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User Assistance Tools Survey
in Progress

The annual User Assistance Tools Survey is now in progress.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ua_tools_survey
The survey is designed to give you information drawn specifically from the user assistance community. Please consider contributing your experiences. Results will be publicly available on the WritersUA site.


Joe Welinske Webinar

TOUCH, VOICE AND GESTURES:
How to Craft Your User Assistance to Accommodate a Variety of Interaction Types.

For those who missed it, have no fear, click here!

Meeting Archives

Here are some of the past topics we've covered:

Date

Time

Topic & Speaker

Location

11/08/12

6:30pm

Communicate Effectively Using Emotional Intelligence

Bio

Dawn Karner is a professional of learning and development, coach and consultant with 25+ years of experience in management and human resources. Certified in emotional intelligence (EQ) by 6 Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, she has implemented EQ program for Executive and Mid-Level Management to increase communication and deepen relationships. She excels at making complex concepts seem easy in a safe learning environment.

Topic

During this presentation participants will learn how to apply emotional intelligence competencies to enhance and deepen communication and relationships.

Register

To register for this meeting, please click the "Register" button below, or pay at the door. The price to attend this meeting is as follows:

  • $8 for STC members
  • $10 for non-members
  • $5 for students

If you are an STC member, we ask that you please provide your STC Member ID to your order by clicking "add" under "special instructions."

To find your STC Member ID, visit www.stc.org. Log in by clicking "Log In / Log Out" at the top of the screen. Then, click on "Receipt and Membership Card" under the "MySTC" tab. Click the "Generate Member Card" link. You will find your STC Member ID in the "Member ID" field.

Registration for this event has ended...

West Sacramento Library

1212 Merkley Avenue West Sacramento, CA 95691

 

10/11/12

6:30pm

Emerging Roles and Hot Markets for Tomorrow's Tech Writers

Bio

Andrew Davis has recruited technical communicators in Silicon Valley since 1995, first for Synergistech Communications and now for Content Rules (formerly Oak Hill Corporation). He is a former software industry Tech Writer and is well-known for both understanding and championing the role of content development. At Content Rules he recruits all kinds of technical and marketing communicators as well as training and globalization professionals. Andrew enjoys helping those who communicate complex information get ahead by recognizing and refining their value to technology companies. He's candid and connected and, more importantly, he cares.

Topic

Do you wonder where your skills have most value? Have you overlooked entire markets based on misperceptions? Can you really upsell yourself and live at peace in a globalized economy? Are you still looking for professional stability? What's the upside to all this change?

Come hear Andrew's insights on which niches and roles pay best, and why. Get his help mapping your cultural and location preferences to today's demand and tomorrow's prospects. And listen to his provocative suggestions for achieving success (aka resilient demand) in your content development career.

Andrew hears from a broad cross-section of Bay Area technical communicators and hiring managers. His role as a recruiter specifically for our niche lets him aggregate anecdotes, and his input can help you more consciously steer your career – or at least bypass expensive dead ends.

Andrew will highlight myriad new variants on your core skills, discuss who's securing these roles, and speculate about where it all will lead. This won't be a talk about the job search, but rather about what to expect from the new opportunities that already abound. And yes, it really is possible to transition, upgrade, or even just coexist in this increasingly 'exciting' marketplace.

There'll be a lively Q&A after the presentation; Andrew promises to be the last person to leave the room.

Register

To register for this meeting, please click the "Register" button below, or pay at the door. The price to attend this meeting is as follows:

  • $8 for STC members
  • $10 for non-members
  • $5 for students

If you are an STC member, we ask that you please provide your STC Member ID to your order by clicking "add" under "special instructions."

To find your STC Member ID, visit www.stc.org. Log in by clicking "Log In / Log Out" at the top of the screen. Then, click on "Receipt and Membership Card" under the "MySTC" tab. Click the "Generate Member Card" link. You will find your STC Member ID in the "Member ID" field.

Registration for this event has ended...

West Sacramento Library

1212 Merkley Avenue West Sacramento, CA 95691

 

9/13/12

6:30pm

Plain Language

Many governement agencies, companies, and institutions face mandates to present content such as regulations, specifications, and instructions in plain language. This presentation explains what that means, and what's in it for technical writers.

Bio

Bruce Poropat is a San Francisco Bay Area technical communications consultant. He has worked directly or through intermediaries for Williams-Sonoma, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab, Caltrans, ERG, Gap Inc., ZipRealty.com, The University of California, Gap, Inc., and many others. He is a senior STC member, and recently presented at the STC Summit in Chicago.

Register

To register for this meeting, please click the "Register" button below, or pay at the door. The price to attend this meeting is as follows:

  • $8 for STC members
  • $10 for non-members
  • $5 for students

If you are an STC member, we ask that you please provide your STC Member ID to your order by clicking "add" under "special instructions."

To find your STC Member ID, visit www.stc.org. Log in by clicking "Log In / Log Out" at the top of the screen. Then, click on "Receipt and Membership Card" under the "MySTC" tab. Click the "Generate Member Card" link. You will find your STC Member ID in the "Member ID" field.

Registration for this event has ended...

Brookfields Restaurant

4343 Madison Avenue, Sacramento, CA

6/14/12

6:30pm

Painting with Numbers: Presenting Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You

Presented by: Randall Bolten

Program: For so many presentations of technical information, numbers are a critical component.
In truth, presenting numbers is a communication skill, and not a black art practiced only
by the "numbers guys." Moreover, practicing this skill effectively is subject to rules and
best practices much like the grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and sentence structure we
spend years learning. Randall Bolten's new book, Painting with Numbers: Presenting
Financials and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You, is the first book to
look at the art of presenting numbers from this perspective.

Join us for an informative and entertaining discussion, where Randall will discuss:

• How the way numbers are organized and laid out on the page can make a huge
difference in comprehensibility
• Using key indicators to add meaning and context to the raw numbers
• The three levels of mastery critical to being an effective communicator of
numbers

Painting with Numbers was recently reviewed by Keith Devlin, a Stanford math professor and "The Math Guy" on NPR's Weekend Edition. The review is on the website "Devlin's Angle," a site sponsored by the Mathematical Association of America – see http://devlinsangle.blogspot.com/2012/06/telling-stories-with-numbers.html.

Speaker: Randall Bolten runs Lucidity, a consulting practice in Menlo Park, California focused on short engagements with specific deliverables such as business models, reporting packages, and incentive compensation packages. His 30-year career as a financial executive in Silicon Valley includes nearly 20 years as chief financial officer for both public companies (BroadVision and Phoenix Technologies) and startups, as well as senior financial management positions at Oracle and Tandem Computers. He has seen firsthand how different the results can be when numbers are presented clearly, elegantly, and effectively – and when they are not. This experience has made him passionate about the subject. He holds an AB degree from Princeton University and an MBA from Stanford University.

Donations: To help cover the costs of bringing you great programs, we are encouraging all visitors to make a small donation of $10 at this event. While optional, donations of any amount would be very helpful.

Carmichael Library

5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA

 

4/19/12

6:30pm

Automating Workflows with Custom Templates for Microsoft Word

Frank D. Cook is the owner of Insource Writing Solutions and NextPoint Training. Frank has worked in the technical publications and education industries for more than 15 years. He has developed custom Microsoft Word templates for companies such as Shaw E & I, Digidesign/Avid, SK Engineering, Chevron, Bechtel, and others.

As a writer, editor, technical publications manager, and business owner, Frank has authored and contributed to hundreds of guides, manuals, reports, textbooks, and other publications for clients in a wide variety of industries. His writing and consulting company, Insource Writing Solutions, specializes in documentation for the digital audio industry. His training venture, NextPoint Training, focuses on advanced training in Pro Tools, VENUE, digital media, and related products and technologies.

Frank is the author of Pro Tools 101: An Introduction to Pro Tools 10 and Pro Tools 10 Power!: The Comprehensive Guide. Frank also teaches Pro Tools courses as an Adjunct Professor at American River College in Sacramento, California, and is an Avid Master Instructor.

In this presentation, Frank will cover the features of a template, including Styles, keyboard shortcuts, toolbars, macros, and AutoText entries. Following the presentation, Frank will demonstrate how use a custom template to quickly reformat a document, add missing information, build a table of contents, and navigate quickly through the parts of the document.

Brookfields Restaurant

4343 Madison Avenue, Sacramento, CA

3/15/12

6:30pm

Thinking Outside the Content Strategy Trap

Scott Abel, The Content Wrangler, will explore The Content Strategy Trap and how failing to avoid it often leads well-intentioned strategists down the wrong path. Attendees will learn how avoiding the trap led one retailer to become a publisher of online repair manuals designed to teach "do-it-yourselfers" how to fix things, while selling them the goods they need to do the job. Sales are driven completely by visually engaging, standardized instructional content delivered to the web, to smartphones and to mobile devices. Return on investment is no longer a wild guess. It's directly tied to individual pieces of content. By thinking outside The Content Strategy Trap, the retailer has become a leader in their market. Their strategy is so successful that other retailers of products that require assembly, sometimes break, or need occasional maintenance are clamoring to replicate it.

Carmichael Library

5605 Marconi Avenue, Carmichael, CA

 

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