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Preparing Briefing Notes

This one day workshop speaks to a common yet unique task for government staff: summarizing complex issues into one or two pages for ministry or Crown agency executive, boards, the minister or executive council, frequently with little notice or tight deadlines.

Course Description

This workshop seeks to reduce the amount of time, frustration and anxiety associated with the preparation of briefing notes while acknowledging that the task will continue to be demanding by its nature.

The objective of a briefing note can fall into one of three broad categories: to inform, to promote discussion or to generate a decision. Knowing the objectives is critical to a successful outcome for both the writer and the recipient. Of equal importance is an understanding of the reader’s needs relative to perspective, prior knowledge and attitude.

This workshop will provide a proven and practical framework for developing and composing briefing notes for a wide variety of applications.

Learning Objectives

  • Establishing a well-defined objective that is direct, oriented to the reader and realistic
  • Knowing your audience and their needs
  • Identifying critical content: Conclusions
  • Identifying supporting content: Proofs
  • Organizing and structuring content
  • Composition tips and techniques for creating an audience-friendly document
  • Laying out your briefing note to enhance readability

Competencies Addressed

  • Written communication: planning and composing
  • Preparing a briefing note
  • Editing

Instructional Approach

Lecture, group discussion, written exercises and case work

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