The 4 Levels of Explaining Your Idea To Yourself & Others

3 min readJul 7, 2022

A quick exercise to make sure your ideas are clear and comprehensible before presenting them to others.

Illustration by Abstract Memento

Oftentimes, we associate explaining things with interacting with other people. But that is easy mode. Politeness and social expectations will leave you feeling victorious, whether you were successful in your delivery or not. That is not so when you’re in a life-changing presentation. But before we get to that stage, there is one exercise you should do.

Grab a notebook and a writing utensil (the computer works too) and explain your idea through the following difficulty filters:


Grab the idea or concept and explain as if the “someone” you are speaking to inherently understands everything about the project. Assume this person has a USB tethered to your brain. Keep the industry words and lexicon, be bold and succinct, and do not manicure for a Persona other than yourself.

This difficulty level allows you to catalog the idea “in the raw”, and it’s probably the “purest” version of the explanation.


Explain the idea or concept as if the “someone” is from the field or could formally understand the context without much clarification. Perhaps there are buzzwords to…




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