Re-energising at Clarity2012

Clarity’s conference in Washington DC in mid-May can’t come soon enough. I’m looking forward to the lift in energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge that attending a plain-language conference always provides.

So many people in the plain-language world play dual roles of practitioner and advocate. And that takes a fair bit of energy. Most of us

  • either provide plain-language services — document writing and rewriting, training, editing, etc — or work in an academic institution; and
  • actively promote plain language in an attempt to “change the world”.

In our practitioner role, we so often have to deal with people who oppose what we’re trying to achieve. Maybe they are a doubter on a training course. Maybe they think plain language is a wonderful thing; it’s just that, in the document they are being asked to sign-off, they are particularly concerned about some of the language used, the style of headings, and the use of graphics.

When we deal with these doubters, we step-up and advocate: burning the precious energy that drives us.

When discussing a plain-language conference with the fellow practitioners and advocates I meet, we always emphasise that the beauty of being there is

  • gaining new stories and insights to use in our practising and advocating; and
  • refreshing our plain-language energy.

Being at Clarity2012 will, surely, affirm our shared belief that plain language helps make things easier for readers everywhere, and helps makes organisations of every kind more efficient and more effective. And that affirmation will lift our energy.

Do come along. The conference program has a terrific line up of speakers. Be enthused, informed, and inspired.  Bring some of your colleagues, friends, clients, customers, and advisers to Clarity 2012.

Christopher Balmford