Free demo course—Choose the right issue

This is the first (and often most important) step of the briefing note process

A sneak peek into our online course style

This free module is an excerpt of our Briefing Note Fundamentals course. It will give you a feel for our online teaching style, and the content doesn’t just apply to briefing notes, so you’ll also learn a new skill.

How to choose the right issue

This module teaches you how sort through distractions and get to the heart of the issue for decision makers. It uses a combination of video, exercises, a quiz, and comments to teach you to:

  • assess the clarity of the issue, purpose, or problem
  • choose the correct issue out of the many possibilities in our fact scenario (this simulates the experience of writing a real briefing note)
  • confirm and analyze your choice and compare it to our thinking (a quiz and follow-up video explains our rationale)
  • test to confirm you have the right issue and avoid distractions
  • apply our test to your own document

About Briefing Note Fundamentals

This course brings together what we’ve learned over the past 40 years reviewing briefing notes and working with writers, reviewers, and decision makers. We collected all the common problems that bog briefing notes down or lead to multiple revisions—and then built this course to solve those problems. Watch the introductory video here.

Get started now!

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
This preview module starts when you sign up. You will then have two weeks' free access. If you'd like more time, just email us at [email protected].
Can I ask questions?
Please ask us questions! If it is about the course content, we encourage you to leave a comment, so all participants can see our answers. If it's about Wordsmith and the work we do, or something related, please email us at [email protected]
How long will this preview module take me to complete?
This module includes roughly 15 minutes of video. It also uses a fact scenario exercise and quiz to have you apply the principles and confirm whether you chose the same issue we did. All in all, it will definitely take you less than an hour to fully complete (or just a few minutes to peruse, if you prefer).

Your Instructors

Wordsmith Communications
Wordsmith Communications

Wordsmith has been training workplace writers for over 40 years. We specialize in helping professionals get their expertise onto paper quickly, clearly, and with confidence.

Our courses offer practical tools you can apply immediately, and we deliver the content in multiple ways to keep learning engaging. These courses come from our team's expertise and Wordsmith’s decades of organizational knowledge. You can read the team’s bios here.

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