Big Think Edge: Learn 3 new skills this week

Three new lessons and experts join Big Think's premium video learning platform, Big Think Edge.

  • In this week's trio of Big Think Edge videos, it's all about mastery, whether you want to be a master explainer, master presenter, or a master problem-solver.
  • A great explanation can only come from a deep understanding of your topic, says Mihir Desai. Want your slide shows to excel? Nancy Duarte's got your strategy. That mind-boggling problem won't be so impossible to resolve once you distill it to its essence, says Po-Shen Loh.
  • If you're not a subscriber yet, join Big Think Edge today! Our back to school sale is on right now, so you can get 30% off a subscription.


This week at Big Think Edge, three experts talk about how to achieve three very different types of success. Finance and law professor Mihir Desai shares what he's learned about constructing crystal-clear explanations for complicated concepts. Presentation expert Nancy Duarte reveals the principles behind a great, totally on-target slide show. Mathematician Po-Shen Loh discusses how breaking down tricky problems into an equation-like form can be the first step on the path to their satisfying solution.

Demystify Complex Concepts: Bring Academic Ideas to Life for Your Audience, with Mihir Desai

Through his 18 years of teaching, Harvard professor of finance and law Mihir Desai has seen how hard it can be for students to understand complex concepts. For anyone who's been in the position of introducing new ideas to colleagues, it's a familiar feeling. As he wrote his book, The Wisdom of Finance, he found a method for making explanations resonate with an audience. It involves reacquainting yourself with the core truths underlying a concept, identifying the reasons anyone should care, and wrapping it all in a compelling story.

"COMMIT TO DEEP RESEARCH. YOUR INTUITION WILL TELL YOU WHEN YOU'VE HIT SOMETHING GOOD."

— MIHIR DESAI

Available August 26 in Boost Your Creative Intelligence

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Communicating to Transform: Formal Presentation Techniques, with Nancy Duarte

Expert in presentation design Nancy Duarte helps you make your slide shows more successful. She shows how to get started, beginning with choosing the best role for your presentation to play: Should it be a backdrop for a talk or a self-propelled, information-packed document? Duarte talks about making your deck more persuasive by revealing the story in your data, and explains why ruthlessly deleting elements that are important only to you makes your presentation so much more engaging.

"DATA ITSELF IS INTERESTING, BUT A LOT OF PEOPLE FORGET THERE'S A NARRATIVE IN THE DATA."

— NANCY DUARTE

Available August 26 in Boost Your Professional Intelligence

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Ask the Cleanest Question: Design Solutions Like a Mathematician, with Po-Shen Loh

When you're trying to figure something out, attempting to grapple with all of its details can easily become overwhelming. Professor of mathematics and software developer Po-Shen Loh has a way of dealing with problems that you can use in pretty much any context. He suggests that approaching your problem like a mathematician can be the key to arriving at its solution. Putting your finger on its core issues is the first step toward finding a formula that solves it.

Available August 29 in Boost Your Analytical Intelligence

SUBSCRIBE NOW



More From Big Think Edge
Related Articles

Dealing with High-Conflict People

Recognize the Patterns of High-Conflict Personalities

Big Think Edge
  • High-conflict personalities demonstrate a pattern of behavior that increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it.
  • These patterns include blaming others, all-or-nothing mindsets, unmanaged emotions, and extreme behaviors.
  • By learning to recognize these patterns in others and/or yourself, you can navigate these minefields more safely, or better yet, defuse them.

Houston, Do You Copy?

An Astronaut's Guide to Deliberate Listening

Big Think Edge
  • Break down incoming communication with intention.
  • Verify the meaning of the communication by engaging in discussion.
  • At the end of the conversation, agree on an action plan that consists of clear deliverables.
Big Think Edge
  • Humans subconsciously assess one another for trustworthiness.Make the process more conscious by getting to know your counterparts' interests: Do your separate interests converge?
  • On the flip side, help others understand your personal "user guide". Be intentional about expressing your own unique interests.
  • Listen for why to figure out what others care about to help you navigate relationships and form the bonds of trust.