Podcast 81: how to make B2B content readable

We debate readability algorithms, and professional jargon-buster Professor Chris Trudeau says it's high time we stopped writing to impress.

Subscribe on iTunes. Grab the RSS feed. Download it. Or follow on Spotify.


In this month’s Good Copy, Bad Copy, we’re talking about readability in B2B content with Professor Chris Trudeau. He’s a plain language expert, and known destroyer of waffle (plus he’s marvellous on Twitter) 

We all overcomplicate our writing sometimes. You might be trying to hide the fact that you don’t know the subject well, or maybe you’re a little too keen to show off your fantastic writing skills. Either way, Professor Trudeau’s studies The Public Speaks and The Public Speaks, Again prove something important: the harder you try to impress, the less anyone likes your copy.

This episode, David talks to Prof Trudeau to find out why readability is so important. They discuss the impact it has on your reader and how to stop clear content sounding ‘dumbed down’ 

Meanwhile, in the studio, our founder Fiona Campbell-Howes enjoys a heated debate with consultant writer George Reith, about the merits (or otherwise) of readability algorithms. You’ll hear:

  • Why clearer content works 
  • Ways to measure readability
  • How to write readable copy that isn’t simplistic

Plus, we get to introduce you to our brand-new feature…  

The Anonymous Five 

Nope, it’s not a new Enid Blyton spin-off. 

Our content obstacles research found that too many marketers are prevented from finding out what their customers really think. And not knowing what your audience cares about can really impact your content. 

So, each episode we’re going to pick a popular B2B persona and find a real decision maker with that title. Then, we’re asking them five big questions you won’t find anywhere elseAnd, its completely anonymous – so their answers can be brutally honest. 

This month, we talked to a Chief People Officer at a British digital retailer. You’ll find out what they think about the ‘war for talent’, what cringeworthy marketing content looks like, and whether millennials really are changing the workplace.

Here’s what you’ll find in Episode 81 

1.2 What our new ‘Consultant Writers actually do  

3.45  Why the response to our ‘Barriers to B2B Content’ research was so important 

5.49 – That readability interview with Professor Chris Trudeau

22.20  The team discuss readable copy and “B2B buffet content”

26.45  Readability scoring systems: some that helpand some that hinder 

41.39 – The Anonymous Five: Chief People Officer 

Send us your thoughts, questions, junk mail and first-borns… 

Contact us through @radixcom on Twitter or podcast@radix-communications.com (if you want extra credit, send us a voice memo). 

How to listen 

Credits 

Thanks, Professor Chris Trudeau, for your time and insights (not to mention all the times we’ve been able to cite your research in training and client meetings).

Podcast editing and music by Bang and Smash

Make your writing more effective

Get copywriting tips and advice — direct to your inbox every month: