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Barbara Campbell is a communications executive with wide federal government experience, including as a Director General of Communications in several departments and a Director of policy at the Privy Council Office.
When, Where, How much?
October 22, 2013
CEC Training Room
1900 Merivale Road, Suite 206
Ottawa, ON K2G 4N4
"Practical exercises that contributed to learning"
"The group exercises were very constructive, especially the discussions afterwards"
"The exercises were great! Really helpful"
"Very hands-on and detailed"
"Very informative; excellent handouts and exercises; interesting discussion"
THE ART OF WRITING BRIEFING NOTES (G040)
WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?
The briefing note is a key communication and decision-making tool in government and other organizations. While its purpose may be to assist in making a decision, to explore and define an issue or to consider a course of action, the briefing note must efficiently provide relevant content in a concise, clear format optimally useful to the person who needs to be informed. Bombarded with ever-increasing amounts of information, decision-makers require and insist upon only what's important and the ability to respond is a key skill.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
Using specific case studies based on real issues:
- The definition, purpose, approach and structure of a briefing
- How to define and express the "issue"
- How to develop "considerations"
- How to analyze, synthesize and summarize information
- How to present information both verbally and in written form in a clear, concise and pertinent manner
- How to write briefing notes that meet departmental requirements
WHAT WILL YOU TAKE AWAY?
- Workbook with checklists and templates
- Exercise handouts, examples and other material
- List of common grammatical, spelling and stylistic mistakes
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COMPETENCY
- Thinking Things Through: Innovating through analysis and ideas
|8:30 - 8:45||Introductions and Workshop
|8:45 - 9:45||Writing the Briefing Note
The definition, purpose, structure and method of writing briefing notes. Ensuring a note provides the recipient with accurate, concise information and advice about a need-to-know issue or situation under specific headings - subject, issue, background, current status, considerations and recommendation(s).(Note: if the department wishes, the 'summary box' approach is also taught). How to summarize and condense information and identify key ideas - important first steps in the writing of good notes - by the art of writing a précis.
|9:45 - 10:15||Précis Writing
Participants will reduce a paragraph to one-third its original length. Volunteers then present their versions. Instructor-led general discussion on methods of identifying and summarizing key ideas in the paragraph.
|10:15 - 10:30||Break|
|10:30 - 11:30||Developing the Briefing Note
Participants read a scenario and accompanying background information on a particular issue in order to determine how it would be handled in a briefing note. Participants discuss their views on the subject, issue, key considerations and recommendation of the note.
|11:30 - 12:30||Issues and Considerations
Recap of principles and practices in crafting the issues and considerations sections of the briefing note.Participants will be provided with case studies and asked to define the issue, as well as outline the considerations in each one.
|12:30 - 13:30||Lunch
|13:30 - 15:30||Attacking the Issue and Preparing the Briefing Note
Recap of the key points in idenfifying, analyzing the issue and preparing an appropriate briefing note for the decision-maker. Participants in small groups will prepare (on flip charts) briefing notes about an issue, using a particular case study and packages of information provided in advance.
|15:30 - 15:45||Break|
|15:45 - 16:15||Briefing Note Group Presentations
Each group will present its completed note. Instructor-led group discussion on each section of the note and lessons learned.
|16:15 - 16:30||Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation
Instructor sums up the key points and participants will complete a short evaluation.