Perfecting the Technical Communicator's Hat Trick Why My Hair's Messy
Perfecting the Technical
Communicator’s Hat Trick:
Why My Hair’s Messy
Liz Herman, PhD, PMP, CPTC
hat trick. noun
Three successes in a series
Hockey: three goal or points scored in one game by one player
Tech Comm: three+ roles played simultaneously by one person
A clever maneuver
Practiced by technical communicators daily
Sail Away with Me
Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
About grammar, and editing, and tech comm (oh my!)
Making your way in the world today (as technical communicators) takes everything
I’ll be here for you demonstrating the many hats we wear as technical communicators
No, I’m not done with the sailor hat yet.
But am I done with lyrics from TV shows.
Look to your port side.
Look to your starboard side.
All of us wear different hats as technical communicators.
Let’s toss the anchors away and see about those hats.
Out in the Cold
You’re the only one explaining
why irregardless is not a word.
that DITA is not Dita Von Teese.
why you search and replace the second space after a period.
Block and Tackle
We’re on the gridiron every day defending our profession.
There is no off-season. Technical communication is everywhere.
See STC’s New Online Course: Project Management and the Technical Communicator. Starts
This is a team sport. Everyne benefits from an editor.
Hash marks. Hash tags. Coincidence?
Wild, Wild Westeros
We were born to know how to herd, rope, and ‘wrassle’ errant writers, commas, widows,
Gallop. Gallup. Galapagos.
Googling ‘horse and technical communicator’ yields 8.6M results
Married to our Work
Can you read something without editing it?
Do you get in trouble for correcting your mother-in-law’s grammar?
Wait. Did you hear that? Was that my iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, Gmail, Hotmail,
AOL? Must. Stay. Connected.
See also: Divas about our work.
Not for INTJs
Cop to It
So many sub-roles to play:
how-to answers about the tools we use
Information to include in your Summit presentation
horse and technical communicator
different kinds of cops
how to change hyperlink text in PowerPoint
find search history in Google Chrome
From current location to Dunkin’ Donuts
Images of hot firemen
The Big Easy
Tools can make our lives easier.
We are not tools.
See also: I am Not a Tool blog on STC’s Notebook
Luck o’ the Irish
You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both. And there you have the Facts
Last TV song. Promise.
Technical communicators are good researchers.
Luck o’ the Irish is often misused to imply something good.
Tenacious drive to discern fact from fiction.
Across the Sea
Green with Envy
Would most of you here today agree that technical communication is a pretty great
With a great annual conference – the SUMMIT –
With great fellow technical communicators
With great local chapters
With our house band The Rough Drafts (see #stc15)
Mean People Suck
Our jobs are complex and complicated
Working with people isn’t always the big easy.
Sometimes we use wizardry to get the job done.
Repurpose, reuse, recycle.
Ask for help.
Manage your content.
Overall, we’re a peaceful bunch
Minus head-exploding issues when people write car’s versus cars
Insert your grammar/technical communication pet peeve here
We can’t all fit in a clown car
Responsibility to sustain the profession so that doesn’t happen
Continued involvement in STC
Share the story of the hat you’re wearing
Let’s Talk Turkey
Missing glaring errors in your own work
Explaining what you do
Giving thanks to STC and you
At the End of the Day
Congratulations on the perfecting the technical communicator’s hat trick.
Now kick back and relax!
See you at tonight’s Summit Tweetup! #stc14party
I will have extra hats to share!