The Content Insight Newsletter - October 2014

Presenting Audit Results that Tell a Story

 You’ve done the hard work of the content audit. You’ve looked at and assessed every word, every image, every connection between every piece of content. You’ve created voluminous spreadsheets and made notes, tallied, sorted, re-sorted, re-tallied. You’ve gathered all sorts of great insights and now you’re ready to share what you learned.
 
Sharing your results and seeing your changes and recommendations implemented is the payoff for all that hard work. You want to share insights in a way that makes people pay attention and feel confident that they can, in fact, enact this change.
 
With a content audit, you aren’t just looking at what a website or channel has to offer now, you’re designing how it will improve, grow, and better meet the needs of the organization and audiences it serves. The data is in the spreadsheets. The results and recommendations need a proper story.
 

Telling the story of your content audit
 

1. Know your audience
  • Who will be hearing, seeing, and reading this report?
  • What are their pain points and influences?
Match your results to the initial goals for the project and the very personal reasons people will support its recommendations. Lead with what matters to the decision-makers and highlight that throughout your presentation. Offering a mix of anecdotal and empirical examples throughout can help engage multiple stakeholders with different priorities.

2. Map the plot first
  • What is the beginning, middle, and end of this presentation?
  • Who are the heroes and villains of the content audit?
In great stories, beginnings and endings have huge impact; the beginning engages curiosity, the ending delivers satisfaction. Finding the right heroes and villains for your audience can help keep tension through the middle, creating opportunities for engaging examples.

3. Embrace the visual
  • How can you show (not just tell) your analysis?
  • What kinds of information display resonates with your key audiences?
Tables, graphs, and charts are mainstays of visualizing data. Use them to illustrate quantitative data points for maximum impact. Include screenshots and annotated images to make examples and suggestions more real to the audience.
 
Presenting content evaluation findings are also a great time to pair up with a designer. Engage allies early and often to find your appropriate story structure and elements and work together to create a presentation that will inspire action.

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September 2014
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