STC Summit 2018—Day 4—Wednesday

Wednesday is always the saddest day at Summit. I checked out of my room, stowed my bags with the bellhop (a very painless process for a change. Great work, Hyatt!) and then headed to Jennifer Goode’s presentation on Podcasting as a Teaching Tool. Goode gave a comprehensive overview that included the definition of a podcast, examples of great podcasts, some fascinating statistics (did you know that podcasts have an 85% completion rate?) and a rundown of the equipment you need to start podcasting now. You can get started with just two microphones (preferably with pop filters and boom arms) a soundboard, and some mixing software, such as Audacity (which is free and very easy to use). You will of course also need a topic, script, and people to interview, and then a place to publish your work. Goode’s presentation covered all of this and still allowed time for questions.

The last session I attended was Communicate Your Value: How Analytics can Transform Your Career, presented by Dustin Vaughn. Vaughn presented ideas for justifying the cost of technical communication, which is often seen as a nice-to-have feature. Suggestions included aligning to corporate strategy and goals, gathering analytics through surveys and other methods to show trends and cycles in the use of your documentation and work products, looking for anomalies that you can address via tech comm, and most importantly, finding out who is in the most pain and discovering ways to help them. Speaking from my own experience, word-of-mouth can do wonders for your workload and reputation at a company. Show your value by doing what you’re best at.

The closing keynote was presented by futurist Andy Hines, who talked about future disrupters and how they might affect our work. His topics included management, internet of things, robots, getting paid, working to live versus living to work, and how work is a thing you do, not a place you go. (My thanks to Maryann for jogging my memory on this talk – I had to miss part of it.)

I hope you enjoyed my little peek into the STC Summit. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to try to answer them. I hope to see you next year in Denver! (I used to live there and I’m looking forward to visiting and seeing old friends again.)

Day 1—Sunday

Day 2—Monday

Day 3—Tuesday