Who should attend
The briefing note is an essential communication and decision-making tool in government and other organizations. It is written to present emerging issues, explore plans of action and inform decisions.
Today’s senior managers are overloaded with ever-increasing information, and they need to know what is important as they make decisions. The ability to provide concise, clear and relevant analysis in writing is a key skill.
About the course
Briefing notes are an essential means for staff to inform, advice, and influence the decision-making process in public and private sector organizations. This workshop uses practical exercises to develop skills in writing effective briefing notes. You will learn techniques for planning, drafting, summarizing complex information, improving your writing skills, and editing.
The workshop is highly interactive with frequent opportunities to receive feedback. Participants are also invited to bring samples of their work for review by the instructor.
## Course Objectives
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
- The purpose and structure of a briefing note
- How to approach and organize a briefing note
- How to write in a clear and concise manner
- How to express the issue succinctly and summarize information
- How to produce briefing notes that meet departmental requirements
## Course Outline
The Purpose of the Briefing Note
• How senior managers use briefing notes to make decisions • How to analyze the needs and interests of the receiver • Consequences of incomplete, incorrect, or unclear briefing notes
The Structure of Briefing Notes
• Briefing note templates vary from one organization to another. This course uses a generic template and relates the key learning points to participants’ own in-house templates: - Summary - Issue - Background/context - Considerations - Recommendation - Next steps • Overview of different types of notes: - Information - Decision - Analysis - Approval
The 4 Stages of Effective Writing
• Pre-writing and planning • Drafting • Editing • Proofreading
How to Plan your Briefing Note
• Analyzing your receiver’s needs/interests • Identifying central idea/main points/sub-points • Mind-mapping
How to Write a Summary
• Capturing the meaning of the original text • Using your own words • Losing the detail • Applying the process: practical exercises
How to Formulate a Research Plan
• Establishing time lines • Identifying critical paths • Identifying internal processes for consultation/gaining approval
How to Write Your Draft from a Plan
• Writing your draft from a plan • Using clear, concise sentences • Developing a critical awareness • Practical exercises in planning and writing briefing notes • Feedback from the trainer
How to Improve your Writing Skills
• Diagnostic test to identify your training needs • Practical exercises in punctuation, capitalization, grammar and word usage
• Correcting grammatical errors • Editing to simplify and clarify the message • Adjusting inappropriate style and tone • Using quality assurance checklists to avoid errors
At the end of this seminar, you will be able to:
• Identify how the briefing note aids in decision making • Use your in-house templates correctly • Prepare a writing plan with a clear communication objective • Plan what information needs to be collected • Write the first draft from a plan • Summarize complex information • Edit to clarify and strengthen the message
Videos and materials
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Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.
We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.