes and comparisons for any given situation, which you can use in explaining your day-to-day terminology in plain English.
Tell me your anecdotes in the comments, I’m curious to see which things you use to explain yourself…