I put together a non-geeks guide for a friend so they could understand what all the numbers mean.
Memory (GB of RAM) - more will speed up video editing etc think of it as the size of your desk.
Storage - how many filing cabinets you have got, and how quickly they open. An SSD makes booting up and starting programs much faster, check how much space your existing programs take up and get twice this size, data can go on a normal HDD if needed, generally cheaper that way.
Graphic card - will speed up video editing generally, so used by gamers and content creators alike. RAM size of the GPU is a good indicator of its potency.
CPU - faster clock speed (GHz) and more cores is better but most laptops overheat and throttle performance unless spending big bucks, so don't worry too much about this.
Usability - people focus on numbers and forget basic stuff. Do you do a lot of zoom meetings? If so, check position and quality of the webcam, as many are terrible and positioned to do an up the nose shot. Read some reviews! Do you need a backlit keyboard? Plan on sitting in the garden working? Check the screen brightness figures and reviews, cheaper machines often have a dull screen (300nits up is good).
When you get it, try and remove all the crappy bloatware you don't want and need.