Interchange 2017

October 20 and October 21, I attended the New England chapter of the Society for Technical Communication’s conference Interchange. On Saturday, I gave a session on building side gigs at your day job, which started with my story of how I’ve done that at my current job, then progressed to a discussion of what the attendees wanted to do and how they might build side gigs at their day jobs. Facilitating the discussion is always the fun part for me; I just gave the presentation to give them some ideas and context.

Though you won’t get the full effect by just looking through the slides, they are here:

Ideas and Advice for Building Side Gigs at Your Day Job

 

When the conference was all over, a bunch of us went to dinner before going our separate ways the next morning.

The Gang at NinetyNine Resaturant
#interchange2017

 

 

Fall is Here and Busy!

Where did the summer go? Here we are midway through September and there is so much going on!

IMG_4232

Coming into September, I knew I had some deadlines and activities for the fall:

  • Planning Administrative Council meetings for the STC Rochester chapter as the new President and training my replacements for programs and PR
  • Putting together my application for STC Associate Fellow
  • Writing a couple of blog posts for the AMWA Annual Conference
  • Taking on a new freelance gig
  • Attending the AMWA Annual Conference, where I will attend Board and Executive Committee meetings as the Annual Conference Administrator

But as September progressed, my deadlines and activities doubled or tripled!

One freelance gig turned into two, though the second is small. This is the type of challenging work I enjoy, though, and it will be one and off until December, which allows me to fit it in without killing myself with everything else going on.

One conference turned into three, and I am really looking forward to those! The first is the Presentation Summit, where I will brush up on my PowerPoint and presenting skills and see what I can bring back to my day job. And the second is Interchange, a regional STC conference, where I will be presenting a new session that I am putting together as we speak!

For someone who said she was going to scale back her volunteer activities (and did turn down some requests for volunteer projects from STC and AMWA to clear my schedule a bit), I still ended up busy!

Summit 2017

I had a great conference. It was great to see everyone I know from previous conferences and to meet new people. Everyone comes from such diverse job roles…it’s really amazing to hear about the many different things people write about in technical writing. Of course, we are supposed to call it “technical communication” these days because there are so many ways to communicate technical information: graphics, videos, social media, audio. And there are people in training, who help people learn in classrooms or virtually through learning management systems. Just a lot of variety in the positions, people, and work.

I am realizing now that I did not take many pictures! But here’s a very quick recap with what pictures I could scrounge up from others…

Leadership Day

Great keynote, good information on the Community Handbook, and an attempt to connect me with a mentor. Looking forward to going through my notes and the Community Handbook, and sitting in a quiet place to think over what I want to accomplish as President of my local STC chapter this year.

This is lunch after Leadership Day; I’m way in the back.

Lunch after Leadership Day

Welcome Reception

I worked at the Technical Editing Special Interest Group’s table, helping people play Hangman. Obviously, I was having WAY too much fun.

kelly-and-tim-playing-hangman.jpg

Honors Banquet

Our chapter is a Platinum Community for 2017, which is a reflection of the hard work of everyone on the chapter Council.

Rochester - Platinum Community

We were recognized at the Honors Reception along with many other award winners.

I was also pleased to see my name on the back of the Honors Reception booklet, as a member of the Intercom Awards Committee (otherwise known as the Intercom Editorial Advisory Committee the rest of the year).

honors-banquet-book-e1494645419461.jpg

I still need to go through my notes from the sessions I attended, so that I can start to act on what I learned. But I did come back to work with renewed vigor for some of the projects I had on my plate. For instance, I have been wanting to create videos on how to use Word for the writers where I work, but in order to do that, I needed to learn Camtasia. Generally, I like learning new software, but it often takes more time than you expect, and my fear of getting sucked into learning mode when I have so many other responsibilities at work was a deterrent. While at the conference, I went to the TechSmith booth and had someone walk me through Camtasia. She made it seem so easy, I pretty quickly started learning it when I got back. And while it is not as easy as she made it sound, and it is taking some time to get into the groove of making the videos, I am making much more progress than I was when I was just telling myself I should learn it and make the videos. I have a draft of one already, and I am going to work on more in the coming week.

Overall, I really enjoyed my 10th Summit, and I am looking forward to the next one!

Infographics

I’ve been playing around with these as I get time or a communication task that seems suited to an infographic.

I created this infographic for the STC’s Technical Communication Summit, Leadership Day (June 21, 2015, in Columbus, OH), when I co-presented progression on Regional Conferences.

The Path to a Successful Regional Conference

I created this infographic for STC’s Technical Communication Summit (May 15-18, 2016, in Anaheim, CA), when I presented a progression using Checklists for More Efficient Editing.

Editing Checklist Infographic _FINAL_Page_1Editing Checklist Infographic _FINAL_Page_2

I created this one for fun, just to visualize a new way to show my skills from both paid and volunteer work: Infographic Resume

STC Annual Conference – Regional Conference Co-Chairs!

Conference Chairs

One of the great things about going to the STC annual conference is Leadership Day, when you can meet other chapter leaders. These lovely ladies are actually co-chairs for regional conferences for the Philly-Metro Chapter and the New England Chapter, and we all have red hair! What are the chances that we are all really cool, smart, redheads doing the same thing for our local chapters?

I Just Created my First Infographic!

We needed a handout for Slideshare for a roundtable on regional conferences that the president of the Philadelphia Metro Chapter and I are giving at the STC Annual Conference during Leadership Day. Being technical communicators, we were getting bogged down in all of the little things, when really what works best when publishing like this is the big picture. So I thought an infographic would be a good option….if only I could figure out how to make one! I had tried infogr.am in the past, but I couldn’t make it work for me. So I searched the web for infographic and the piktochart website came up. So much easier to use and I think it came out pretty good considering I am not a graphic artist and I needed something quick.

I used one of their free templates, but ended up paying for the service in order to get it uploaded to Slideshare and to get a PDF of it (instead of a .jpg or .png). I have some other ideas while I am in infographic mode, so I am going to try to make the best of it. 🙂

The Path to a Successful Regional Conference