Making information accessible

The key to making information accessible is a simple question:

Why does this matter to the reader?

Answering this can help you overcome the all-too-human temptation to deluge the reader with as much information as you can find, without bothering to tell them why they should care.

Let’s say you’ve been asked to recommend whether your team should change its strategy on the basis of its most recent sales results.

You might think you should start with the results. Unless you explain what they are, no one will understand what you are talking about, right?

Wrong. You start with what you think the team should do. That’s what they asked you to do.  That’s what matters.

Then you tell them what the results are so they understand why you made the recommendation you did.

It doesn’t matter whether you are writing an email, a report or a proposal, if you think about why it matters to reader it will be more accessible.

It’s not like an essay and it may not feel natural. But it works.

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