Communicating complexity

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Communicating complexity


Successful communications are all about making the message as simple as possible – but this can be difficult when the subjects we're talking about are inherently complicated. 

Academic institutions, tech companies, health organisations, charities and many others have complex ideas, processes and systems at the heart of what they do. 

This course is for anybody who needs to distill information down into key messages for important stakeholders, funders and investors, decision makers and members of the public. 

You’ll learn proven techniques for grabbing attention and changing minds through presentations and public speaking, infographics and data visualisations, and written reports and online posts. 

We’ll work with you before the course to ensure that we understand your organisation and what you’re hoping to achieve.

Sample learning content

Session 1: Understanding your audience

  • Matching your objectives to your audience's motivations. 
  • Identifying the right tone and language.
  • Understanding how, where and when your audience wants to be spoken to. 

Session 2: Refining your objectives 

  • Breaking down strategic aims into tactical steps
  • Metrics and milestones: defining and measuring progress and success. 
  • Rapidly building a brief for your communications. 

Session 3: Telling the story 

  • Using metaphors, visuals, comparisons to frame your narrative.
  • From slide decks to online campaigns - choosing the right formats for delivering your message. 
  • Selecting communications channels to maximise reach and impact. 

Session 4: Keeping it going 

  • Processes and systems for launching and maintaining communications campaigns. 
  • Building social proof – creating and curating content. 
  • Troubleshooting and preparing for common challenges.


We deliver our courses over Zoom, to maximise flexibility. The training can be delivered in a single day, or across multiple sessions. All of our courses are live and interactive – every session includes a mix of formal tuition and hands-on exercises. To ensure this is possible, the number of attendees is capped at 16 people. 


Alan Rutter is the founder of Fire Plus Algebra. He is a specialist in communicating complex subjects through data visualisation, writing and design. He teaches for General Assembly and runs in-house training for public sector clients including the Home Office, the Department of Transport, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Health Foundation, and numerous local government and emergency services teams. He previously worked with Guardian Masterclasses on curating and delivering new course strands, including developing and teaching their B2B data visualisation courses. He oversaw the iPad edition launches of Wired, GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue in the UK, and has worked with Condé Nast International as product owner on a bespoke digital asset management system for their 11 global markets.


“We’ve now worked with Alan for almost 3 years, and during that time he has continued to deliver the highest quality training for our clients and delegates. Alan’s passionate delivery style has continued to deliver innovative training solutions to over 1500 delegates across the public, private and voluntary sector. Each of our courses with him has always delivered exceptional feedback and satisfaction levels.”
Joe Barlow | Head of Programme, Understanding ModernGov


  • Delivered Online

  • Full day

About Fire Plus Algebra

Fire Plus Algebra
Fire Plus Algebra

We deliver training in data visualisation, business storytelling, communications and content strategy. We've worked with clients across the private, public and charity sectors – including central government departments (the Home Office, Department of Health, DWP), universities (LSE, UAL, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), tech companies (Trivago, Riskified, Kaltura) and large corporates (Standard Life, LEGO, General Assembly).  

Read more about Fire Plus Algebra