Simplicity means is best described using this definition of plain language

A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information. Source: International Plain Language Federation

So a contract needs simple language, simple structure and simple design.

As there is no such thing as a watertight contract (24 November, post), why not keep it simple and short? Follow Bryan Garner’s top 10 tips to improve your contracts (12 May, or skip to the slideshare).

WRITE your contract

Alternatively follow my WRITE process [read more] to ensure you cover:

  • Who: Choose the right level of detail for each audience (22 June) and serve your readers, don’t try to impress them (26 May)
  • Why: Make sure you know your ‘why’ for each clause in a contract (27 April)
  • Research: Use visuals to get your contract message across (2 March) & create a logical layout (10 November)
  • Index: Use technology to plan, create, sign and use contracts (8 December)
  • Text: Use plain language to encourage users to read your T&C (27 April) and avoid jargon as it does not add a ’veneer of sophistication’ (30 March)
  • Edit: Edit your documents to ensure they are simple (20 April). Expert documents need clarity editors as well as expertise editors (16 March)

What should you do?

My top tip for 2017 (19 Jan) was to keep editing your contracts until they are clear and simple, and to delete any terms you have copied (5 Jan).

If you need help ‘getting out of your own way’ then:

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