SpeedCon Preview

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SpeedCon kicks off tomorrow with breakfast at 9am, pitches at 9:30am and our keynote speaker, John Kohl at 10am! We have some great talk already lined up; here’s a quick look at some of the favorites…

21st Century Challenges to Technical Communication

We often assume that our expertise is in communication and that we need to spend our energies learning new technologies. But technical communicators may be as challenged by radical changes in the way we need to communicate as we are by emerging 21st-century technologies. This talk presents strategies for operating effectively as rhetorically-sensitive multi-communicators in ill-structured design situations working with audiences who too frequently exhibit limited attention spans as a result of too much incoming information across too many media devices.

Strategies for Simplicity

The more difficult the subject matter, the simpler the writing style should be. This session offers tips for simplifying your writing style by paying close attention to grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and word choice.

Control from the Crypt: End-of-life Documentation

I will share various ways to communicate about a topic that is usually in Steven Covey’s “important, but not urgent” quadrant, and one that can quickly become a buzz kill no matter when it’s brought up. I’ll examine the audience, context, and purpose (while invoking the Oxford comma) of the various communicative avenues available to approach this daunting task. I’ll conclude with an example of a person who has “re-framed” the task in an effort to make it more palatable.

Playing to Your Strengths: Writing and Personality Type

Even when the subject matter is technical, communication is a creative endeavor, and the process of writing is personal. Personality affects our writing style in our preference for
• gathering information through research and reflection, or brainstorming with coworkers
• layering the details to form the big picture, or starting with a concept and filling in the facts
• understanding the product first, or the audience needs
• finishing a project early, or working up until the deadline

Check out the other planned sessions at https://speedcon.uservoice.com/ and remember, we welcome presenters who bring their ideas to the conference. Pitch your own topic or idea tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

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