If you buy my product but don't read the instructions, that's not your fault, it's mine.
If you read a blog post and misinterpret what I said, that's my choice, not your error.
If you attend my presentation and you're bored, that's my failure.
If you are a student in my class and you don't learn what I'm teaching, I've let you down.
It's really easy to insist that people read the friggin manual. It's really easy to blame the user/student/prospect/customer for not trying hard, for being too stupid to get it or for not caring enough to pay attention. Sometimes (often) that might even be a valid complaint. But it's not helpful.
What's helpful is to realize that you have a choice when you communicate. You can design your products to be easy to use. You can write so your audience hears you. You can present in a place and in a way that guarantees that the people you want to listen will hear you. Most of all, you get to choose who will understand (and who won't).What Seth is touching on is one of the seminal truths from a book that has helped me over the years - The Seven Laws of the Learner: How to Teach Almost Anything to Practically Anyone by Bruce Wilkinson
In the nutshell here are THE SEVEN LAWS OF LEARNER:
LAW 1: The Law of the Learner
The teacher should accept the responsibility of causing students to learn.
LAW 2: The Law of Expectation
The teacher should influence students' learning by adjusting their expectations.
LAW 3: The Law of Application
The teacher should stimulate life change in students by properly applying the scriptures
LAW 4: The Law of Retention
The teacher should enable students to enjoy maximum mastery of the irreducible minimum.
LAW 5: The Law of Need
The teacher should surface the students' real need before teaching the content.
LAW 6: The Law of Equipping
The teacher should train students for a life of service and edification.
LAW 7: The Law of Revival
The teacher should encourage an ongoing personal revival in students' lives.
The thrust of this book is that LEARNING is not ultimately the responsibility of the student but of the TEACHER. If a person isn't learning, don't blame the student - the teacher needs to take responsibility. This book helps a teacher learn how to excite, motivate and help students to learn.
If you are in ministry, you are teaching! Big groups, small groups or 1-to1. It doesn't matter the size - but as a teacher/communicator learn how to help your audience retain what they heard. It is your responsibility. That is the posture of a communicator.