How to Explain Something Clearly

by Anna Green ; Updated September 28, 2017

An important component of explaining something clearly is understanding the needs of your audience. Taking into account a listener's age, developmental stage and level of understanding can provide a good starting point for explaining yourself in a way that is clear and understandable. This may require your planning what you say in advance.

Be Concise and Aware

As you explain a situation or idea, do so succinctly and give the person you are talking to a chance to both ask questions and provide feedback. This will help you gauge your listener's understanding, in addition to providing you with an opportunity to clarify your point, if necessary. While explaining, look for nonverbal cues, such as nodding or frowning, that indicae the listener understands what you are saying. If she appears confused, take a moment to check in and directly ask if she understands you. When you get feedback from your listener, be attentive and non-judgmental, advise Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal and Robert Segal of in their article "Effective Communication."

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About the Author

Anna Green has been published in the "Journal of Counselor Education and Supervision" and has been featured regularly in "Counseling News and Notes," Keys Weekly newspapers, "Travel Host Magazine" and "Travel South." After earning degrees in political science and English, she attended law school, then earned her master's of science in mental health counseling. She is the founder of a nonprofit mental health group and personal coaching service.