Writing Strategic Briefing Notes

How to craft an effective briefing note to the Minister and senior levels

1 days

This workshop is designed for officers, analysts, specialists, and others at the entry and intermediate levels, such as EC/PM/AS-1 to EC/PM/AS-6 or equivalent, who are responsible for producing or reviewing briefing documents. Whether you have limited or extensive experience with briefings, you will learn techniques to create texts that address the executive’s concerns and achieve the desired outcome.


This workshop helps writers prepare a succinct document, with ideas logically presented and in an easy to-read format. You will learn how to analyze and structure your information, ensuring a concise first draft with a targeted summary.

When delivered to a group from a specific department, this course is modified to meet departmental requirements. In the case of public deliveries, where participants come from different departments, the workshop offers tips that apply to a wide range of templates and styles.

  • The purposes and context of briefing notes and memoranda
  • Understanding the recipient’s information needs
  • How to analyze the issue and reach a strategic recommendation or position
  • Efficient use of writing time
  • The intent of each section of a standardized format
  • An evaluation checklist for the final draft
  • How to critique and edit a draft for accuracy, clarity and brevity
  • Gender inclusive writing

Martha Connolley
During her 30-year career in the federal government’s security and intelligence sector, Martha Connolley completed a wide range of analysis, policy and senior management assignments in seven federal departments and agencies. Through her career, Martha provided extensive training in French and English, and has taught hundreds of participants on Treasury Board’s Management Accountability Framework and the practical implementation of values and ethics in the public service.
Martha is committed to meeting participants’ needs, and is available for advice and mentoring after they leave the workshop.