Perfecting the Technical
Communicator’s Hat Trick:
Why My Hair’s Messy
Liz Herman, PhD, PMP, CPTC
@dr_herman
lizherman.com
hat trick. noun
 Three successes in a series
 Hockey: three goal or points scored in one game by one player
 Tech Comm:...
Sail Away with Me
 Now sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
 About grammar, and editing, and tech comm (oh my!)
 Makin...
Ship Shape
 No, I’m not done with the sailor hat yet.
 But am I done with lyrics from TV shows.
 Look to your port side...
Out in the Cold
 You’re the only one explaining
 why irregardless is not a word.
 that DITA is not Dita Von Teese.
 wh...
Block and Tackle
 We’re on the gridiron every day defending our profession.
 There is no off-season. Technical communica...
Wild, Wild Westeros
 We were born to know how to herd, rope, and ‘wrassle’ errant writers, commas, widows,
and orphans.
...
Married to our Work
 Can you read something without editing it?
 Do you get in trouble for correcting your mother-in-law...
Fire Fighters
 Deadlines.
 People.
 Procrastination.
 Not for INTJs
8
Cop to It
 So many sub-roles to play:
 Good cop
 Bad cop
 Traffic cop
 Detective cop
 With handcuffs
 Without handc...
Searching
 how-to answers about the tools we use
 Information to include in your Summit presentation
 horse and technic...
The Big Easy
 Tools can make our lives easier.
 Madcap
 Adobe
 SDL
 Webworks
 easyDITA
 Net-Translators
 Acrolinx
...
Luck o’ the Irish
 You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both. And there you have the Facts
of Life.
 Last ...
Across the Sea
 Worldwide
 Multi-national
 Multi-cultural
 Multi-AWESOME
13
Green with Envy
 Would most of you here today agree that technical communication is a pretty great
profession?
 With a g...
Mean People Suck
 Our jobs are complex and complicated
 Working with people isn’t always the big easy.
 Sometimes we us...
Groovy
 Overall, we’re a peaceful bunch
 Minus head-exploding issues when people write car’s versus cars
 Insert your g...
Don’t Jest
 We can’t all fit in a clown car
 Responsibility to sustain the profession so that doesn’t happen
 Continued...
Let’s Talk Turkey
 Missing glaring errors in your own work
 Explaining what you do
 Giving thanks to STC and you
18
At the End of the Day
 Congratulations on the perfecting the technical communicator’s hat trick.
 Now kick back and rela...
Thank you!
 @dr_herman
 liz@lizherman.com
 www.lizherman.com
20
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Perfecting the Technical Communicator's Hat Trick Why My Hair's Messy

  1. 1. Perfecting the Technical Communicator’s Hat Trick: Why My Hair’s Messy Liz Herman, PhD, PMP, CPTC @dr_herman lizherman.com
  2. 2. 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 1
  3. 3. 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 you’ve got  I’ll be here for you demonstrating the many hats we wear as technical communicators 2
  4. 4. Ship Shape  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. 3
  5. 5. 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. 4
  6. 6. 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 June 11!  This is a team sport. Everyne benefits from an editor.  Hash marks. Hash tags. Coincidence? 5
  7. 7. Wild, Wild Westeros  We were born to know how to herd, rope, and ‘wrassle’ errant writers, commas, widows, and orphans.  Gallop. Gallup. Galapagos.  Googling ‘horse and technical communicator’ yields 8.6M results  #gameofthrones 6
  8. 8. 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. 7
  9. 9. Fire Fighters  Deadlines.  People.  Procrastination.  Not for INTJs 8
  10. 10. Cop to It  So many sub-roles to play:  Good cop  Bad cop  Traffic cop  Detective cop  With handcuffs  Without handcuffs 9
  11. 11. Searching  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  Lanyrd  find search history in Google Chrome  STC proceedings  From current location to Dunkin’ Donuts  Images of hot firemen 10
  12. 12. The Big Easy  Tools can make our lives easier.  Madcap  Adobe  SDL  Webworks  easyDITA  Net-Translators  Acrolinx  We are not tools.  See also: I am Not a Tool blog on STC’s Notebook  Information Mapping  Kinetic  single-sourcing solutions 11
  13. 13. Luck o’ the Irish  You take the good, you take the bad. You take them both. And there you have the Facts of Life.  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. 12
  14. 14. Across the Sea  Worldwide  Multi-national  Multi-cultural  Multi-AWESOME 13
  15. 15. Green with Envy  Would most of you here today agree that technical communication is a pretty great profession?  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) 14
  16. 16. 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. 15
  17. 17. Groovy  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 16
  18. 18. Don’t Jest  We can’t all fit in a clown car  Responsibility to sustain the profession so that doesn’t happen  Continued involvement in STC  Networking  Share the story of the hat you’re wearing 17
  19. 19. Let’s Talk Turkey  Missing glaring errors in your own work  Explaining what you do  Giving thanks to STC and you 18
  20. 20. 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! 19
  21. 21. Thank you!  @dr_herman  liz@lizherman.com  www.lizherman.com 20

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