Too many reports fail to do their intended job for one simple reason: they are too difficult to read.
This course gives you a method for writing more effective and readable reports, and shows you how to make the most out of complex information.
We will ask you to bring either a previously-written report, a work in progress or the raw material on which to base a report so you can work on that during the session. We will tailor the course to your precise needs, but a typical outline follows:
One day in-company training course covering:
- What is the aim of the document you are writing?
- Who is it going to and what do they want from it?
- Why the order matters
- Clarifying the message
- Selling your ideas
- Answering the reader’s question: why should I care about this?
- What information should be included?
- What is the reader looking for and in what order?
- Using the top-down pyramid model to keep the reader’s interest
- Presenting material for maximum comprehension
- How to make your information appealing to your reader
- The role of images, graphics and charts
- Using other devices to catch the reader’s eye
- Planning – the cornerstone of successful writing
- Delivering key messages and planning the content of each section
- Deciding how long each section should be
- The role of the executive summary
- What should be included, in what order and how long should it be?
- Writing to communicate – some simple rules
- Putting pace in your prose and keeping your writing lean and tight
- Why you should vary sentence lengths
- How to avoid using superfluous words and avoiding jargon
- The importance of active verbs
- What language should you use to communicate with your readers?
- Sections - using the top down pyramid
- Summing it up: the POWER method of effective writing
Actions and follow-up
This course provides you with practical skills that you can apply immediately to your own reports. We send you away with a list of “To dos” to focus on after your training, so you can put into practice what you have learned; and we follow-up with you afterwards to see how you are getting on. We are always available if you have any queries at all, so you just need to let us know.
Your course was inspirational, and I hear your words ringing in my ears every time I write a report now! I have changed my practice in several ways based on your great advice.
Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist, Derbyshire County Council