These seem to be rich days for those of us fishing for nuggets of insight on how to improve our reporting. In addition Monday's post about simplifying key insight slides here is one more morsel the reporting wonks out there.
Eric Schaffer writes about researchers vs. practitioners. and Stephane Hamel adds some Web Analytics perspective. My key take away comes from Stephane's post "Clients are looking for solutions". On the first glance this sounds very obvious. When looking at most web analytics reports you will find that they highlight the problems, while the solutions are buried somewhere at the end of the PPT. We present (our 40 to 50 slides), have some discussions on the way and when we come to the solutions part everyone is tired or alternatively on the way to the next meeting.
So here is the challenge for you and for me.
- Put the solutions to key problems front and center. That means on slide 1 or 2 and as the last slide (to facilitate discussion).
- Prioritize the key solutions with most leverage
- Spend enough time during the presentation talking about the solution (after the client is persuaded that they have a problem)
- Limit the slides talking about problems (I guess 10 -15 is a good rule of thumb), but make your points clear. More detailed slides can go into the appendix to support your point when necessary
- Get agreements on actions and take down action items (with person responsible and time line)
- Follow up on the action items and include progress in future reports.