Military Briefing Checklist

From FM 34-80

The nature and roles of the military services require communication skills that are most exacting. Faced with the need for extreme accuracy, absolute thoroughness, and attention to detail on one hand, and brevity, speed, and almost instantaneous response on the other, a highly specialized and stylized type of speech has evolved. This type of speech has been called the “military briefing”. It requires specific techniques with respect to the role of the briefer, to the purpose it serves, and to the nature of the required response. As with the intelligence estimate and the OPORD, the
military briefing is an operational tool of  the trade.

The principles and techniques of effective speaking apply to the briefings just as to any other type of speech. The more concise the briefing, the better. It’s usually limited to bare, unglossed facts and to the minimum amount of information needed for comprehension. Intelligence analysts and officers often will be required to brief on a very broad subject in a very limited time.

1. ANALYSIS OF SITUATION
a. Audience
(1) Who and how many
(2) Official position
(3) Knowledge of subject
(4) Personal preferences
b. Purpose and type
c. Subject
d. Physical facilities
(1) Location
(2) Arrangements
(3) Visual aids

2. SCHEDULE PREPARATIONS
a. Complete analysis
b. Prepare outline
c. Determine requirements
d. Schedule rehearsals
e. Arrange for final review

3. CONSTRUCT THE BRIEFING
a. Collect material
b. Prepare first draft
c. Revise and edit
d. Plan use of visual aids
e. Practice
(1) Rehearse
(2) Isolate key points
(3) Memorize outline
(4) Develop transitions
(5) Use of definitive words

4. DELIVERY
a. Posture
(1) Military bearing
(2) Eye contact
(3) Gestures and mannerisms
b. Voice
(1) Pitch and volume
(2) Rate and variety
(3) Enunciation
c. Attitude
(1) Businesslike
(2) Confident
(3) Helpful

5. FOLLOW UP
a. Ensure understanding
b. Record decision
c. Inform proper authorities