What is plain language, and how can it help you? What do you need to know to write or edit the clearest, most comprehensible copy so your message makes maximum impact? This session will introduce you to the concepts of plain language and help change your thinking about word choices, structure, and writing in general. Whether you are a plain language expert or have never heard of the concept, this session will challenge you to question your word choices and whether technical jargon is really necessary and to reduce or eliminate the alphabet soup of acronyms that clog technical communications.
– 2017 STC TechComm Summit conference program
About the presenter
Treasury Public Affairs
Wendy Wagner-Smith is a plain language expert and the training coordinator for the federal working group, the Plain Language Action and Information Network. Wendy has taught plain language to employees at more than 50 federal agencies since the Plain Writing Act of 2010 was signed into law. She has also taught communications professionals from across the nation via the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC). In addition, Wendy is the marketing director for NAGC, and she strives to always find the plainest, clearest, and most compelling ways of communicating messages to its members and stakeholders. She started her career in journalism and later moved to the publishing industry before entering federal service. She currently works for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Wendy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and has done postgraduate coursework at the Harvard Extension School. Although a Virginia native, she lives in Chevy Chase, Md., with her husband and daughter.