Explaining Debian

Josh, I don't find such situations at all awkward. If people see me running around with a Debian T-Shirt and ask what that is all about, my answer is just Debian is a free operating system for your computer that is made by a couple of thousand volunteers worldwide, of which I am one. That is enough to quickly explain the thing; if they're further interested, they'l ask.

Occasionally, people wonder what an Operating System is. I answer that with You have a computer? Does it run Windows? Well, then Windows is your Operating System. If you would want that, you could replace it with Debian.

The point in such conversations is to make it clear how Debian is relevant to the people you're talking to. Don't start by saying stuff like Debian is a Linux distribution made by volunteers; because then you oblige yourself to explaining what a distribution is, and what Linux has to do with everything.

And about that Linux bit, I wouldn't worry too much. If the people you're talking to are business people, and they've never heard of Linux before, just get yourself a strange look on your face, and say something like you've never heard of Linux before?!? because frankly, if a business person in these days doesn't even have a vague clue as to what Linux is, they're not worth half their pay check.