It was (around) 1995, everyone was talking about ATM, but very few people knew what they were talking about. I was at Networkers (way before they became overcrowded Cisco Live events) and decided to attend the ATM Executive Summary session, which started with (approximately) this slide …
… and the following explanation:
As you know, a duck can swim, but it's not as fast as a fish, walk, but not run as a cheetah, and fly, but it's far from being an eagle. And ATM can carry voice, data and video.
The session continued with a very concise overview of AAL types, permanent or switched virtual circuits and typical usages, but I’ve already got the summary I was looking for … and I’ll remember the duck analogy for the rest of my life. Whenever someone mentions ATM, the picture of the duck appears somewhere in the background.
If you’re trying to explain something very complex (like your new network design) to people who are not as embedded into the problem as you are, try to find the one core message, make it as simple as possible, and build around it.