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Communicating Complex Concepts

Knowledge of, and the ability to use summarization and simplification techniques to explain complex technical concepts in simple, clear language appropriate to the audience.

Behavior Statements

Proficiency Level 1 - Basic understanding

Contrasts industry jargon with standard language.

Differentiates concepts from technical detail.

Separates essential facts from peripheral or supporting facts in a body of information.

Explains the value of analogies or comparisons in presenting new information and ideas.

Proficiency Level 2 - Working experience

Explains products and services with little or no use of technical jargon or advanced vocabulary.

Separates fundamental concepts from supporting details in explaining a product or service.

Emphasizes the most important facts or features of a product or service.

Uses comparisons to familiar ideas when introducing a technical or novel feature.

Perceives lack of audience comprehension; further simplifies explanation when needed.

Proficiency Level 3 - Extensive experience

Introduces technical terminology to listeners in the context of the product or service.

Proceeds to next level of information when audience is ready.

Explains important details as they relate to the basic value of the product or service.

Uses effective analogies to help an audience understand a novel feature of a product or service.

Approaches communication challenges from various angles to find the one that works.

Uses subtle cues to determine the language and experience level of an individual or group.

Proficiency Level 4 - Subject matter depth and breadth

Consistently uses the right level of technical terminology for the audience.

Teaches techniques for evaluating audience comprehension.

Fosters a multi-dimensional appreciation of concepts.

Incorporates analogies that resonate for a wide audience.

Improves colleagues' ability to explain information clearly.

Contributes concept simplifications to print, web and other media.

Interview Questions

  • Tell me how you recognize when someone doesn't understand what you are explaining.
  • Identify one of the more complex concepts within your function/specialty. Explain it to me as if I am completely unfamiliar with it.
  • Identify one of the more complex concepts within your function/specialty. Explain it to me in two simple but different ways.
  • When you are explaining a product or service, how do you know which concepts are important enough to cover in detail and which can be glossed over?

Titles with Shared Competencies