The Training Environment For Financial Services

Effective Written Communication for Compliance, Risk and Audit

19 Nov 2019, London

9:30am to 4:30pm

Course Outline

Those of us working in control functions face particular difficulties in getting our message across. What we have to communicate is often complex, technical and sometimes unwelcome. Our audience can be indifferent, resistant and fearful of being criticized or exposed. Meeting these challenges calls for a considerable level of skill, and some psychology, to be employed in the written word.

This course will help you recognise and apply the approaches and techniques that will make your reports and other messages more likely to result in the outcomes they were designed to achieve.

Attending will enable you to:

  • Understand the barriers to communication and how to overcome thems
  • Avoid technical jargon that creates misunderstandings 
  • Organise information so that the impact of the message comes through
  • Present data in a meaningful way that supports the words
  • Refresh the key rules of grammar and punctuation
  • Build conclusions supported by facts
  • Make compelling recommendations

Who will benefit?

Anyone in ComplianceRisk or Audit, responsible for preparing reports, explaining the impact of new rules, legislation and guidance or delivering difficult messages in writing.

Training Approach

This workshop is uses a combination of trainer input, knowledge sharing with interactive syndicate work


Workshop Leader

David Cotton has worked in training and management consultancy for over 20 years, working in 4 continents and more than 40 countries. An alumnus of both Arthur Andersen and PricewaterhouseCoopers, David's client portfolio encompasses a broad range of local and national government bodies and private sector organisations in almost every industry sector. He has worked in both training and consulting roles with many of the major UK banks and insurance companies, the British Bankers Association and the FSA. 

His work ranges from strategy development to advanced communication skills, through leadership impact and influence, client relationship management and networking skills, to coaching and mentoring. Much of his work involves making complex concepts simple and practical whether through conversation, training or written communication. A prolific author, David has won awards for two of his books, and for an e-learning package on electronic marketplaces. He has written more than a dozen books and scores of journal articles. David studied linguistics for pleasure, is a self-confessed pedant and grammarian. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree, Diplomas in Training & Development and Hypnotherapy, is a Certified NLP practitioner, and is a Fellow of the British Institute for Learning and Development.

Programme Outline

Session Aim Content
Why is good communication so important? To establish the benefits of correct communication and the current performance level

The value in the right communication style

Group discussion & exercise on impact:

  • effect on reputation and credibility
  • legality
  • how well was the meaning conveyed? 

Demonstrate examples of poor communication: Case study to highlight:

  • Ambiguous text
  • Incorrect punctuation
  • Spelling errors
Recognising the recipient's needs To demonstrate the importance of analysing the language, priorities and needs of the recipients of your message

The audience 

  • Consider the limitations of a written report
  • Using language they understand
  • Competing with other priorities
  • Creating interest in your message  
  • Identifying the key recipients
  • Writing from the recipient’s perspective
  • Identifying the value of the report for the recipient
  • Setting clear objectives
Developing the Content To understand how to approach the construction of a clear communication that coveys the appropriate level of impact

Plan the Outline: 

  • Start from your objectives
  • Define key messages
  • Structure and Flow
  • Use of paragraphs, bullets and numbering
  • Presenting data, graphs, charts and tables
  • Using Executive Summaries and Appendices
Practice session To create the structure of a report
  • Group Exercise – practice report construction, followed by peer review session
Review of key rules To identify common errors to avoid that divert attention from the message
  • The dangers of “Greengrocers’ English”
  • Apostrophes, commas, colons and exclamation   marks!
  • Plurals and possessives
  • Spelling – dare you rely on Spellchecker?
  • Avoiding jargon – make the end result easy to understand
Achieving results To construct clear conclusions and recommendations

Leading the reader to act on your message by:-

  • Creating conclusions supported by fact
  • Avoiding inappropriate extrapoltation of facts
  • Using repetition to reinforce messages
  • Realistic recommendations
  • Clarifying responsibilities and timeframes
  • Making it easy to say Yes

This course can be delivered in-house at a time and location to suit your business and tailored to suit your people and organisation. We can also create bespoke training when something very specific is needed.Please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail and at no obligation.

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