The 411

DATE NOT SET
8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

CEC Training Facility
1900 Merivale Road, Suite 206
Ottawa, ON K2G 4N4

$675 (+hst)
Discounts available.

Reigstration Closed

Meet the Instructor

Debra Huron

Debra Huron

Debra Huron has extensive experience as a writer, editor, and trainer. For more than 10 years, she has designed and delivered writing workshops for professionals in the health, government, and voluntary sectors. Debra belongs to the Editors' Association of Canada and the international organization, PLAIN.

read bio


Testimonials

"Trainer was very well prepared, professional and offered fact-based, credible answers to questions"

"Trainer was very knowledgeable and approachable. Very good at allowing some digression but keeping the course on track"

"Great job, awesome! Continue the great work! Thanks!!!"

"Thanks for the excellent day. Learned a lot and refreshed my memory regarding things I knew but had forgotten. Altogether a great success!"


G021
PLAIN WRITING FOR THE PUBLIC SECTOR

WHY SHOULD YOU ATTEND?

You need to be sure that the messages you craft for public consumption are fully understood by Canadians at all literacy levels. You want to discern the Grade level of what you write using a readability tool, either on-line or on paper–something this workshop will teach you to do. Finally, for your writing to have the impact you intend, you must know and use the five plain writing principles you'll learn in this workshop. This highly interactive day of group and individual exercises will also include discussion and an important session on how clear design supports a plain writing approach. The workshop will be of particular benefit to government communicators writing for the Canadian public in areas such as health promotion, citizenship and immigration, delivery of social programs, and the environment.

WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?

WHAT WILL YOU TAKE AWAY?

PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCIES

Agenda
8:45 - 9:15 Introductions and Workshop Agenda
9:15 - 10:30 Understanding Your Audience
  • Who is your audience? The facts about adult literacy in Canada
  • Adult learners speak: a made-in-Canada DVD about the value of clear communication
  • Defeat the myths about plain language: no "dumbing down" allowed
  • Readability tools – practice using a formula on a selected text
10:30 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 12:00 Plain Writing Principles #1 and #2
  • Using strong verbs – understanding how to overcome the passive voice and frozen verbs; group and individual exercises
  • Writing directly to your readers; written exercise
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
13:00 - 14:30 Plain Writing Principles #3 and #4
  • Choosing shorter words and shorter sentences
  • Creating meaningful titles and sub-headings and the value of "chunking"; written exercise using selected text
14:30 - 14:45 Break
14:45 - 15:15 Plain Writing Principle #5
  • Avoiding jargon, idioms, buzzwords, and slang; oral reading exercise and a written exercise
15:15 - 15:30 Testing What You Write
  • What testing means to plain writers; the hallmarks of information design
  • Why oral interviews work
15:30 - 16:00 Supporting Plain Writing with Clear Design
  • Using four clear design principles to support plain writing; small group discussion and analysis of examples
16:00 - 16:20 Defining your Learning Goals
  • Mapping where you are now and where you want to be three months from now
16:20 - 16:30

Wrap-up and Workshop Evaluation

  • Participants will complete a short evaluation