Use these tips to prepare forecasts with genuine value.

  • Stick to your area of expertise rather than making predictions on every topic.
  • Describe non-obvious patterns and trends. Even better, find historical analogies. Pick ones that add weight to what you say will be lasting changes.
  • Don’t generalize from your limited circle of contacts. Ground your guesses in facts and details. Don’t rely on lazy observations, biased wishfulness or your personal enthusiasms.
  • Be relevant and serious. Your audience may want to make real-world decisions around what you say will come to pass.
  • It’s best to offer an original analysis. You can also look around for other predictions in your industry and agree or disagree with them.

Professional forecasters say their work requires humility, open-mindedness and inquisitiveness. Pomposity and conceit can get you attention, but that winds up as so much hot air.