The Daily Challenge: How Can I Explain This Better?
Explaining things in a considered and concise way isn’t always the easiest thing.
Time to Read: 4 Mins
Learning how to explain even the most complicated topics in a clear and concise manner can boost your credibility.
The better you are at explaining an idea, concept or notion, the easier it is to have the right discussion, provide clarity, get buy-in and influence. The SEE-I method just might become your secret weapon.
The method is intended to facilitate methodical critical thinking and help you clarify and analyze thoughts, ideas, and concepts to understand them and communicate them more effectively.
The method will help you break down information in a systematic and coherent way. The acronym stands for:
State it: In a sentence or two, state the idea or concept.
Elaborate: In your own words, describe it and provide details (i.e., "in other words…").
Exemplify: Provide examples of the concept.
Illustrate: Use a metaphor, analogy, diagram, illustration, etc., to visualize the concept.
You can use the SEE-I method when writing, for presentations, pitches, speeches or any other situation where you need to transfer information. Try using this concept on something you need to explain today.
Step 1: Identify something you need to explain. Pick something you are currently working on. This could be a proposal you need to get buy-in for, a new product feature you will present to a client or a concept you need to explain to someone.
Step 2: Break it down. Consider how you will state your idea or concept, how you will elaborate on it, and which examples or illustrations you will use. Write down 1-2 sentences for each step.
Step 3: Put it to use. Write out your email, proposal, speech, presentation or paper using your drafted sentences and the SEE-I structure.
Pro Tip: Use the SEE-I method to write effectively in general. For a paragraph of text explaining something, the first sentence should state whatever it is you want the paragraph to say, the next sentence(s) elaborate, exemplify and illustrate.
See examples and more information here:
Helping Student Exercise Their Critical Thinking Using the SEE-I Method (University of Louisville)
How to Explain Things Better and Make Others Understand Your Ideas Easily (Lifehack)
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