Briefings are a means of presenting information to commanders, staffs, or other designated audiences. The techniques employed are determined by the purpose of the briefing, the desired response, and the role of the briefer. A briefing assignment has four steps:
- Analyze the situation. This includes analyzing the audience and the occasion by determining:
- Who is to be briefed and why?
- How much knowledge of the subject does the audience have?
- What is expected of the briefer?
- Construct the briefing. The construction of the briefing will vary with its type and purpose. The analysis provides the basis for this determination. The following are the major steps in preparing a briefing:
Deliver the briefing. A successful briefing depends on how it is presented. A confident, relaxed, forceful delivery, clearly enunciated and based on full knowledge of the subject, helps convince the audience. The briefers delivery is characterized by conciseness, objectivity, and accuracy. Be aware of the following:
- Collect material
- Know the subject thoroughly
- Isolate the key points
- Arrange the key points in logical order
- Provide supporting data to substantiate validity of key points
- Select visual aids
- Establish the wording
- Rehearse before a knowledgeable person who can critique the briefing
Follow-up. When the briefing is over, the briefer prepares any follow-up actions such as who is to take action, recommendations and their approval, disapproval, or approval with modifications. When a decision is involved and doubt exists about the decision maker's intent, the briefer provides the decision maker a draft of the decision for review before finalizing.
- The basic purpose is to present the subject as directed and to ensure that it is understood by the audience.
- Brevity precludes a lengthy introduction or summary.
- Logic must be used in arriving at conclusions and recommendations.
- Interruptions and questions may occur at any point. If and when these interruptions occur, the briefer answers each question before proceeding or indicates that the questions will be answered later in the briefing. At the same time, the briefer does not permit questions to distract from the planned briefing. If the question will be answered later in the briefing, the briefer should make specific reference to the earlier question when introducing the material. The briefer must be prepared to support any part of the briefing. The briefer anticipates possible questions and is prepared to answer them.