Briefing Notes That Work
Briefing notes are an important resource when information must be disseminated quickly and accurately from information-gatherers and subject matter experts to decision makers. How can briefing notes provide clear, concise, complete summaries to help target readers grasp the essential details of an issue and act on them? Through a combination of lessons, discussions, and hands-on exercises, participants will learn to create useful and effective documents to inform and advise their readers. Checklists for planning and editing briefing notes will be provided.
Types of briefing notes
Elements of an effective briefing note
Planning the briefing note: knowing your audience, understanding the issue and purpose of the briefing note
Structure of a briefing note: issue, background, current status, strategic considerations, options/recommendations, conclusion and next steps
Briefing from different sources
Writing style: balancing conciseness and clarity
Revising the briefing note
Specific problems: eliminating unnecessary detail; being economical with words; remaining impartial; working with tight deadlines; etc.
- Professional writers, communication officers, policy analysts, media monitors, or anyone who is called on to produce effective briefing notes at work
Nathan Lockhart, M.A., CEC, is a learning professional and certified executive coach with more than 20 years of experience. He has provided one-on-one coaching to executives on a range of topics related to leadership and communications. He has also delivered more than 500 workshops to organizations in the private and non-governmental sectors and to more than 60 federal departments, including all three central agencies. A former employee of Health Canada and the Privy Council Office, Nathan’s knowledge spans a number of important disciplines including public policy development, negotiation, issues management and strategic communications. He is a dynamic public speaker with a strong understanding of workplace challenges and demands facing today's professionals.
"Excellent workshop. It addressed all my thoughts with respect to writing effective briefing notes. The instructor was impeccable."
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