Presentations from conferences

Below are some of my more recent presentations. All presentations since the early 2000s are available from my Slideshare account:

Contact me if you'd like me to speak to your group on one of these topics.

Microsoft Word for Windows

Save Time and Your Sanity: Increase your Efficiency with Microsoft Word

Session summary

Many of us use Word regularly, either personally or for our clients. But are we using it efficiently? In this presentation, I share lots of practical tips and tricks to help you become more efficient with Word. Some of the areas I cover include:

  • Show everything—formatting marks, fields, bookmarks, track changes, styles etc.
  • Set up an efficient workspace—Quick Access Toolbar, custom ribbon
  • Automate tasks—autocorrect, keyboard shortcuts, TOCs, preformatted tables/text etc.
  • Use the power of find and replace (including wildcards) to zip through changes
  • Use macros to automate repetitive tasks (summary only).

Because any of these topics could be a full-day course on their own, in this session I give you enough practical information to get started so that you can investigate further on your own.

Mac users: This presentation uses Word for Windows for all examples. Many functions will be common with Word for Mac, but possibly not all.

Note: These slides are for the full 90-minute presentation; some conferences have shorter time limits, so a shortened version of this presentation is used for them.

Editing and plain language

Plain Language Writing: Tips for Delivering Complex Messages to a General Audience

Take a look at your latest insurance policy—you should easily be able to find and understand what you can and can't claim. No longer are these documents full of gobbledygook, tiny print, and lists of exclusions that you need a legal degree to understand.

And it's not just insurance companies. Pharmaceutical companies, some government departments, utility companies, and others (even lawyers) are changing the language they use when communicating with their customers to 'plain language'.

In this session, I cover the main guidelines for writing in plain language, the benefits to your organisation and your customers, and share lots of examples and tips for making your messages clear. You'll do several practical exercises so that you can put what you learn into practice, ready to use back in your workplace. (NOTE: The exercises are NOT available.)

Supplementary material: Plain Language Alternatives—a handout of commonly used words and their plain language alternatives (PDF, 200 KB)

Remote working / telecommuting

Working Away from the Office: Benefits and Drawbacks

This presentation is based on my experiences since I started working from home (Feb 2007), and highlights:

  • the positives and negatives of working from home
  • some technologies that will allow you to work from home
  • home office essentials.

The intended audience is technical writers, technical communicators, editors, and any other occupation that is well-suited to working from home at least a part of the time.

Webpage last updated: 16 March 2018