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Basic Business Report Writing


What you will learn on this course

By the end of the course, you will know how to:

  • Analyse your audience and tailor the content to their specific needs
  • Gather data efficiently and select the relevant information for your readers
  • Use best practice in structuring your document
  • Choose words that support your message and don’t distract your reader
  • Assess the best places to use graphics, and choose the right image to support your content
  • Edit your draft for maximum impact



1. Clarifying your purpose

  • Do you have what it takes? The skills needed to write reports
  • Why do you do it? What’s the purpose of a business or technical report?
  • Why you won’t get anywhere without a clear objective
  • All right, I’m sold – how do I set a clear objective?


2. Analysing your audience

  • Do you know who you’re writing for?
  • What will they want out of your report? The first step to making sure you deliver!
  • How do you satisfy a mixed readership with multiple requirements?


3. Designing your structure

  • Structuring before you start writing – you wouldn’t build without good foundations
  • Using mind mapping or Word™ Outline View to sequence and structure your material
  • How to structure the beginning, middle and end of your report
  • Organising your content to achieve your purpose
  • How to give bad news
  • How to structure the Executive Summary
  • Ideas for structuring sections
  • Organising your content – are you trying to persuade, inform, explain or discuss?


4. Selecting your information

  • Collecting and evaluating information – how to make it easy for people to help you
  • Deciding what information is relevant – the payoff for having a clear objective
  • Deciding the level of detail to include is easier when you’ve analysed your audience


5. Developing your style

  • Crafting short, simple sentences to increase readability
  • Choosing familiar words that make your meaning clear
  • Getting rid of the waffle that bores readers
  • Putting action in your verbs for direct, concise writing
  • Writing in terms your reader can relate to
  • Some pointers on British vs American text


6. Drafting and laying out your text

  • The importance of the right mindset – how to avoid getting sidetracked
  • The process – prepare, draft, relax, polish
  • How to break up text – headings, bulleted or numbered lists, tables, diagrams, questions and answers, etc.


7. When and how to use graphics

  • Why use graphics?
  • When to use graphics – pictures, screen shots, diagrams, flow charts, tables, graphs, etc.
  • The best places for your graphics, in order of preference
  • Things to check when including graphics



8. Editing and proofing your draft

  • A top-down approach to improving your text – see it the way your readers do
  • Ensuring that you achieve maximum impact – things to check when editing your draft
  • Removing commonly confused words, ‘poppycock’, poor punctuation and grammar
  • Getting the most out of the spelling and grammar checkers
  • Some common punctuation errors and how to avoid them
  • Hints on proofreading to help you avoid a red face
  • Report polishing checklist – that last once-over to save your sanity

9. Exploiting the tools

  • Getting the most out of Word™
  • On-line style guides for instant answers to annoying quibbles
  • Metadata can be your undoing – what it is and how to hide it
  • Handling version control
  • Using Word™ templates
  • Using titles, section headings and footnotes
  • Including references and a bibliography

Who Should Attend

Those who focus on continually improving what they do by tracking their quality and reviewing it.


5 Days

Start Date End Date Country City

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