Hi, in this lecture, I'll be talking about one of the more important aspects of writing clearly, both in the the business world and out. This is the importance of what's called plain English. So by the end of this video and lecture, you'll be able to identify and hopefully use what we call Plain English. You may have heard the expression Plain English before. It's kind of a buzzword in most business writing classes, or for many people who aren't actually clear about what plain English is or how to write in plain English. If I could adopt an official definitely of plain English, it would be something like a communication that meets the needs of its audience. By using language, structure, and design so clearly and effectively that the audience has the best possible chance of readily finding what they need, understanding it, and using it. So in this definition, the key focus points are that we need to write in a way that's simple and clear enough so our reading audience has the best chance of finding understanding and using the information in whatever piece of writing we produce. Well this seems pretty simple, doesn't it? However, most of us don't write in this way at all. Most of us write in a long, convoluted style that that's anything but easy to understand. But, why is this? Well, there are actually many reasons, but let me point out some of the key reasons. First, many people learn to write in an academic style in university where often text length and an impressive vocabulary is valued over the kind of clear, simple and direct writing that's actually valued in the workplace. Secondly, many people simply copy the style of writing they see in their workplace. Many times, a style will be long-winded and complex, so new employees are simply copying the bad writing habits and difficult to comprehend style of their colleagues. Often, many writers in the workplace are so immersed and close to the jargon, or technical vocabulary of their field, that they don't realize other readers may have no idea what this jargon means. So, writers using jargon don't see that others find their documents difficult to read and understand. But, why should we strive to write in a simple, more direct fashion? The bottom line is that when you're able to write clearly and directly, your readers and potential clients will understand what you're trying to say. And won't have questions and hopefully misunderstandings, and so you will save time and potentially make more money. The Plain English Foundation has pointed out that the use of plain English increases reader comprehension by up to 90%. Incredible, in fact businesses are losing an incredible amount of money. Because of the poorly written business correspondence that their employees at all levels of management. So hopefully you've realized how important writing in this style is, but you may also be asking yourself, how do I write in this way? Actually, though it takes practice and focus, there are about four or five key principles to keep in mind, if you want to begin writing in a plain English style. First think about what your audience needs to know and organize your content so the message you want to communicate is presented clearly and logically. This means presenting your main point first in sentence or paragraph so the point isn't lost in a jumble of words. It can also mean you should use informative headings to sign post your main messages. Next try to write in a simple natural style that mimics how you would actually talk to your reader. Some style guides actually suggest writing at the eighth grade level to achieve this. By writing at the eighth grade level, you would be using precise, familiar language, cutting out all repetitive, redundant words and phrases and eliminating any jargon that would be out of place in an actual conversation. You do simple words instead of complex ones. Remember you're trying to communicate clearly to your reading audience so they can understand your point quickly and without any confusion. However, you also want to make your writing interesting to read, not simply a list of bullet points. This means using verbs that bring your writing to life. It's the action words that will do this. If you have a difficult time doing this, you may write a first draft. Then go back while you edit and change nouns and noun phrases to verbs, so you can make your writing shorter and more alive. For example, look for noun phrases like make a provision for. This would be changed to an active verb, provide, instead. Or make an application to, why not change this to simply apply? You'll be more direct and your writer will appreciate your active style. In the same vein, while editing, you'll also want to make sure you edit your writing for typically overly wordy phrases. Make sure you only use essential words. Get rid of phrases like in order to. This can be changed simply to to. Or in respect of can be more simply said as about. Following these tips, getting some feedback from others to see if they quickly and easily understand your message, and being persistent in your quest for writing simple plain English will bring you many benefits in your business communication. Hopefully more clients and fewer questions from your customers being the most important. Give it a try, I'm sure you won't regret it. I hope by the end of today's lecture you're feeling more confident in your ability to identify and use plain English. Thank you.