From technical to Expert

We want you to submit a report to the Audit Hall of Fame. All you have to do is write a simple report summary that’s either entirely fictional, eg based on the Mr Man characters, or an actual report. All we ask is that it’s super clear and super simple. Ask Mark for more details.

Martin and Gideon talk about what makes a good report. See the film at ( link here)

A look at some texts, and how to make them better. We’ve taken a fictitious 30 day CR report and shown how you can apply many of the ideas in the video to improving the readability. Here is the before and after version.

There’s the conversation about a topic and the notes on the conversation. The notes won’t necessarily make any sense to the people who weren’t party to the conversation. But sometimes the notes get passed upwards as a ‘report’, and herein lies the source of some problems. What do those notes actually mean?

According to Martin S, a great report should be like the Picasso drawing. “I recall Picasso once took a pen and he drew a dove – one line, and it said it all. It was clear for everyone who looked at it. It was a peace dove. And it was super simple, super clear, and it went a long way. In my view a great report, a should comply with the same principles and standards: Be super easy, very clear and go a long way.”

How readable is your text? Try this bot which assesses the readabilty score. For security do please change names and numbers.

What’s the difference between an observation and an insight? Mr Rush frequently drives over 120 mph is an observation, but what would the insight be?

Mr Rush seems to drive fast because he lacks excitement in his life? The insight gives you access to solving problems around the issue. Maybe Mr Rush needs some other forms of excitement?

Larry McEnerney argues that people read for a value exchange. And that value isn’t an incremental unit of knowledge. It’s an element of something that’s going to help create a paradigm shift. A la Kuhn.

A value exchange is about attention for ideas that have value. Why would you read through a document about packet switching? Because Sir Tim Berner’s Lee’s writing could tell you things that changed what you did the next morning.

Stephen Hawking’s book sold more copies than the bible, 9 million copies in forty languages. And yet the subject matter is to say the least quite complex. His gift is that he’s trying to help you understand, not to bamboozle you. His opening story demonstrates how the entire theme of the book can be summarised and illustrated in a single child like story.

Tom’s hall of fame entry. It’s a report about Mr Fussie applying for a license to run an ice cream van. Clear simple and engaging it also conveys all the issues the licensing authority would want to know. For great report story telling it doesn’t get much better than this. Enjoy.

On a driving test, Mr Forgetful forgets to indicate a left hand turn. But the report that’s written is a masterpiece of ambiguity and obfuscation. Find out how this happens and why.