Education is major part of our industry. Anyone working in audio is on a life long journey to gather knowledge and experience and most of us to some degree pass that information on. More often than not it's in the context of trying to get some misinformed person to understand the way things really are. Fighting misconceptions is no way to teach. Sometimes though we get an opportunity to help people out who are starting with a clean slate. Working with school and community theatre projects or teaching volunteers at a church are good examples.
But where do you start? It's not that common these days but it's a similar endeavor to teaching someone how to use a computer. How do you go about teaching complex operations to someone who's never used a mouse? Sometimes people in the forums will answer that question with a laundry list of all the arts and sciences a neophyte will need to learn. Basic physics and electrics, electronic theory, filters, dynamic processing, acoustics, equalization, balance, and the list goes on and on. And you're standing in front of someone who may not know the difference between a guitar amp and a line array.
My current method is to locate a book so they can wade through a lot of the basics on their own. My current favorite is Live Sound Fundamentals. That lets them start to understand the physics, basic signal routing and processing and possibly more on their own time. Once their up to a certain level it's a lot easier to start building them up. Some of them will already know a few things, some of the material will make a light bulb go on, and some of it will be incomprehensible. Once it's all in their heads though it can surface later as the learning process goes on.
Lesson one though is pretty easy to define though. When I'm faced with a bunch of fresh faced junior high kids that need to know how to run the house system for the play I've got a ten minute lesson that will get them through the week without making their little heads explode. Mic, cable, snake, console, amp, speaker. Then I cover the trim knob and fader, explaining coarse and fine adjustment. If they're still with me I'll cover EQ just a tiny bit.
Even that is a lot to start out with and a lot of times it will take going over it every day for a week before it sinks in. The big thing to remember is not to give them too much. I've run in to people who have been mixing at their church for years and have no idea about anything in between the trim and the faders. It's like that section of the console just doesn't exist. It's pretty fun to explain that an aux bus is like another row of faders and watch the light bulb go on.
Just keep at it Brethren of the Knob and Fader. Education is part of the job. Keep training yourself and share your knowledge every chance you get. In an industry infused with misinformation and sometimes even outright superstition it's an up hill battle. But it's one worth fighting.