Writing Effective Briefing Notes & Reports

Briefing notes and reports are the main means for staff to communicate and coordinate with executives and elected officials. Their high volume requires that they be concise, to the point, and follow a strict format. It can be quite challenging to take a complex issue and express it effectively in such a small space, but that is what is required.

Program Content

  • Quickly gather information from several sources onto one page of notes
  • Organize information for ease of comprehension
  • Discover the most effective way of presenting a briefing report
  • Learn how to focus your content and eliminate clutter
  • Write more powerful and expressive sentences
  • Express complex issues accurately and briefly
  • Spend less time preparing briefing notes and reports, but have better results

Who Will Benefit

Anyone who needs to write briefing notes and reports as a key part of their work. Anyone who wants to earn valuable reporting principles, practice them through exercises, and learn how they can compose briefing reports in a timely fashion. To test their application of the principles on-the-job, participants may send documents to the workshop leader for review after the course.



Before taking this course:

  • Struggling to condense complex written information
  • Unable to produce good briefings in a limited time
  • A tendency to write long, run-on sentences
  • Using complex words when simple ones would do


After taking this course:

  • Able to summarize complex information clearly
  • Can produce accurate briefing notes quickly
  • All sentences are easy to read
  • Uses simple, straightforward words


“Being able to write exactly what I want to say using the fewest number or words possible. Jon Tattrie is very knowledgeable about writing and delivers the material in a way that keeps classes of professionals engaged.”
“Excellent course, effective teaching skills. Material was well laid out and I appreciated having author/journalist teaching the course. It was a good pace, enjoyable, and informative.”
– Evaluations by Nova Scotia Department of Energy participants in March 2018 course