How to Write a Report After Listening to a Presentation

Things You'll Need

  • Notes or texts
  • Tape recorder (optional)
  • Internet access
  • Reliable computer
  • Library access

There are many things to pay attention to in a presentation that will be the subject of a report. The task may be more or less challenging depending on subject matter, but there are ways to prepare and things to keep in mind that will help significantly along the way.

Writing Your Paper

The first steps for writing a paper on another person's presentation take place before the presentation is given. Prepare by deciding how you will take notes and whether you will use a tape recorder for future reference. If you choose the latter, make sure to check with the presenter that this is appropriate.

When taking notes, keep in mind that not everything has to be written down. Note only on key points that you're sure you will want to touch on in your report. Use bullet points or an outline form to ensure your notes are easily digestible. If the purpose of the report is to simply cover the entire presentation, the essential task is to map out key points and then make an outline to connect them in a neatly-written fashion.

Prepare your outline. Look over your notes or listen to your recording. Decide what it was that the speaker was concentrating on and what she was trying to get across to the audience. If there is a page limit, you may not be able to include everything the speaker said. Instead, hit all the major points, giving specific support for each point.

Make sure your paper is formatted according to your boss' or professor's requirements. It is important to distinguish between your words and the speaker's. Use quotations appropriately, and paraphrase when quotes have been exhausted. Be sure to expand on each quote, and never leave a point unsupported.

Go back and read through your report a few times. It should flow logically from beginning to end, and should should be easily understandable by someone who did not listen to the presentation. Check for consistency of style and spelling or grammatical errors, and make sure all quotes and sources are be adequately credited.

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