Do you write gobbledegook and expect to connect with your clients? Keeping it simple could save you a lot of time and money.
Government agencies, information technology companies, businesses trying to "sound" superior to their competitors, all make this mistake.
The simple tip is to make it easy for your clients to understand your message.
Professor Robert Eagleson, an acknowledged World authority in plain English, believes organisations will start moving towards plain English when they realise how much gobbledegook is costing them.
In an article for a leading Australian newspaper he said, "Many managers and executives fall into the trap of writing and speaking cumbersome, convoluted pros when simple statements would get their message across more clearly."
In Australia, a leading Financial Corporation found more than 1,560 information errors in its 200 administrative forms. The cost of consolidating, rewriting and redesigning the forms was $100,000. The changes resulted in savings estimated at $400,000 a year.
A Government Health Department in Great Britain spent about $50,000 to develop forms written in plain language. The redesigned forms saved more than $2 million in staff time every year.
Plain English means writing in words that are easily understood by the majority of your audience.
Using plain English helps the person who is writing the materials to:
- Create a positive, professional image
- Provide better quality information for the reader
- Save staff time previously spent on queries and complaints (documents are clear and easy to understand)
- Save printing costs (documents are shorter)
- Make it easier to translate documents into other languages.
Plain English prevents:
- Frustration caused by having to ask for clarification
- Misinterpretation of forms and incorrect information
- People having a negative feeling about your company.
From now on, please make your audience the first priority and write to deliver your message clearly and simply. Don'y try to dazzle with your level of technical terminology, or your creative descriptions or ideas.