Technical Communication: Not Just for High Tech

About this Presentation:

Many people have a stereotypical perspective of technical communication: writing for high tech, product documentation, APIs, etc. The term “technical” is often assumed to apply to technology, mechanics, or science rather than the more general definition of the word, “marked by or characteristic of specialization” or “of or relating to a particular subject.” Technical communication can actually improve every type of communication, from emails and business letters, to simple advertisements, press releases, news items and more. Every principal of technical communication is important for low-tech businesses and industries, academia, and even hospitals. Outlining, clarity, appropriate language for the target audience, and even document design issues all come into play and the importance of audience analysis—even for an audience of one—must not be overlooked. This lecture will invite audience participation to help people discover practical ways their tech com skills apply outside of high tech. Practical real-life examples will be given.

Technical communicators at any level will enjoy this presentation. It should be particularly interesting to those who want to stretch their wings and have been thinking about getting out of high tech, but don’t know how their skill set applies to other roles in less technologically oriented career paths. Experienced technical communicators will discover how their abilities can contribute to an organization, above and beyond writing user manuals or APIs.

What will this presentation give you?

Attendees will learn how technical communication, practically, applies to every aspect of communication. They will look at concrete examples for applying tech com principles to everything from an advertisement or press release to video scripts, letters, and more. There will be a strong focus on clarity of communication, audience analysis, and out of the box thinking.

Presenter: Deborah Hemstreet has been a technical communicator for more than 30 years. Her experience is broad, ranging from medical device documentation and Bible software documentation to academic writing and marketing communications. The recipient of multiple awards for her work, she received her MA in Technical Authorship with honors from Sheffield Hallam University in 2002.  Deborah is currently the Editorial Assistant for Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal, an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal published by Rambam Health Care Campus. She also handles critical English communications for the hospital administration, marketing, and the international relations group there.