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Advanced Minutes Taking And Report Writing Skills

Business writing skills to communicate, effectively, build healthy business relationships and become more productive. Aligned to US. No. 12153 – Use the business writing process combined with Speed Writing to compose minutes and professional texts required in the business environment



• Avoid the 7 “deadly sins” of meetings

• Follow effective formatting rules when taking minutes

• Understand when it is appropriate to request a meeting attendee to  repeat his/her sentence

• Gain skills to take faster, more concise minutes and learn how to summarize all relevant points effectively

• Follow a set of proven procedures, hints and tips to ensure successful meetings every time

Course Objectives

  • Master the fundamentals of good speed writing skills

  • Be able to apply the essential phases of your writing process to help you to write a minute with ease
  • Promote writing that is easy to read, understand and act upon
  • Know how to hook your audience and keep their attention throughout
  • Learn how to effectively prepare for meetings with a fault free meeting checklist
  • Know how to convey your message effectively without being too verbose which results in confusing your audience.
  • Alternatively, avoid being too precise, resulting in the omission of important information
  • Adopt tools to manage a meeting with confidence by understanding your duties and responsibilities as a secretary / PA
  • Investigate the readability and the use of writing essentials within your limit time to clarify your objectives and make a good impression on your reader
  • Offer effective practical writing solutions and choices
  • Use basic grammar to ensure your message is conveyed effectively and professionally
  • Get up-to-the-minute hints

How will this Training Course be Presented?

The training course will be interactive and practical with learning methods to suit every kind of learning preference. There will be activities in groups and pairs as well as individual exercisesand everyone will get an opportunity to discuss their work challenges in a supportive environment.

Who is this Training Course for?

• Receptionists

• Front Desk Staff

• Administration Assistants

• Personal Assistants

• Secretaries

• Supervisors/Team Leaders

• Office Managers

• Any individual working in the office support field

The Course Content

Day 1



Textual features & conventions in business writing

  • Write a formal business letter and measure the readability of your writing using the FOG index measurement
  • Identify the various texts specific to particular business functions and identify industry specific and legislative requirements for each text
  • Understand the consequences and implications of not adhering to industry specific and legislative requirements
  • Use terminology and conventions specific to particular functions in the business environment
  • Four phases of the writing process
  • Identify and collect information needed to write business text
  • Establish your purpose and identify your audience
  • Write from the reader’s perspective and build the relationship with the reader
  • Access information required for the business text form a variety of sources
  • Use various techniques such as research, brainstorming and mind mapping to gather information
  • Define the focus of the text and decide on what information should be included and excluded in order to ensure the focus.
  • Select appropriate information to suite your purpose, target audience and workplace context
  • Keep your audience’s attention by ordering your information to ensure the sequence is logical and meaningful
  • Structure and formatting of business texts
  • Compose a text using plain language for a specific business function
  • Select the appropriate format & structure for the intended audience and function of your text
  • Identify the main points that should be included in your text and the necessary supporting details
  • Learn different ways of presenting the same information and use these to enhance the meaning of the text
  • Interpret and rephrase technical and marketing terms and jargon into plain language or use in the correct context where it is essential to the understanding of the text
  • Use layout and formatting techniques to enhance readability of text

Day 2

Compile your first draft

  • Apply the Four Phases of the Writing Process to compile a proposal and report according to defined requirements
  • Formulate an introduction, using a hook, purpose statement and overview
  • Apply the four elements of a paragraph to construct body paragraphs, create meaning and to ensure your argument is backed by evidence
  • Use transitional phrases to link paragraphs and create logical flow of your argument, throughout your document
  • Construct a conclusion to summarise, underpin your purpose and keep the reader contemplating
  • Write out your first draft collating the necessary information in a rough framework
  • Edit first draft & finalise
  • Create a checklist to facilitate reflection and editing
  • Check all information for accuracy and factual correctness
  • Evaluate information in terms of its appropriateness for the intended audience and business function
  • Proofread the final draft to eliminate all grammar, spelling, punctuation and syntax errors
  • Self-assess the final copy based on the requirements of the writing task and the items on the checklist
  • Understand and apply email etiquette
  • Understand the standard formats of minutes of meetings

Speed writing/ Shorthand for Effective Advanced minute taking:

  • What is speed writing all about and why it`s useful
  • Basic requirements to improve your writing speed
  • The rules and benefits of speed writing
  • Tips and Techniques; Building your own vocabulary
  • Standard Abbreviations and Symbols; what are the rules of abbreviations
  • Shortcuts, tips and tricks; How to increase your speed using established tips
  • Posture and movement required to improve speed and professionalism How do you build your speed?

Day 3


Agendas – design and preparation

Demonstrate an understanding of the Agenda of meetings

Why meet? What The Companies Act states on Keeping of Minutes

of Meetings of companies

Identifying resources for meetings and minute taking will include

the following

Review best practices relating to minute writing

Use effective listening techniques

Gain critical skills to formulate winning agendas, taking into account

essential elements such as:

  • Present members
  • Apologies
  • Absent members
  • Attendees

Preparation of minutes

  • Incorporate the 5 critical elements of minutes
  • Prepare the correct templates and format for your minutes

Turning mediocre minutes into a professional document

Writing and preparing memoranda and e-mail

  • Write effective minutes
  • Utilise effective ways of getting people to notice your correspondence
  • Ensure that all participants are well prepared for the meeting

Incorporate effective designs for minutes

Learn how to reference attachments and appendices

Ensuring a fault-free pre and post- minute taking process

Keeping the writing correct, consistent and well-presented

Ensure your minutes are effective and correct by paying special

attention to:

  • Concordance
  • Tenses

Harness the correct numbering and bullet formats

Ensure that white space is used to maximum effect

Utilize a series of survival kits

  • Critical elements to consider:
  • Dashes
  • Semi-colons

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