Mic Check Vol. 15: Don't sleep on the power of a killer, engaging report.
The key: treat every report like an opportunity to tell your story.
We're nearing the end of the quarter, which for many of us means tying a bow around the last three months of work and planning for the next.
Regardless of where you sit—founder, leader, investor, individual contributor—this is the time of year when we probably think most about how we share our work with others. Even if we're building alone, the end of a quarter is an excellent time to take stock of our progress and direction.
Whether it's an investor report or an all-hands presentation, we should think of these reports as a chance to tell a story, rather than a PDF attachment of some tables and trendlines.
Much like a pitch deck, end-of-quarter or end-of-month reports should center around purpose and impact. The "why" should stay firmly at the center of the story you're telling: why are we building this? Whose lives so we seek to improve, and how? Circling back to these statements each quarter is just good alignment hygiene.
Even if you don't yet have an audience for an EOQ report, I recommend giving it a go, if for no other purpose than reflection and to get storytelling reps in. Include things like:
What did we accomplish this quarter, both qualitative and quantitative? What's the story behind those accomplishments?
What did we try that maybe didn't go as planned, and what did we learn?
How is the team performing? What did they personally accomplish that deserves some shine?
What's next on the docket and why?
Once you have several quarters under your belt, you'll have a record of decisions made, lessons learned, and plans refined that tells a story of its own.
📚 Open tabs
What team Rhetoric is reading during those awkwardly-timed few minutes between Zooms.
Has anyone given Decipad a whirl yet? Seems like a pretty sleek way to tell stories with data: all the power of a spreadsheet with a sleek, intuitive interface a la Notion. No SQL know-how required.
Saw Starter Story on HackerNews yesterday and thought it could be a neat resource for this crew: nearly 4,000 case studies on successful businesses that you can filter by revenue, business type, growth method, and so on.
This article uses an in-depth study of the Queen's accent to tell a story about the social, cultural and technological developments throughout her lifetime. A masterclass in storytelling if I've ever seen one.
✨ New ways to present better
Here's what's going on at Rhetoric this week:
You can now add multiple presenters to your presentation!
You record slide 1 and I’ll record slide 2 🤝
Have a feature idea you want to see in Rhetoric? Add it to our public roadmap!