Make It Credible
A great document could be totally dismissed if it doesn’t appear credible, trustworthy, and professional. Here are a few tips:
- Always include your organization name: Your organization name, or the agency that is paying for the time in creating the document, should appear somewhere on the document where it is easy to find. If you have a logo, include that too.
- Always include contact information: If people have questions, who should they contact? Leaving off this information looks sloppy and unprofessional. If you have a website, this is also a great tool for people who want more information.
- Include references, where appropriate: If you are communicating to the general public, you often will not want to include references. They will take your word for it. For many other audiences, such as in academics or even professional peers, if you make some far out claim, they will at least want to see a reference to support that claim. Just because you are trying to shorten and simplify a document does not mean you let it become less credible.
- Don’t overstate your conclusions: There is a difference between making your results important and making them dramatic. Be careful. Don’t be tempted to exaggerate your results and findings. People will notice your “drama” and question the validity of your arguments.
- Be honest and accurate at all times: You have an important responsibility to remain honest and credible to your results at all times. Readers trust you that the information you present is valid. You owe it to them and to yourself to make sure this is true.
Step 5: Communicate Numbers Effectively >>