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.

Excellent virtual presentation training

5.0 rating
October 23, 2020

Martin exceeded our expectations tailoring a virtual presentation skills workshop to our needs and giving us many tips on how to improve our presenting skills and slides. Great value guaranteed.


Plenty of time and space to ask questions

4.0 rating
October 22, 2020

Martin covers the material very clearly, with lots of interaction. He also allows plenty of time and space to ask questions which may be personal to you and your experiences and his answers are thoughtful and helpful. It results in a tailored and useful session that can easily be applied in the working environment.

Eleanor Hervey-Bathurst

Excellent virtual event training

5.0 rating
October 21, 2020

Martin Chapman delivered an engaging and thought provoking training to help us improve our virtual event presentations. Tailoring his training to our needs, he exceeded our expectations and we feel more confident and brimming with ideas on how to move forward.

Rosalind Hunter

Interesting and engaging

4.0 rating
October 21, 2020

I attended the Professional Business Communication training with Martin Chapman. I found the training to be very interesting, and directly relevant to my current role. I found that I learnt skills which I could directly apply to my work, and which would help me immediately. The course was 3.5 hours but it was very engaging, meaning that it held my attention for the whole duration. Thank you!

Chloe Lettington

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