Written communication skills6 Written CommunicationSkillsPpt 6WritingAnnex 9toolkitVariousImprove yourskill - writing activites andexercisesWhen considering communication a N2000 manager may concentrate on the spoken and personal communication, butin fact writing, and writing well to express the vision and goals of the N2000 site, are equally important. Badly wordedcommunication, overly technical language and poorly expressed writing can undermine all good verbalcommunications N2000 managers need not be poets or prize winning authors but an understanding of thediffering written material needed and how to improve is a much needed and important skill.What do N2000 managers write and to whom?Think through an average working day from the moment you get up until you go back to bed and consider everythingyou write throughout the day, from the smallest of notes, the many emails, the tweets, the letters, the funding applicationsto the most complex of scientific reports.Most written material can be placed along a spectrum of highly legalistic and scientific material through to very creativeand poetic. All are used in a N2000 site.scientificcreativefactually creativeEXERCISE Using the list of words below, place them where you think they should be along the spectrum: lawsscientific abstractregulationscontractsfunding applications;reports emails informationboards;press releases;newsletters;letters;scripts; interpretation boards,nature centre material forchildren,art work37

Written communication skillsDiffering writing skills will apply for technicalbiological, scientific or legal and write it in “everydaywriting and creative (interpretive) writing.language”. Much of what is written, especially forA lot of what we write could be defined as "factuallycreative" requiring us to move from left to right brainactivity, getting the balance just right. This requires theN2000 manger to take factual information usuallystakeholders, does not need to be too technical, despitethis technical style being the default of most N2000managers. Factually creative writing, is quite a difficultform of writing to master and takes time and practise toget right.As with all communications it is important to understand:A)What the message is you are trying to convey and being clear producing it:Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation are the basics of good writing.B)What is the right media or channel for that message: Who needs to read it?How long is the message? You will need to know this before you decide onwhat media to use. For example should we send an emergency messageover sms?When we don't need words: words and imagesSometimes however, we need to use few, well chosen words to get ourmessage across. Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words, so considerif an image is more appropriate than many word.Consider what words come to mind to describe how youfeel when you see these pictures. This is the feeling orthoughts you want to convey to your audience.Give some thought when selecting images, thatthey do not contradict your words, and vice versa.Bear in mind though, as they view your images theyIn N2000 sites, showing pictures of the kind of activitiesbring their own experience and feeling to it.and behaviours you are inviting people to take part in,Are the words different what people are present in thereinforces that positive images.picture? Make sure they do not contradict one anotherand are seasonally appropriate.38

Written communication skillsEven with "basic images and signs", there can be not enough information,confusing or conflicting information and indeed too much information.So, even with simple signage consider carefully the perspective of the visitor or,at best, someone who is not familiar with your site. It may seem "obvious" toyou. but test your images first for clarity.We learned to write as young children and have noIn order to compose a piece of writing it requires us todoubt been writing most of our lives, even if nowadaysuse different parts of our brain, all elements we alreadywe use a keyboard more often than a pen.have, but may have a greater tendency or preferencefor certain styles.EXAMPLE: Say the COLOUR not the word.This is a right /left brain conflict where the right side tries tosay the colour and the left insists on reading the word. Youmay find this gets easier as you go are exercising andtraining your brain. You can do the same as you practisedifferent styles of writing.39

Written communication skillsDifferent types of writingA lot of technical writing is a left brain activity, using logic detail, language, grammar, etc. Whereas, with creativewriting, we need to access the right brain through through imagination, fantasy, symbols and imagery.N2000 writing tends, mainly at present, to be very factual and scientific but it needs still to be well written, clear andunderstandable. Writing take practise: you may find through natural tendency, or just through education and experienceyou are better and more comfortable in technical do practise using your more creative side.Whom are we writing to?A N2000 contact mapIn our lives we interact with many different people. Some on a daily basis, family, work colleagues, other with differentdegrees of regularity. Make a contact map of people you interact with.In the centre of a piece of paper make a circle that represents YOU. Draw lines coming out of the centre representingthe people you interact with the short the line the closer and more often you are in contact with that person.person ACount up the number of people you are in contact with. Add up the totalfor everyone in the room! It's a lot!! Especially if you then consider thecontact maps of the people you are in contact with. This is the powerof word, which is the basis for social media! Think of the effect of youperson Bpassing positive biodiversity or N2000 information to everyone on yourcontact map.You communicate with all of those on your contact map to varyingdegrees and in different ways. Each of us will have at least 20 regularcontacts, much more if you include those on the very edges of our map.Many of these, in a work context, will be stakeholders in our N2000communications.Thinking specifically about a work situation, list the different people youengage with, either as work colleagues or stakeholders in your site. Thinkabout how you communicate with these people and groups in the mosteffective way, in terms of what information they need and in what formthey need it in.40

Written communication skillsThe Three Essential Elements of Good WritingThis is true whether you are writing a technicalpaper or a piece of creative writing.a) The Structure of your writingThis ensures your writing is logical and wellpresented. In some technical, scientific and legalwriting there are accepted structures, howeverfor most writing the writer can use differentstructures to order and sequence the message.A writer could order their thoughts according totime what happened in the past, what ishappening now, and what will come next or whatis the earliest event --- latest event.This could be used when writing about plant oranimal life, weather, life cycles, or any culturalPastPresentstory.FutureAlternatively, the order could be reversed. ThisVery complexLeast complexstructure also work geographically, with degreesof complexity or spatially.Try varying the structure. See if that improves the information you are trying to impart. People remember morethe first and last things they read.So make it worth it!!b) The Style and ContentAlready it has been identified that N2000 manager may write in technical and scientific styles and creative style but mostoften in a “creative factual” style. There are differing "rules" and guidelines for technical writing and creative writing.Regardless of what is being written - Remember 5 simple test of good writing Clarity - know what you want to say and say it clearly and well Brevity - be concise. Less is more Simplicity - avoid jargon, buzzwords and long sentences and overly technical and scientific language Humanity – make sure it relates to your audience Authenticity – believe in what you are writingBe also aware that you may completely understand what you are writing about.but your audience may not. Be clearand avoid dense language, such as the examples shown on the following page.41

Written communication skillsLong complex sentencesDensityExisting is being unique. Existence, reality, essence, cause, orReports that say that something hasn't happened are alwaystruth is uniqueness. The geometric point in the centre of theinteresting to me, because as we know, there are knownsphere is nature’s symbol of the immeasurable uniquenessknowns ; there are things we know we know. We also knowwithin its measurable effect. A centre is always unique;knowns ; there are things we know we know. We also knowotherwise it would not be a centre. Because uniqueness issome things we do not know. But there are also unknownreality, or that which makes a thing what it is, everything thatunknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know. And if oneis real is based on a centralization.looks throughout the history of our country and other freecountries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficultones.Donald RumsfieldOften N2000 material tends towards technical and obscure language. However, all is not lost as we can learn andpractise to rewrite and rephrase to improve the clarity, brevity and simplicity of the writing.More tips on style and contentAvoid writing as you speakSimple short sentencesWhen we speak it tends to be very convoluted andIf you find you are using a second or third comma, thinkcomplexif it should become two sentences instead of one longwith qualifications andvarious adoringphrases, usually grammatically incorrect to conform tothe way the mind listens. Also, there is tone, emphasis,one. Keep it simple. Subject Verb Object.Always check spelling, grammar and punctuation.body language and facial expressions which aidunderstanding, all of which are all lost in writing. Themind reads differently. It needs simple, straightforwardsentences.Don't rely only on spell check.Avoid repetition.Do not be satisfied with the 1st draft. Redraft andStrive for brevityredraft again. GIVE IT A REST.Every word is money. Money to write, to print to readSleep on it. Take a break from the writing. It will alwaysand translate. It also makes understanding better. Butbe easier to work on after a break.balance brevity with completeness. Do not reduce soRead it our loud.much that meaning is lost.If you can't breathe.your sentences are too long, andyou will soon notice if it doesn't make sense.42

Written communication skillsDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistSOME (humorous) Writing TIPS1.2.3.Do not get side-tracked. If onions are the mostconsumed vegetable in the world, why are fireengines red?Draw by Frits Ahlefeldt12.Comparisons are as bad as clichés.The HikingArtist13.Do not be redundant; do not use more words thannecessary; it is very excessive.Draw by Frits Ahlefeldt14.Profanity sucks.15.Be more or less specific.16.Understatement is always best.17.Exaggeration is a million timesDrawworseby FritsthanAhlefeldtunderstatement.The HikingArtistAvoid starting sentences with a non-specificpronoun. It is not a good way to begin.Prepositions are words you should not endsentences with.The HikingArtistDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtist4.Avoid clichés like the plague. Now ain't that the potcalling the kettle black.5.Keep away from ampersands & abbreviations, etc.within the body of the text.18.Can I use one-word sentences? No.6.Parenthetical remarks are unnecessary (andshould be avoided).19.Analogies in writing are like feathersa snake.The onHikingArtist7.It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.20.The passive voice is to be avoided.8.Contractions shouldn't appear in your paper.21.Go around the barn at high noontoHikingArtistavoid jargon orThegibberish.9.Foreign words and phrases are not apropos orchic.22.Who needs rhetorical questions?Draw by Frits AhlefeldtLike most people, one should never generalize.23.Be careful to use apostrophes correctly.24.Do not use them pronouns asmodifiers.Drawby Frits Ahlefeldt25.And never start a sentence with a conjunction. And,but, and or will not get you very far.Draw by Frits AhlefeldtDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtist10.11.Eliminate quotations. As Mark Twain once said:''Quoting the witticisms of others only showsthe lack of quotable wit.”The HikingArtistDraw by Frits Ahlefeldt43The HikingArtistDraw by Frits Ahlefeldt

Written communication skillsTechnical writing is probably the style of writing thatAlthoughthismaybeappropriateinthesepeople in N2000 and protected areas do most often.circumstances, it is generally NOT a style that isReports, funding applications, scientific papers, plansaccessible to the majority of protected areaand strategies are frequently written in this style. Therestakeholders or visitors. It is important to be able toare certain styles that are acceptable for the specificdistinguish this style and be able to shift fromaudiences who requires this kind of material.technical to creative and back again!Draw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistOne of the most common elements of technical writing is writing objectives.Draw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistWriting Objectives4The most important questions to ask yourself when writing objectives are: Who is involved? Or even who is the action for? What are the desired outcomes or immediate outputs? When will the outcome occur? How will progress be measured?Draw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtisttoolkitBe SMARTCommunicationstrategiesDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistDraw by Frits AhlefeldtThe HikingArtistDrawbyAugustFrits Ahlefeldt4 Writing objectives adapted fr