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The Challenges Technical Communicators Face

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The Challenges Technical Communicators Face will address many of the topics we face as …

The Challenges Technical Communicators Face will address many of the topics we face as
technical communicators.

Some of these topics will include:
•Distinguishing content from information
•Untimely or no inputs from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) or developers
•Communicating with management
•Getting the right people to review your work for content
•Prioritization: Is less importance given to documentation?

Panelists are:
•Donn DeBoard, Senior Information Developer at Vertex, Inc.
•Todd DeLuca, Manager, Technical Communications at Black Knight Financial Services
•Timothy Esposito, Principal Technical Writer at Oracle

Each panelist will give a short presentation followed by a group discussion open for questions and answers.

Published in Education
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  • 1. TheChallengesTechnical Communicators Face Karen Flam, Moderator Panelists: Donn DeBoard,Vertex, Inc. Todd DeLuca, Black Knight Financial Services Tim Esposito,Oracle
  • 2. Agenda Introduction of Panelists Presentations Questions & Answers Group discussion
  • 3. Donn DeBoard  We will first hear from Donn DeBoard Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 3
  • 4. Challenges in technical communications Donn DeBoard STC-Philadelphia MetroChapter (PMC), February 19, 2014 PennsylvaniaState System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Center City Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 4
  • 5. A technical communicator…  Simplifies complex, technical information for a customer.  Clear, concise, content is easy for the customer to use.  Your content enhances customer success with your product. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 5
  • 6. You know you’re a technical communicator when…  You have outdated or no product specifications.  Your SMEs are often unavailable or hard-to-reach.  You discover “undocumented”GUI or function changes in the product .  You develop and deliver draft content while the product is still being tested. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 6
  • 7. Agenda  Who are your customers?  Why don’t your customers read the documentation?  Do you speak your SMEs’ language?  Is your content portable?  What about innovation? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 7
  • 8. Who are your customers?  You are a customer advocate.  You are not your customer.  Engage customer-facing employees early and often.  Connecting to your customers is a foundational and ongoing effort. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 8
  • 9. Why don’t your customers read the documentation? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 9  Customers want to perform a task, not read your content.  All content is not equal.  What is “the least your customer need to know” for success?  The right content in the right job context increases customer success.
  • 10. Do you speak yourSMEs’ language?  Learn your SMEs’ language (IT, accounting, technology, or business).  Build high-trust relationships with your SMEs. SMEs can keep you aware of late product changes.  Keep your SMEs focused on the customer.  Show your SMEs how your efforts benefited the customer. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 10
  • 11. Is your content portable?  Content is an essential part of the product.  Do you have a tool to create and deliver content in multiple formats?  Do you have a strategy to manage your content?  Are you aware of emerging avenues for content delivery? Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 11
  • 12. What about innovation?  Understand your customers’ needs.  Who are you innovating for: yourself or your customer?  Your idea should enhance your customers’ experience with your content.  Create a proof–of- concept for internal and selected customer review. Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 12
  • 13. Todd DeLuca  We will next hear fromTodd DeLuca Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 13
  • 14. Tim Esposito  We will next hear fromTim Esposito Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 14
  • 15. Challenges Globalization Communication Prioritization Zombie Apocalypse
  • 16. Globalization
  • 17. Communication Source: http://www.linuxkungfu.org/images/fun/geek/project.jpg
  • 18. Prioritization
  • 19. Tools to ObtainVictory!
  • 20. Questions Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
  • 21. Thanks for the conversation! Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 21
  • 22. Let’s connect. Contact us with additional questions and comments. karenflam@yahoo.com (Karen Flam) donn.deboard@vertexinc.com (Donn Deboard) techcommwriter@gmail.com (Todd DeLuca) tmesposit@gmail.com (Tim Esposito) Copyright 2014 Donn DeBoard 22