August 19, 2017

Make technical terms clear

How to write about, say, spectroradiometers

How do you make technical, medical and bureaucratic terms clear? Winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Magazine Award demonstrate their techniques:

Make technical terms clear

Bring technical topics down to earth Translate the terms in your head into the terms in your readers’ heads. Image by zsoolt

And what if I told you there was another tool out there that reduced readership and made people stop reading sooner? Would you stop using it? How quickly would you get rid of it?

“During the Des Groseilliers expedition, he spent most of his time monitoring conditions on the floe using a device known as a spectroradiometer. Facing toward the sun, a spectroradiometer measures incident light, and facing toward earth it measures reflected light. If you divide the latter by the former, you get a quantity known as albedo. (The term comes from the Latin word for ‘whiteness.’)”

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“While intelligent people can often simplify the complex, a fool is more likely to complicate the simple.”
— Henry David Thoreau, American author and philosopher

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.

Start Making Sense

What’s that you say? Does your copy make your readers go, “Huh?” If so, get the gobbledygook out. Image by Captain Pancakes

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.

At Cut Through the Clutter — our two-day tight-writing master class on April 6-7 in Washington, D.C., and on Aug. 17-18 in San Francisco — 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.

Book now to save $100 off the regular ticket price. Last 3 early access tickets left! Register now.

“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.”
— Desirae MacGillivray, associate, Portavoce PR

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Happy birthday to me!

I’ve always felt a special connection to Valentine’s Day, because my birthday is the day before. And, all I want for my birthday is to see you this month.

Sweetheart deal

Sweetheart deal Save $100 on our Master the Art of the Storyteller class in Los Angeles this month. Image by Rachel

At Cut Through the Clutter — our two-day tight-writing master class on April 6-7 in Washington, D.C., and on Aug. 17-18 in San Francisco — you’ll learn how to avoid these obstacles by translating the language of your organization into the language of your readers.

So here’s a one-day-only special for Master the Art of the Storyteller workshop on Feb. 23-24 in Los Angeles. Please use coupon code VALENTINE17 to get $100 off this class — but only until end-of-day today.

And here’s what my lawyers told me to add: Offer good on new tickets only. Not combinable with any other offer.

Hurry! This coupon is valid today only. Register now.

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in Los Angeles: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in Los Angeles on Feb. 23-24, 2017
Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Las Vegas on March 22-23, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's Tight Writing workshop in Washington, D.C. on April 6-7, 2017
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Chicago on May 18-19, 2017
Register for Catch Your Reader: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Boston on June 19-20, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Portland on July 27-28, 2017
Register for Cut Through the Clutter - Ann Wylie's tight-writing workshop in San Francisco on Aug, 17-18, 2017
Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in New York: Ann Wylie's creative-writing workshop in New York on Sept. 25-26, 2017
Register for Catch Your Readers in Dallas: Ann Wylie's persuasive writing workshop in Dallas on Oct. 16-17
Register for Not Your Father's News Release - Ann Wylie's PR-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017
Register for Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked - Ann Wylie's online-writing workshop in Miami on Dec. 11-12, 2017

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Boston: June 19-20
  • Chicago: May 18-19
  • Dallas: Oct. 16-17
  • Des Moines: Feb. 8
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Las Vegas: March 22-23
  • Los Angeles: Feb. 23-24
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: Sept. 25-26
  • Northbrook, Illinois: June 14
  • Plano, Texas: March 20
  • Portland: July 27-28
  • San Francisco: Aug. 17-18
  • Washington, D.C.: April 6-7

Keep up with my calendar.