The 87-minute video focuses on three topics:
(1) Motivation – how to encourage an audience to want to understand the data.
(2) Simplification – mostly how to simplify content (how to decide what to say and what to skip), but also how to simplify language and graphics.
(3) Orientation – how to give readers and especially listeners better cues about the structure of your argument, where you are and where you’re going.
There are also sections on risk comparisons and explaining uncertainty.
If you're familiar with my approach to risk communication, you know I think explaining the data is rarely the core problem. When people are upset about a risk you think is pretty minor, giving them all the evidence that they're wrong isn't likely to help. And on the other extreme, apathetic people aren't inclined to sit still for a lot of data about why they should take some risk seriously.
Still, explaining the data is part of virtually every risk communication effort, and doing it well is important.
This video was produced in 1994 by the American Industrial Hygiene Association. It went out of print in 2007. In September 2008, with the AIHA’s permission, I posted it on my website, psandman.com. In March 2011 I moved it to Vimeo.
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