Technical Writing I: Translating for Your Audience (1.5 hours)
Do your readers feel as though your writing is a foreign language? Do you struggle to adapt your explanations and descriptions for your audience without "dumbing down" the material? This workshop offers several writing techniques for connecting your field-specific ideas to your readers' or listeners' worlds without putting them to sleep, losing their attention, or causing them to miss the point.
PRESENTATION SLIDES THAT PRODUCE! (1.5 hours)
Simply putting data onto a slide does not guarantee the audience will understand or remember it. Your slides could even distract your audience or put them to sleep! We will offer several simple strategies for making your PowerPoint slides more engaging and easier to read and understand. We will look at before-and-after examples, discuss pitfalls, and talk about the relationship of your slides to the rest of your presentation.
PLAIN LANGUAGE II: Clarity and Brevity (1.5 hours)
This workshop will focus on applying the principles of Plain Language to an existing draft. We will look at strategies for identifying un-Plain Language, principles of making it Plain, and ways to ensure you haven't changed the meaning or violated the original spirit of the document in the process. This workshop will be most helpful as a follow-on to "Introduction to Plain Language"; it assumes some familiarity with principles of Plain Language or the Plain Writing Act. However, the first workshop is not a mandatory prerequisite.
EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATION (ECQ) ESSAYS (3.5 hours)
ECQ essays demonstrate through narrative (story) the five strengths expected of all senior executives. This workshop is aimed at helping GS employees get started writing (or revising) ECQ essays to apply for an SES position (or even some senior GS positions). This 3.5 hour workshop will go beyond discussion of the ECQs and the essay structure. Participants will brainstorm a list of top accomplishments and work on mapping those to the ECQs and the 28 competencies. Develop content for your essays and discuss experiences and ideas with other participants. Open to federal employees only. We have helped numerous individuals reach their goals! Space is limited.
INTRODUCTION TO PLAIN LANGUAGE (1.5 hours)
What is Plain Language? What does the Plain Writing Act require of federal agencies? What about the private sector? Are there rules to follow or just best practices? This interactive workshop will cover the basic principles of clear communication tailored for a specific audience, purpose, and context. Participants will identify problems with and make revisions to brief examples. We will work our way through a "top 11" list of characteristics of un-plain writing.
GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION REVIEW (1.5 hours)
So...you don't remember those grammar rules you learned back in middle school? Grammar and punctuation mistakes can make a big (negative) statement. This course offers a look at some root causes to common trouble spots and practical tips for reaching readers with professional prose.
EMAILING: DON'T HIT "SEND" YET! (1.5 hours)
Crafting email carefully has become vital to workplace success, yet many messages go out with little consideration for audience, purpose, or context. This workshop will offer strategies for making your emails more clear, more correct, and more effective through sensitivity to the relationships among content, organization, and style. We will also discuss dangerous pitfalls and misuses of email as well as distinctions between email and other forms of correspondence.
FEDERAL RESUMES (1.5 hours)
Learn how to create and update a federal resume for USAJOBS. Gain a better understanding of who the readers are, what they are looking for, and how to show them you are the person for the job.