1. Why is plain language important in your field/work?
We’re a plain language consultancy firm.Plain language (often called plain English here in New Zealand) is what gets us out of bed in the morning! Actually, it’s the benefits of plain language that get us excited. Plain language isn’t an end in itself. It’s a vehicle to helping organisations achieve their purpose — whether that be social good or making a profit. I believe most organisations are blind to the fact that writing style is a major predictor of organisational success. And of course, when organisations write plainly, consumers and citizens benefit. So ,working in the field of plain language is a way of contributing, very positively, to society.
2. What is your presentation focus, and what are some of the key points participants will learn?
I’m doing an author conversation about our new (upcoming) book called Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit.
In my session, I’ll talk about the Rewrite for Change™ model, tell some of the stories and discuss the lessons we gleaned from them, and share some of the best resources for getting results.
Most of all, I hope to show that almost anyone with vision and determination can transform the way their organisation communicates.
3. What does the future hold for plain language?
I believe that plain language is steadily becoming a recognised and sought after professional discipline. Plain language is fast moving away from being seen as the domain of editors and proofreaders. Practitioners can rightfully take their place as change managers, working in the boardroom rather than the backroom.
‘Citizen language’, another term for plain language, is already reasonably well established, or at least encouraged, in many government organisations worldwide and parts of the private sector are not far behind. I believe there is huge scope for plain language work in the fields of law, finance, and health, where consumer expectations of clarity, transparency and ethical behaviour are coming to the fore.
For plain language practitioners who think beyond the words, I believe the future is very bright.