At this point you have prepared a detailed report that will be provided to the corporation. However, senior executives invariably have very little time and often find it difficult to read a detailed report from beginning to end. Instead, they utilize the executive summary, and often a version of this is presented to the corporation. However, not all consultants can produce a meaningful executive summary, let alone a presentation to illustrate the contents of a report.
Executives in today’s business environment invariably have limited time available for researching and digesting information. As a result, they usually need direction on where to focus their attention in order to optimize their time. Executive summaries are increasingly important, as they can enable the reader to speed-read a report and focus on specific information if they need clarification or more detail.
Often the reader of the summary has little interest in the technical details behind a specific project. They need answers about such issues as direction, focus, costs, marketing, productivity, and so on. Consequently, authors of such documents need to ensure that this type of information is readily available in the summary. It is therefore important that such a document:
- Covers the main points in the report
- Provides a conclusion and/or makes recommendations
Accuracy is extremely important, as business decisions could be made on the basis of what is contained in the executive summary. There are various approaches to developing such a document, and a popular approach is to present an overview of a report summarizing each section in turn, with the whole document summarized at the beginning and the conclusions/recommendations repeated at the end.
An important issue relates to how the information is provided. A presentation is a tool to assist in making an argument. The method of presentation is a critical factor, as no matter how extensive the research or accurate the conclusions, a weak presentation can deter the readers from spending time looking for the answers they need to make an effective decision. A presentation is a tool to assist in making an argument. When creating presentations, the author must develop skills in researching an issue, synthesizing the information, organizing data logically, and presenting findings in an effective manner.
Prepare an executive summary presentation of your report. Your executive summary should summarize the final project so that it could be presented to the board of your selected company. Use this Guide to Writing an Effective Executive Summary as a resource to prepare your content and message for your presentation.
For the purposes of this assignment, the presentation should contain at least 10 PowerPoint slides, including references. Consider and apply the following principles of an effective presentation:
- You may utilize a product such as Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Adobe Captivate, Prezi, or Google Presentation to create your presentations.
- There are various template designs that you can find on the internet for your presentation. However, consider your presentation from the perspective of
your audience prior to selecting a specific style. Distracting backgrounds, large blocks of text, all uppercase fonts, elaborate font styles, grammatical
errors, and misspellings are distracting. Be consistent with the style of text, bullets, and sub-points in order to support a powerful presentation that
allows your content to be the focus.
- Each slide should include your key point(s). Do not place large blocks of text on the visual. Your presentation is not a means of presenting a short paper.
In an actual presentation, you would not read from your slides but rather use them as prompts.
- Any notes or narration you would use in delivering this presentation to a group should be listed in the “notes” section of the slide.
- References should be listed at the bottom of the slide in slightly smaller text.
- Use clip art, AutoShapes, pictures, charts, tables, and diagrams to enhance but not overwhelm your content.
- Be mindful of the intendedaudience and seek to assess the presentation’s effectiveness by gauging audience comprehension (when possible)
Below are some links that offer helpful tips and examples for developing your presentations:
- Making PowerPoint Slides
- Really Bad PowerPoint and How to AvoidIt
Post a link to your presentation, and then post a review of at least one of your classmates’ presentations, and assess your classmate’s examples and argue or
defend his or her explanation. This is a peer review process.
- Your feedback, edits, and comments should be in the form of constructive peer feedback featuring a discussion of the strengths of the presentation as
well as areas that could be improved.
- Keep the tone of your comments positive and constructive. You are reviewing the presentation, not the person.
Follow-up to the feedback should focus on receiving clarification on edits and feedback or should lead to a discussion contrasting approaches. Constructive and friendly follow-up is optional, but encouraged.