Presentation on theme: "Preparing Business Reports"— Presentation transcript:
1Preparing Business Reports CoB Center for Professional Communication
2Business Report: Components Appendix(es)ReferencesConclusionBodyIntroductionTable of contentsExecutive SummaryTransmittal DocumentTitle Page
3Report Components: Front Matter Title pageBalance the following parts on the title page:Name of report in all capsReceiver’s name, title, and organizationAuthor’s name, title, and organizationDate submitted
4Report Components: Front Matter Transmittal documentAnnounce the topic and explain who authorized it.Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions – if the reader is supportive.
5Report Components: Front Matter Transmittal documentClose by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions.
6Report Components: Front Matter Executive summarySummarize the report purpose, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.Include strategic words and sentences.Prepare an outline with headings.Fill in your outline.
7Report Components: Front Matter Executive summaryBegin with the purpose.Follow the report sequence.Eliminate nonessential details.Restrict the length to no more than 10 percent of the original document.
8Report Components: Front Matter Table of contentsShow the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report.List of figuresInclude a list of tables, illustrations, or figures showing the title of each and its page number.Place the list of figures on the same page with the table of contents if possible.
9Report Components: Front Matter IntroductionDiscuss purpose and significance of report.Preview main points and order of development.
10Report Components: Body Discuss, analyze, and interpret the research findings or proposed solution to the problem.Arrange the findings in logical segments that follow your outline.Use clear, descriptive headings.
11Report Components: Back Matter ConclusionRecap the purpose and review the main points.Tie the main topics together, and, when appropriate, ask for action and/or goodwill.
12Report Components: Back Matter ReferencesList all references cited in the paper.References should be arranged alphabetically.Appendix(es)Include items of interest to readers, such as data- gathering tools like questionnaires (these are originally created items).Each appendix item should be in its own appendix
13Business Reports: Format Selecting the best method for delivering your message is key.
14Selecting a Report Format Primarily TextText and GraphicsMemo orFormal ReportsInformal Reports
15Business Reports Are Graphical Talking headingWhite backgroundDetailed, explanatory textMix of text and graphicsBullets or text in graphicsMain points reinforced(optional)Page numbers
16Style Focus on providing narrative with strong graphical elements: TablesChartsImagesStrong graphical designDo not ignore text altogetherEvery page should contain 25-75% textNarrative text font size 11 or 12 pt.Schematic, presentation-style reports are a genre with a distinctive style:Focus on graphical elements:TablesChartsImagesStrong graphical designBut, do not ignore text altogetherRemember: The report is intended to be read, not listened toYou will not be present to explain what a slide meansThus, the report must be more explicit than slides accompanying an oral presentation
17Style Remember: The report is intended to be read, not listened to You will not be present to explain what a graph or table meansThus, the report must be more explicit than slides accompanying an oral presentation
18Style Rule of Thumb Each page should have: 25% white space (margins) 25 to 75% text25 to 50% graphicsaround 25%. Each slide should have 25 to 50% text. This leaves 25 to 50% space for graphics
19Format & Layout Create a design template 4 rules for design Organization ElementsNavigationHeadingsPortrait versus landscape?
20Create the Design Template Use the 4 Rules of DesignContrastRepetitionAlignmentProximityMake a few basic decisions and stick to themYou may use company colors and logoThe template manages the reader’s expectationsMany companies have a house style for reports and presentationsGreat contrast can leave a very good first impression on a user. Without a focal point, the viewer is generally lost in a sea of equally-sized elements and typography. It’s the designer’s job to create visual elements of significance that guide the user’s experience. You can achieve great contrast by choosing your images, colors and fonts wisely.Repetition: Repeating design elements helps create a consistent look and improves branding. In report design a great way to achieve this is by repeating elements in the header and footer.Alignment plays an intricate role in taking your report designs from looking amateur to professional. Try using a grid. Doing so cleans up your designs and gives you an awesome framework to work from.The last principle is proximity. This has to do with grouping like elements together and separating those that are not. It can really ruin your readers experience if you group everything into one lump text block. That’s why its very important to use header tags and proper spacing.
21Portrait or Landscape More familiar reading style Easier to present textual blocksBetter for double duty (stand-up presentations)Can be better for graphical elements (complex graphics are often horizontal)
22Final Thoughts Think through your design Think through your structure Be consistentBe professionalBusiness Reports are meant to be read: explain the take away from your graphical elementsEDIT, EDIT, EDIT!