One of the biggest things we’ve learned in recent years when it comes to presenting information is the importance of the secondary audience, your audience’s audience. The information shared, (e.g. report, dashboard, application), if valuable, rarely stops with the initial or primary audience. It isn’t just “liked”, but shared and "re"-presented to peers, bosses, etc. In many cases the secondary audiences are more significant than the primary ones. In fact, often it is with these secondary audiences and conversations where decisions are made and the data turns into actions.
If these secondary audiences are so important, what can be done to minimize the risk of the telephone game effect (see image above) and help these secondary audiences understand and value what has been shared with them?
Garr Reynolds in presentationzen, a favorite book of ours, offers some great guidance on presentations that is very relevant to sharing data as well. He says on Page 67 relating to not sharing slides with your audience, but providing handouts, “Since you aren’t there to supply the verbal content and answer questions, you must write in a way that provides as much depth as your live presentation”.
Here are a few tips and an image below to help you be successful with secondary audiences, give them the required depth and solve for not being there.
- Offer Context - Use descriptions and provide access to the details.
- Anticipate Questions - Describe what questions you’re able to answer.
- Explain Usage - Provide guidance and instructions on how to explore the data.
- Share as Modules - Give bite sized pieces of information that are easy to digest.
Our epiphany on the importance of these secondary audiences is driving much of the new functionality in Juicebox. Click here to schedule a 30 minute demonstration to see how we help you communicate with secondary audiences.