I'm sure I'm not the only person with this problem at the moment. I have been asked to give a public (not quite public, scientists, just not physicists) about 'this Higgs boson thing'. I am trying to think of a good analogy because even my own rather limited knowledge of the Higgs mechanism stretches to realising how bad the swimming through treacle metaphor is. I was wondering about refraction although I'm not sure how well understood that will be by a general audience? Superconductivity might be ok for physicsts but again probably rather specific for a more general audience.
Any other tips on how to pitch such a talk are appreciated but I'm aware I have to pose a specific question and describing the Higgs mechanism is the real conundrum.