Short and sweet: How and why to simplify writing

Room D
11:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

In an ideal world, users would read everything you write, and they would take the time to understand it. In the real world, you need to make your digital writing easy for people to read and understand. Learn how to lower reading level and increase readability, and see what’s at stake if you don’t.

This session will be relevant for anyone who creates or influences digital copy—regardless of industry and audience. As a bonus, you’ll learn how to respond when your partners or clients challenge the need for a lower reading level.

In this session, you’ll learn:

  • Why a low reading level is crucial for all writing
  • Various ways to calculate reading level, and the pros and cons of reading level formulas
  • Benefits of a lower reading level for low- and high-literacy users
  • How reading level affects comprehension, and how much (or little!) your readers comprehend right now
  • Objections you’ll hear when you advocate for a lower reading level, and how to debunk those myths

Who should attend: Anyone who writes or edits copy, who helps shape brand tone or voice, or who manages or gives feedback to writers, editors, or strategists.

About Becky Spurbeck

Becky Spurbeck is a senior digital writer and strategist at HealthPartners. She’s on a quest to make everything easy to read and understand. More importantly, she's on a quest to teach others how to do the same thing. Becky has spent the last ten years writing copy for some of the most complicated industries – health care, insurance, legal and finance. And she still managed to create good copy that the average person could understand.

When she’s not writing, Becky likes drinking wine. Just kidding, she always likes drinking wine. She also enjoys reading, drawing, writing some more or feeling accomplished after making time to work out. More than all that, though, Becky loves the sound of her daughter and husband playing together.

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