1. Why is plain language important in your field/work?
My work as a communications consultant has connected me with organizations from many sectors - government, business, non-profit, social. And, the one thing I've learned is that they all benefit when plain language is embedded in their communications. Whether it's a policy and procedures manual, a brochure, their website or a media advert - plain language helps them deliver a stronger, clearer, cleaner message. When you put your client's needs first, you make a lasting impression. And, who doesn't want to stand out from the crowd for improving their services.
2. What is your presentation focus, and what are some of the key points participants will learn?
I am chairing the Successfully Integrating Plain Language panel on Friday. The panel's team represents literacy, essentials skills, communications and training fields. Each is an expert with experience in embedding plain language into projects, programs or organizations. They will share their successes - and we can all learn from their models. I am looking forward to chairing the event - and getting top tips. I've recruited a synthesizer to pull it all together - and report back. There's just going to be too many good points presented, and I don't want to miss a thing.
My opening remarks are being inspired by Amanda Lang's latest book - The Power of Why: Simple Questions That Lead to Success. She promotes using the child's favourite question 'Why?' as the way forward - not asking 'How?'. She pushes us to use curiosity as the way to achieving innovation and creativity - and success. I see so many opportunities for this to lead to plain language.
3. What does the future hold for plain language?
Plain language is on an upsurge. Today's climate of transparency is just the environment you need to get - and keep - plain language on decision-maker's agendas. There is currently a strong set of examples and media coverage. Take the lead. Push now for plain language.
Kate Harrison Whiteside, Key Advice, Rossland, BC Canada
firstname.lastname@example.org, @keykate, LinkedIn, Facebook Page
PLAIN2013 Communication and Marketing, Webmaster,
plain2013.org, @plain2013, #plain2013, Facebook Page