STC 2014 Summit

I recently returned from the annual Summit of the Society for Technical Communication, a conference attended by hundreds of professionals in the technical communication field. This year the Summit took place in Phoenix, Arizona, one week before the locals told me it gets “hot”, meaning more than the 102 deg F temperature that was the high when I arrived.

Summit 2014 keynote address

Keynote address at STC Summit 2014

My primary focus at this event was on techniques that would enhance the eLearning modules I produce for my company’s users and integrators. I certainly accomplished that. Highlights included Matthew Pierce’s discussion of “What Do Video Viewers Really Want?” where he presented the viewing preferences of over 1900 video users. (I’m pleased to say that I’m sitting in the 10-15 minute sweet spot in terms of informational video length and presentation.) Bette Frick’s “Webinar School for Trainers” included many new presentation tricks for me to incorporate, as did the Presentation Strategies Progression.

Other pertinent sessions included “Monetizing Your Content,” where Jack Molisani described how content producers can raise revenue and cut costs across an organization in multiple media channels. I also plan to implement tips from “Information Architecture from the Bottom Up”, building a content taxonomy, and content strategies for mobile platforms. The quality of the speakers was high; it was hard to find a session that wasn’t engaging. 

If any other technical communicators attended the Summit (I know there’s at least one of you), or if you’d simply like more information about a session, please feel free to connect. I love talking about my job, the industry, and those ingenious solutions we all strive for.

A final note, in the “way fun” category: STC presented Alan Alda (and who doesn’t love Alan Alda?) with Honorary STC Fellow award for his work with science communication. You can listen to his charming acceptance speech on YouTube.

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