STC Summit 2016 has ended
Career & Leadership [clear filter]
Monday, May 16

8:30am PDT

An Introvert's Journey to Leadership
Many of us might agree that Western society lauds extroverted leaders and their accomplishments. However, introverts make great contributions and can be effective leaders, too. Many of us are introverts who may feel unsuited or unequipped for leadership, but are not sure how to take that next step to increase influence and improve visibility. Have you wondered how to empower yourself and leverage your innate skills to become a leader? Join Ben as he shares his personal insights and the path to leadership with you. He will describe his journey from shy team member to recognized leader, and share key steps he took and experiences that have helped him become a successful leader.

avatar for Ben Woelk

Ben Woelk

ISO Program Manager, RIT
Ben Woelk, CISSP, CPTC is an Associate Fellow and the 2019-20 President of STC. Ben has been a technical communicator for more than 20 years and a leader at the local and Society level for more than 10 years. Ben was the recipient of the STC President's Award in 2017. Ben is the host... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Platinum 1

8:30am PDT

Bar Napkins and XML: Eliminate the Hidden Costs of Content Conversion
Hidden costs are often associated with major purchases like vehicles and homes, and they can result in an “actual” price that is dramatically higher than what is initially quoted. In the same way, an XML workflow includes a major cost that often goes unnoticed: the ongoing cost of converting content provided by an SME. In this session, we will discuss how to dramatically reduce this cost and how it positively impacts the SME, the technical writer, and the organization.

avatar for Dustin Vaughn

Dustin Vaughn

Solutions Consulting Manager, Adobe
Dustin Vaughn is a Solutions Consulting Manager at Adobe who manages a team of experts in Adobe's Technical Communication and eLearning products. Dustin has over 10 years of industry experience and has served as a panelist, speaker, and Adobe representative at various conferences... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Grand A/B

8:30am PDT

Metrics that Matter: Making the Business Case that Documentation has Value
We agree there is value in documentation but have been challenged at times to "prove it." Come to this session and learn to present to groups including sales, support, service, IT, engineering, QA/testing, manufacturing, HR, training, finance, marketing, and every other business unit in your organization. Once managers and executives understand how important documentation is to them internally, we'll help you show how documentation drives sales and generates corporate revenue. Does documentation have business value? You bet. We'll help you tell the story with solid metrics, compelling logic, and the ability to clearly "prove it" to anyone.

avatar for Bernard Aschwanden

Bernard Aschwanden

President, Publishing Smarter
Bernard helps companies generate more revenue by solving documentation-based content creation, management, and distribution problems. Once content is delivered, he helps socialize the message, understand and act on feedback, and improve the process and workflow. He is the founder... Read More →

Christopher Ward

Strategy developer, Webworks
Christopher specializes in helping teams accomplish big things by better departmental processes with overall company strategies. Christopher’s experience in strategy development began as an Analyst for U.S. Army Intelligence and then later moved in to the corporate world when working... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Grand C/D

9:45am PDT

How to Write Contracts and Statements of Work
If you are an independent contractor, you are paid for your services by either an hourly rate or a fixed amount of money. Companies often ask you to sign their contracting agreements, but do you ask them to sign yours? Attend this session to learn what is a letter of agreement (LOA), statement of work (SOW), and other contracting terms. We'll also cover documenting what you are going to do and not going to do, managing change requests, and setting payment terms that favor you. Find out from Jack the hard-won lessons learned from over 20 years of buying and selling corporate services.

avatar for Jack Molisani

Jack Molisani

President, ProSpring Staffing
Jack Molisani is the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in technical writers and other content professionals: http://ProspringStaffing.com He's the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 9:45am - 10:30am PDT
Platinum 3

1:00pm PDT

The Ping Identity Story: Enhancing Customer Experience through Dynamic Content Publishing
Today’s customer accesses product content through an average of seven different touchpoints to find information, share knowledge, submit questions, and get answers. Studies show that 90% of consumers expect the customer experience to be consistent across these touchpoints. In the quest to provide a truly personal and interactive customer experience, organizations, such as Ping Identity, are revolutionizing the delivery and access of product documentation and shifting away from the old paradigm of cumbersome PDF books or insulated online help. In this session, Saltzman explores how companies can deliver personalized and consistent product documentation across all customer touchpoints to include web search, documentation portals, support knowledge bases, contact centers, and social customer communities while providing a cohesive and consistent user experience.

avatar for Megan Gilhooly

Megan Gilhooly

Director Information Experience at Ping Identity, Ping Identity
As Director of Information Experience, Megan Gilhooly oversees the technical documentation and training teams at Ping Identity, a Denver-based company that develops identity and authentication platforms for enterprises. Prior to Ping, Megan was Director of Technical Communications... Read More →
avatar for Hannan Saltzman

Hannan Saltzman

VP Product Management, Zoomin Software
Hannan has served in various executive R&D and Product positions, focused on defining and building market leading enterprise products. In his last role, Hannan served as a Senior Product Manager at NICE Systems, helping large financial institutions identify compliance risks in mass... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 1:00pm - 1:45pm PDT
Grand A/B

2:15pm PDT

Turning Offshore Partnership Challenges into Success
Our company signed an exclusive contract with an offshore partner to provide services, including technical writing. After a multi-year struggle, we abandoned the effort and brought everything back onshore. When new management insisted that we try again (and said that we would be evaluated based on the success of these efforts), my team and I were motivated to make it work. This session is the story of how we created a successful offshore partnership that delivers quality, timely technical documents that meet the organization's needs. We will discuss the changes we made and how we deal with ongoing challenges with our partner team.

avatar for Barbara Giammona

Barbara Giammona

Sr Mgr Technical Publications, Schneider Electric
Barbara A. Giammona has been a technical communicator for more than 30 years and a manager of technical communicators for more than 25. She is currently manager of technical publications and communications for the Process Automation division of Schneider Electric, a global energy... Read More →

Monday May 16, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Platinum 1

3:45pm PDT

Communicate More Effectively in Your Global Virtual Teams
Global virtual teams connect professionals worldwide. These teams act as essential links to the global marketplace but are vulnerable to miscommunication, and few organizations prepare their employees to work successfully in online teams. Dr. Brewer used a survey to gather data on the use of virtual teams by engineering professionals worldwide and more than 70% of the responses came from professionals outside the United States. In this presentation, Dr. Brewer will share the survey results and core teaming concepts to help managers improve their use of virtual teams.

avatar for Pam Brewer

Pam Brewer

Associate Professor, Director Master of Science in Technical Communication, Mercer University
Pam researches, presents, and publishes about virtual teaming, international teaming, and online communication strategy. Her first book, Virtual Teams: Engineering Global Success, was published by Wiley in 2015.

Monday May 16, 2016 3:45pm - 4:30pm PDT
Platinum 3
Tuesday, May 17

8:30am PDT

Reinvent Yourself Through Career Change
Listen to the stories of four well-established professionals who have experienced changing positions, titles, and responsibilities during their technical communication careers. In some cases, they've had to accept, choose, or take risks on different paths than what they originally intended or expected. Come to this session to be inspired and hear how they've faced their situations and overcome obstacles to come out ahead. They will then open it up to the audience for questions.

avatar for Jackie Damrau

Jackie Damrau

Sr. Business Systems Analyst
My career today is business process management/modeling, requirements gathering, and functional testing. I love talking about business process modeling. For STC, my passion is being the STC Book Review Editor and finding people who want to sign on to do book reviews or help with... Read More →
avatar for Rachel Houghton

Rachel Houghton

Information Developer, Rockwell Automation
Rachel Houghton is an information developer with more than 18 years of technical communication experience. She is an STC Fellow, past program chair of the STC Technical Communication Summit, actively involved in the STC Phoenix community, and reviews books for the STC journal, Technical... Read More →
avatar for Brian Lindgren

Brian Lindgren

Program Manager, IT Portfolio, Engility Corporation
Brian currently works for Engility Corporation, a Government contractor, in the dual role of program manager and director of business development. Over the course of his career Brian has been a technical illustrator, technical writer, editor, and web developer. At times Brian's... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Platinum 4

9:45am PDT

On the Primrose Path to Successful Leadership
This presentation and interactive discussion will help you stand out from the crowd as a great leader in a world where many people think of themselves as great leaders. Using research, current publications, history, audience participation, and personal experience, Linda presents leadership tips and thoughts to help you differentiate yourself from those who try but don't do.

avatar for Linda Oestreich

Linda Oestreich

Program Mgr, Leadership & Talent Development, Space & Naval Warfare Sys Command
STC Fellow since 1996, technical communicator, instructor, training specialist, and program manager. Serving the communication and leadership needs of people in technology for more than 30 years.

Tuesday May 17, 2016 9:45am - 10:30am PDT
Platinum 2

1:00pm PDT

Three Hats of Independence
Freelancers and independents wear three hats: one for their expertise, one for marketing, and one for business sense. Most focus on their expertise hat, thinking that knowledge, experience, and professionalism will carry the day, and neglect the other two hats. This session discusses all three: how the marketing hat is needed to get work and position yourself; how the business hat actually keeps you going financially and affords you the opportunity to charge properly; and that the expertise hat can only be used when the other two are used properly.

avatar for Rich Maggiani

Rich Maggiani

Communication Consultant, Solari Communication

Tuesday May 17, 2016 1:00pm - 1:45pm PDT
Platinum 4

2:15pm PDT

Don't Edit--Teach: Strategies for Mentoring Writers
Editing and commenting on others’ writing can feel like an exercise in futility. We make similar edits and suggestions time and time again. The writers make our changes, but often don’t seem to learn from the efforts we put into providing this feedback. This workshop provides practical techniques, supported by proven pedagogy, for helping your employees develop as writers through a refined feedback process focused on what you and the organization truly value in writing. Attendees will leave with techniques for commenting on and discussing drafts that allow writers to develop as communicators, rather than simply get a finished writing product out the door.

avatar for Jessica McCaughey

Jessica McCaughey

Assistant Professor, George Washington University

Tuesday May 17, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Platinum 4

2:15pm PDT

Where Does User Documentation Fit into Content Marketing?
Content marketing is an approach to marketing--especially business-to-business marketing--which provides “relevant” content to a potential customer instead of traditional promotion materials. It is an approach that has seen remarkable growth over the past decade. This presentation discusses where technical content, such as user documentation, fits into this approach. Understanding and using this approach provides another avenue for technical writers to establish their importance in organizations, and allows organizations to better utilize the valuable information that technical writers create.

avatar for Clinton Lanier

Clinton Lanier

Assistant Professor, New Mexico State University
Web Design and Development, Social Media and Content Marketing, and User Assistance

Tuesday May 17, 2016 2:15pm - 3:00pm PDT
Grand C/D

3:45pm PDT

A Practitioner's Guide to Teaching Tech Comm
This presentation explores the variety of academic positions that are available to the well-suited practitioner and explains a variety of methods for breaking into teaching technical communication. We'll examine how a practitioner’s skill set relates to teaching, explain the variety of educational settings and academic positions, and offer advice on how to apply and prepare for a teaching position.

avatar for Michael Opsteegh

Michael Opsteegh

Sr. Technical Writer, Eyefinity

Tuesday May 17, 2016 3:45pm - 4:30pm PDT
Grand C/D

3:45pm PDT

Closing the Deal: Getting that Freelance Project
Do you have lots of prospects but not enough work? You’re not alone. Many of us went independent because of our strong communication skills, and realized in hindsight that we weren’t as strong in business skills. We’ve all struggled with the frustration of the prospective client that drops off the face of the earth after seemingly positive negotiations. What went wrong? In this session, Alisa will discuss different ways to identify solid prospects, ask for what you need, and close the deal with prospective clients without feeling like a used car salesman. She will also cover converting prospects into paying clients and how to identify the clients to avoid.

avatar for Alisa Bonsignore

Alisa Bonsignore

Writer & Strategist, Clarifying Complex Ideas
I spend my days clarifying complex ideas, translating technical and clinical information into understandable language tailored to the needs of healthcare, network security and healthcare IT clients around the globe. I'd love to talk to you about your freelancing challenges, how to... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 3:45pm - 4:30pm PDT
Platinum 3

3:45pm PDT

The Future is Now--How Technical Documentation is Changing to Technical Communication
In this presentation Stefan Gentz will talk about the change from technical documentation to technical communication, intelligent information, Industrie 4.0, and what this means for technical writers. Today, customers interact with technical content in new ways and customer expectations have changed dramatically. The industry is moving away from board manuals to heads-up displays, technical content is delivered with text to speech, and technical content consumption is no longer limited to humans. The quality and delivery of technical communication has a strong impact on brand recognition; it can have positive and negative effects. We need to rethink how and where we deliver technical content to customers, and how this affects business.

avatar for Stefan Gentz

Stefan Gentz

Global Evangelist, Technical Communication, Adobe Systems GmbH
As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools. Stefan is also a certified Quality Management... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 3:45pm - 4:30pm PDT
Grand A/B
Wednesday, May 18

8:30am PDT

How to Become a Strategic Communicator and Advance Your Career
Ask yourself, “Are you strategic?” Strategic thinking is the combination of innovation, strategy planning, and operational planning. This session will explore the value of strategic thinking and why it is so valuable to an organization. Communication professionals are ideal candidates who think strategically within their organizations because they have that rare combination knowledge about both their audience/customer (external) and their organization (internal). We will examine both the research and strategy phases of strategic thinking, which further illustrate why communicators make good strategic thinkers.

avatar for David L. Caruso

David L. Caruso

Health Communication, NIOSH
Strategic Communication Occupational Safety and Health Federal Government Communication

Wednesday May 18, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Grand A/B

8:30am PDT

Have a Tech Comm Question? Ask the Experts!

Join our expert panel for a lively and fun Q&A session. The panel has over 125 years of combined experience, and their expertise areas include (but are not limited to): management, Agile, interviewing SMEs, soft skills, embedded help, minimalism, responsive design, Git/GitHub, wikis, Tech Comm Suite, Video, Mobile Content Delivery, Mobile Apps, Audio Recording, eLearning Development, content strategy, DITA, machine translation, and more. Come prepared with your questions!

avatar for Nicky Bleiel

Nicky Bleiel

Watson Information Developer, IBM Watson
Nicky Bleiel is a Watson Information Developer at IBM. She is a Past President and Associate Fellow of STC. Nicky has over 20 years of experience writing and designing content for software products in the cognitive computing, tech pubs, media sales, industrial automation, simulation... Read More →
avatar for Alyssa Fox

Alyssa Fox

Director of Information Development & Program Management, Micro Focus
Alyssa Fox is Director of Information Development and Program Management at Micro Focus in Houston, Texas. Her interests and skills include technical communication, user experience, process improvement, project management, and agile development practices. Alyssa is a member of Customer... Read More →
avatar for Alan Houser

Alan Houser

Consultant/Trainer, Group Wellesley, Inc.
Technical publishing consultant and trainer; XML/DITA architect; Machine Translation guy; Former President of the Society for Technical Communication
avatar for Kevin Siegel

Kevin Siegel

Learning and Development Specialist, IconLogic, Inc.
Kevin is a certified technical trainer, a veteran classroom instructor (online and onsite), and a frequent speaker at trade shows and conventions. He has three decades of experience as a print publisher, technical communicator, instructional designer, and eLearning developer. Kevin... Read More →
avatar for Matt Sullivan

Matt Sullivan

Founder, Tech Comm Tools
I help folks deliver content to their audience, ranging from PDF to mobile, and from text/graphics to interactive/video. I love to talk about courseware, video, and mobile delivery. If you love that stuff as well, introduce yourself & let's chat! Talk to me about anything... Read More →

Wednesday May 18, 2016 8:30am - 9:15am PDT
Platinum 4

9:45am PDT

Technical Communication in Health Information and Education
Ninety million Americans lack health literacy skills to productively participate and engage in their own health care.Technical communicators are adept at producing and designing information to be understood by specific, targeted audiences like this. So the question becomes, how do we participate to meet the growing need for health communication specialists? We can apply our knowledge of user experience to patient education in patient experience design (PXD), which is explained in this presentation. Join us to learn how PXD developed, what it is, and strategies for how technical communicators can use this approach to move into health communication and patient education careers.


Wednesday May 18, 2016 9:45am - 10:30am PDT
Grand C/D

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