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Module 7

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Conducting the Information Interview

Module 7: Presenting the Report

2 people at the end of an information interview

Stage 7: Presenting the Report.

The format for your final report depends on:

  • the audience,

  • the topic,

  • the requirements of the assignment, and

  • your communication skills.

Often a final report involves the use of multiple communication channels, such as text and graphics or audio and visual. For example, if you were presenting information from a series of interviews you conducted for a class, you might want to prepare an oral report that incorporates brief audio clips of the interviewees' responses. If you interviewed people for an investigative report for your student newspaper, you would likely want to include photographs along with the written story.

In determining how to present your report you need to answer the following questions:

  • What are my audience's interests, needs, experiences? What presentation format will best convey the information I want to present?

  • How complex/simple is my topic? What format will best allow me to present my topic in an engaging, informative, and effective way?

  • What are the requirements of the assignment? What presentation format will best help me meet those requirments?

  • What are my communication strengths? What are my communication weaknesses?

After answering the questions listed above, you want to brainstorm for ideas, then evaluate each idea based on your audience, topic, requirements of the assignment, and your own communication skills.

Here are some ways others have presented the information they gathered in their interviews:

    Japanese American Internment Memorial. This site includes information from an interview with Ruth Asawa, a Japanese American sculptor who spent four years in an internment camp. In describing her sculpture located at Robert Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, CA, the site, states, "The bronze panoramic memorial stands 5 feet high and retells the history of Japanese Americans in narrative panels. From Asawa, who was interned at the age of 16, this memorial holds both autobiographical memories and memories of the approximately 110,000 other Japanese Americans who were interned."

    Silicon Valley Culture Project. This site presents information from in-depth interviews with the people who work and live in the San José, California, area known as "Silicon Valley." A longitudinal study that began in 1992, the researchers present preliminary results of their study in text and graphics.

    Indigenous Australia. This site includes text, audio, and video versions of stories told by indigenous Australians. Dreaming stories refer to stories of the ancestor spirits who created the land and everything on it.

These website examples should give you some ideas of the creative and thoughtful ways in which information interview reports can be presented. New communication technologies in particular are changing the ways in which spoken messages, in this case interviews, are shared with others.

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