Professional and Analytical Skills

Writing for Your Executive Customer

The Keys to Analytic Writing with Impact

Instructor: Michael Roosevelt

Who Is This Course For?

This course is for anyone who is in a position that requires them to write analytically for an executive customer. Whether you’re an analyst in the Intelligence Community or a risk intelligence analyst in the private sector, you’re probably adept at describing the facts of an issue, but maybe you struggle to add analytic value–the key so what–that gives a decisionmaker an insightful edge. Analytic writing is the core skill for analysts in any field, and those who master it wield greater influence in their organizations and stand out from their peers who don’t have it.

This course doesn’t promise to teach you how to write. What it does is share strategies to leverage the skills you already have to inject your written products with analytic content. It includes techniques that will help you write most effectively and analytically for your executive customers. The professionals who are able to master these techniques have three things in common: they know how to convey a clear bottom-line message early in their written product, they support the bottom line with relevant information, and they provide their readers analytic judgments with impact.



You may not yet be in a position to write for senior executives, but regardless of where you are in your education, this course will help you organize and increase the sophistication of your written assignments. When the time comes to begin a job search, your writing will stand out from most other applicants for its insights and ability to clearly convey complexity to your reader.



Even if you possess superb narrative writing skills, the ability to effectively communicate the complexity of an issue to an informed non-expert is what will set you apart from others and determine your professional trajectory. This course, along with practice, will help you master the core skill of analytic writing, which in turn can give you more influence over important decisions and help advance your career.



Whether you’re a new manager or have been at it for years, analytic writing skills are even more important than when you were at the working level because now you’re teaching and mentoring others, reviewing and editing their work, and communicating upward through the chain of command. This course will help you hone the skills you already have and provide you with strategies for improving the work of your subordinates.

Organize Your Written Products to Make Them Better and More Useful to Your Senior Customers

This course will help you organize your writing in ways that make the most effective use of your existing skills, with strategies that will help you write effectively and analytically for your executive customers.

Develop a core skill

Improve your ability to write well-crafted and persuasive analysis that influences decisions, changes minds, resolves misunderstandings, and corrects misperceptions.

Support Your Senior Customers

Learn how to package your written product with accurate information and solid analysis to enable others to make informed decisions about programs, budgets, or other high-priority issues.

Advance Your Career

Set yourself apart from peers who don’t have the ability to write analytically to enhance your promotion prospects and be considered for the most challenging assignments.

What You'll Get

Video Content


Course Transcript


Downloadable Extras


Coaching Options

Coaching Option

What You'll Learn

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • Strategies to organize your written products to make them better and more useful to your senior customers
  • The importance of identifying the issue that you’re writing about by clearly and concisely stating your bottom line up front
  • Ways to back up your bottom line with relevant facts that get your executive reader the information that he or she needs to know
  • How to provide your executive customer with analytic judgments that have impact
  • Steps you can take to avoid the unnecessary technical mistakes that can undermine the very best analysis
  • Ideas to help you edit your own work before you send it forward for managerial review
  • Strategies to make the review process less painful and more beneficial

Course Content

Unit 1 – Setting the Stage

  • Opening Video
  • Reflections on Writing
  • The Bad Memo Exercise
  • The Three Most Important Things

Unit 2 – Thing #1: A Clear Message

  • Thing #1: A Clear Message
  • Clarity Exercise
  • Common Message Problems
  • Generating Good Analytical Questions

Unit 3 – Thing #2: A Relevant Message

  • Thing #2: A Relevant Message
  • Executive Customers’ Dirty Little Secrets

Unit 4 – Thing #3: A Message with Impact

  • Thing #3: A Message with Impact
  • Focus on the Bottom Line: Exercise 1
  • Focus on the Bottom Line: Exercise 2
  • The Three Most Important Things

Unit 5 – Organizing Your Message

  • Organizing Your Message
  • Organizing Your Message: Exercise 1
  • Organizing Your Message: Exercise 2

Unit 6 – Plus One Other Thing

  • Plus One Other Thing: A Well-Written Product
  • Thoughts on Self-Editing
  • Finding the Right Words
  • A Few Thoughts on Graphics
  • The Importance of Proofreading
  • Avoiding Unforced Errors
  • Avoiding Passive Voice

Unit 7 – Coordination and Review

  • Coordination
  • Managerial Review

Unit 8 – Conclusion

  • Closing Video

Meet Your Instructor

Michael E. Roosevelt

Mike Roosevelt has a long history with analytic writing, having practiced it for over 30 years as an analyst and manager at the Central Intelligence Agency. Literally every assignment that he took during his CIA career featured opportunities either to write or teach others to write more effectively. After his retirement from the Agency, Mike developed an in-person writing course for a federal client that was the precursor for this online training.

Over the course of his Agency career, Mike worked on a wide range of national security issues, including internal Soviet politics, Chinese foreign policy, global organized crime, and Caspian energy resources. He served in rotational assignments at the State Department, White House, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence, as well as internal tours in the CIA’s Office of Inspector General, Office of Policy Coordination, and Human Resources. He retired as a member of the Senior Intelligence Service and received the CIA’s Career Intelligence Medal. In 20ish seasons playing for the Moles in the Agency’s slow-pitch softball league, Mike had a career batting average of .446 and was a member of two league championship teams.

Mike graduated from Furman University with a BA in History and earned an MA in Russian History from Penn State University. An avid cyclist and volunteer for good causes, he lives in Greenville, SC, with his wife Jane.

Michael Roosevelt

Try a sample lecture

Your Customer’s Dirty Little Secrets

This lecture is a part of the Proficiency1 course Writing for Your Executive Customer: The Keys to Analytic Writing With Impact by Mike Roosevelt.