writing for non-academic audiences

This writing for non-academic audiences  workshop is designed, as you might expect, specifically for academics. The aim is to help academics write for non-academic audiences, who have little or no knowledge of the area being written about.

Documents range from emails, website, leaflets and presentations. This is in part  a review and refresher of the key principles of written communication from the perspective of non-academic people.

The purpose of writing can range widely from pure information to fund raising. This workshop is pratical and helps each academic develop their written communication skills to adapt for a specific non-academic audience.

Writing for non-academic audiences

Writing for a non-academic audeince can be a challenge for academics whatever their discipline. Academics tend to spend a lot of their time working with and writing for other academics. This can be in writing grant submissions, to research papers and contributing to marketing materials.

To then be asked to write for a non-academic audince requires a quite different language and set of principles.

This workshop helps them with skills and strategies to bridge that gap.

Duration and format

This is a three hour session which can be run as a face to face classroom workshop, or online virtual classroom format. Read more about our approach to online training.

Participant Reviews

As you can see from the dates of the following reviews the online virtual training format works very well. Whilst it might not be as natural, nor as ‘fun’, it works.

Professional Business Communication Training

5.0 rating
May 26, 2020

I found the course very interesting and certainly gave me plenty to think about, particularly in the current climate when face to face communication is not possible. The content was useful and I particularly enjoyed the interaction aspect of the video conference. The presentation slides were easy to follow. Martin Chapman was very personable, clear and kept everyone’s interest. My only criticism was that the course was perhaps a little too long in the current circumstances where everyone is very busy. Thank you!

Jan Alleway

Engaging and friendly

4.0 rating
May 22, 2020

The trainer was friendly and engaging, and created a relaxed atmosphere in which it was easy to share our views and participate.


Informative in assertiveness and communicating efficiently in the workplace

4.0 rating
May 22, 2020

The presentation was very well prepared, the delivery was clear and the interactive element was very engaging. The information provided on assertiveness in the workplace together with the role play scenarios was informative and interesting.
Thank you for your time!

Ffion Williams

Interactive/Informative - Would highly recommend!

5.0 rating
May 22, 2020

I have attended two courses with Martin now:
1. Embracing change; and
2. Professional Business Communication
The latter of which was a virtual training course due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On both occasions I have found the sessions to be very interesting and interactive. I can be shy when speaking up in front of people but Martin is a great listener and makes you feel comfortable. He is intuitive and is able to expand on anything you are finding difficult to explain/understand.
I felt that Martin was able to tailor the courses to my role as a secretary and was able to demonstrate what we could take away from each course.
Martin followed up on both occasions with slides from the courses and asked if we had any questions.
I would definitely recommend these sessions!

Abigail Brown

Group size

With the face to face classroom version, 12 participants is the maximum. With the online version, we recommed a smaller group of 9 participants.


The overall objective is to use simple techniques in order to develop and improve participants’ writing skills. As a result of attending, they will be able to:

  • Establish clear objectives.
  • Plan writing effectively for the target audience.
  • Analyse and adapt their own writing.
  • Remove technical complexity.
  • Help the reader by writing documents which are easier to understand.


We run this session in a workshop style discussing examples of real work. This includes some formal input, with individual tasks, small group work and lots of discussion.

Tailored to your needs

To make sure the training is relevant to your needs and as useful as possible, we base the design of the session around your documents. This means we look at your documents, web pages, or emails as examples of the need for the training.

Wherever possible we use these in the training. Participants are encouraged to bring examples of their own work into the training session, that they would like to review. In this way the session is a blend of training and coaching with one to one development.

Course Overview; Writing for non-acaddemic audiences


Introduction and objectives.
The challenges of writing for a non-academic audience.
Effective written communication defined.
The risks of miscommunication.

Reader assessment; knowledge

The audience’s knowledge.
Expectations and motivations of your reader. Adjusting the structure, content and language based on an assessment of the reader.

Reader assessment; personality

The impact of personality on how we write.
ITD Work Style Model.


Defining your objective.
Thinking about the reader.
Planning your writing and the structure of your piece.


Sentence structure and length.

Adapting the writing

Replacing technical words.
Retaining meaning whilst avoiding academic phraseology.
Using simple sentences.
Writing similarly to how we talk.

Checking & learning

The importance of checking your work with a sample person from your audience.
Simple proof reading techniques applied.


Summary of key points.
Personal actions.

Contact us to discuss your requirements