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Good Communication

Written Communication

  • ensure that the letterhead and contact details are in clear, large, lowercase print
  • use appropriate font size and script
  • ensure that the subject of the poster/leaflet is clear, and that the header makes sense
  • make the purpose of the letter/leaflet/booklet clear in the first sentence
  • write short sentences with subject and object
  • use the present tense as much as possible
  • at the end of the letter summarize what action you will take and what action the recipient must take
  • ensure that the contact person and their ‘phone number are clear, and in large print
  • where a mixture of graphics and text is used, make sure the layout is clean and avoids confusion
  • ensure that the graphics do not encroach upon the text, ensure that the graphics add to the understanding
  • make sure there is a large print footer saying where and in what other formats you can get the information
  • Don't
  • use jargon or in-house speak
  • use acronyms - where they are necessary, state them fully first
  • use adverbs and adjectives, they make sentences harder to follow
  • use passive expressions: “We offer 2 services” is easier to understand than “2 services are offered”

  • Audio information

    Audio information is especially important for people with a visual impairment, dyslexia, learning difficulties, non-English speakers and people who struggle to understand maps; non-disabled people may also find it reassuring and helpful.

    Etiquette for producing your own audio CD: use people with clear speaking voices.  Give an introduction and a summary e.g. this is an annual report of 20 pages.  Have gaps between sections; state page number at appropriate points so that people can retrieve information; give contact details at the end; if pictures are important to the text describe them.  Allow time for taping to be done in stages so that the reader does not sound bored.