To effectively communicate something, you need to understand your audience. Who are they, what do they know and how much do they know about your subject? These are key points to crafting an articulate and effective message. This chapter does a wonderful job exploring how theory and practice align and differ in terms of understanding your audience and how to craft a story that makes sense to your target. Adjusting how information is displayed, designed and explained all depends on the knowledge of your audience. When the audience has knowledge of a topic they will likely need less of an explanation of data, but when your information is unknown it’s great to provide more information such as data, images, narrative, and graphs.
Each industry seems to have its own language, so it’s critical to have a little understanding of who your audience is before you craft your message. As an event publicist, I am tasked with sending out information to very diverse audiences. This can be difficult when trying to articulate technical information and I’m often forced to dumb down language so that is digestible for all. This is inevitably lost on the individual segments that hold more knowledge. Therefore, as our data segmenting becomes more sophisticated, so will our need for more defined audiences. Highly targeted messages are always more effective than mass messaging.
Chiasson, T., Gregory D. (2014). Chapter 9 – Communicating Data to an Audience. Data + Design: A simple introduction to preparing and visualizing information (pp. 211-231). Infoactive.