Business Report Writing - Advanced


Course Description

This program is designed for people who regularly write reports as part of their job. It will help to refresh their existing skills and introduce some new techniques and concepts. The value of the session is enhanced if the participants bring some sample documents.


Prerequisites

Participants should be familiar with the basics of report writing and have created a number of reports. It is suitable for more experienced report writers who may be self-taught, never having received any formal training.

Objectives

Having completed this training the participants will

Understand that professional writing is a career skill
Have a systematic method to prepare and present their reports
Use tables , charts and diagrams to illustrate key points
Have practiced the techniques and created an action plan to apply them

Characteristics of a good report

Factors that affect readability
Writing concise sentences to increase readability
Avoiding redundant and commonly confused words
Avoiding jargon
Active or passive voice
Using correct punctuation and grammar

Drafting the Report

Planning the overall structure of the report
Determining the components of the report
Defining the scope

Organising Relevant Information for the Report

Writing effective executive summaries
Consolidating technical sections for easy reference
Providing useful headings to guide the readers and capture their attention
Distinguishing between important facts and the details that support them
Providing effective explanations of figures and tables, etc
Using sections, sub-sections, and bullet points

Structuring the Report

The inverted pyramid
Flow Charts
Chunking and Linking
Preparing a table of contents
When and how to use graphics - pictures, diagrams, flow charts, tables, graphs, etc.
Testing and revising the report framework

Professional Layout and Design

Format
Page size and orientation
Margins and spacing

Proof-reading

Spelling and grammar checks - benefits and limitations
Checking for consistency

Practical Exercises

Critique of real examples of emails and reports
Exercises to practice achieving high levels of professionalism and readability
Creating a template
A team exercise in preparing and writing a report, using all the learning points from the course

Personal Action Plans

Personal action plans for improving written communication, professionalism and effectiveness