Workshop Overview

Fundamental Writing Skills for Public Servants is a 2 day workshop that provides a sound basis for written communication. This workshop is particularly valuable for those people who may not have had a good grounding in the technicalities of the English language at school, or for whom English is a second language. Fundamental Writing Skills is also a valuable refresher course for the more capable writer who wishes to hone their skills. The workshop provides the perfect structure for participants to learn, practice and develop the confidence needed to communicate effectively through writing.

Participants will learn:

  • The building blocks of language – words, phrases, sentences and paragraphs.
  • The Power of Plain English.
  • Punctuation and its effects – parts of speech and simple grammatical constructs.
  • The differences between active and passive voice, and when to use them.
  • The connection between language, message, meaning and understanding. 
  • How to address staff selection criteria and write a killer CV or resume.
  • How to tailor their writing to their audience.
  • Simple forms of written communication – how to best structure letters, memos, short reports, proposals, emails and their application in the workplace.
  • Using different building blocks to build different messages or convey different meanings.


Workshop Timetable

The workshop is run over two full days. The first day is spent assessing current proficiency, followed by a series of short instruction periods, exercises and discussion sessions.  The aim is to expose participants to ways in which they can improve their written work quickly and thoroughly.  At the end of the first day participants are encouraged to observe written communication in their workplace. When the group reconvenes participants share their observations and discuss the methods that would improve the quality of the written communication that they have witnessed. Attendees are also invited to bring along tasks or selection criteria that they can use in practical exercises.  

Schedule  DAY ONE
9:00amWelcome. Dear Sir Letter
9.15amCommunication 70% of how we communicate is non verbal, 20% is tone and only 10% of communication is attributed to what we say.  Participants learn that when we write there are many variables we must consider when creating meaning. In this module we look at: planningtonecommunication breakdownpurpose driven writing Audience how to write for your audience Communication Process barriers, channels, encoding and decoding.
10.00amDefining your Objectives The Importance of Planning In this module we discuss the reasons why we plan before we write. Participants also learn a number of methods they can use to organise their thoughts including mind mapping
10:30amMorning Tea (20 Minutes)
10.50amThe Power of Plain English Active vs. Passive voice Structure Writing with Responsibility Wordiness and Word Substitutes Nouns & Verbs Sentences Building Paragraphs  
12.40amLunch (45 minutes)
1.50pmPunctuation: apostrophes and semicolons   Participants learn the correct use of various punctuation symbols to indicate pauses, ownership etc.
2.10pmBeing Positive – can do speak. Letters how to write a powerful letter that will create reader action and achieve your desired response.
2.40pmReports (Short. Long, Annual) typesformatsstructure
3.00pmAfternoon Tea (15 minutes)
3.15pmProposals & Submissions Participants discover keys to the visual layout of proposals. Learn common rules of formatting, text type and when to use tables.
3.45pmPresenting and Argument The Key to Persuasive Writing
4.15pm  Summary Students are encouraged to practice their newly acquired skills before attending the second workshop. In this time participants should make observations of written communication in the workplace and report these observations back to the group. Students should also print off selection criteria for an applicable job – these criteria will be used in a number of exercises conducted on the second day of training.
Schedule  DAY TWO
9.15amGroup Discussion observation and feedbackidentifying improvements in my writingidentifying opportunities
9.30amPractical exercises structureplain Englishcritical evaluationpolitenessediting  
10:30amMorning Tea (20 Minutes)
10.50amPractical exercises on Structure the rule of threetime, sequence & structures
11.15amVideo – report writing Debrief
12.30pmLunch (45 minutes)
1.15pm    CVs and Selection Criteria In this module students examine staff selection criteria in order to define the tasks and information required by them in written response. Participants will mind map there ideas and responses in order to create a logical structure for their CV. This exercise is  great in developing strong persuasive writing that is purpose driven.
3.00pm  Afternoon Tea (15 minutes)
3.15pm    CVs and selection Criteria continued Here participants look at; environmenthow to write a cover letterthe structure of a CVhow to make the most of your resources &practical and effective choices on content.
4.00pmSummary & Evaluation