METM21 Online presentation 

Putting readers first: how embracing simplicity can help us communicate more effectively

Elina Nocera, Perugia, Italy

How many times have you come across a long, convoluted text that made you wonder, “When are we going to get to the point?”. And how many times have you been forced to backtrack or reread entire passages to be sure you grasped the meaning?

In a world where technology has changed the way we read, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter, and functional illiteracy is a widespread yet underestimated problem, simplifying our writing is paramount to engage readers.

Simplicity is key to effective communication. A simple text is clear because it immediately gets the point across; it’s human because it’s closer to natural speech, and it’s useful because it answers the question “What’s in it for me?”.

In this presentation, I’ll go through examples of various types of texts to see how we can simplify our writing by:

  • getting rid of needless words, trite expressions, empty phrases and nouns that sap the life out of our writing
  • making sure that the order in which we write words and provide information ensures coherence and makes one sentence flow into the next without jerking the reader around
  • using words that energise our sentences

Simplifying doesn’t mean dumbing down. It means creating clear and vibrant texts that put readers first.

This presentation is for anyone who wants to steer away from robotic prose and bring a human touch to their writing.
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About the presenter

Elina Nocera is a bilingual Italian-English translator with 13 years of experience, including nine as a freelancer. She helps brands connect with their international audience through a natural tone of voice. She works with agencies and direct clients and specialises in marketing, design and tourism.