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Pre-Conference Workshops

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Tuesday April 27, 2021 - 08:00 EDT

Clear Communication Workshop: Teaching Techniques to Spark Enthusiasm in Organizations

with Isabelle Bourgeois, Sarah Dougherty, and Guillaume Rondeau 

Live and recorded access available to all conference registrants.

Want to join? Register for Access for All today!

Before thinking about implementing any plain language program or in-house standards, organizations need a clear communication spark to ignite a cultural change. That spark must ignite both the management team and the staff. To this end, participatory teaching techniques are very powerful tools. 


As legal plain language trainers and consultants, Guillaume, Isabelle, and Sarah participated in a 30+ workshop sprint over the last year. They had the opportunity to test different approaches and get feedback from participants.  


Guillaume, Isabelle, and Sarah now want to share our best practices in terms of impactful clear communication workshops, both regarding their recent sprint and many other experiences as trainers. 


What you will learn from this workshop:

  • Ways to ignite a cultural change considering the organization’s overall context. 

  • An outline of how adults learn new skills. 

  • Which teaching techniques to use in order to create highly participatory workshops.  

  • How to personalize and adapt the workshop and the educational resources to participants’ needs and objectives. 

  • How to prevent and deal with resistance among participants.



How to Produce a Comic-Style Document with Dr. Anne Ketola 

The workshop is a hands-on session that introduces how a regular (text-only) document can be converted into a comic-style document. Comic-style communication offers virtually limitless possibilities for making content more accessible and approachable. It has successfully been employed in contexts such as legal, medical and technical texts.   

The workshop starts with an introduction of examples of how comic-style communication has been employed in different fields as a means of making content more accessible for readers, and a discussion of the potential benefits of the medium for different audience groups, as well as the challenges involved in the production of comic-style documents.  

Anne will then go through the four-step procedure for converting a regular document into a comic following the principles of information design, starting from considering the needs of the target audience to segmenting the information into panel-sized bits and organizing it based on relative relevance. She will introduce and compare different possibilities of producing comic characters and consider solutions for visually depicting abstract concepts. Anne will then reflect on the need to test the design and the content of the comic document, both with target readers and content experts. Throughout the discussion, she will emphasize the role of plain language as a part of these documents. 

After introducing the general principles, Anne will give a step-by-step demonstration of converting a short document into a one-page comic. She will explain how the document information can be reorganized to follow a visual logic, and sketch a first draft of the comic page while reflecting on the challenges she encounters on the way. The demonstration is followed by a question and answer session. The workshop aims to spark initial ideas for the production of a comic-style document as well as a tentative checklist of things that need to be considered for that particular document. 

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