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Oil & Gas Industry Training



Whilst engineers and technicians undergo many years of training to become proficient in their field of expertise, this does not necessarily include the art of writing. Because writing takes place in the absence of the reader it may represent a boring, dull, difficult and unfamiliar chore for the technologist.

The result is that, too often, technical writing has a flat style making documents difficult and tedious to read. Complex writing results in a waste of time, lost contracts and alienated customers – in other words, a loss of money.

The aim of this workshop, ‘Technical Report Writing and Communications’ is to develop the principles of technical writing that give it a logical base – appealing to both the technical or non-technical reader. This course encourages writers to be efficient and logical in their use of words, ensuring that the purpose of each component is understood and achieved. The workshop focuses on the real challenge – to express complex ideas simply. This entails anticipating the needs of readers and supplying whatever context may be needed to understand the meaning, relevance and importance of what is written.

What you will learn

The course is based on a wealth of experiential knowledge gleaned from the author's experience working within a systems integration company and also feedback from more than 4000 technicians and engineers who have attended the author’s workshops. On successful completion of this workshop delegates will be able to:

  • Understand the types and purposes of technical reports
  • Write realistic specifications
  • Organise reports and plan the sections and subsections you need.
  • Fully understand the steps in writing a report
  • Write clear and concise formal reports, equipment manuals and other technical documentation
  • Understand the principles of clear and concise writing
  • Develop effective communication with technical as well as non-technical staff at all levels – matching your content to your readers’ knowledge.
  • Keep information specific rather than general.
  • Brainstorm and identify technical problems and solutions
  • Collect, organise, analyse and evaluate information
  • Appreciate the use of active verbs rather than passive verbs.
  • Edit wordy phrases – using simple words rather than complex ones
  • Keep technical terms to a minimum – avoiding jargon, acronyms and abbreviations
  • Use examples and illustrations.
  • Transfer technical information into graphs, flowcharts and tables.
  • Use good layout to draw attention to key technical information.
  • Translate technical documents into compelling oral presentations

Training methodology

Designed for all levels of management, this workshop provides a practical hand-on approach to technical report writing. Throughout the workshop, participants will learn through active participation using exercises, questionnaires, and practical case studies covering:

  • Determining terms of reference and writing an introduction
  • Brainstorming
  • Applying the four-stage reading process, group discussion on conclusion and recommendations
  • Investigating faulty construction methods (research design faults and problem areas, make observations/findings, mind map and write a rough draft.)
  • Interpreting graphic material, graphic presentation
  • Editing the specification
  • Creating a specification template
  • Writing the specification
  • Delivery of a two minute presentation (each delegate delivers a presentation on a particular aspect of the technical report).

Who should attend

  • Engineering professionals (e.g. project and design engineers)
  • Technical Personnel
  • Maintenance/Supervisory Managers
  • Maintenance Planning Staff
  • Technical managers
  • Project team members in: manufacturing, process industries, tendering, contracting, marketing, procurement, research & development, utilities, and local authorities.

Workshop length

3 days

What you will receive

  • ‘Fundamentals of Industrial Electrical and Electronic Engineering’ – a comprehensive reference book.
  • Acrobat copy of all PowerPoint slides used in the presentation on USB Flash Memory Drive.
  • Certification of attendance: each delegate will receive a workshop certificate documenting their attendance

What people say:

“Mick has received excellent reviews and positive feedback for all his courses. His down-to-earth, practical, and entertaining approach makes him a sought-after speaker and lecturer in a wide variety of disciplines.” - IDC Technologies
“Presented in an easily understood manner.” - E. Maughn, Eskom
“Really knows his subject.” M. Radcliff, Houston Texas
“Easily understood” - Bob Lawson, Nissan, UK
“Relaxed and interesting” - F. Lowe, Schlumberger, Austin, Texas



  • Goals
  • Types of report (Formal Report, Technical Memo, Technical Proposals, Equipment or Maintenance Manuals, Journal Articles)
  • Category of reader (skilled, decision-maker, technical, operator, general non-specialists)

Compiling the report

  • Establishing a framework
  • Terms of reference (subject matter, purpose, reader identification)

Report structure

  • Findings
  • Observations
  • Discussions
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendations
  • Executive summary
  • Other sections (title page, table of contents, lists, appendices, references)

Elements of Technical Writing

  • Factual versus opinion
  • Logical flow of writing
  • Results of research
  • Case Study: Developing awareness of fact and opinion and substantiating opinions with facts
  • Practical Session: Determining terms of reference and writing an introduction

Development process

  • Research (interviewing, listening, note taking, reading)
  • Organising the report
  • Development methods (general to specific, specific to general, chronological, sequential, cause and effect, comparison, spatial)
  • Overview of conclusion/ recommendations section
  • Practical Session: Applying the four-stage reading process, group discussion on conclusion and recommendations

Report outline

  • Mind mapping
  • Outline formats (academic and engineering outline styles)
  • Rough draft
  • Activate the writing (correct grammar, language, expressions and units of measures)
  • Simplify the writing (word/sentence/paragraph lengths, fog index)

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Report appearance

  • White space
  • Headings/sub-headings
  • Colour
  • Illustrations
  • Practical Session: Interpreting graphic material, graphic presentation

Checking the specification

  • Functional language correctness
  • Prototypes
  • Realistic specifications
  • Compliance test and evaluation criteria
  • Practical Session: Editing the specification

Types of specifications

  • Government specifications and standards
  • Industry standards
  • Specifications for complex goods and services
  • Performance specifications
  • Design specifications
  • Practical Session: Creating a specification template

Writing the specification

  • Time and cost framework
  • Collaboration with other purchasers
  • Using consultants and specialists
  • Liaison with industry
  • Specific and non-specific requirements
  • Tiering of specifications
  • Reviewing specifications
  • Constructive changes
  • Errors in specifications
  • Conflicting requirements
  • Practical Session: Writing the specificationt

Oral presentation

  • Preparation
  • Using the report as guideline
  • Formulating the central message
  • Arranging the ideas, facts and supportive arguments
  • Making a positive impact (appearance, gestures, eye contact, body language, style of speaking)
  • Effective use of visual aids y (types of visual aid equipment, using the equipment correctly)
  • Maximising delivery (fielding questions, managing answers, handling difficult situations, short talk guidelines, impromptu sessions)
  • Practical Session: Delivery of a two minute presentation (each delegate delivers a presentation on a particular aspect of the technical report)