All posts for “explainer tip”
Think for just a minute about the skills you use every day at work. Maybe you’re a designer or engineer who had specialized training and tools. Maybe you’re an executive who has a talent for building teams. Or maybe you’re a Mom or Dad who works to help your child understand the world. No matter what you do for work, you are an explainer. Part of your job is helping others understand ideas - it’s a fundamental part of being a professional. We explain ideas every day - we just never think... Continue Reading
The story below is based on ideas from my book The Art of Explanation, now out in print and ebooks. Perfect airplane reading! You’ve been there before. You sit down to gorge yourself on turkey when the questioning starts. Sitting across from you is Uncle Henry. He’s spry at 65, but is not so knowledgeable about technology. He asks, “So tell me again what it is you do for a living?” Your Mom hears the question and tunes in. “Yes, do tell!” she says, attracting the attention of everyone at... Continue Reading
When people ask me who is doing the best explanatory work these days, I often point to public radio and podcasts. The radio format, while not visual, can be incredibly engaging and effective in packaging complicated ideas into explanations. One of our favorites is NPR’s Planet Money podcast which has the tagline “The Economy Explained”. The podcast got started with an episode of This American Life in May of 2008 called the Giant Pool of Money. This hour-long show explained the mortgage... Continue Reading
A few weeks back I had coffee with Kalid Azad, who runs Better Explained, a blog and book that focuses on the use of intuition to understand “gnarly” subjects like math and programming. His tagline is “Learn right, not rote”. I love that. Kalid made a point that day that stuck with me. Here it is from a blog post called “Developing Your Intuition for Math”. Our initial exposure to an idea shapes our intuition. And our intuition impacts how much we enjoy a subject. What do I mean? Suppose... Continue Reading
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