Visual Aids for Reports

Published October 8, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair


This week our topic of focus are reports and presentations. Today’s post we will take a closer look at the role visual aids play in the development of reports. The US Department of Labor suggests in their training material, that “the use of visual aids, coupled with good public speaking skills, work hand-in-hand to create effective presentations” (OSHA Office of Training and Education, 1996). However, as I pointed out in Monday’s post, they are not always required in the preparation of effective reports.

At the mortgage and loan company I was employed with, for instance, a visual presentation for social media monitoring was not necessary to enhance the effectiveness of that particular daily email report. The intent of the document was merely to provide a brief spreadsheet like overview of daily activity from the firm’s social media networks. That information did not warrant the time nor justify the additional costs incurred to create a visual presentation for effective data transmission. As a small business owner where budget concerns are an issue, the extra billing required to create a visual report would not have been cost effective for the company’s needs. In today’s business arena where budget concerns are a priority, staff members that can help employers keeps costs down are highly valued.

social media logos oil

In the meantime, to make the report more visually appealing, however, I developed a template which included small graphics and separated each social media network in clearly marked segments to make the information easier to peruse and visual pleasing as well. The decision to include graphics in the report was a simple inexpensive choice. Employers also appreciate and value staff members that make concerted efforts to keep production costs down while taking extra measures to add higher levels of professionalism in their work. These kinds of staff members are the ones who stand out above the crowd and can also play an integral role in helping a firm achieve successful outcomes.

On Friday, we will wrap our discussion on presentations and take a closer look at the strategies one payroll specialist utilizes to prepare company reports and whether the use of a full visual presentation, including audio, video, and power point presentations, are effective for their company’s needs.

Until then … stay organized!


Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different. – Michael Porter


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OSHA Office of Training and Education. (1996). Retrieved October 04, 2012, from U.S. Department of Labor:

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