20 Strategies to Make Complex Topics Simple

In the world of engineering, professionals often grapple with the challenge of conveying complex subjects in a manner that’s easily digestible for their target audience. The ability to break down intricate ideas and present them using simple language, relatable examples, and engaging visual aids is crucial for effective communication.

By adopting a range of strategies, from simplifying technical jargon to incorporating multimedia formats, engineers can ensure that their message is not only understood but also remembered. Transforming complicated topics into clear and comprehensible content, empowers individuals to convey their knowledge with confidence and finesse.

Analogies and metaphors

Explain complex subjects by relating them to simpler, more familiar ideas. This helps your audience identify with the subject, making it more accessible.

Break down complex topics

Deconstruct complex subjects into smaller, more manageable aspects. Present each aspect sequentially, building on previous information, to help your audience grasp the overall subject more easily.

visual aids

Utilize diagrams, flowcharts, or illustrations to represent complex information visually, simplifying the complex and making it more digestible for a wider audience.

Simplify language

Use simple subject, verb, noun, and phrases to replace technical jargon whenever possible. If you must use complex language, provide clear definitions and examples to ensure your audience understands the terminology.


Incorporate narratives and anecdotes to engage your audience and demonstrate real-world applications of complex subjects. This makes the information more relatable and memorable.

Interactive examples

Provide hands-on examples or demonstrations to help the audience gain firsthand experience with the subject. This can enhance understanding and retention of complex ideas.

Provide resources for further learning

Offer supplementary materials, such as articles, books, or online resources, for those who want to explore the subject in greater depth. This allows your audience to tailor their learning experience to their own needs and interests.

Real-world examples

Relate complex subjects to everyday situations or common experiences. This can help your audience visualize the concepts and make them more relatable.

Engage in Q&A sessions

Encourage audience members to ask questions and provide clarification when needed. This interactive approach can help uncover areas of confusion and ensure a deeper understanding of complex subjects.

Repetition and reinforcement

Repeat key concepts and ideas throughout your presentation, reinforcing their importance and ensuring they stick in the minds of your audience.

Use humor and wit

Lighten the mood with appropriate humor, making complex subjects more approachable and enjoyable. Humor can also help maintain audience engagement and create a more memorable learning experience.

Start with the big picture

Present an overview or summary of the complex subject before diving into specifics. This helps establish context and provides a mental framework for your audience to follow as you delve into the details.

Mind mapping complex subjects

Utilize mind maps to visually organize intricate topics by connecting key concepts, ideas, and examples. This provides a clear structure for your audience to follow, enhancing their understanding of the subject matter.

Encourage active participation

Engage your audience by involving them in exercises or problem-solving tasks related to the complex subject. This hands-on approach can solidify their understanding and make learning the topic more interactive and enjoyable.

Compare and contrast techniques

Highlight the similarities and differences between complex subjects and simpler ones. By drawing connections and contrasts, your audience can better comprehend the nuances of the complex topic at hand.

Emphasize the importance

Explain the relevance and significance of the complex subject to your audience using clear language and examples. When people understand the importance and potential applications of a topic, they are more likely to invest the effort needed to grasp it.

Mnemonic devices for retention

Develop memory aids, such as acronyms or rhymes, to help your audience remember key concepts and terms associated with the complex subject. This can improve retention and make recalling information more accessible for your audience.

Emphasize key takeaways

Clearly state the most important points you want your audience to remember in simple sentences. By emphasizing these takeaways, you make it easier for them to grasp the overall message, even if they don’t understand every detail.

Use plain language

Keep your language clear, concise, and straightforward, avoiding passive voice. Focus on using words and sentences that are easily understood by your target audience.

Incorporate multimedia

Use videos, graphics, or interactive content to present complex subjects in various forms. This can cater to different learning styles and make it easier for your audience to grasp the material.

Charting Aviation's Future - Operations in an Info-Centric NAS

Case Study

The National Airspace System (NAS) is an intricate network of layered operations and legacy technologies. To illustrate the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) future roadmap, KAIA created an engaging and informative video and website. The goal was to simplify the deep NAS concepts, making them easily accessible to both industry professionals and the general public.

The KAIA team used a range of techniques, such as straightforward language, tangible examples, an engaging narrative, visualizations, 3D animation, and motion graphics. Explore the Case Study to learn about the challenges faced by the KAIA team and the creative solutions they employed in this project.