Measurably boost your Flesch-Kincaid grade-level score in Ann Wylie’s Rev Up Readability class
Let’s start with the bad news. More than half of American adults have basic or below basic prose skills, according to the DOE’s latest literacy test.
That means they can sign forms, compare ticket prices for two events and look up shows in a TV guide. But most can’t find places on a map. Can’t calculate the cost of office supplies from a catalog. Can’t compare viewpoints in two editorials.
So how do you reach the average American adult who reads at a seventh grade level or less?
Learn to reach more readers in Ann Wylie’s Rev Up Readability workshop. You’ll learn to make your messages measurably more readable when you master 130 years of clear-writing best practices.
Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Reach Real Readers: What can your readers really read?
- Cut Through the Clutter: Boost reading ease with a readability test tool.
- Take the ‘Numb’ Out of Numbers: Make stats understandable, interesting.
- Start Making Sense: Get the gobbledygook, jargon & gibberish out.
“One of the best career experiences I’ve had.”
– Scott Worden, manager, corporate communications & PR, Magna
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How you’ll improve readability in this workshop
In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:
Reach Real Readers
“The problem with communication,” said George Bernard Shaw, “is the illusion that it has been accomplished.”
No kidding. Send out a message that’s written at the 11th grade level, for instance, and 97% of U.S. adults won’t be able to understand it, according to the Department of Education’s latest adult literacy test.
So how do you reach your readers?
In this session, we’ll dive into the results of this massive worldwide literacy study to get a reality check on the level at which your readers really read. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Write for real readers. Set reasonable readability expectations for your organization.
- Overcome special audience challenges. Identify what number of years of education your own audience likely reads at.
- Sell readability’s bottom-line business value. The U.S. Navy, for instance, saved more than $27 million by increasing Flesch Reading Ease.
“I’ve noticed that both my writing and editing have become cleaner and more concise. I’ve received unsolicited, favorable comments from numerous colleagues regarding pieces on which I’ve used these techniques.”
– Rachel George Leidenfrost, internal communications associate, M&T Bank
Cut Through the Clutter
Would your message be twice as good if it were half as long?
Yes, the research says. The shorter your message, the more likely readers are to read it, understand it and make good decisions based on it.
So how long is too long? What’s the best paragraph length? Sentence length? Word length?
In this session, you will:
- Use a cool (free!) tool to get 27 text statistics on your piece — from the Coleman Liau to the Automated Readability Index, from the Fog Index to the Flesch Kincaid Grade Level.
- Get quantifiable targets for each metric: What’s the right length of a piece to maximize your readership? What should the readability of your website be? What number of words per sentence and syllables per word is most readable?
- Get tips and techniques for measurably improving readability on each metric.
“I would recommend this workshop to anyone who has to write more than 2 sentences a day – ANYONE!”
— Melissa Summer, associate marketing manager, CPP
Take the Numb Out of Numbers
If your readers are like most, they have, on average, below-basic numerical literacy, according a massive international literacy study.
In this environment, how well are they understanding your quarterly results?
In this session, you’ll master the art of making numbers understandable as well as interesting:
- Avoid statistics soup and data dumps using three simple steps.
- Help readers understand your numbers by asking one key question every time your fingers reach for the top row of the keyboard.
- Make numbers more emotional by turning them into people, places and things.
“A Program Manager asked me to write a brochure for him last week. I showed him the chart comparing average number of words per sentence with the percentage of comprehension. That helped persuade him to keep the text simple and to the point.”
— Sharon Foote, public information specialist, Mecklenburg County Water & Land Resources
Start Making Sense
Jargon. Buzzwords. Acronyms. They’re things that make your reader go “huh?” And we need to get them out of our message.
In this session, you’ll learn how to avoid these obstacles by translating the language of your organization into the language of your readers. You’ll find out how to:
- Run a simple test to decide which terms to use with industry insiders.
- Define terms the reader-friendly way (Hint: It’s not the way we learned to do it in Journalism 101.)
- Steal techniques from Warren Buffett to make complex technical information easier to understand — and more fun to read.
“Some of the best professional development I’ve ever had. Everything Ann teaches is practical, and I can immediately use it to improve my writing.”
— Sarah Julian, director of communications, Oklahoma Public School Resource Center
Formats for persuasive writing
Choose from these formats for clear-writing workshops:
- In-house training programs: Bring Ann in to train your whole team with on-site or online courses.
- Public Master Classes: Build your own persuasive writing skills when you attend one of our writing workshops near you.
- Association workshops: Bring Ann to your conference or chapter for a keynote, breakout session or professional development program.
I’m ready to boost my persuasive-writing skills!
I’d like to:
- Book Ann for an in-house or association workshop.
- Register for Rev Up Readership online, May 4 – June 1
- Browse all writing workshops.
- Learn about our writing coach, Ann Wylie.
Questions? Contact Ann.