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
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 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. Creating professional emails
Plain Words’ seven principles to ensure your emails are professional
Staying on top of your in box
11. Write winning bids
Meeting customer requirements: analysing the ITT
Making your bid a winner: understanding why people buy
12. 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
13. 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®