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Reports/Presentations -- Question & Answer Listing  
Viewing 1-9 of 9 Knowledge Entries
Question / Answer

Question:
How do compile an After Action Report?

Answer:
An After Action Report (AAR) is a summary of the actions taken to plan and carry out a certain event. Most AARs are divided into different sections based on the key activities that relate to the specific event. For example, if the event is an annual fund-raising art action, there might be several different committees who worked on different aspects of the event. There might be a committee responsible for contacting artists to support the event and/or donate items to be auctioned or sold; a committee that planned the publicity for the event; one that planned refreshments; one that planned entertainment and decorations; etc. In an AAR, the committee chairperson should write a summary of his/her committee’s actions, to include specific contacts made, their budget, and any problems they had. It should also include the steps the committee took to resolve any issues they had as well as recommendations for the future. An AAR serves two key purposes: it records information about the event for historical purposes, and it serves as a starting point for future planners of the event or similar events. Learn more about After Action Reports from the references listed.

Question:
How does one's appearance impact the audience's perception during a presentation?

Answer:
One’s personal appearance (e.g., clothing, jewelry, hair, etc.) influence’s the audience’s perception of you and the image you project. Therefore, it is important to dress appropriately for your audience. If you are a comedian, it might be perfectly appropriate to wear mismatched clothes and colorful make-up and/or accessories, but if you are making a more serious presentation, such as in an academic setting, you may want to wear something more professional and minimize the accessories so the audience’s focus is more on your words than your appearance. The Army Family Team Building (AFTB) Program’s master training course includes some instructional material about projecting the proper image. Although the focus of this course is to train individuals to become AFTB instructors, their materials offer some very practical suggestions on what to wear when making a presentation. For example, they recommend that the attire be professional and to wear non-distracting accessories. They also warn prospective instructors to minimize scents. Heavy perfumes can be distracting and also offensive to some members of your audience. Pay attention to grooming details (e.g., look in the mirror before beginning your presentation). If unsure of your audience, ask the person coordinating the presentation. The image you might want to project for a group of six year olds would probably be very different from the one you would want to project for a group of scientists at a medical convention.

Question:
How important is it for a leader (e.g., Family Readiness Group Leader) to be a good public speaker?

Answer:
It is are extremely important for leaders to have good written and oral communication skills, as it is often the way a leader communicates with his/her constituents that determines how supportive and participative they will be. For example, if a Family Readiness Group (FRG) leader shows very little enthusiasm when promoting FRG events and activities, there may be few individuals participating in them. Public speaking is especially useful for leaders. It can be used to gain exposure for the organization, attract new participants, gain support for issues, etc. If asked to speak publicly, take adequate time to prepare your speech or presentation, taking into consideration the target audience, the presentation location, the most current information on the topic, and the message you are trying to convey. Practice executing your presentation and time it so you keep it within your allotted time. There are many different communication resources available (books, seminars, classes, etc.) that can help improve one’s communication skills. For more information about this subject, check the references provided.

Question:
What are some effective listening techniques?

Answer:
Listening is the process of receiving and understanding information being transmitted. Effective listening refers to receiving the information accurately and perceiving it as it was intended to be understood. There are a number of techniques that you can employ to increase the probability that the message you are hearing is the message being sent. Below is a list of some of these techniques. Note that this list is not conclusive, but provides some examples. - Prepare yourself to listen by giving your full attention to the speaker. - Make eye contact with the speaker and give feedback to him/her to acknowledge that the message is being heard, such as smiling or nodding your head. - Don’t interrupt someone who’s speaking. Allow them to finish their train of thought before you respond. - Don’t make assumptions about what you think the speaker is going to say. Doing this can cause you to ‘hear what you expect to hear’ as opposed to what is actually being said. Try to understand the speaker’s point of view even if you don’t agree with it. - Watch the speaker for any non-verbal clues such as body motions and facial expressions that allow you to ‘read between the lines.’ - Use feedback techniques to make sure you understood what the speaker said such as: asking questions to clarify your understanding, repeating back to the speaker what you think you heard (parroting), or rephrase what you think the speaker said to check your perception.

Question:
What are some of the basic techniques and procedures for planning and developing a briefing or presentation?

Answer:
There are a number of techniques and procedures associated with planning and developing a briefing or presentation such as scheduling, audience analysis, research and organization of material, deciding on a presentation type (e.g., persuasive, explanatory, instructional, oral report, decision briefing, etc.), preparing audio and/or visual aids, content mastery, etc. Learn more about planning and executing presentations and briefings from the resources listed.

Question:
What are some techniques for rehearsing a briefing or presentation?

Answer:
Rehearsing your briefing or presentation allows you to become more comfortable with your material and confident with your execution, which helps to control your nervousness. Mentally rehearse to visualize how the presentation should look and sound to your audience. Use this to help organize your remarks and develop visual aids. Practice out loud in front of a mirror to get your timing down. Rehearse your presentation live in a less-threatening, informal environment such as for family, friends, or coworkers. Enlist reviews from your audience. Sometimes taping your rehearsal and then reviewing it to see yourself as your audience does or will helps. Be sure to use your props when you rehearse and arrive early enough to the presentation location to check any audio-visual equipment you’ll be using. These are just a few suggestions to help prepare for a briefing or presentation. Learn more about this subject from the resources listed.

Question:
What is "Toastmasters?"

Answer:
Toastmasters International is an organization that allows its members to improve their public speaking and communication skills by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment.

Question:
What is an After Action Review?

Answer:
An After Action Review typically refers to a meeting held following an event whose purpose is to discuss the planning and execution of the event. It is attended by key planners and leaders associated with the event and the purpose of this review is to discuss what parts of the event went well, what problems arose, and what could have been done better. An After Action Review is often held in addition to the writing of an After Action Report.

Question:
What is the difference between a persuasive, explanatory, or instructional presentation, an oral report, and a decision briefing?

Answer:
These are all different types of presentations. A persuasive presentation is one where the speaker tries to influence the audience perhaps to get them excited about a new concept or product – such as used by salesmen trying to promote his/her merchandise. Explanatory presentations are used to provide information, perhaps an overview of a new program being initiated in the organization. An instructional presentation is one used to teach the audience how to do or use something and may involve audience participation. Oral reports are similar to explanatory presentations, but tend to be used to present information more familiar material such as an update on a task or problem area. A decision briefing is generally used to present pros and cons about various recommendations to a problem for the benefit of a decision maker. More about presentation types, how and when to use them can be found in the references provided.
Viewing 1-9 of 9 Knowledge Entries

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