Three Seconds & Counting: How to Write in Plain Language and Keep the Audience Reading

Recent research shows you only have about 3 seconds to catch and keep the attention of any potential reader. That means you’ve got to quickly let that reader know why they should bother, and you’ve got to do it clearly, without technical jargon, legalese, bureaucratese, or any of the other forms of official gobbledygook. In this session, you’ll learn the basic principals of writing clearly in plain language. Best of all, you’ll practice with hands-on exercises to solidify the concepts in your head. You’ll leave with a new perspective on how to write in a way that holds reader interest and a set of new skills you can put to work as soon as you return to the office. This class will be the best fit for those who have had little or no exposure to plain language and clear business writing, but all levels are welcome. Come prepared to participate verbally and during written exercises.

This workshop is designed for government program analysts and specialists. However, all Summit attendees are welcome to join.

Workshop Agenda:

1:45-3 p.m.— Fundamentals and Practice — Learn just exactly what plain language is and how to apply it through verbal and written exercises in small groups and as a class.

3-3:15 p.m.–break

3:15-4 p.m. Finish up learning the foundational principals of plain language and tackle a plain language rewrite of a difficult document.


Fundamental Competency
Location: Independence Salons GF Date: July 26, 2019 Time: 1:45 pm - 4:00 pm Wendy Wagner-Smith