Talk Down to Me: Why You Need Plain Language

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I gave this presentation at PodCamp Nashville on May 4, 2013.

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Talk Down to Me: Why You Need Plain Language

  1. 1. TalkDowntoMe@lauracreekmorehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/slava_v/Saturday, May 4, 13
  2. 2. Authorityhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/expertinfantry/Saturday, May 4, 13
  3. 3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/alinasofia/Saturday, May 4, 13
  4. 4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/68069913@N02/http://www.flickr.com/photos/50390668@N04/Saturday, May 4, 13
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ben_grey/Saturday, May 4, 13
  6. 6. 43%Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhysasplundh/Saturday, May 4, 13
  7. 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsj/Find the time a televisionprogram ends, using anewspaper television schedulethat lists similar programsshowing at different timeson different channels.Source: National Assessment of Adult LiteracySaturday, May 4, 13
  8. 8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsj/List two facts from a businessmagazine article that explainwhy a marketer quoted in thearticle has a particularopinion.Source: National Assessment of Adult LiteracySaturday, May 4, 13
  9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsj/Find the age range whenchildren should get aparticular vaccine, using achart that shows all childhoodvaccines and the ages childrenshould receive them.Source: National Assessment of Adult LiteracySaturday, May 4, 13
  10. 10. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rcsj/Follow directions, using aclearly labeled map.Source: National Assessment of Adult LiteracySaturday, May 4, 13
  11. 11. Saturday, May 4, 13
  12. 12. Saturday, May 4, 13
  13. 13. Health literacySaturday, May 4, 13
  14. 14. PercentBelow&Basic&Basic&Intermediate&Proficient&Health Literacy of U.S. AdultsSource: U.S.Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences,National Center for Education Statistics, 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy.Saturday, May 4, 13
  15. 15. Saturday, May 4, 13
  16. 16. Yeshttp://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/Saturday, May 4, 13
  17. 17. Test your contentSaturday, May 4, 13
  18. 18. Dust Mite Mattress and _______ Covers for AllergiesYou ________ think dust mites take ________ only a little room ________ yourbed. In fact, ________ 10 years, dead dust ________ and their waste can________ the weight of your ________.Sound icky? It does ________ why dust mite-proof pillow ________ mattresscovers are your ________ line of defense against ________ allergies!Facts About Dust ________Dust mites are everywhere -- ________ there are people or ________, warmtemperatures, and high ________. They like to be ________, where they can get________ of food like mold ________ and dead skin cells ________ people andpets.If ________ are sensitive or allergic ________ them, you may have:1. ________, red eyes2. Runny or ________ nose and sneezing3. Sore ________ or hoarse voice4. Coughing ________ other breathing problems5. Skin ________ and itchingEach year, ________ mites cause about 200,000 ________ with asthma to go________ the emergency room.Dust ________ settle down in carpet, ________, stuffed animals, and upholstered________. Mattresses, pillows, and soft ________ are favorite hangouts.Saturday, May 4, 13
  19. 19. Dust Mite Mattress and Pillow Covers for AllergiesYou might think dust mites take up only a little room in your bed. In fact,within 10 years, dead dust mites and their waste can double the weight ofyour mattress.Sound icky? It does explain why dust mite-proof pillow and mattress coversare your first line of defense against dust allergies!Facts About Dust MitesDust mites are everywhere -- anywhere there are people or animals, warmtemperatures, and high humidity. They like to be indoors, where they can getplenty of food like mold spores and dead skin cells from people and pets.If you are sensitive or allergic to them, you may have:1. Watery, red eyes2. Runny or itchy nose and sneezing3. Sore throat or hoarse voice4. Coughing and other breathing problems5. Skin rash and itchingEach year, dust mites cause about 200,000 people with asthma to go to theemergency room.Dust mites settle down in carpet, draperies, stuffed animals, and upholsteredfurniture. Mattresses, pillows, and soft bedding are favorite hangouts.Saturday, May 4, 13
  20. 20. http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/Saturday, May 4, 13
  21. 21. http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/Cloze testSaturday, May 4, 13
  22. 22. http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/Cloze testGrade-level testingSaturday, May 4, 13
  23. 23. http://www.flickr.com/photos/v1ctor/Cloze testGrade-level testingReading ease scalesSaturday, May 4, 13
  24. 24. http://www.flickr.com/photos/salilwadhavkar/Saturday, May 4, 13
  25. 25. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/etr.htmlSaturday, May 4, 13
  26. 26. Make a checklistSaturday, May 4, 13
  27. 27. Language and Writing StyleUse simple words.Define complex terms.Use sentences of 10-15 words.Use bullet lists when appropriate.Use active voice, vivid verbs.Use consistent terms.Use positive perspective when possible.Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/etr.htmlSaturday, May 4, 13
  28. 28. Select preferred termsSaturday, May 4, 13
  29. 29. Search analyticsSaturday, May 4, 13
  30. 30. Search analyticsSearchAnalyticsfor Your Siteby Louis RosenfeldSaturday, May 4, 13
  31. 31. Saturday, May 4, 13
  32. 32. http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/making-your-website-senior-friendlyhttp://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Outreach/WrittenMaterialsToolkit/http://alistapart.com/article/testing-contentContent testingMake your website more readablehttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/etr.htmlBooksSaturday, May 4, 13
  33. 33. Laura Creekmoreh"p://creekcontent.comlaura@creekcontent.com  @lauracreekmoreh"p://slideshare.net/lauracreekmoreSaturday, May 4, 13

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