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Selecting a Report format
Using Microsoft word is common. Powerpoint. Printed reports with a combo of text and graphics are called decks. Reports can be strickly numerical (expense report) in Excel.
text based report using the indirect plan. Adding an executive summary, cover letter, or email to communitcate the conclusions and recommendations before the report is read.
Outlining the report
Provides a concise visual picuture of the structure of your report. Identifies the major and minor points. Combo of multilevel numbers, letters, or bullets. Use descriptive and parallel headings help orient your reader and give the report unity and coherence.
Talking and Generic Headings
identify the topic and major conclusion.
Identify the topic of the section without giving the conclusion.
If the first major heading is a noun heading in a noun phrase, all first level headings should be noun phrases. If the first is a talking heading, then all should be.
Length and Number Headings
for a text based report, 4 to 8 words is about the length for most headings. Too long loose their effectiveness. The shorter the more emphasis it receives. Too few headings overwhelns the reader. Use headings to break up a long report and refocus the readers attn.
Usual to have one section to have 5 subheadings and the other to have non.
Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
Findings lead to conclusions, conclusions lead to recommendations. Length of report matters how long the summary is. A one or two page report may only require a one or two sentence or one paragraph summary. Repeat the main points before presenting conclusions. Rephrase working to not bore. Direct style like proposals, the summary repeats conclusions or recommendations presented in the executive summary.
Drafting: Title Page
include for text based and powerpoint reports but not for reports that are typed within a memo or letter format. The title page includesL title, subtitle, company name, logo, writters name (possibly the readers name and title)
Drafting - appendix
might include supplementary reference material not important enough to go in the body of the report.
contains all of your secondary sources cited in the report. you can remove hyperlinks and keep in plain text.
Developing An Effective Writing Style - Tone
Avoid colloguial expressions, attempts at humor, subjectivity, bias, and exaggeration.
Developing An Effective Writing Style - Pronoun
Formal language focusing on the information not the writer. Avoid, I, we, and you.
Developing An Effective Writing Style - Verb tense
Use past tense to describe procedures and to describe the findings of other studies already completed. Present tense for conclusions from those studies. Use a stronger present tense to resent the data from your study. Verb tense should reflect the readers, not the writers time frame.
Developing An Effective Writing Style - Emphasis and Subordination
use emphasis and subordination ethically - not to pressure the reader. Devote an appropriate amount of space to a topic. Position your major ideas first for the direct plan. Use language that directly tells what is more and less important. Words like plethora, contantly, and countless are inaccurate and could make your reader question the results.
Developing An Effective Writing Style - Coherence
Use previews, summaries, and transitions to achieve coherence and unity. Use previews, summaries and transitions regularly. At the beginning of each section preview what is going to be discussed. At the end of each section summarize what was presented and provide a smooth transition into the next topic. For long sections they may be broken into thier own paragraphs, short section may only require a sentence. Always introduce a topic before breaking it into sub topics. Never stack headings (without text inbetween). Exception: the heading "Introduction" may be used imed after the report title or subtitle. Use a section overview to preview for the reader how the topic will be divided before you actually make the division. Direct plan report, section overviews will also highlight main points that follow.
Documenting your Sources - Why?
- To avoid accusations of plagiarism
- to give credit to the originator of information
- to demonstrate the validity of our work with credible sources
- to instruct the readers where to find additional information
- Plagerism: using another persons words or ideas without giving proper credit
- Documentation: identifying sources by giving credit to another person.
Documenting your Sources - What has to be documented?
All content from secondary sources (info and ideas not your own). Do not cite info common knowledge. Use direct quotations sparingly. Use paraphrases in a summary. Use a quotation if it is unique, precise, and not easily improved upon.
involves more than just rearranging workds or leaving out a word or two. Restate in your own language. All secondary sources must be documented, unpublished sources (not in a journal or website) do not need formal citation.
How to Document Sources - Footnotes and Endnotes
Business standard: footnotes and endnotes: footnotes on same page, endnotes at end. Do not need bibliography or reference page. They are ideal for text based reports, but not good for powerpoint reports because they clutter.
How to Document Sources - Formatting
Use a consistent, logical format, keeping the needs of the reader in mind. Spacing and fonds affect the readers ability.
How to Document Sources - Proofreading
Do not risk destroying tour credibility by falling to proofread carefully.
Checklist for reviewing your report draft
- -is the report accuarte, discriptive, and honest
- -research problem or the purpose stated clearly
- -scope identified
- -technical terms defined
- -questionable decisions identified
- -is data analyzed, accurately, and appropriately
- -is it free of bias and misrepresentation
- -is data interpreted rather than just presented
- -are caluculations correct
- -relevent data included and irrelevant date excluded
- -sources properly documented and consistantly formated
- -are visuals correct, needed, clear, sized and positioned and correctly labeled
- Supplementary Pages
- -executive summary short, descriptive and in proportion the report itself.
- -is the table of contents accurate, with correct page numbers and working
- -appended material labeled and refferred to in the body of the report.
- Writing Style and Format
- -overall take into acct the needs and desires of the reader
- -is material organized
- -headings descriptive, parallel, and in number
- -Are emphasis and subordination used
- -each major section contain a preview, summary, and transition
- -verb tense
- -formality used
- -references to secondary sources used
- -length of report and paragraphs appropriate
- -principles of document design been followed for effectiveness
- -free of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors
- -does overall report provide a positive position
- Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendation
- -is the wording consistant with data
- -conclusions drawn supported by credible evidence
- -do conclusions answer the question or issues raised in intro.
- -recommendations reasonable in light of the conclusions
- -report end with a sense of completeion and convey an impression that the project is important
A printed report or slides created inPowerPoint, Keynote, or other presentation tools.
The exact words of another person
Identifying sources (to give credit) toanother’s words or ideas.
A condensed version of the report body (alsocalled an abstract or synopsis).
A report heading that identifies only the topicof a section without giving the conclusion.
A report heading that identifies only the topicof a section without giving the conclusion.
A summary or restatement of a passage in one’sown words.
Using another person’s words or ideas withoutgiving proper credit.
Text that previews for the reader how a sectionwill be divided and—for direct-plan reports—what main points will follow.
Two consecutive headings without interveningtext.
A report heading that identifies the majorconclusion of a section.
A slide that presents the topics or main pointsof a presentation.
A slide repeated throughout a presentation,highlighting each topic as it is covered.
A presentation delivered using an unrehearsed,enhanced, conversational style.
A presentation delivered without preparation.
Main point slide
An optional slide in a presentation shown beforean agenda slide to convey the most important message to the audience.
presentation delivered from memory.
A presentation delivered by reading from notes.
An image on the slide that repeats on everyslide after the agenda to show the major divisions of a presentation,highlighting each topic as it is presented.
The first slide of a presentation, which usuallyincludes the title, date, name of presenter, company, and audience.
Know the purpose and objective to properly planninga presentation.
- PURPOSE: Helps with deciding what information to include and omit. What order and what to emphasize and what to omit. Most presentations have 1 of 4 purposes:
- 1.To Report: updating the audience on a project or event.
- 2.To Explain: Detailing how to carry out a process or procedure.
- 3. To Persuade: Convincing the audience to purchase something or to accept and idea.
- 4. To Motivate: Inspiring the audience to take some action.
how to effectively plan a team and onlinepresentation.
- PLANNING TEAM AND ONLINE PRESENTATIONS Team Presentations: Good a presenting complex projects. Require extensive planning, close coordination, and a measure of maturity and goodwill. Should come across as coherent and well coordinated.
- Achieving Coherence: Decide on tone, format, organization and visuals. Agree on what to wear, how to handle questions, and how to transition from one speaker to the next.
- Practicing the Team Presentation: full scale rehearsal with visuals in the room where its held is critical. Critiquing colleagues requires tact, empathy, and goodwill with grace and maturity. Coordinate intros, transitions, and positioning. Where to stand, sitting down, standing up while speaking. Don’t create a police line up. When and how to take questions. Read non verbal signs of confusion, boredom or disagreement.
- Online Presentations: Short presentation or two half hour sessions rather than an hour. Check in at remote locations. Send slides in advance, contingency plan for video feed problems.
Be able to organize an effective presentation.
ORGANIZATION THE PRESENTATION: Brainstorm, write down every point, Separate into opening, body, and ending. ·
- The Opening: Introduce topic, identify the purpose, and preview the presentation. First 90 seconds are crucial as they will be making judgments about your dress, posture, facial expressions, voice qualities, visuals and what you are saying. Build a relationship. Establish rapport. Start off by setting expectations: endorsement, help?
- o Quote a well-known person
- o Ask a question
- o Present a hypothetical situation
- o Relate an appropriate anecdote, story, joke or personal experience.
- o Give a startling fact
- o Use a dramatic prop or visual
- The Body: Organize your body logically, according to your audiences needs. Choose a logical sequence:
- Establish your credibility: support with credible evidence, stats, experiences, examples, and support from experts. Use objective language: not exaggeration or emotion. Don’t over saturate with evidence. Use handouts to provide more evidence for them to ingest later.
- Manage Negative Information: must use
- Criteria: introduce inturn and how well the alternative meets that criterion
- Direct Sequence: Give the major conclusions first, followed by support
- Indirect Sequence: present reasons first followed by conclusions (good for hostile audiences)
- Chronology: present points in order in which they occurred
- Cause/Effect/Solution: sources-consequences-and solutions
- Order of Importance: Present in importance
- Elimination of Alternatives: until one option remains after elimination/ useful to guide decision making
- The Ending: Finish on a strong, upbeat note, leaving your audience with a clear and simple message.
- Summarize the main points, especially if it is a long one. Let them know the significance. Draw conclusions, make recommendations, or outline the next steps. Leave with a clear and simple message. A punch would be telling a story, or a dramatic visual. Don’t end in a quotation. Avoid saying, “That’s about all I have to say” or “I see that our time is running out” Your audience will remember your last words.
Humor in Business Presentations: Use it if appropriate and you can’t tell funny stories. When presented with humor, the audience can remember it better. Don’t warn that a joke is coming. Relate your joke to the next part.
Be able to develop effective visual support.
Developing Visual Support for Business Presentations Creating Presentation Slides: PowerPoint, Apple’s Keynote to PowerPoint, Google Docs, Prezi. Present your main points clearly: Direct plan, main points up front and reinforce throughout slides. Main point slides, agenda slide. Making your presentation easy to follow: You can include divider slides or slide trackers. With divider slides, you repeat your agenda slide, highlighting each topic as you cover it. Divider slides are useful for team presentations as your transition to new topics. An alternative to divider slides is a slide tracker to show where you are within the presentation. It shows the major division of your presentation and is repeated on the slides after the agenda. Choose an Attractive, Appropriate design: Complementary colors, a cohesive design, simple photographs, and shapes as visual cues. Use a color scheme the same as companies. Simple is best: choose a solid color, gradient, or very light image that travels the edges of the slide but doesn’t interfere with text or other graphics. Dark text light background or vice versa. Choose no more than two types of slides for presentation. Choose standard business fonts: Serif fonts, cambria, times new roman, Arial and Calibri, are more modern. Cambria and Times New Roman are more classic. Replace Text with Graphics: Avoid too much bulleted text on slides. Gates uses content-heavy slides which are more typical for business presentations. Use smart art. Consider using photos and graphics to replace text. Large tables and text heavy slides are mind numbing. Use graphics to highluight data and add animations to help the audience follow. Use boldface to draw attention. Keep animations simple and don’t overuse them. The more white space and simplicity, the better. Write Simply and Clearly: Use bulleted text. Use Presentation Slides: Use visuals to support not detract from speaker. Make sure the audience can see you and the slides easily. Avoid walking in front of the slides. Try standing on the left side (audience point of view) for English Speaking audiences who read from left to right. Refer to text with a arm gesture or laser pointer. Have title slide up when people arrive. When telling a story, consider blanking the screen. Shift Key + B. Using Video: Video can engage the audience, illustrate a point, and make an emotional appeal. Video should not be used to break up the presentation but have a clear purpose. Tell your audience what to expect – length, what about. Embedded videos look more professional. Check to see if it works in conference room and the sound. Creating and Using Handouts: they supplement your presentation, provide space for note taking, and are a permanent record of your presentation. Provide a takeaway. Print two or three slides on a paper. Include full tables of data possibly. Give out ahead of time. The disadvantage is the audience may refer to the notes rather than you during the presentation.