Does the phrase "I need a report…." strike horror in your heart? Does the notion of writing long-form reports make you groan in dread? Does the prospect of trying to figure out even where to start on such a document frustrate you?
If so, then we've got just the webinar for you!
Join us for this recorded webinar as Natasha Terk of Write It Well discusses how to:
- Identify and clearly state the most important message in the report
- Apply strategies for understanding what information goes in which section
- Adopt a reader-friendly format including headings, lists, charts, and more
- Using clear and concise language, and
- Apply editing and proofreading techniques
Justice Clearinghouse Editors (JCH): Natasha, you’re back to talk about writing reports – something that many in our audience probably don’t enjoy. In your experience, why do people have such an aversion to writing reports?
Natasha Terk: People dread writing reports because they either have a hard time getting started or they write quickly but then spend a lot of time editing and moving information around. They are never sure if the report is actually done and seem plagued by these types of questions:
- Does it include all the right information?
- Is it too long?
- Is it organized and formatted properly?
- What about the headings? Are they helpful?
- Are there mistakes that other people will notice?
People dread writing reports because they either have a hard time getting started
or they write quickly but then spend a lot of time editing and moving information around.
JCH: What are the biggest mistakes people make when writing reports?
Natasha: People don't plan! Oftentimes, people start writing without spending time thinking about the report or planning it out. Before writing, there are some essential questions that the writer should answer. I teach people a simple five-step planning process that helps them write reports, proposals, even emails. They also don't proofread and if they do proofread, they don't know what to look for.
JCH: Can you share with us an example of how you have helped organizations or agencies improve their report writing abilities?
Natasha: My company has been delivering training for agencies and organizations for more than 35 years. We've trained thousands of people to write clearly and concisely and protect their professional image. We help writers get their point across, use a contemporary format, choose the right words, and avoid common grammar and punctuation problems.
I like to make my workshops VERY interactive so I use lots of activities, case studies, and exercises. If people can immediately see how the writing process applies to them, they will be able to apply it to their next report, proposal, email, etc.
The most exhilarating time for me is when people write or call me
to tell me about the change they see in their own writing after a workshop!
JCH: What drew you to this line of work? What keeps you inspired and motivated to continuously help people with their writing?
Natasha: We can't help it, we form impressions of people based on how they write and they form impressions of us based on how we write!
I spent the first ten years of my career working in the nonprofit sector as foundation program officer and then as a management consultant. I was passionate about helping organizations achieve their missions but I wanted to work with individuals. Now I'm helping people achieve their professional development goals improving and maintaining their professional image, increasing their skills and confidence, and saving time and money by writing clearly.
The most exhilarating time for me is when people write or call me to tell me about the change they see in their own writing after a workshop!
Click here to Watch "Report Writing for Justice Professionals: How to Write Complex, Multi-Sectional Documents for Mixed Audiences."