The Art of Interviewing SMEs and Tech Comm Celebrities

This session is part of the Project Management, Leadership, and Career Development (PM) track of the Summit. The presenter of this session, Nicky Bleiel, has over 20 years of technical communication experience, is Past President of STC, and served as an STC Director-At-Large for five years. She is also a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of STC and has won multiple STC competition awards. In addition to these leadership positions, she has served as a judge for various STC competitions, and published and reviewed for STC Summit and STC’s journal, Technical Communication.

For today’s presentation, Ms. Bleiel presented on the key considerations for interviewing subject matter experts (SMEs) and well-known technical communicators. Before conducting your interview, make sure you are well-prepared with questions prepared and preliminary research completed. Be sure to review all product/subject-related information, diagrams and drawings, and related documentation. Do you have a good idea of the tools and technologies this SME uses in their work environment?

When starting the interview, be sure to cover the Five Ws:

• Who would use this feature?

• Why should they use this feature?

• When would users use this feature?

• When shouldn’t they use it?

• What are the prerequisites?

Continue reading "The Art of Interviewing SMEs and Tech Comm Celebrities"

Now I Get It: Three Strategies for Effectively Sharing Scientific Research

This session was part of the Content Design and Delivery (CD) track and features Dr. Jennifer Goode from Mercer University. Dr. Goode self-describes as a teacher, project manager, instructional designer and trainer, organizational expert, and holds the STC’s CPTC Foundation-level certification.

The impetus for her crafting this presentation is her experiences interacting with researchers at her university while assisting them with presenting their research information in the form of research posters. Often producers and consumers of scientific information have different perceptions of the information presented, though the expectation of understanding might have been the same. With the method crafted by Dr. Goode and her colleagues, audiences from all backgrounds find the scientific information accessible and easier to interpret. Continue reading "Now I Get It: Three Strategies for Effectively Sharing Scientific Research"