Perhaps you’ve been selected to present the progress report of the project your team is currently tasked with, or it’s month’s end and as the team lead, you have to give the monthly report of the work you’ve done so far. Whichever the case may be, the planning stage is critical in ensuring that your presentation offers important details about the project or period. When preparing a report presentation, there are critical questions you must answer to make your idea or process vivid and your presentation impressive.
What is my goal?
The first step in giving an impressive report presentation is to determine your objective for delivering the presentation. What do you hope to achieve through this presentation? Is there a call to action? What specific response do you want from your audience? Answers to these questions will help frame your presentation. Write down your objective as clearly and concisely as you can.
Who is my audience?
Will you be making your presentation to your bosses, your peers, or other team leaders? What do they expect or need to hear from you? If it is an update report, what are the critical information they need to be in the know of how the project is going? If you intend to recommend a new strategy, what reasoning do they need to hear to get on board? Do they have any reservations about the topic of your talk? Through the first question, you determined the specific response or action you want from your audience. By answering the ‘who is my audience question’, you will be better equipped to prepare a presentation that leads them to take that action.
What are the key points?
The key points that make up your report presentation should help you answer the questions on everyone’s mind. For instance, in a progress report presentation, you’ll have to describe where you started, where you are now with the project, and where you want to be. Talk about problems you have encountered and explain how they’re being addressed, describe successes to date, and remind everyone of the ‘big picture.’
What will the overall structure look like?
Maintaining a logical flow during your presentation helps your audience follow your reasoning. You don’t want your audience to feel lost or confused when giving your report, if they do, there’s a big chance you won’t be achieving your objective in the end. That’s why answering the question, “what is the best way to organise my key points to enable my audience to understand” is so important. A good, simple structure helps you remember your points, stay on track and get audience buy-in.
What visual aids or handouts will I need?
With every presentation, clarity is vital. Clarity of message, process and the commitment you are asking from your audience can be achieved by employing visual aids. Select pictures and (or) videos that will enhance understanding of your report presentation. Choose the right graph or chart to represent your data and remember to keep this clean. Also, keep in mind that PowerPoint decks, just like other forms of visual aids, are there to support your presentation, they are not the focus of your presentation.
How would I word my opening and closing?
The first 60 seconds of presentations are usually the scariest. However, to give an impressive report presentation, you want to start strong and confident. This means you have to get rid of the nerves from the get-go. On the other hand, many people struggle with how to close their presentation. As a result, they ramble when they’ve exhausted their points, this ruins what would have been an otherwise perfect presentation. To captivate your audience right away and end your presentation on a bang, script your intro and closing.
Who do I need to review my presentation?
Having a second pair of eyes review your presentation is always a great idea. If you work or worked with a team, request someone on your team or your supervisor to look at what you have put together to ensure that you have captured every important information which will help you convey the message and get the results you desire. You may also request a colleague to proofread or help to clean out your PowerPoint.
Finally, distilling a book-length report into a 60-minute presentation can feel gruesome from the onset. But asking these questions help you zero in on the most important information to discuss or show during your presentation. By answering them and building your presentation therewith, you will have the clarity and confidence to deliver an impressive report presentation.
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