Over 120 people took part in our webinar on 23 November to learn some expert advice on writing exceptional reports from our specialist trainer, Gary Woodward.
Many attendees sent in their questions and key challenges when it comes to writing reports and there were some common themes, which Gary addressed during this thirty-minute session.
Gary focused on three areas:
- Engaging your readers and encouraging them to act
- Presenting your information with maximum visual impact
- Writing efficiently with effective editing
Gary kicked off by talking us through some proven techniques for engaging your readers.
Key to this is asking yourself reader-centred questions before you even start writing. What information is your reader looking for?
Another crucial part of your report’s success is its summary. It need to be concise and set out the content of your report in a way that’s relevant to the interests of your reader (or readers). By the end of the summary, your reader(s) need to know why they should be reading the document, what they need to know and what is expected of them.
Through your research, hard work and technical knowledge, you can produce excellent stats and insightful data. However, if you don’t present this well, you risk confusing your reader and wasting your hard work.
Gary showed us some editing techniques for presenting information in a clear, easy-to-scan way. In particular, he talked about one of his favourite techniques, Words in Tables (WiT). (For more information on WiT, visit www.jmoon.co.uk.)
Writing well is not just about getting every word and sentence right first time. It’s about editing your writing so you’re as clear and concise as possible.
How many times do we edit the content we have written? Do we really look at ways of making it easier to read? And how many times has a reader complained that a document was too easy to read?
Gary had three top tips for making your writing concise, clear and easy to read:
- Put the ‘what’ before the ‘why’, so that your main messages come first.
- Keep verbs rather than change them into nouns.
- Favour the active voice over the passive.
Want to access a copy of the webinar?
To view a recording of the webinar and to access the full slide deck, click here.
Interested in more free learning?
If you want more advice on improving your business writing, why not download our free guide, The Write Stuff? Click here to get your free copy today.
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