Speakers of Clarity Part Two




I recently attended my first Plain Language conference – the Clarity International conference in Wellington NZ. Of course the speakers at the Clarity 2016 conference were the key drawcard and highlight.

In this part two I look at presentations by:

If you are after an impression of the conference as a whole, check out this post: My First Plain Language Conference.

Speakers of Clarity Part Two

Speakers of Clarity Part Two


Below I quickly run through a selection of the presentations and speed learning sessions I attended and give you:

  • Points to live by: Key takeaways for each preso which really intrigued or impacted on me.
  • Link it up: Contact points for each speaker and references to related material.

Jennie Vickers, International Association for Contract & Commercial Management (IACCM)

Contract Simplification (Speed Learning)

Jennie provided a great speed learning session on contract simplification. With her position as Director at the International Association of Contract  IACCM, Jennie was able to give a great concise overview of some key advances in contracting.

Best of all, these insights are based on a global perspective from IACCM members all around the world (the ‘I’ in IACCM stands for International after all).

The work Jennie presented around Robert de Rooy’s Comic Contracts had my speed learning group intrigued – such an interesting area of law to combine understanding with legally binding.

Jincom's contract cover for Robert de Rooy's comic contract (Credit: http://jincom.com/comic-contracts/)

Jincom’s contract cover for Robert de Rooy’s comic contract (Credit: http://jincom.com/comic-contracts/)

Points to live by….

If you get a chance to look at the IACCM table of the most negotiated vs the most important terms, it will change the way you approach negotiations for the better! Keep an eye out each year for the updated table.

Link it up…

Chris Trudeau, The Public Speaks: An International Survey of Legal Communication

The public speaks again

Chris was an excellent presenter with a strong voice and relaxed conversational manner. Chris was extremely engaging and the material presented was clear and useful.

About 78% of people tried to find legal info in a different way

About 78% of people tried to find legal info in a different way
(Credit: Verity White)

It was great to have tangible research results to assess how the public feels about plain language compared to traditional drafting.

82% of people have quit reading legal information! (Credit Verity White)

82% of people have quit reading legal information!
(Credit Verity White)

Points to live by….

  • Many people use legal information at work (or try to… 82% quit reading it!)
  • So much time is wasted because legal information is hard to read
  • No matter where you are from around the world, people dislike &/or are unimpressed by Latin words – don’t use them.

Link it up…

Charlene Haykel, Haykel Group

Addressing systemic complexity: or how to achieve sustainable clarity, once and for all

Charlene Haykel is titan of the Plain Language world. It was excellent to hear her experiences as a Plain Language consultant for large corporate companies.

I am looking forward to putting some of the return on investment (ROI) concepts Charlene discussed into practice.

Charlene Haykel outlines the ROI for Plain Language (Credit: Verity White)

Charlene Haykel outlines the ROI for Plain Language
(Credit: Verity White)


  • One doc at a time
  • Slabs to paragraphs, dot points, headings
  • Always count words for metrics


  • Greater impacts for simplification
  • Systematic review of all content and collateral
  • Consider the total customer experience

Points to live by….

  • Why simplify one doc at a time WHEN YOU CAN DO THE WHOLE FREAKING LOT AT ONCE #macrosimplification
  • Count every word and page of your documents before and after your plain language magic for reportable metrics
  • Consider other languages and translating costs. The costs of translation are massive and when your documents are shorter you can get real bang for your buck on plain language work

Link it up…

Dr Paul Wood, Five Steps to Freedom

What’s your prison?

As a celebrity speaker, Paul’s slides were on point. A corporate motivational speaker, not a Plain Language expert, Paul provided a change of pace to break up the afternoon presentations on Day 2.

Dr Paul Wood's bio from the Clarity Conference Programme booklet

Dr Paul Wood’s bio from the Clarity Conference Programme booklet

Paul’s presentation was based on his experiences in prison and how he fought to study within the prison system. Paul was an engaging and experienced speaker, able to hold the audience fascinated in his story.

There was lots of motivation to find your purpose. Purpose is a tantalising idea. Finding one is almost a purpose in itself…

Points to live by….

  • Find a purpose
  • Intellect is like your physical fitness, if you’re not exercising it you’re not operating at your peak potential
  • Consider what you can do each day to get closer to your purpose

Link it up…

Part Three coming soon….

» Photos from the conference by Alan Raga Photography

» Conference website, including videos of all main speaker presentations

» PLAIN Conference Austria 2017

Posted in Conference, Plain Language, Review and tagged , , , , , .

💡 What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.