Do you have to present intangible ideas that can be difficult for people to grasp?
How do you present them so that people understand and don’t get confused by the details?
I was a financial advisor for 29 years. We had to discuss concepts like rates of return, retirement security, and inflation.
Inflation is a phenomenon that affects everyone, yet for many it’s a difficult concept to grasp. Economists and financial experts often rely on numbers and data to explain inflation. This method feels detached and fails to resonate with most people.
The Problem With Numbers And Data
Numbers and data are essential for understanding economic trends and concepts. They’re challenging to relate to on a personal level. Charts, graphs, and percentages make sense to financial professionals. For the rest of us, abstract representations don’t connect with our day-to-day lives.
This disconnect creates a barrier. Most financial ‘experts’ are poor at communicating financial concepts like inflation.
Presenting this idea as a simple percentage increase in prices misses the point. It doesn’t capture the entirety of its impact. It ignores inflation’s emotional impact on families:
– Loss of purchasing power
– Insufficient income
– Lowering of their standard of living.
Numbers alone creates emotional distance between the problem and it’s impact on people.
A Simple Lesson From My Dad
I was talking with my dad this weekend. He brought up the major increase in grocery prices over the last couple of years. He said, “Michael, not long ago I could fill the trunk of my sports car with $150 of groceries. Now, it costs me $300 to fill that same trunk.”
I know what you may be thinking:
“Michael, your dad is really cool! He drives a sports car!”
That’s true, but not the point of this post. Dad captured the emotional impact of inflation with a simple image.
This simple, everyday example creates a visual in our minds. It highlights the impact of inflation on our purchasing power. We can relate to (and feel) this example. We know the pain and frustration of getting less for our money. This makes the concept of inflation feel more tangible and real.
Everyday experiences can bridge the gap between abstract concepts and concrete reality. They enable you to easily communicate difficult ideas.
Relating Inflation To Real-life Scenarios
Whatever your subject, chances are you have to deal with some tangible elements.
Don’t drown your audience in cold statistics and data. Look for every day examples that can serve as metaphors for your concept. This will help people grasp the concept and recognize its impact on their lives.
They will help you listener create a more vivid and tangible picture of your idea. They also stimulate more relatable and engaging conversations.
The end result: You stand a better chance of inspiring and persuading others to see your point of view.
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