In preparing of an upcoming conference presntation on technology trends I stumbled across K.G. Schneider's post about the Ontario Library Association Superconference where she described a conversation regarding "elevator talks."
In essense, an elevator talk is a non-technical summary of a technology that can be expressed in an "elevator interval," or the time that an elevator to move between several floors; about 30-45 seconds. It has been said that the best way to demonstrate that you understand something is to try and teach it to someone else, particularly someone that does not understand the subject.
Or, as Thomas Dowling remarked to Ms. Schneider's post, an elevator talk "is also a great way to clarify your own thoughts about exactly why something that we intuit as "cool" will matter to a non-geek - if at all."
Give it a try. It is easier said then done.
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