Plain English

Who is this course for?
If you operate in an environment with complex documentation, policies, or procedures and engage a diverse internal and external audience, you could benefit from a sound understanding of how to produce documents in Plain English.

Too often business and government communications is filled with obtuse and technical language, management speak, weasel-words and tedious abstraction. Employees regularly complain that they cannot understand company policy documentation, procedures or guidelines. Training materials appear to be written for technical specialists rather than an audience of learners. Legal agreements are unintelligible and frustrating to many of the people required to
abide by them.

KBT directors have spent years developing accessible Plain English text, including:

  • Plain English for Indigenous audiences.
  • Plain English legal agreements.
  • Parallel versions of legal agreements in plain English.
  • Plain English summaries of legal agreements.
  • Plain English explanations of employment benefits such as salary sacrificing, housing programs and novated leases.
  • Plain English explanations of financial concepts.

KBT (and its sister firm, KBC) has also coached external affairs staff in writing Plain English best suited to the target audience.

The workshop looks at how to unpack complex English texts, get at the fundamental ideas and recast them in everyday language. This workshop will help your staff:

  • Distinguish communications profiles in your audience and develop text and tools appropriate to each.
  • Identify the clichés and abstractions that disable your organisation’s efforts to be transparent.
  • Employ a methodical approach to creating plain English text.
  • Identify concepts that may seem practically impossible to communicate and to effectively address communications trade-offs when it comes to these issues.
  • Recast problematic vocabulary, grammar and ideas in ways that will be intelligible to the audience.
  • To use narrative structures to illustrate difficult concepts.
  • Learn how to use metaphor, analogy and illustrative examples to make difficult ideas accessible.

The course is peppered with examples of communications problems and solutions from a range of businesses. If you wish, KBT can further adapt the course with exercises and examples from material that your organisation must frequently communicate.

Contact Matt to discuss your training requirements.