Shelly Davies Shed The Formality

Writing in Plain Language – Shelly Davies

People think that something’s different in email, and I’m like ‘no it’s a communication between you, a human, and another human. And all of the same good relationship things apply. – Shelly Davies

Meet Shelly Davies, Writing Trainer, New Zealand

Shelly DaviesShelly does words!!! If you need to use words to transmit information and you want to do it quickly and effectively, she’s your girl. But boy, those engineers and government departments don’t realise what they’re going to get once Shelly’s in the room.

What they get is a lot of UNTRAINING – undoing all of the bad habits they picked up at university and through their careers. With hashtags like #writelikeahuman and #authenticitywins, Shelly encourages research-based approaches to writing in more authentic ways, with a natural voice that increases confidence and trust.

Shelly is also the founder and creator of The School of Unprofessional Writing, online writing courses for individuals who want to write better.

Shelly is living a dream she didn’t know she had – helping people live more fully, more authentically, and more in their truth. She does this with a lot of laughs, her traditional Māori chin tattoo, and a fair amount of curse words sprinkled liberally through everything she does, even her website.

One of her goals in life is to support women. Women in business, women in life, women in their own skins. Because we are enough.

Connect with Shelly


Shelly Davies Website

School of Unprofessional Writing

Connect with Stacey Shipman

Engage The Room – A formality-free approach to speaking & interpersonal communication


Show Notes

  “If you want to eat steak you don’t ask a vegan for permission…who’s permission do I need? Just mine.”

  • What Shelly wanted to be when she grew up and how it plays out today (1:30)
  • How she became a plain language writer (3:50)
  • Biggest formality Shelly had to shed to create her brand (6:10)
  • Shelly’s catalyst for creating a stand out “rock star” brand and overcoming people pleasing (13:00)
  • Shelly’s chin tattoo as an expression of her full identity (20:00)
  • Swearing and shedding formalities and being true to who you are at work because we’re human to human (26:20)
  • Let’s talk about the importance of Plain language writing – it’s still about relationships! (35:00)
  • Why we’re robotic in our writing (45:00)

Shelly’s Quick Tips: How to get into your natural writing voice

  1. Speak out loud
  2. Turn your writer switch off and start reading
  3. Empathy

Now I get to show up with what I’ve always known to be true on the inside visible on the outside and that feels powerful to me. – Shelly Davies

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Shelly Davies Shed The Formality

About the Shed The Formality Podcast

Tired of formal protocols stifling your personality and ideas?

Welcome to Shed The Formality, a podcast for smart, thoughtful, accomplished, driven business leaders and entrepreneurs who, for one reason or another, struggle with putting themselves out there.

Each week Stacey Shipman and her guests share their sometimes heart breaking, sometimes humorous, always honest stories about what it takes to more easily advocate for yourself, grow your professional network, step into leadership, stay committed to your work when the going gets tough, and so much more. All while staying true to who you are.

Ready to drop what’s holding you back? Tune in every Sunday for insights and inspiration on how to come out of hiding and become the entrepreneur you set out to be.

Tune in every Sunday for new episodes on Stitcher, Spotify, Apple or online at