Baker's Dozen: 13 Tips for Better Reports and Presentations

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Thirteen useful tips for creating market research reports and presentations that get acted upon and remembered.

Text of Baker's Dozen: 13 Tips for Better Reports and Presentations

  • Bakers Dozen 13 tips for cooking up tasty reports Liz Van Patten QRCA Annual Conference October 2012
  • Recipe Framing Storytelling Crafting insights Making it accessible
  • 1. Understand clients objectives and choices Plan to answer the objectives Consider the available options
  • 2. Get agreement on reporting methods How will report be used? What format(s) is best solution?
  • Report or Presentation? Teleprompter 50 75 words/page Poor compromise Too often the default Document 75+ words on page Preparation Discussion Presentation Minimal words Key take-aways Images for impact
  • 3. Create a template from project objectives Build a structure for the report Start with issues in the guide
  • Useful reports are information pyramids Insights Headlines Findings
  • Information structured for reader segments Scan Read Study
  • 4. Start writing before fieldwork begins Write objectives and method in advance Gives stronger focus during interviewing
  • 5. Get a head start with debriefs Listen to clients Start process of report writing Keeps everyone on the same page
  • Analysis Story 6. Tell a compelling story StoryData Data Data
  • One- third pie Two- thirds pie Three- thirds pie No- thirds pie Stories make sense of the data
  • 7. Select findings that support your story Focus on the objectives Resist including everything Avoid tangents
  • 8. Add value with analysis Incorporate your own unique insights
  • 9. Make information easy to access Write headlines not labels Scan in ten minutes
  • 10. Craft insights that lead to action Write action-oriented insights Use verbs
  • What is an insight anyway? Below the surface Not common knowledge Leads to new opportunities
  • 11. Visualize your insights Look for metaphors and visuals Makes it more memorable
  • Three communication need states Not mutually exclusive Varied requirements for each Multi- tasking Single- tasking On-the- road
  • 12. Use visual emphasis to highlight insights Bold fonts* Colored fonts Call-outs Colored boxes *avoid all caps or underscored
  • Highlight key take-aways Make them easy to find 13. Highlight findings that support insights
  • Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  • Emphasize headlines to guide readers Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  • Headlines become useful Table of Contents Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  • Recipe for better reports Understand client needs Get a head start Write from the objectives Think like a mystery writer Craft insights Make information accessible
  • Thank you! Liz Van Patten 631-283-7842 Lvanpatten@aol.com