why it pays to go plain

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speaking my language

Happy International Plain Language Day. I don’t know about you, but I’m celebrating by editing a complicated and somewhat confusing letter I received from a service provider. Oh yes, my life really is that exciting.

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And while plain language is usually recommended for the written word—letters, forms, website content, corporate documents and the like, it has the same benefits for the spoken word. Think voice over scripts for commercials, corporate and explainer videos, eLearning modules, on-hold messaging. They’d all benefit from a little plain language love.

Why plain language? It makes it easier for your audience to get what you are saying. It helps them understand what they need to do and how to do it. Ultimately, that’s the aim of pretty much every VO script.

Need more convincing? It saves time. It saves money. It saves words. Plus if you want a conversational read, please oh please kill off those buzzwords and acronyms. Preferably in a dramatic Game of Thrones-esque manner.

Next time you create a script, keep these plain language principles in mind …

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