Writing Briefing Notes
WRITING FOR RESULTS
PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS THROUGH BRIEF WRITTEN COMMUNICATION
LENGTH OF COURSE
One day (this course can be customized for a 1/2 day delivery)
WHY THIS TOPIC?
Even with today’s rapid 24/7 communication that seems to favour speed over quality, people will still judge others to a large extent by the quality of their writing skills. In today’s fast-paced, virtual world, the skill of effectively conveying important thoughts in a brief and succinct fashion is more vital today than ever before. The ability to write effectively, clearly and concisely is an essential means for managers and employees to inform, advise and influence the decision-making process in public organizations. Consciously and subconsciously, managers and colleagues make determinations about another’s education and competence when reading their correspondence. Powerful communication comes with knowing how to write with clarity, purpose and with respect for the person for whom the document is intended.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Anyone who would like to, or is required to present complex information to senior levels, for discussion or approval. This workshop also provides excellent insight to create brief, written communication which can more effectively influence/produce results through the written word.
This mini-course provides a snapshot of how to apply appropriate techniques in various types of workplace scenarios that require clear, concise written communication in order to influence others, get action or to inform.
Participants will gain:
•A general awareness of the steps needed to have clear, coherent, brief written communication
•Tips on critical thinking in identifying the audience, using the appropriate detail, style and length of writing to communicate and delivering the message with an appropriate tone
•An awareness of individual communication styles and how this can impact the success of communication with peers, supervisors and others in a workplace setting.
Analyzing, synthesizing and summarizing information; presenting information both verbally and in written form in a clear, concise and pertinent manner; writing briefing notes that meet departmental/organizational requirements. (Conducting oral briefings is optional).
This course uses practical exercises and case studies to develop the skills in planning and writing communication meant for the written word, and for audiences which do not have time to read. It will give participants the initial first steps on how to put their thoughts in writing in an organized, clear and powerful way. The goal is to ensure that people who read your writing will know what you're trying to say the first read through; no more phone calls to discuss your note, or memos. Content covers:
•Starting to write: where to start?
•Identifying your audiences’’ needs
•Determining the tone of the note
•Learning the structure and parts of concise, brief written communication.
•The structure of electronic versus printed brief written communication
•Four stages of effective writing
•An easy planning model
•An easy framework for writing a note
•Techniques on how to edit and proof your work
This is a fast-paced, interactive session that takes participants through the A, B, C’s of composing clear ideas into a concise executive brief in written format, with an action-oriented focus. Lecture and demonstration content are built into a half-day or full-day format.
As well, all-important questions are welcome and answered in this session.
Part I: The first half of the workshop is spent discussing the definition, purpose, approach and structure of a briefing, dealing with the challenges of summarizing material, and providing exercises on preparing briefing notes using case studies based on real issues.
Part II: The second half of the workshop is spent writing a briefing note – again using a real case study – and analyzing the results.
The workshop is held between 8.30 and 4.30 or, if a half-day session is preferred, between 8.30 and 12.30.
Patricia – Communications Strategist, Writer, Editor and Trainer
Patricia is an experienced business writer, veteran reporter and editor and a communications specialist with more than 21 years’ experience in the field of journalism and organizational communication. She has been a communications specialist/manager in the federal public service and is now helping clients write more clearly through her own consultancy. As a previous news and magazine editor who has launched magazines, she understands with fervour the importance of clear writing to gain the audience’s attention.
Patricia has developed techniques and best practice models for her clients to help them create meaningful written communication with all stakeholders: managers, employees, customers, contractors and suppliers. She has helped managers and executives hone their presentations in high-profile public venues as well as work with them to improve the clarity of their written communication with customers, staff and other stakeholders.
In her practice, Patricia has trained more than 1,000 managers and executives to communicate more clearly.