In this video, the instructor explains their method of proofreading the reports they produce.
- [Lecturer] Have you ever had the experienced of giving your work to someone to look at it with a fresh pain of eyes and had them catch an error in the title of your document or in the first five seconds of reading it? That happens a lot. The reason is simple, you've read the report so many times while building it that you're not able any more to see what's wrong with it. In this video I'll tell you about my way of proof reading the reports I produce. You might not be guaranteed to never have an error in your report, but it's been helping me take so many errors out over the years that when one did pop into the report I already did have strong credibility and could waive it off.
Well there's three things I do every time I'm sending out a report or an analysis. It adds some time to the preparation of your reports but it builds so much credibility with your stakeholders to send them quality work that it's worth the extra time. The first technique I use is a simple one. I print the report and look at it on paper. Okay, it's not the most eco-friendly technique but it works on me like a complete reset and it's as if I was looking at the report for the first time.
I'm not fully able to explain what's the science behind that but it's been saving me time, reducing errors, and has helped every person I shared it with. You just print the report once it is fully finished sit down at your desk and read it one more time. Circle with a pen everything that seems off and take them down one by one. Now that you have your report on paper put yourself in the shoes of the CEO. Not only will it help you identify any inconsistency in your data and give you time to analyze and resolve it before the meeting but it will also develop your analytical skills.
You'll be looking at trends, comparing this year and the previous one, thinking about the actions your took and the results appearing on the report what could that mean for the business. You'll arrive ready at the meeting knowing that your report is solid and knowing your numbers as well. The last technique is to have in mind the elevator pitch of the report. If you had explain what are the insights coming from this report in a 30 second speech what would you say? It's a tough one because you have not only to analyze the data and understand it but you also have to choose from all the insights which ones are worth mentioning and which ones are not significant enough.
It could be as simple as we've done well this month overall but that's thanks to the East Coast which is performing extremely well and compensating for the lack of growth in the other territories. This sentence is not telling everything there is to learn from the report, just the main insight. Doing so will give you another layer of verification on the numbers and again develop your analytical skills and business acumen. It's common trait of young professionals to want to respond to requests swiftly.
Sometimes at the expense of checking and catching errors before reports are in the wild. Take the time to print, read, analyze and summarize the report before it's released and you'll begin to develop strong business credibility.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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