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Preparing Business Reports

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing Business Reports"— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing Business Reports
CoB Center for Professional Communication

2 Business Report: Components
Appendix(es) References Conclusion Body Introduction Table of contents Executive Summary Transmittal Document Title Page

3 Report Components: Front Matter
Title page Balance the following parts on the title page: Name of report in all caps Receiver’s name, title, and organization Author’s name, title, and organization Date submitted

4 Report Components: Front Matter
Transmittal document Announce the topic and explain who authorized it. Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions – if the reader is supportive.

5 Report Components: Front Matter
Transmittal document Close by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions.

6 Report Components: Front Matter
Executive summary Summarize the report purpose, findings, conclusions, and recommendations. Include strategic words and sentences. Prepare an outline with headings. Fill in your outline.

7 Report Components: Front Matter
Executive summary Begin with the purpose. Follow the report sequence. Eliminate nonessential details. Restrict the length to no more than 10 percent of the original document.

8 Report Components: Front Matter
Table of contents Show the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report. List of figures Include 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.

9 Report Components: Front Matter
Introduction Discuss purpose and significance of report. Preview main points and order of development.

10 Report 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.

11 Report Components: Back Matter
Conclusion Recap the purpose and review the main points. Tie the main topics together, and, when appropriate, ask for action and/or goodwill.

12 Report Components: Back Matter
References List 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

13 Business Reports: Format
Selecting the best method for delivering your message is key.

14 Selecting a Report Format
Primarily Text Text and Graphics Memo or Formal Reports Informal Reports

15 Business Reports Are Graphical
Talking heading White background Detailed, explanatory text Mix of text and graphics Bullets or text in graphics Main points reinforced (optional) Page numbers

16 Style Focus on providing narrative with strong graphical elements:
Tables Charts Images Strong graphical design Do not ignore text altogether Every page should contain 25-75% text Narrative text font size 11 or 12 pt. Schematic, presentation-style reports are a genre with a distinctive style: Focus on graphical elements: Tables Charts Images Strong graphical design But, do not ignore text altogether Remember: The report is intended to be read, not listened to You will not be present to explain what a slide means Thus, the report must be more explicit than slides accompanying an oral presentation

17 Style Remember: The report is intended to be read, not listened to
You will not be present to explain what a graph or table means Thus, the report must be more explicit than slides accompanying an oral presentation

18 Style Rule of Thumb Each page should have: 25% white space (margins)
25 to 75% text 25 to 50% graphics around 25%. Each slide should have 25 to 50% text. This leaves 25 to 50% space for graphics

19 Format & Layout Create a design template 4 rules for design
Organization Elements Navigation Headings Portrait versus landscape?

20 Create the Design Template
Use the 4 Rules of Design Contrast Repetition Alignment Proximity Make a few basic decisions and stick to them You may use company colors and logo The template manages the reader’s expectations Many companies have a house style for reports and presentations Great 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.

21 Portrait or Landscape More familiar reading style
Easier to present textual blocks Better for double duty (stand-up presentations) Can be better for graphical elements (complex graphics are often horizontal)

22 Final Thoughts Think through your design Think through your structure
Be consistent Be professional Business Reports are meant to be read: explain the take away from your graphical elements EDIT, EDIT, EDIT!

23 Time for Examples

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