It's all about the STORY!

Posts tagged ‘finance’

Report Writing — 7 Tips

How to write an outstanding report — 7 tips — (Business not academic)

1) Know your audience(s)– if your report will only be seen by industry pros, do use appropriate industry-specific jargon. This will ensure clarity amongminorityreport your peers and a level of comfort and credibility will be bestowed to you because you are speaking the same language. However, if this is going out to other audiences who may be unfamiliar with your industry jargon (e.g. B2C marketing, stockholders/investors, etc.), kill the jargon and just tell the story.

2) Visuals are important– use charts, graphs and other descriptive images, but do make certain that these images directly correlate to the text, and make sure that the text you are referencing is nearby in the layout. Do not use images in place of text.

3) Words are part of your layout and design– love the text as much as the pretty pictures. Remember that visual balance is important, so don’t leave a lonely word hanging on one line or just a few sentences lingering on the final page. Make certain your text looks as good as it reads. Edit… which brings us to the next point…

4) Editing– I recommend putting everything including the kitchen sink into your first draft. That way, everything you might possibly need is there. You won’t have to look for it later when you decide that a particular piece of data or quote or whatever would be the greatest thing right now. Edit for content first, eloquence second, grammar and punctuation third and then the ever-present character count if needed. Subtract, tighten, refine, polish and delete your way to the final draft.

5) Organization and flow– Put first things first. It’s helpful, though not always necessary, to create an outline. If you’re having difficulty with organizing your report, ask yourself simple questions: What would I, as a reader, want to know first? Second, once I know that, what is the next question I want answered? Continue following this thought-pattern until all of your content for your report has been addressed.

6) Details count– added details will help your readers follow your content and add aesthetics to your report. These details might include a table of contents, text boxes that highlight quotes or facts/statistics, page numbers and references. If your report will be distributed and/or accessed electronically, consider providing an interactive table of contents and hyperlinks within texts and photos as appropriate.

7) Software– if you’re lucky, you can create the report in a professional Adobe InDesign or cloud program. However, many professionals are lucky if they even have an updated version of MS Word. It’s best if your end product is a PDF regardless of what software you used to create it. Not only will this elevate most problems with diverse software accessibility from your readers’ perspectives, but this also will help maintain the integrity of your content—not allowing it to be manipulated easily.

*BONUS– Have fun! Reports need not be stuffy. The most engaging, well-written and useful reports are generated by people who enjoy writing them. Use accurate data and statistics, collect accurate facts and quotes—this is most important. Next, enjoy the process of telling the story about the data, statistics, facts and quotes. The choice is yours—miserable people create miserable reports.

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MONEY IS INFORMATION and you can manage information

Money is information. It is agreed upon values, which fluctuates based on the information surrounding your worth. If information says you are more valuable today than yesterday, the strength of your currency rises.

$$ Built by Information

If the public agrees that the information surrounding your brand says that your brand is more valuable today than yesterday, it is more valuable today than yesterday.

Learning to manage the information surrounding your brand is vital to business development and sustainability.

What is the information surrounding your brand today? What information would make your brand stronger/more valuable to your publics? What are a few actions you could implement to get that information out into your publics’ hands and encourage them to pass the information along–making the impact of that information stronger, more-widespread, more credible and hence valuable than ever before? Communicate!

Yes, you’re seeing it right–this is all about strategic communication management. Identify your audience. Engage in a conversation with your public. Learn what they value. Be responsive to those values. Interact, learn and grow based on the needs of your audience. Let them know that their input and conversations about your business and industry caused you to change something in a meaningful way: your customer service, your philosophy, products, services, etc. You are not only engaged and listening and responding. You care. You care so much that you respond to input by changing. 

If you are in business, your business is to serve. The strength of your brand depends on your ability to demonstrate that service, and your value is determined by your responsiveness.

All things being equal, people will tend to do business with those they know, like and trust. Be that person. Dare to be great! 

To find out more, contact me at daphnestreet@daphnestreet.com
Visit my website: www.daphnestreet.com

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