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Baker’s 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 client’s
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
...
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 interviewi...
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-...
12. Use visual emphasis
to highlight insights
• Bold fonts*
• Colored fonts
• Call-outs
• Colored boxes
*avoid all caps or...
• 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 ...
Thank you!
Liz Van Patten
631-283-7842
Lvanpatten@aol.com
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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.

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

  1. Baker’s Dozen 13 tips for cooking up tasty reports Liz Van Patten QRCA Annual Conference October 2012
  2. Recipe • Framing • Storytelling • Crafting insights • Making it accessible
  3. 1. Understand client’s objectives and choices • Plan to answer the objectives • Consider the available options
  4. 2. Get agreement on reporting methods • How will report be used? • What format(s) is best solution?
  5. 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 
  6. 3. Create a template from project objectives • Build a structure for the report • Start with issues in the guide
  7. Useful reports are information pyramids Insights Headlines Findings
  8. Information structured for reader segments Scan Read Study
  9. 4. Start writing before fieldwork begins • Write objectives and method in advance • Gives stronger focus during interviewing
  10. 5. Get a head start with debriefs • Listen to clients • Start process of report writing • Keeps everyone on the same page
  11. Analysis Story 6. Tell a compelling story StoryData Data Data
  12. One- third pie Two- thirds pie Three- thirds pie No- thirds pie Stories make sense of the data
  13. 7. Select findings that support your story • Focus on the objectives • Resist including everything • Avoid tangents
  14. 8. Add value with analysis • Incorporate your own unique insights
  15. 9. Make information easy to access • Write headlines not labels • Scan in ten minutes
  16. 10. Craft insights that lead to action • Write action-oriented insights • Use verbs
  17. What is an insight anyway? • Below the surface • Not common knowledge • Leads to new opportunities
  18. 11. Visualize your insights • Look for metaphors and visuals • Makes it more memorable
  19. Three communication need states • Not mutually exclusive • Varied requirements for each Multi- tasking Single- tasking On-the- road
  20. 12. Use visual emphasis to highlight insights • Bold fonts* • Colored fonts • Call-outs • Colored boxes *avoid all caps or underscored
  21. • Highlight key take-aways • Make them easy to find 13. Highlight findings that support insights
  22. Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  23. Emphasize headlines to guide readers Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  24. Headlines become useful Table of Contents Source: Tapping Encore Talent MetLife/Civic Ventures Survey
  25. 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
  26. Thank you! Liz Van Patten 631-283-7842 Lvanpatten@aol.com

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