October 17, 2017

Cut Through the Clutter in D.C.

Learn to make every piece you write easier to read and understand in this concise-writing workshop

“TONS of new tips and tricks. I cannot believe how much I changed and improved one piece in this session. I also enjoyed the ability to hear more from the other professionals in the room. Very interactive, which I loved.”
— Megan McCarl, public relations associate, Lambert, Edwards & Associates

Read it and weep: More than half of all Americans have basic or below basic reading skills, according to the Department of Education’s latest adult literacy test.

That means they can sign forms, compare ticket prices for two events and look up shows in a TV guide. But they have trouble finding places on a map, calculating the cost of office supplies from a catalog and comparing viewpoints in two editorials.

How well are we reaching these folks with our messages?

In this tight-writing workshop, you’ll learn how to make every piece you write easier to read and understand. You’ll walk away with secrets you can use to reach more readers, measurably improve readability and sell tight writing to management.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

PRSA members save $100 with coupon code PRSA17

Registration starts at 8 a.m. Class starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

Fee: $895-$1,795 | Early access ticket Sold out! Regular tickets available

Browse all public workshops.

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Agenda

“Great step-by-step instructions on how to do it right.”
— Stacy Mayo, assistant account executive, Rhea + Kaiser

Write for Readability

Reach readers, improve communication — even boost the bottom line — by making your messages more readable

“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.

Mission: Not accomplished.

In this session, you’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. (Prepare to be depressed!)

Then you’ll find out how to write easy-to-read messages that get more people to read your piece, read more of it, read it faster, understand it better and remember it longer.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Write at a reading level that really reaches readers. Chances are, you’re vastly overestimating your audience members’ literacy rate, according to a massive international study.
  • Plan your communications for special audience challenges. Older people, health care consumers, mobile users — maybe even your CEO — may need more help than you realize.
  • Sell your boss on the bottom-line business value of making messages more readable. (The U.S. Navy, for instance, saved more than $27 million in officer time by increasing readability.)
  • Increase reading by up to 75% by making one change to your message.
  • Measure, monitor, manage and report readability — your No. 1 tool for making your messages more effective.

Cut Through the Clutter

Measure, monitor and manage readability with a cool (free!) tool

Would your message be twice as good if it were half as long?

The research says yes: The shorter your piece, the more likely readers are to read your message, understand it and make good decisions based on it.

But most communicators (and, let’s be fair, their reviewers) ignore the research and keep piling on the paragraphs. The result? “You’re not more informed,” writes Tom Rosenstiel, former media critic for the Los Angeles Times. “You’re just numbed.”

So how long is too long? What’s the right length for your piece? Your paragraphs? Your sentences? Your words?

In this session, you’ll run your message through a cool (free!) tool to measure, monitor and manage readability.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Analyze your message for 27 readability metrics — and leave with quantifiable targets, tips and techniques for improving each one.
  • Increase reading, understanding and sharing with five techniques for cutting your copy significantly.
  • Stop discombobulating readers with long sentences. Leave this workshop with 11 metrics for reducing sentence length and increasing comprehension.
  • Avoid causing your reader to skip your paragraphs. Find out how long is too long — and leave with three ways to shorten paragraphs.
  • Eliminate multisyllabic pileups from your copy. They’re the No. 1 predictor of poor readability.

Take the ‘Numb’ Out of Numbers

Make statistics understandable and interesting

If your readers are like most, they have, on average, below basic numeracy, or numerical literacy, according a massive international literacy study.

So how well are they understanding your quarterly results?

“Numbers without context, especially large ones with many zeros trailing behind, are about as intelligible as vowels without consonants,” writes Daniel Okrent, former New York Times ombudsman.

Indeed, poorly handled, statistics can make your readers’ eyes glaze over.

In this session, you’ll master the art of making numbers understandable as well as interesting.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • 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.
  • Create meaningful — not discombobulating — charts and graphs.
  • Find free tools that create attractive charts for you

Start Making Sense

Get the gobbledygook, jargon & gibberish out

Jargon. Buzzwords. Acronyms. They’re things that make your reader go “huh?” And we need to get them out of our message.

Indeed, jargon irritates your reader, makes your message less understandable, reduces your social media reach and influence, cuts your chances of media coverage, makes your website harder to find and demonstrates your lack of knowledge about the topic.

It may even suggest that your company is in trouble.

In this session, you’ll learn how to avoid these obstacles by translating the language of your organization into the language of your readers.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Determine when to use jargon to streamline communication — and when to avoid it at all costs.
  • Run a simple test to decide which terms to use with industry insiders.
  • Turn Google into the best thesaurus ever.
  • 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.

Get a clutter-cutting workout with Wylie

Boost readability by up to 300% when you practice your new skills on your own work

In the crunch of writing headlines and meeting deadlines, it sometimes seems as if there’s not enough time to pause and consider how you’re doing. But in our practice sessions, you’ll get a great opportunity for reflection and improvement.

Bring your laptop and a story to work on. We’ll give you a chance to write and rewrite, get and give feedback, and leave with a totally rewritten piece.

In these practice sessions, you’ll:

  • Master the techniques you learn in the workshop by applying them immediately. (That’s how we put the “Master” in the Master Class!)
  • Gain valuable insights on your work from your peers and from Ann.
  • Learn to analyze and improve others’ writing — the best skill you can develop for editing others or improving your own work.

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Trainer

“Other writing coaches tell you what to do.
Ann shows you how.”
— Roberta Laughlin, vice president, Mutual Funds Marketing, Northern Trust

About Ann Wylie

Hi! I’m Ann Wylie. So why should you learn to Cut Through the Clutter from me?

Ann Wylie photo

Get the word out Leave with proven-in-the-lab best practices for reaching readers at Ann Wylie’s Master Classes.

That’s easy. Because I’m a nerd.

I’m a nerd.

I was never happier than when I was in graduate school, gathering information for my journalism thesis. Today, my idea of a great Sunday afternoon is to curl up on the couch with a cat, a cup of tea and a great communication study.

I love researching best practices, formulating techniques and sharing those approaches with others. So I’ve built a career that allows me to do just that.

I’m a trainer.

I taught graduate writing classes at a university for 10 years in my “spare time” — in the evenings after I’d worked a full day as a business communicator and magazine editor. Since then, I’ve traveled from Hollywood to Helsinki to train tens of thousands of writers in more than 1,000 workshops at organizations like NASA, Nokia and Nike.

I’ve been designated an “IABC Recommended Speaker” for my top ratings at IABC International Conferences. And I serve as the Public Relations Society of America’s “national writing coach.”

I’m a writer.

And I’ve tested my tricks and techniques in the real world. During my tenure as editor of Hallmark’s employee magazine, for instance, CROWN was named the best publication of its kind in the world by the International Association of Business Communicators. Since then, my communications have earned more than 60 awards for excellence, including two IABC Gold Quills.

Today, one of the things that sets me apart from many writing trainers is that I practice what I preach. I actually write. In fact, half of my business is writing — newsletters, magazines, websites, brochures and the like — mostly for big, corporate clients. The other half is helping professional writers learn to write better.

Won’t you join me?

Frankly, you don’t have time to do a deep dive into writing tricks and techniques like I do. After all, you have a job. You have a life. You don’t have hundreds of hours to spend each year, digging into the research, finding ways to improve your writing.

Fortunately, all the years I’ve spent nerdishly analyzing, reading and researching writing techniques can cut hundreds of hours off your learning curve.

All you have to do in join me at my two-day Cut Through the Clutter Master Class. I look forward to seeing you there!

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Location

“Makes me want to go back and revise everything I’ve done in the past three years.”
— Blythe Campbell, director, communications and marketing, NANA Development Corp.

Meet me in D.C.

John F. Kennedy once called Washington, D.C., “a city of Northern charm and Southern efficiency.”

If Kennedy was right, a lot’s changed since then. D.C. is one of my favorite destinations: Easy enough to navigate that even I can get around (Northern efficiency). And it offers deep wells of Southern charm.

Best of all, the city is packed with spectacular art, theater and music — much of it free. Which is great, because you’ll want to conserve your budget for dinner.

The Cherry Orchard D.C.

The Cherry Orchard D.C. will be dressed in its best for our spring Cut Through the Clutter Master Class. Image via Boston Public Library

Why not make a long weekend of it?

I, for one, will wind down from our Master Class by immersing myself in five centuries of news history at the Newseum; hitting the Bill Viola show at the Portrait Gallery; eating whatever Jose Andres sets before me at China Chilcano; and celebrating Will’s 400th at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Maybe we’ll run into each other!

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Fees

“Absolutely the best money I’ve ever spent. I learned more about writing for my audience from Ann in one day than I have in any other seminar.”
— Carie Behounek, marketing communications coordinator, COPIC Companies

Select your VIP level

  •  
  • Silver
  • $ 1,195
  •  
     
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $225 worth of learning tools – Cut Through the Clutter manual+cheat sheet, Clarify Complex Copy toolkit, Start Making Sense manual, Overcome Information Overload handbook.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  •  
  • Gold
  • $ 1,295
  • Save more than $100!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $225 worth of learning tools – Cut Through the Clutter manual+cheat sheet, Clarify Complex Copy toolkit, Start Making Sense manual, Overcome Information Overload handbook.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  • Best value!
  • Platinum
  • $ 1,395
  • Save more than $300!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $225 worth of learning tools – Cut Through the Clutter manual+cheat sheet, Clarify Complex Copy toolkit, Start Making Sense manual, Overcome Information Overload handbook.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.
  •  
  • Diamond
  • $ 1,795
  • Save more than $700!
  • Two days of training
  • Lunch each day
  • Coffee and tea each morning
  • Workbook for capturing your ideas and insights
  • $225 worth of learning tools – Cut Through the Clutter manual+cheat sheet, Clarify Complex Copy toolkit, Start Making Sense manual, Overcome Information Overload handbook.
  • 12-month subscription to Rev Up Readership (a $297 value).
  • A 30-minute one-on-one phone consult with Ann after the workshop (a $500 value). Get exclusive access to Ann.

Sorry: only 10 Diamond tickets available!

Save up to $300, earn bonuses.

  • Save $100 when you book one of the 20 early access tickets. Sold out!
  • Save $50 when you book one of the 20 Advanced admission tickets.
  • Save $100 if you’re a Rev Up Readership member (Join Rev Up Readership) or a PRSA member. PRSA members use discount code PRSA17.
  • Save $100 each when you bring two or more colleagues.
  • Save $50 each when you bring one colleague.
  • Make the most of your Master Class. Save up to $700 on follow-up learning tools, subscriptions — even an exclusive, private consult with me — when you upgrade to a Gold, Platinum or Diamond ticket.
  • Earn a free, three-month Rev Up Readership subscription (or extension, if you’re already a member) — a $100 value — when you refer a friend who buys a ticket and attends the Master Class.

To summarize:

VIP Level Non-memberRev Up Readership or PRSA member
SingleDouble3 or moreSingleDouble3 or more
SilverAdvanced admission$1,145$1,095$1,045$1,045$995$945
Regular ticket$1,195$1,145$1,095$1,095$1,045$995
GoldAdvanced admission$1,245$1,195$1,145$1,145$1,095$1,045
Regular ticket$1,295$1,245$1,195$1,195$1,145$1,095
PlatinumAdvanced admission$1,345$1,295$1,245$1,245$1,195$1,145
Regular ticket$1,395$1,345$1,295$1,295$1,245$1,195
DiamondAdvanced admission$1,745$1,695$1,645$1,645$1,595$1,545
Regular ticket$1,795$1,745$1,695$1,695$1,645$1,595

Big group?

Do you have 10 or more colleagues who would benefit from training? Contact Ann to schedule a customized, in-house writing workshop.

Don’t miss your chance.

Our Master Classes sell out quickly. If you’re interested in attending, please act now.

Confirmation

You’ll receive confirmation of your registration by email. Please white-list Ann@WylieComm.com and orders@eventbrite.com to make sure you receive your registration materials. If they don’t arrive within an hour of your registration, please contact us directly.

Cancellations/substitutions

Can’t make it?

  • Send a colleague. We’ll miss you! But please feel free to send a friend in your place. No charge for substitutions.
  • Transfer to a different Master Class. Choose one of our other workshops. No charge to transfer.
  • Don’t cancel! But if you must, please cancel via email:
    • By Feb 6, to receive a full refund, minus a $50 handling fee.
    • By March 6, to receive a 75% refund.
    • Sorry, no refunds after March 6.

Reviews

What grads say about Cut Through the Clutter

Rating: 4.9 – ‎71 reviews4.9-star rating

 

“Love it. The only downside is that Ann is the presenter and not someone I can work with every day. To have her energy and spirit any day would be ideal. #HardToSayGoodbye.”

“I think our entire corporate communication (internal and external comm.) would benefit from this workshop. I haven’t been this excited about writing since college.”

“I often struggle with decision fatigue over what to cut out or how to best-word information. This workshop gave me the tools to make decisions and edit quickly. Most importantly, I have more tools to write better and more efficiently.”

“Ann’s information is fresh, insightful, and research driven. She is clear and entertaining, which leads to a highly enjoyable workshop experience!”

“Very helpful. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I now have tons of tips and tricks I’ll keep with me through my writing career.”

“Awesome! Many great things to move forward with. Normally I don’t care for workshops but this was different and extremely informative. Thanks Ann!”

“I thought everything was great. I liked the mixture of personal stories, data, and on the spot editing/feedback.”

“I loved the format of the class. Learn a strategy and then apply it. So helpful.”

“The workshop was amazing! I slashed my story from over 700 words down to 540 words.”

“Fantastic! I was skeptical that this workshop could have been filled with common sense-like information but it wasn’t. I can’t wait to share what I learned with my team. I will definitely look into one of Ann’s workshops again!”

“What a breath of fresh air. Ann is amazing and I can’t wait to come to another one of her workshops. What a wealth of information!”

“This workshop definitely surpassed the hype. I heard nothing but great things about Ann, and they were all true! Great speaker! Informative. Engaging. Perfection!”

“Loved it! I wish my whole organization could participate.”

“Mathematical evidence to explain/justify content and technique. Genius!”

“TONS of new tips and tricks. I cannot believe how much I changed and improved one piece in this session. I also enjoyed the ability to hear more from the other professionals in the room. Very interactive, which I loved.”

“Everything! I absolutely loved how Ann backed up her lessons with facts and figures. The research in the beginning about reading levels was eye opening. I will use my packet as a point of reference during the editing process. This workshop was packed with valuable tips.”

“Feedback. Sharing with peers. Tools. The websites and suggested readings were worth the cost alone. Great resources!”

“Thank you again for your D.C. workshop last week. Workshops are usually more inspirational and less practical. Yours is both.

“Subconsciously, I started ‘cutting the clutter’ almost immediately after the workshop ended. Poorly written flyers at the elevator. Wordy billboards while driving.

“I’ve simplified the message in some new marketing pieces already. And, our director likes it!”

“Learning how to think like a reader instead of a writer has been extremely helpful. The last press release I wrote was 20 percent shorter, had a catchier headline and short, punchy paragraphs.”

“An honest and pragmatic approach to writing and editing. You’ll leave with concrete skills to use immediately to improve your messages. I’ve started haunting my team with reminders of what not to write.”

“I am deleting more words, phrases or entire sentences to reduce clutter and boost meaning. 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.”

“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.”

“Useful tips to help you achieve the goal of ‘quit whining, start measuring.’”

“Our payment processing company loves multi-syllable words stuffed into multi-phrase sentences. Now we have better tools, such as the funnel system, to work through the clutter. The best result is that our V.P. of Sales and Marketing is thinking about readability now, too! (We had a nice little talk after I edited a 26-word sentence down to 15 and told him why!)”

“My copy is tighter. More succinct. The ideas are still there, but the filler is gone or trimmed considerably (and better off for it). The other night I was proofing my latest blog entry and I thought, ‘What would Ann think about that second paragraph?’”

“I got a new client by applying one of Ann’s principles. [Cut Through the Clutter] was a breakthrough for me.”

“The most concise, outstanding ‘short course’ on cleaning up copy.”

Ann Wylie's writing workshops photo

Catch Your Readers Hundreds of communicators have learned to get the word out at Ann Wylie’s Master Classes.


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Venue

“Fantastic! Within 90 minutes I was applying the ideas Ann presented.”
— Jennifer Uschold, senior manager, internal communications, Direct Energy

20 F Street NW Conference Center

20 F Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001-6701
IL 60611

Directions, Maps and Parking information

20 F Street NW Conference Center

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Hotels

“I learned more in this two-day class than I did in my two-year master’s program.”
— Rochelle Juette, communications specialist, Washington Closure Hanford

Hotels near the Master Class

Please contact hotels directly for room rates and booking.

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Contacts

“If I were to write a headline and deck for Ann’s workshop, it would go something like this … ‘West Point for Writers: How to win the war for readers’ minds.’”
— Jim Rink, media relations specialist, The Auto Club Group

Need more information?

How may we help?

Contact us via:

Email:

ann@wyliecomm.com

Phone:

503/954-2289

Social media:

Mail:

Wylie Communications
949 NW Overton, Ste. 1102
Portland, OR 97209
USA

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D.C. concise writing workshop

Washington D.C.
April 6-7
$895-$1,795: Discounts available

Register now

Other locations

San Francisco tight writing workshop

San Francisco
Aug. 17-18
$895-$1,795: Discounts available

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