Focusing On Loss: A Case For Negative Framing

Across content and channels, how you frame your message matters. In most circumstances, you want your reader to have a favorable, affirming experience. When your writing helps them feel good, they’ll think constructively and take action. While positive framing is the norm in plain language and business communication, sometimes negative framing comes in handy. By…

Clarity 2018: Plain Language in Modern Times — Our Takeaways From Montreal

Last month, we joined language experts and enthusiasts from across the globe in Montreal to attend Clarity 2018: Plain Language in Modern Times. Hosted by Clarity International, the conference theme explored the possibilities of plain legal language (and beyond). Needless to say, we were with our people! Readable, approachable content is important for everyone. And…

Practice Empathy to Improve Your Invoicing Procedures

Every business transaction is an opportunity for a professional and straightforward interaction. Yet, without sufficient understanding of your recipient, your transactions can also create opportunities for confusion and frustration. And when you’re sending invoices (which are crucial for managing cash flow), doing so with empathy can help your operations stay on track. Empathy: The Often-Missing…

This Is Your Brain On Ambiguity.

As humans, we have a tricky relationship with ambiguity. Used effectively, ambiguity (messages with more than one interpretation) can create clever, insightful, and amusing communication — making it a staple of advertising and comedy. Used ineffectively, however, ambiguity’s multiple meanings can create confusing and misleading language that prevents readers from understanding what you mean. And…

Clarify Procedures and Instructions With a “Show, Don’t Tell” Approach

Every form of communication can benefit from show-don’t-tell writing. Sure, this style can improve storytelling and foster audience engagement — but it’s also a powerful tool when providing instructions. And when managing efficient operations, clear instructions are a must! Whether in a technical document or an informal email, instructions that are easy to understand and follow…

Show, Don’t Tell: Paint a Picture With Language

In writing, we use the concept “show, don’t tell” to ignite our reader’s imaginations and transport them into the world of our story. We build sensory experiences with descriptive and specific details — sometimes called “images” — to help us entertain and inform our audience. The skill is necessary to capture our reader’s interest and…