Writing clearly and concisely in plain English is one of the biggest skills you can bring to your work. This is especially true now when online attention spans are short and readability is key to getting any message across.
Sadly, however, most of us are not trained to write in plain English. We learn how to write in academia or at work where writing can quickly be swamped by jargon or overwriting. Other contexts, such as legal, business, health and insurance information, may come with language conventions of their own. The wording of these documents are well known for their ability to baffle readers.
Why plain language skills are essential
Plain language can make all the difference to ensuring your audience understands what you are saying. In legal and health contexts, clear writing can be critical. Increasingly, laws and regulations are making plain language obligatory. These include the Consumer Rights Act (UK) and the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
We want to support learning and skills training in this area for both organisations and those tasked with writing for them. Firehead is offering a set of excellent, tried-and tested training courses from some of the most experience plain language trainers working today. You can access these through our expanding digital communications training and skills area.
These new courses cover a range of writing contexts where plain language is key to communication. The courses are delivered live online by tutors with 15 years’ experience in training plain language. In fact, more than 9,000 students from seven countries have already benefited from their instruction.
Each course will provide learners with a proven set of plain language tools and techniques that enable you to write more clearly for your audiences. Training is available for whatever stage you are at, from most basic to advanced. And the online classrooms are ideal for organisation or group training, as you can bring your own examples and experiences into the discussion.
Six courses for writing in plain English
Click on each title to see the full details of each course.
A flexible training option for getting started in plain language or building on existing skills. Groups can design their own training based on a range of options that best suits their needs.
Learn the core skills of plain language and improve your business writing. Suitable for those in business, marketing, compliance or a management role. Training is interactive and will use your examples, input and discussion to inform the course.
This course is for anyone who writes legal content. Core skills include plain English basics for legal drafting at sentence and word-level, how to plan/structure a contract, opinion, notice or other legal document and more. Advanced modules are available for those with more experience. The specialist tutors have trained attorneys, advocates, legal researchers, commissioners, solicitors, legal advisers and compliance professionals in writing plain legal language.
Academics looking to repurpose their academic writing will benefit from this course. Training includes how to write clearly when teaching remotely, how to repurpose your academic work for a digital audience and how to build a personal brand online.
Financial products and services can be complex, especially in the small print. This training will equip you with the plain English skills to be both clear and compassionate when writing about money. It will help you comply with the plain-language requirements of the financial laws and regulations that apply to your organisation. Ultimately this will help your readers make more informed decisions about their money.
Learn proven techniques for writing health information in a clear, compassionate way that helps readers understand their options. The course is particularly useful if you are writing content for a health insurance company or healthcare provider. More advanced modules are an option for those with health writing experience.
To see the full range of training courses Firehead offers for digital communicators and content professionals, or organisations needing digital skills training, please visit our training section.
Illustration: © Rico Schacherl, reproduced with permission.