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2014 Technical Communication Conference Program


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Conference program for 2014

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2014 Technical Communication Conference Program

  1. 1. Presentation Details Willow Grove Room, 9:15 to 10:30 Opening Announcements Keynote: Information Everywhere: Flexible Content with Responsive Design Nicky Bleiel Responsive Design “frees our content” to work anywhere, anytime, and gets us back to developing and delivering quality content – where and when our customers need it. By providing a single responsive output, we can create once and deliver to thousands of devices: new ones, older ones – even ones that don’t exist yet. In this talk you’ll learn:  What responsive design is  How responsive design works  Five reasons to consider responsive design (besides the flexibility)  Nine “mobile first” content development best practices for technical communicators  Where to find responsive design examples and resources Nicky Bleiel is is the Lead Information Developer for ComponentOne Doc-To-Help ( Nicky is President of the Society for Technical Communication and has 19 years of experience in the software industry. She is a popular speaker at many conferences and been published in STC’s Intercom, tcworld magazine, ISTC Communicator and more. Follow her on Twitter at @nickybleiel and at Session I 10:45 to 11:45 Willow Grove Room Empowering the Introvert Within: Becoming an Outstanding Leader Ben Woelk You don’t need to be the most talkative, outgoing person in the room to be a leader. Instead, all you need to do is tap into the innate strengths of your introverted self. If you have been avoiding leadership opportunities or feel you don’t have what it takes, this presentation may change your mind. Presentation highlights include:  Review the three key strengths of introverts and how to leverage them for leadership and growth opportunities.  Explore ways social media can be used as a communication tool for leadership development.  Bonus: Extraverted attendees will learn what motivates introverts to perform at their highest levels.
  2. 2. Thunderbolt Room Scenario-Based Design: Connecting Content to Support Customer Performance Donn DeBoard As technical communicators, we develop feature-based content that provides details about our products. But, often, this content doesn’t address our customer’s job context to help them perform tasks successfully. Our customers search to find the right content to match their job context. Scenario-based design helps you define a customer’s work or job context using your product. This session provides an overview of scenarios and how to create them. In this session, you’ll:  Learn how to connect with your customers  Understand how stories relate to scenarios  Build scenarios  Identify key content in your scenarios Scenic Room Blogging Out Loud: The Basics of Blog Writing Explained Danielle Villegas What is blogging? Does the idea of blogging seem daunting? Danielle M. Villegas writes the technical communications blog, TechCommGeekMom, and is a regular guest blogger for the STC Notebook with her “Villegas Views” by-line. Danielle will be sharing her personal experiences in creating her blog, will talk about how a blog can work for both personal and corporate gain, and will provide pointers on best practices. Alps Room Overcoming Design Challenges in Multichannel Content Publishing Using HATs Neil Perlin Considering converting your help authoring tool (HAT) output to mobile but not sure what you’re getting into? Recent releases of HATs like Flare and RoboHelp can output to multiple channels such as ebooks, web apps, HTML5, even native apps. Mechanically, it’s surprisingly simple. It’s in the interface design and information design that things can get messy. Come to this session to learn about how. We’ll cover:  The types of mobile supported by HATs and how to define your mobile needs  Interface differences between online help and mobile  What help authoring tool features work, may work, and won’t work in mobile outputs
  3. 3. Session II 1:00 to 2:00 Willow Grove Room Volunteering Your Way Up the Career Ladder Todd DeLuca Do you feel stuck in your current position? Have you been doing the same job for the past few years? Do you think there are few opportunities available to advance your career? In this presentation, we will share experiences, examples, and recommendations on how active participation inside and outside your company can help you get the recognition, experience, and confidence you need to move onward and upward in your organization or career path. If a person is motivated enough to move forward in their career, there are many non- traditional opportunities inside and outside the company available to take advantage of. By the end of the talk you will have some concrete ideas and suggestions that you can leverage to start “making your move”. Thunderbolt Room There Is No Such Thing as a Boring Product Traci Browne There is no such thing as a boring product…only boring ways to present them. In this session I will show the attendee how to transform their products into fascinating stories that potential and current customers will find interesting. The story is never the product itself, but instead it is in the way the product is used. Products don’t come alive until they are part of a bigger picture. Attendees will learn how to uncover the story using journalistic practices including research and interview techniques. Scenic Room The Future of Knowledge Transfer David Dylan Thomas The domain of technical communication is being encroached upon by the democratization of learning, from YouTube videos describing how to set up a Salesforce instance, to MOOCs offering college level instruction on artificial intelligence. At the same time, the very nature of product knowledge is being altered by fundamental shifts in how a product is (or isn't) defined upon release, with products often remaining in perpetual beta. Content Strategist David Dylan Thomas discusses how these changes are impacting knowledge transfer, and identifies gaps that people with technical and instructional know-how can fill in the future of learning.
  4. 4. Alps Room Seeking Sunshine in Cloud Technology Roger Renteria Can we keep our way of “doing business as usual” forever or do we need to leverage online Cloud technology to accomplish our work? As technology changes, our profession must adapt and adopt to a wide variety of online technologies we may or may not have heard of. Learn how to plan, transition, and use Cloud technology to increase your productivity without fear of being washed out! Find out if your ROI (time, money, and skill set) is worth it to soar up into the Cloud. Join others who have found the silver lining by using the Cloud to keep our profession competitive and up to speed with the demands of our clients, customers, and ultimately our audience. Session III 2:15 to 3:15 Willow Grove Room Tech Writer as Knowledge Broker Bernard Aschwanden and Christopher Ward Technical content is a commodity. Technical Writers must think of themselves as Knowledge Brokers and communicate the value they provide which includes increased revenue and improved customer retention. This presentation will show you the right mindset to build business cases that get your company to invest in Technical Communication/Publications as a revenue generator. Thunderbolt Room “Mind the Gap” — The Client Need vs. the Client Request Marilyn Woelk From the moment you become involved in a project, you probably think about the “players,” and the goals they want to achieve. What will the definition of success be? Most clients define requirements and desired outcomes, but may not be asking for what they really need. Often, they have done an assessment, but the real problem has not been defined! Whether the project involves internal or external clients, there will be expectations. To be successful, you must properly define the problem, manage the expectations, and get the right results. This presentation will help you learn to assess what your client really needs, and to give them better results than they ever thought possible!
  5. 5. Scenic Room Making It Clear: Using Plain Language to Communicate Ellen Buttolph Good technical writing isn’t about crafting perfect sentences. It’s about connecting with your readers and providing them with the information they need and want. Even if you’ve been writing technical documentation for years, you may need to tune up your writing style to create content for the digital world. Using plain language can help you create a more engaging and direct style of writing, while keeping your message clear and concise. In this session, learn how to identify your audience, develop an appropriate voice and tone, and write content for the web that is useful and easy to understand. Alps Room What the Heck Is That? Neil Perlin Tech comm is getting increasingly complex. Help authoring tools can now output mobile, so we need to factor it into our output planning. HTML5 is hot, but what exactly is it? What’s responsive design? What are em, ex, and % options in new CSSs? And more… This session looks at issues at many levels, including:  HTML5 and CSS3  The float option for graphic positioning  Relative vs. absolute units of measure in CSSs  Mobile outputs – web apps, native apps, hybrid apps, and using PhoneGap with HTML5  Responsive design  And more… Closing Session 4:05 to 5:05 Willow Grove Room Lightning Talk: It’s good for you Barrie Byron Happy people live longer, earn more, and are more productive. Learn how to overcome the YOYO (you’re on your own) habit and build WIIT (we’re in it together) skills. Develop strategies to balance the pursuit of happiness with overall well-being. This is a version of a lightning talk Barrie is giving at the 2014 STC Summit. Tech Comm in the FDA-regulated Industry: What is it and How to Get Started Lev Feigin Technical writers for FDA-regulated industries are always in demand. Such writers produce a wide array of documentation, from policies and procedures to quality manuals and employee training, which support good manufacturing practices and ensure compliance with FDA regulations. In this session learn what it takes to excel in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries as a technical writer and find out what you’ll need to know about the latest documentation practices and requirements to enter the field.