Jun 16, 2010

3 Essentials of every Market Research Presentation

Market Research is a field where presentation skills are very important. The outcome of hours of grueling research is always a presentation. It is not enough to 'conduct' a research properly and 'analyse' the findings, it is equally important to know how to 'present' the findings to the client. Even a small mistake can seed doubts about your credibility and capability in the minds of the client.

In this post I share tips on how to make market research presentations better.

3 Essentials of every Market Research Presentation

A. Clarity

B. Credibility

C. Usability

A. Clarity of thought

Market research is conducted with a specific objective in mind. "How many housewives in Mumbai have seen our new soap ad?" or "How
many people like Coke more than Pepsi?" The aim of the research agency is to answer this question. When the presentation is being made, the presenter should have utmost clarity on the all the findings. A research can have as low as 5 questions and as many as 50 or more. For every question, the findings have to be crystal clear. There is no room for confusion or doubt.

If the presentation is being emailed and you will not be going to deliver the talk along with slides, this point becomes even more important. Every
slide should then have the research question on top and the finding in 1 or 2 sentences. You need to make the presentation self-sufficient.

Here is a small list which can help you make your presentation more clear:

1. Give a logical flow to the presentation. Start with the objective of the presentation, then methodology. Then mention the research
questions one by one and answer them. One slide for one question. Provide the final finding at the end followed by your recommendations.

2. Put the research question you had asked ("How many times do kids by Bingo chips in a month?") as the header of your slide and put the
finding at the bottom. Use one slide for one question.

3. Avoid use of technical jargon. If they are unavoidable, then explain in simple (layman) terms what they mean. NEVER make the mistake
of assuming that the client knows all the jargon.

4. Learn how to present data properly. Mention your sample size in each chart. Label your charts properly. Choose right charts for your data. Our objective is to ensure we take all the pains and making the client understand our work.

5. Take your presentation through a 'layman test'. Because you (the presenter) is so close to your content you assume of lot of things and
end up confusing the audience. To see if your presentation is clear or not, show it to a person not connected with this research and ask him whether he understands all your slides.

6. Do not try to present too much information to prove that you have worked very hard on the project. The skill lies in analysing loads of data
and presenting in a simple manner.

B. Credibility of Information

Whenever you present information the question of credibility always comes up. More so in market research. The client should have the
confidence that the research and analysis has been done well. They are going to take decisions in the light of your research. What can shake your presentation's credibility are simple things like mismatch of data across slides, percentages not adding upto 100% (due to some mathematical error), etc.

So check your data three times before you present. Even a small error in 1 chart can create doubt in the mind of the client. "If there is a
mistake in one chart, there can be more such 'small' mistakes." There is nothing called a silly mistake in a market research presentation. Check thrice and present 100% correct information.

C. Usability of Information

The ultimate objective of research is to help the client make a decision. Understand the overall business scenario and spend time and
effort in making a recommendation which helps the management. Just presenting the information is what your role is. Go beyond the role and provide insights into the research which helps management make a definite decision which will lead to business gains.

If you have ever made or attended a market research presentation, I would like to invite you to share your thoughts on the presentation.