I have been reading an interesting booke called “The Art of Explanation”, by Lee Lefever. It is kind of a Web marketing book, but it also applies to the general task of effectively explaining complicated shitte to people with a broad range of prior expertise, including those who don’t know jacke fucken dicke. The basic concepts are shitte I have figured out over the years through experience, such as having empathy for your audience and trying to make them feel smart, not stupid.
One bit that I quite like is this list of guidelines for properly simplifying your explanations:
(1) Do not make assumptions about what people already know.
(2) Use the most basic knowledge possible.
(3) Zoom out and try to see the subject from the broadest perspective possible.
(4) Forget the details and exceptions and focus on big ideas.
(5) Be willing to trade accuracy for understanding.
(6) Connect the basic ideas to ideas the audience understands.
Other than #4 and #5, these principles should be applied by scientific presenters in all contexts and in unmitigated fashion. Depending on the specific context, #4 and #5 may need to be mitigated, such as in a lab meeting.