Plain Words – the Documentation and Training People
Book this course in London for 18-19 Mar 2020. Cost £695Book a private course, your choice of date and venue
Business & Report Writing for Managers – Training Course Outline
Business-critical decisions are often based on reports that companies commission from the people who know their business best – their own management staff. It takes a lot of skill to communicate important financial or business information efficiently and accurately at this level. A major part of many managers' roles is writing the reports that enable the business to run effectively.
By the time managers reach these levels of seniority, they may have considerable experience. But they can still benefit from report writing training that ensures they are using current best practice, and the opportunity to share ideas with colleagues.
This business writing course has been designed to build on the skills of senior managers who create key documents which will support management reporting or decision-making.
What you will learn on this course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Accurately assess the requirements arising from your brief - and what to do if you don't receive a well-detailed one
- Target your audience and analyse their needs
- Set accurate terms of reference for staff providing data
- Gather your data and select the relevant information for your audience
- Structure your writing to maintain the readers’ attention
- Construct your arguments persuasively
- Write SMART recommendations
- Write effective, workable policies, processes and procedures
- Edit your draft for maximum impact and polish the final product
- Present your report clearly and effectively
Is this course right for me?
Plain Words offers three standard report writing courses:
Structuring & Writing Reports is designed for delegates with little or no previous report writing experience, who have reached a stage in their careers that require them to start producing written business reports.
Business & Report Writing for Managers is aimed at delegates who are already writing reports but want to revisit the basics, generally raise their game and ensure they are using best practice techniques. It is also frequently chosen by clients who need to achieve greater consistency from their experienced staff.
Writing Technical Documents & Reports is a technical writing course designed to build on the skills of Scientists, Engineers, Technicians, Designers and Project Managers who write technical documents or reports. It concentrates on the principles and processes involved in communicating technical information effectively, whether to the layman or the expert.
All three courses address some similar concepts, but the content is pitched differently for each of the intended audiences to take into account their different levels of experience and the documents they write.
What our customers say
“Excellent course with lots of good examples.”
Shaun Holden, Balfour Beatty Capital
“I think nearly all of my colleagues would benefit from this course.”
Nick Clements, Medical Protection Society
“It was a one-day course so inevitably there was not a great deal of time for practical exercises. However, the practical content was useful and helped to reinforce the understanding of the principles taught.”
Glenda Terry, Leicester Money Advice UK
“An excellent course, very well presented and with excellent resources for future reference – Thank you!”
Jo Poulton, Darent Valley Hospital
How we deliver the course
It is available as a one or two-day private tutor-led course at your premises or a one or two-day open course in London. For a private course, choose from
- A two-day training session. You will cover all the course contents in the two-day version. In addition you will have the opportunity to do more exercises and have more time working on documents you bring to the session, with the trainer's help.
- A one-day course. We cover the core modules, plus one or two of the remaining ones, so you can choose those most relevant to your organisation's requirements.
Private courses at your premises
We adopt a flexible approach so that even our standard courses are tailored to your needs. Our trainers are all professional writers as well as experienced trainers. They use their judgment on the day to adjust the content and pace of the course so that delegates get the training that is right for them. This is done by:
- Discussing your requirements with you before the course
- Assessing the pre-course questionnaires
- Discussing with the delegates at the start of the course their objectives and outcomes
- Checking throughout the day that objectives are being met.
We can also further adapt the course by:
Our open courses in London
We specialise in small class sizes so that you get personal time with the tutor.
We deliver our Business & Report Writing for Managers course at venues in central London, all easily accessible by public transport. All the rooms have natural daylight, independent air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
If your journey into London means an early start, don’t worry; on your arrival you can have a light and tasty breakfast of fresh bread, pastries, cereals and fruit. Throughout the day there's an endless supply of freshly brewed coffee and speciality teas as well as chilled water, fruit and homemade snacks. Most venues also provide a hot lunch and all can cater to special dietary requirements.
Course Contents: core modules
1. A framework for success
- The BASDELL business writing model – a model of the process to create effective business documents
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
2. Understanding your brief
- What's the purpose of a business or financial report?
- Assessing the issues and focusing on the essentials
- Setting a clear objective to save you time and effort
- Building on the skills you have and developing the skills of your staff
3. Analysing your audience
- Questions you need to ask yourself about your readers
- Producing a clear set of guidelines on what response you want from each reader
- Understanding different readers and giving them what they need—and in their preferred style and format
4. Designing your structure
- The benefits of structuring before you start writing
- Using techniques like mind mapping™ or Word™ Outline View to sequence and structure your material
- Ensuring your structure supports and delivers what you want from your audience
- Breaking the job down into manageable chunks
5. Creating your executive summary
- What is the purpose of the executive summary?
- Why it’s the most important part of your report
- How to structure your executive summary
- What are the most important things to include?
6. Developing your style
- Plain Words’ eight principles for clear writing
- How to keep sentences short and simple – even though the content is complex
- Writing to express not impress!
- How to write in terms your reader will relate to
- How to use variety in your writing without confusing your reader
Want Something a Little Different?
Give us a call today and we will tailor a course to suit you!
7. Making your arguments persuasive
- Factors that influence decision-making and how they can work in your favour
- What are the principles of persuasive writing?
- Explaining the problem to get readers on-side
- Anticipating and overcoming objections
- Subjective versus objective justifications—what’s best when?
- How can your overall structure support your arguments?
8. Drafting and polishing your words
- Mindset for drafting – how to avoid writer’s block
- A top-down approach to improving your text
- Ensuring that you achieve maximum impact – things to check when editing your draft
- Common mistakes you can avoid – sentence fragments and run-on sentences
- Merging different writing styles from contributors and ensuring a consistent voice
- Getting the most from your headings
- Hints for proofreading
Course Contents: supplementary modules
9. Writing SMART recommendations
- Why use SMART recommendations?
- Creating Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-framed recommendations
10. Writing policies, processes and procedures
- How do we define each, and how do they fit together?
- The stages in writing a policy
- What should your policy include?
- When and how to write a process
- When and how to write a procedure
- Ensuring your procedure is as easy as possible to follow and implement
11. Creating professional emails
- Plain Words’ seven principles to ensure your emails are professional
- Staying on top of your in box
12. Write winning bids
- Meeting customer requirements: analysing the ITT
- Making your bid a winner: understanding why people buy
13. When words are not enough
- When and how to use graphics – pictures, screen shots, diagrams, flow charts, tables, graphs, etc.
- How to present numerical data
- Things to check when including illustrations
14. Crafting presentations that work
- Planning for your content and audience
- The best order for creating your presentation
- Notes, handouts and visual aids – what works, what doesn’t
- Different presentation styles – avoiding death by PowerPoint®
For details of timetabled courses, see the schedule.
To reserve your places you can book on-line, book a private course or call us on +44 (0)1235 60 30 22.
Plain Words Ltd
The Documentation &
tel +44 (0)1235 60 30 22
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