Single Page – Bullet Point
How to write effective Single Page Bullet Points – every time for reprts and assessmnets
Not only for Engineers - it cuts across all areas
We live in a fast paced world - we want the message - "cut to the chase"
as they used to say in the movies - As much as you may wish to delve into the greater meaning of life
It's quite ironic, we have access to mountains of information and it is literally only a mouse click away, but most of the people I am dealing with want a Single Page – Bullet Point summation.
But writing effective single page dot points requires skill and technique. If they are badly written, the meaning can be easily lost and they serve no useful purpose, other than to totally confuse the reader
It sounds simple, but how do you write a good Single Page – Bullet Point ? Every Time
Start with a short covering paragraph, a brief overview of what or why - a snapshot which will give the reader the background
- Take it from the start – work out the logical order of what you need to convey
- Sometimes you can quickly put it together mentally and document a series of steps – it just happens
- Other times you get writers block and it just won't come
- If this happens – make a separate document and just write it down as it comes into your head
- As though you where speaking to a close colleague
- Don't worry about the spelling, grammar or correct words, just get it in a written form
- If you can't think of the correct words, substitute with a few ???'s or XXX's
- It will take shape and you can clean it up as you re read and create the format
- Then break it up into dot point format by isolating short sentences or runs of words and creating the dot points
- Keep it brief
- But make sure that it can be clearly understood by the reader
- Are there unnecessary words which can be cut out
- Can the sentence be re written to remove words - e.g. “the pencil which belongs to me” could be written as “my pencil”
- However, don't fall into the trap of making it so brief that it becomes ambiguous and can't be clearly understood
- Suffering the pain of extra words in order to ensure a clear message is better than risking fewer words and a misunderstanding
- When you think that its there, take a break – clear your head, have a coffee
- Come back and re read it
- Ask a colleague to read it
- Does it still compute ?
- All good or does it need adjustment ?
- You may need to review several times until it comes together, clear and unambiguous
- Do you feel that you've got it just right ?
- Good, now you can send it off
Monday 4 April, 2011 08:48 AM