TCUK 2017 Keynote Speaker – Michael Meng

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We are pleased to announce Michael Meng as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2017.

Michael Meng

Michael Meng is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration and Information Sciences at the Merseburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany).

Michael studied German linguistics and psycholinguistics at the University of Jena (Germany) and the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on syntactic processing during reading in 1998, he worked as a technical writer and later on as department manager of documentation and localization for an international software company. In 2012, Michael was appointed Professor of Applied Linguistics at Merseburg University of Applied Science, where he now teaches courses on text analysis, text production, research methods and cognitive psychology in the B. Eng. and M. A. programs in Technical Communication. He is member of tekom Germany and presents regularly at conferences such as the European Academic Colloquium on Technical Communication, Write the Docs, or the annual tcworld/tekom conference.

We’ll have more news from Michael Meng in a later post.

TCUK 2017 Keynote Speaker – Mike Hamilton

We are pleased to announce Mike Hamilton as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2017.

Mike Hamilton

Topic-based Authoring – Is it for me?

Sometimes it can feel like everyone in the industry has made the transition to modular content creation, except you. Is this really true? Of course not. How can you decide if it is time to transition from a linear authoring process to a modular or topic-based process? What questions do you need to ask?

If you decide that you could benefit from a topic-based process then where do you begin? Do you start over? Can your existing content be reused? Beyond the content itself, will you need to approach the task of writing differently? Do you have any special content needs that would need to be addressed such as translation/localization requirements or heavy multimedia usage?

What about ongoing maintenance? How will a topic-based process change how you handle edits and content updates? What additional complexity will be introduced into the documentation process and how will it be managed?

These are all questions that Mr. Hamilton will address in this presentation. Transitioning to a modular content workflow can be very powerful or very frustrating. Asking the hard questions up front, and having good answers to those questions can help to ensure a successful transition.

About Mike Hamilton

Mike Hamilton is the Vice President of Product Evangelism at MadCap Software. Prior to joining MadCap Software, he served as the Product Manager for Macromedia’s award-winning RoboHelp product line, where he gathered input and feedback from the customer community and guided ongoing development of the various RoboHelp products.

Mr. Hamilton has over twenty years of experience in training, technical communication, multimedia development, and software development at several organizations including MadCap Software, Macromedia, eHelp, Blue Sky Software, Cymer, a leading supplier of laser illumination sources to the semiconductor industry, National Steel & Shipbuilding and the US Navy.
Mr. Hamilton is often a featured speaker at industry events, including the STC (the Society for Technical Communication) Annual Conference, the annual TEKOM/TC World Conference in Germany, the annual SOAP Conference in Poland, the European Online Documentation Conferences, and many more events. Mr. Hamilton has also appeared at the Microsoft Campus and STC regional conferences and events.

TCUK 2017 Keynote Speaker – Frances Gordon

We are pleased to announce Frances Gordon as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2017.

Frances Gordon

Frances’ career started in rural South Africa where she wrote and designed educational materials for low literacy adults.

During her 20-year career, she has held tenures at Datatec/Logical as communications strategist, at London-based Siegel & Gale as Head of Content (EMEA), and at Barclaycard as VP of Content Strategy (UK).

Together with lawyer, Candice Burt, Frances co-founded Simplified, a plain-language and content training and consultancy firm. Its services include communication and content strategy, writing coaching, content audits, Treating Customers Fairly consultancy, and plain-language rewrites. Over 5 000 professionals, from lawyers to technical communicators, have benefited from the Simplified training programme.

Frances has worked on content for blue-chip international companies such as Alexander Forbes, MTN, Liberty Group, NS&I, Old Mutual and Vitality. She also has an active interest in financial inclusion programmes in frontier and emerging markets.
Frances sat on the board of international plain language organisation, PLAIN (Plain Language Association InterNational). She was part of the advisory committee of IC Clear, an EU-funded initiative that developed a post-graduate course in clear communication. She is an active member of Clarity in the UK, which is an organisation devoted to writing legal information clearly.

We’ll have more news from Frances Gordon in a later post.

TCUK16 Speaker Rahel Anne Bailie – “Strategist, Consultant, Trusted Advisor: Which Are You and Why Does It Matter?”

Rahel Anne Bailie will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Strategist, Consultant, Trusted Advisor: Which Are You and Why Does It Matter?”.

Rahel Anne Bailie

It’s been twenty years since the Cluetrain Manifesto changed the dynamic from pushing messages to our audiences into creating conversations. Now we’re more concerned about the type of conversations we have. Do we get the right kind of engagement with our audience? Do we provide a commoditised service, or do we operate as trusted advisors?

Rahel Bailie looks at the various names that we go by, and creates a map that shows the arteries and intersections of professional competencies, talents, skills, and other factors that round out our diverse set of professions.

About Rahel Anne Bailie

Rahel Anne Bailie, Chief Knowledge Office for Scroll, runs the content strategy practice and consults for clients with serious content challenges. She blends techniques from multiple disciplines to develop content strategies that have business impact. Rahel also teaches in the Content Strategy Master’s Program at FH-Joanneum, runs the Content, Seriously meetup, and is working on her third industry book: writing content for a structured authoring environment.

TCUK16 Speaker Chris Hester – “Be The Captain of Your Career”

Chris Hester will be giving a workshop at TCUK16: “Be The Captain of Your Career”.

Chris Hester
Chris Hester

Workshop: Be The Captain of Your Career

Have you ever applied for a job you really wanted, but didn’t get? Or perhaps you landed the job, but feel under compensated?

Chances are you made one (or several) mistakes that are hindering your job and career growth.

In this hands-on workshop you will learn:

  • The most common mistakes professionals make when looking for work—and how to avoid them
  • How to ace a tech comm interview using a portfolio
  • How to hone your workplace negotiation skills

Want a different job, more money, a better standard of living?

Don’t miss this workshop!

About Chris Hester

As an independent consultant and the founder of Red Desk Studio, Chris has delivered successful content strategy, training, and knowledge management projects to a variety of clients, including those in the advertising, construction management, entertainment, and healthcare industries.

Chris is an STC Fellow and has been actively involved in the technical communication community as a volunteer, academic mentor, and presenter at events such as the STC Summit, LavaCon, and BigDesign.

Change of Keynote Speaker at TCUK 2016

We are very sorry to announce that Jack Molisani is now unable to attend TCUK 2016.

His place as a keynote speaker will be filled by Ray Gallon. Ray is co-founder of The Transformation Society, a research and consulting company, and owner of Culturecom, a company that provides business process improvement through communication. Ray Gallon’s keynote presentation is on “Let Us Say ‘Yes’ to Our Presence Together in Chaos”, where he will help us glimpse ahead to how our industry is changing, even now, and how we need to adapt ourselves and our skills – for survival, for sanity, and for success in a world without documents.

Jack’s workshop will be run by Chris Hester.

Please see the programme page for other late-breaking changes to the conference programme.

TCUK16 Speaker Ray Gallon – “Let Us Say ‘Yes’ to Our Presence Together in Chaos”

Ray Gallon will be giving a keynote talk at TCUK16: “Let Us Say ‘Yes’ to Our Presence Together in Chaos”.

Ray Gallon
Ray Gallon

Technological change advances at a dizzying rate, we are all inundated with a host of names and acronyms that we can barely manage. We’re urged to “be creative” at the same time that we must follow orders. Information changes in the time it takes to verify it. Welcome to chaos!

You can fight against the tide, trying to make order, or you can accept that we will never know it all, will never master it all, but we can deal with it all.

One of the major currents in the maelstrom is called Industry 4.0, and its combination of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things promises to totally change the way we live. Technical communicators will not be exempt. We’ll still need technical information, but we aren’t going to be producing it “the way we’ve always done it.”

We’re going to glimpse ahead to how our industry is changing, even now, and how we need to adapt ourselves and our skills – for survival, for sanity, and for success in a world without documents.

About Ray Gallon

Ray Gallon is co-founder of The Transformation Society, a research and consulting company, and owner of Culturecom, a company that provides business process improvement through communication. He has over 40 years as a communicator, first as an award-winning radio producer and journalist, then in the technical content industries. His management experience includes a stint as program manager of WNYC-FM, New York City’s public radio station.

Ray has always been interested in the meeting point between technology and culture, and has used his broad experience to advantage with companies such as IBM, General Electric Health Care, Alcatel, 3M, and the OECD, as well as in smaller companies and startup enterprises.

He has been quoted as saying, “Since the beginning, I have been, paradoxically, communicating and shooting myself in the foot. I find that this combination leads to fascinating outcomes that have made me one of the most fortunate people I know.”

Ray is a university lecturer and a speaker at events throughout the world. He has contributed articles and chapters to many books and periodicals and is the editor of the recently published “Language of Technical Communication” (XML Press).

TCUK16 Speaker Andrew Head – “Can’t see it? Augment it! Creating and delivering content for Augmented Reality”

Andrew Head will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Can’t see it? Augment it! Creating and delivering content for Augmented Reality”.

Andrew Head

Industry demand for Augmented Reality (AR) solutions grows by the day, and technical communicators are facing a challenge to provide this new rich media. So, how does an author create content for AR? Is it a new content type, is it a new system, is it new software or is this a whole new science?

Andrew will explore the technology, processes and purpose of creating content for AR distribution. By sharing examples of how content is authored in a Content Management System, and how cloud content distribution platforms are the enabler for AR technical communication solutions.

About Andrew Head

Andrew Head from Semcon leads the development of new business and new solutions in the United Kingdom. Andrew’s co-operation with product manufacturers, systems developers and service providers affords him a unique insight into the needs, ambitions and challenges associated with the creation and distribution of content that resolves problems, drives greater product utilisation and delivers innovative, high quality user experiences.

TCUK16 Speaker Darren Mitcham – “It all started with BS-4884”

Darren Mitcham will be presenting at TCUK16 on “It all started with BS-4884: the courses, colleagues, and copy that have characterised my 20-year career as a technical communicator”.

Darren Mitcham

As a failing electronic engineer for Marconi in my first job after university, I jumped at the chance to write a manual for our first ever consumer (rather than military) product. I stumbled rather fortuitously on BS-4884 – the British standard for technical authors – and I knew at that point I had found my true vocation in life. Over the subsequent 20 years, I have benefitted from numerous courses and workshops, and read countless books and papers. I will share my experiences to highlight which ones I recommend for technical communicators and which ones to avoid.

About Darren Mitcham

I am a senior technical author at Intel. I used to work for a small American electronics company for 17 years, but our 2,000 employees were very recently subsumed into Intel’s 133,000.

I live and work in High Wycombe. I play Hammond organs, attend many classic car rallies, collect classic car brochures and manuals (mainly to see how the use of technical English has evolved).

TCUK16 Speakers Sean Marlow and Sally Haywood – “From Technical Communicator to Instructional Designer”

Sean Marlow and Sally Haywood, from our TCUK16 sponsor Capita TI, will be giving a vendor presentation at TCUK16 on “From Technical Communicator to Instructional Designer”.

Sean Marlow
Sally Haywood

Sally Haywood and Sean Marlow delve into the world of eLearning. See how the landscape could change for you. Communication is at the heart of Instructional Design, but what other qualities would you need to cross that bridge? Are the roles and responsibilities distinct or complementary? Will a new title raise your profile? Understand more about the hot topics in eLearning from social and mobile learning to gamification. Learn about authoring techniques for compliance and branding as well as giving your learners that all-round great user experience.

About Sean Marlow and Sally Haywood

Sean Marlow has over 25 years’ experience in the translation industry, specialising in software and user assistance localisation. Dedicated to the cause, he even married a freelance translator, though training his dogs to be bi-lingual was deemed a step too far.

Sally Haywood has over 20 years’ experience in the translation industry and specialises in the localization of software and eLearning. She lives in North Yorkshire with her husband, 3 daughters and very playful young dog.

TCUK16 Speaker Sarah Richards – “From bit-of-a-scaredy-cat to banning words for the UK government” and “Using evidence and data to have tricky conversations”

Sarah Richards will be giving a keynote presentation and a workshop at TCUK16: “From bit-of-a-scaredy-cat to banning words for the UK government” and “Using evidence and data to have tricky conversations”.

Sarah Richards
Sarah Richards

Keynote: From bit-of-a-scaredy-cat to banning words for the UK government

Sarah started in a quiet team of editors and ended up banning Whitehall from using their favourite jargon on GOV.UK. Sarah will explain her journey from having to publish whatever lawyers and policy people said to running an agency that will only take on work if the process is agile and user-centred. It’s a tale of tears, sugar, late night pizza, not many kittens and tea*.

* plus how she introduces user-centred content into organisations.

Workshop: Using evidence and data to have tricky conversations

If you have to go through an approval process for your content and you often have a… difference… of opinion with the approver, you might like Sarah’s workshop. Sarah can show you how to have conversations using data and research to back up your arguments. You’ll also learn how to have these conversations without getting into a ‘them vs us’ situation.

About Sarah Richards

Content strategist, digital consultant, and former Head of Content Design for GDS. Sarah has led high-performing, award winning, agile teams, and has a longer and more varied editorial career than she cares to admit.

Sarah started in a quiet team of editors and ended up banning Whitehall from using their favourite jargon on GOV.UK. Sarah will explain her journey from having to publish whatever lawyers and policy people said to running an agency that will only take on work if the process is agile and user-centred.

TCUK16 Speaker Jack Molisani – “Seven Career Lessons I Learned From Selling Ginsu Knives” and “Be The Captain of Your Career”

Jack Molisani will be giving a keynote talk and a workshop at TCUK16: “Seven Career Lessons I Learned From Selling Ginsu Knives” and “Be The Captain of Your Career”.

Jack Molisani
Jack Molisani

Keynote: Seven Career Lessons I Learned From Selling Ginsu Knives

In the mid 1990s I was laid off from my position as a Sales Engineer at a leading technology company. The US economy was in recession and I spent months trying to find a new engineering position.

A friend who owned a company that sold Ginsu knives in home and garden shows needed a temporary worker for the summer. She knew I was unemployed and offered me the position. I instantly accepted the offer, glad just to be working.

I ended up loving that summer job. Not only did I get to travel, I learned some life- and career-changing skills along the way.

By the end of the summer the economy started to improve and I landed a position as technical writer. I eventually started my own technical writing and staffing company.

What started out as “just” a temp job for the summer turned into a major turning point in my career.

Want to take your career to the next level?

Master these seven lessons I learned from selling Ginsu knives and watch your career and income soar!

Workshop: Be The Captain of Your Career

Have you ever applied for a job you really wanted, but didn’t get? Or perhaps you landed the job, but feel under compensated?

Chances are you made one (or several) mistakes that are hindering your job and career growth.

In this hands-on workshop you will learn:

  • The most common mistakes professionals make when looking for work—and how to avoid them
  • How to ace a tech comm interview using a portfolio
  • How to hone your workplace negotiation skills

Want a different job, more money, a better standard of living?

Don’t miss this workshop!

About Jack Molisani

Jack Molisani is the author of Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which hit #5 on Amazon’s Career and Resume Best Seller list.

Jack also produces the LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and Technical Communication Management, and is the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing, an employment agency specializing in content professionals.

You can follow him on Twitter @JackMolisani or reach him at Jack@ProspringStaffing.com.

TCUK16 Speaker Irit Arkin – “Advanced interrogation techniques: Extracting information from engineers”

Irit Arkin will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Advanced interrogation techniques: Extracting information from engineers”.

Irit Arkin
Irit Arkin

As technical writers, the best source of information we have is engineers: friendly, chatty colleagues who possess all the knowledge we need on a particular topic.

Good luck getting that knowledge out of them, of course.
Over the years, as both software tester and technical writer, I’ve had the chance to succeed – and fail – at asking engineers sensible questions and ensuring comprehensible answers. My TCUK talk will highlight some of the best and worst techniques I’ve employed to gently elicit information out of engineers.

About Irit Arkin

Irit Arkin extracts information from engineers in ARM’s Internet of Things Business Unit. Before that, she moved between writing and software testing for startups, with the occasional foray into spec writing and one (accidental) adventure in project management.

TCUK16 Speaker Louise Fahey – “Mapping your path in tech comms: Surviving the early years”

Louise Fahey will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Mapping your path in tech comms: Surviving the early years”.

Louise Fahey

Mapping your path in tech comms: Surviving the early years
Are you a newbie to tech comms? Or are you a tech comms expert charged with the training and development of a newbie? If so, this presentation is for you!

Using my first two years working in tech comms as a reference, I will share tips and tricks that are key to the development of new starters in the field.

This includes advice for breaking into technical communication, entering the profession from a non-technical background, getting over the steep learning curve at the beginning, the key skills you should focus on developing, as well as much more!

About Louise Fahey

Louise Fahey is a Technical Author at Clearswift, based in Reading, UK. She holds an LLB degree in Law Plus and a first-class honours degree in Technical Writing, both from the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Louise is a member of the ISTC, as well as Copy Editor of InfoPlus+, the monthly online newsletter from the ISTC. She is a big fan of MadCap Flare and all things Agile. Louise is also passionate about end-user experience and usability.

TCUK16 Speakers Deborah Stevens and John Spenceley – “Asking the right questions for product management – knowledge management for an unstructured world”

Deborah Stevens and John Spenceley will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Asking the right questions for product management – knowledge management for an unstructured world”.

Deborah Stevens
Deborah Stevens
John Spenceley
John Spenceley

Learning to ask the right questions is the starting point to gather and store data. Analysis interprets data to begin our understanding journey along different routes. We can have very different analysis outcomes and documentation needs from travelling these different routes. Product Management includes customer focus and optimum profit. Product Management is a possible career development step for technical communicators. Technology push and scientific description could just be about ‘what’ and limits ‘why’ to how the science and technology works perhaps a more traditional Project Management role. Different focuses require unique journeys through the data.

We structure each output for our unique journey from the same data sets, so organising unstructured material in a logical framework can be a challenge. How can we achieve that?

We will share some key ideas to help your questioning techniques, data collection, organisation and output focus.

About Deborah Stevens

Deborah Stevens is a technical and business communicator and product manager. Deb is a former science advisory teacher who created training rollout material, she has written and illustrated documents for change management and strategy development, manufacturing, operation and maintenance instructions, technical specifications, test scripts and reports. She has worked for large and small companies. Deb is passionate about changing the limiting ‘method, result and conclusion’ often used without exception in science lessons. Where is the content ‘applications where this idea is useful’ and ‘how much does it cost to make x using our equipment?’ A few innovative educators are making a difference. She is also passionate about bringing more innovative ideas to market.

About John Spenceley

John Spenceley is a business analyst and product manager and has an IT management background. He has worked with senior management in British Rail, Thomsons and in the public sector as well as guiding small businesses and technology spin out companies to bring new products to market.

TCUK16 Speaker Stefan Gentz – “How intelligent information is going to change the world”

Stefan Gentz, from our TCUK16 Diamond sponsor Adobe, will be giving a vendor presentation at TCUK16 on “How intelligent information is going to change the world”.

Stefan Gentz

The future of technical communication is all about intelligent information. And it’s a hot topic at conferences around the world and the German tekom is even creating an international standard around it. But what does that mean, “intelligent information”?

In this presentation, Adobe Worldwide TechComm Evangelist Stefan Gentz will introduce you to the concept of intelligent information and why we need to change to create technical content that opens up all doors to the future, and what Adobe offers to make it possible. He will explain what we can do to deliver multi-layered, technical content to all communication channels for a mobile and connected world and the Internet of Things, and discuss how to successfully make the shift from technical documentation to technical communication as a marketing tool. He will explain Adobe’s vision for the future and guide you through the Adobe’s new end-to-end Technical Communication ecosystem.

About Stefan Gentz

As the Global Evangelist for Technical Communication at Adobe, Stefan’s mission is to inspire enterprises and technical writers around the world and show how to create compelling technical communication content with the Adobe TCS tools.

Stefan is also a certified Quality Management Professional (TÜV), ISO 9001 / EN 15038 auditor, ISO 31000 Risk Management expert and Six Sigma Champion.

Stefan is a popular speaker and moderator on conferences such as tekom, tcworld, Intelligent Content Conference, Congility, LocWorld, TCUK, STC, GALA, ELIA, and many others. He is also a member of the Conference Advisory Board of the world’s biggest TechComm event, the tekom / tcworld Conferences and an Ambassador for the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). He is also an active social networker on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

TCUK16 Speaker Adrian Warman – “From what was, to what might be: Matching career and practice trajectories”

Adrian Warman will be speaking at TCUK16 on “From what was, to what might be: Matching career and practice trajectories”.

Adrian Warman

Technical communication today is very different to what it was ten years ago. Can we look back briefly at what has changed in technical communication, and identify some common trends that might guide us as aspiring or experienced professionals in the future? What are the skill and experience expectations, and how have they developed?

In particular, this presentation will address: The pendulum of progress, Optimising skills trajectory, and Secret but essential skills.

The presentation will provide the audience with a simple self-evaluation tool to help guide their career path development.

About Adrian Warman

Adrian has been with IBM for fifteen years, and works as an Information Development lead for the Application Platform Services division.

This means he gets to work with all sorts of cool stuff, like applications and mobile tools, and write about them, too.

Before joining IBM, he worked in the telecommunications and retail banking sectors. He began his career as a University Lecturer, researching Information Systems and Computer Security. He maintains active links with universities, and is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University.

TCUK16 Speaker John Garison – “Making Agile Work for YOU!”

John Garison will be speaking at TCUK16 on “Making Agile Work for YOU!”

John Garison

Agile, scrums, backlogs, user stories, sprints…What’s it all about? What do I need to know? And what’s in it for me?

Regardless of the Agile realities at your organization, you can learn to navigate murky waters, get the information you need, and use the Agile method to iteratively produce better, stronger, more useful documentation to support your customers.

Whether your organization is considering a move to Agile or you’re already up to your elbows in backlogs and user stories, you’ll learn some new perspectives, and leave with a better understanding of how you can make Agile work for you.

About John Garison

John Garison is Lead Technical Communicator for Medidata Solutions. His experience in writing about operating systems, programming languages, business applications, and electronic health records (among other things) gives him a unique perspective on most things documentation-related. He delights in sharing information and war stories.

John is an STC Associate Fellow and taught technical writing at Harvard University and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Despite living on a dead-end dirt road in rural Vermont, his gigabit fiber optic internet lets him keep up with the real world and telecommute to New York City.
See https://www.linkedin.com/in/johngarison for his complete CV.

TCUK16 Speaker Simon Anstey – “Eliminating Support Tickets”

Simon Anstey will be speaking at TCUK16 on “Eliminating Support Tickets”.

Simon Anstey

Organizations can be oblivious to the business value of good documentation, and thus overlook its strategic importance. That’s a missed opportunity – and frustrating for us. To change things, we need to show what the value added is. But that’s not easy to quantify.

Our team looked for – and found – a way to improve things. We began collaborating with customer support to improve the documentation for some critical products. This stemmed the flow of support tickets. We estimated the resultant cost savings – and started gaining management’s interest.

This presentation is for writers and managers who would like to evince similar changes.

About Simon Anstey

Simon Anstey leads a team of 25 tech writers at SAP, the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software. The team provides user assistance for 60 country versions of the software.
Simon believes that a collaborative approach to software and user-assistance development benefits customers, employees and profitability, and is currently working with SAP’s support teams to eliminate support tickets through better user assistance.

Simon studied German at Manchester. He has been working in user assistance at SAP in Germany for 22 years, the last 12 in management. In his spare time, he’s an oboist and loves gardening.

TCUK16 Speaker Alison Reeves – “How to Write a Case Study”

Alison Reeves will be giving a workshop at TCUK16 on “How to Write a Case Study”.

Alison Reeves

When writing bids, proposals and tenders, writers have to provide case studies to evidence their knowledge and experience. They are also used on websites to demonstrate expertise and in sales situations to evidence benefits. I have created case studies in every business sector from childcare to nuclear submarines!

Your clients’ success stories are a major asset to your business. They describe how you work together, and how your product or service solves a problem. Come along to this very interactive workshop and learn the knack to writing a successful case study. Bring along your laptop and you will go away with a sample case study and a template to use in the future. We will work through the template on the day, and discuss what content, graphics and layout works best. Never feel at a loss again if you are asked to write a case study in the future.

About Alison Reeves

Alison is an experienced freelance technical communicator with a career in documentation spanning over 30 years. She currently specialises in all forms of persuasive writing, helping organisations to write Bids, Tenders and Proposals in addition to writing persuasive copy for websites. Both of these specialisms involve writing case studies to showcase the knowledge and experience of the business. Customers include Microsoft, Fujitsu, Tata, Shell, Siemens, Balfour Beatty Construction, Xerox, Compass Group, Housing Associations and as well as local businesses and charities. Alison is also a creator and trainer of business writing training and a member of the ISTC.

TCUK16 Speaker Jörg Plöger – “How German Manufacturers Create Technical Documentation with ST4 DocuManager”

Jörg Plöger, from our TCUK16 sponsor SCHEMA, will be giving a vendor presentation at TCUK16 on “How German Manufacturers Create Technical Documentation with ST4 DocuManager”.

Jörg Plöger

To succeed on a global market, manufacturers have to be flexible, offer different variants, be present in many markets, etc. All these challenges have an impact on the way technical documentation needs to be provided.

Whether it is about localization to three dozen languages, handling variants on different granularity levels, publishing efficiently to different output channels, not getting lost in XML details, etc. ST4 DocuManager offers such features as a ready-to-use solution for technical documentation.

See in a live presentation how more than 100 German and Swiss manufacturers use ST4 DocuManager on a daily basis for

  • Modularizing documents in a simple and effective way
  • Handling variants with different degrees of granularity
  • Localizing into multiple languages
  • Publishing efficiently without scripting in/(into) different formats
  • Integrating MS Word as authoring tool in a 100% XML environment

SCHEMA has gained expertise by having worked for more than 20 years with over 300 industrial customers around the world such as Siemens, Bosch, Philips, Daimler, General Electric, Toyota, MAN, ABB, Lufthansa, Bombardier, Agilent, Sagem, Ericsson, Carl Zeiss, Voith, SEW Eurodrive, Enercon, Senvion, INA Schaeffler, Doppelmayr, etc.

About Jörg Plöger

Jörg Plöger studied mathematics. He has worked in technical communication in a wide variety of industries for more than 20 years. As consultant and trainer, he has travelled around Europe many times. Since 2000, Jörg Plöger has been working in the software industry (Translation Memory Systems (TMS) and Content Management Systems (CMS)). He is sales representative of SCHEMA and based in Bremen, Northern Germany.

TCUK16 Speaker Toni Ressaire – “Mobilize Your Content: Create EPUBs and Kindle Books”

Toni Ressaire will be giving a workshop at TCUK16 on “Mobilize Your Content: Create EPUBs and Kindle Books”.

Toni Ressaire

eBooks are not just for reading sci-fi. Why not publish your tech docs for tablets, iPad, and mobile phones?
eBooks are designed for responsive reading devices. It makes sense to publish in formats that offer a pleasant mobile reading experience.

In this hands-on workshop, you will go from Microsoft Word doc to ebook. We’ll start by looking at issues related to creating ebooks, such as file types and device rendering. Then we’ll create an ePUB and Kindle ebook. Finally, you’ll test your ebook. We’ll explore ebook creation software, such as MadCap Flare, Oxygen, Adobe InDesign, FrameMaker and others.

Attendees should bring a laptop computer loaded with a fully-licensed or trial version of Adobe FrameMaker (2015 Release), and the KindleGen plugin, which can be downloaded for free at Amazon.

Optional:

  • Kindle Previewer 2
  • Readium for Chrome
  • Adobe Digital Editions 4.5.1
  • About Toni Ressaire

    Toni is a technical communicator/trainer and indie publisher. After working primarily in the software development industry, she now has some rather non-traditional uses for traditional tech comm tools. She provides training for tech writers and technically-challenged writers who want to create traditional pubs and digital content. Toni blogs about digital publishing at pub.ink and tweets at @Route11eBooks. She has a masters level degree in Technical and Scientific communication from a U.S. university. Toni is an American living in the South of France.

TCUK16 Speaker Leanne Visser – “And… Action! How to get started with creating instructional videos on a budget”

Leanne Visser will be presenting at TCUK16 on “And… Action! How to get started with creating instructional videos on a budget”.

Leanne Visser

Is your Online Help wordy and bulky? Is your manager asking for videos, because no one reads manuals? Is it easier to show a workflow instead of documenting it?

Videos are a great tool to reach users: they have a high visual appeal and wow-factor. People like them: over 50% of internet traffic consists of video.

This session is an introduction in making your own instructional videos, focusing on getting started with recording and editing that first video.

Leanne will include lessons learned at Medicore, where they implemented a video curriculum from scratch, so you won’t make the same mistakes!

About Leanne Visser

Leanne is the sole technical communicator at Medicore, a Dutch Healthcare IT company. Being passionate about stories, she studied English Language & Literature.

Her career started with editing and writing articles for catalogues at auction house Christie’s. She traded art for Healthcare IT to become a translator/Project Manager at Epic, and hasn’t looked back.

At Medicore she is in the process of changing the traditional written Online Help into a modern and user friendly documentation suite containing a mix of help texts, Quick Reference Guides and instruction videos.

TCUK16 Speaker Brian Lanigan – “Becoming an Expert by Always Being a Beginner”

Brian Lanigan will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Becoming an Expert by Always Being a Beginner”.

Brian Lanigan

It’s comfortable to develop skills slowly, but you don’t know what you can do until you’re really challenged.

This talk discusses a project in which two technical writers implemented an XML authoring environment for their team. Instead of writing, the job involved configuration, information architecture, graphic design, and technical support. It was difficult—sometimes frustrating—but they succeeded.

This talk is not by an ‘expert’. It will reassure beginners of all levels that the way to get better is to tackle your limitations.

Because it’s okay to say, ‘I don’t know…’ if you follow with, ‘…but let’s figure it out.’

About Brian Lanigan

Brian Lanigan is a senior technical writer with TWi, a provider of outsourced technical writing, editing, and documentation solutions based in Cork, Ireland. It suits him just fine: the wide range of clients means there’s always something new to learn.

In the past, he worked as an information developer at SAP Ireland. He also spent some time working in the advertising world, which shares a surprising amount of technique with technical communication.

TCUK16 Speaker John Kearney – “Empathic Tech Comms: create better content with practical UX techniques”

John Kearney will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Empathic Tech Comms: create better content with practical UX techniques”.

John Kearney

Traditionally, we Technical Communicators don’t venture far outside our organisations. We rely too much on the experience and opinions of others, such as Product Managers, or second-hand user feedback in the form of bug reports.

In reality, of course, it’s the user experience that matters.
Perhaps you have several years in the profession under your belt. You’ve done your time writing user guides, online help, configuration instructions, and so on. Or maybe you’re a novice author, unscarred by the experience of wrestling with a quirky version control system or editing a 200+ page Word document. You may or may not have poked around the UX field.

UX is comparatively young when compared with Technical Communication, and it offers a fresh perspective that we can benefit from when answering that most important of questions, “What is the user need?” It has valuable techniques that we can combine with our traditional skills. In light of this, I will look at what I think are the most common problems when creating user assistance content, and the cultural challenges that face us when we try to change what’s delivered.

Using practical examples, I will then show which basic UX techniques can help reduce those problems and improve the value of our content. You can expect to hear such terms as topic-based authoring, personas, usability interviews, practical style guides and more. I believe it is this combination of UX and Technical Communication expertise that can help us create truly clear and effective user assistance.

About John Kearney

John became a Technical Author when funding for English Literature postgraduate work dried up. 19 years later, he’s still in the same career, which probably means it was the right decision.

He’s worked for many companies across many sectors, and has now settled back into a permanent role after a couple of years as a contractor. John discovered TCUK in 2009, and has attended every conference since. He is particularly interested in content quality, usability, and accessibility. You can follow him on Twitter if you really want to: @jk1440.

When he’s not doing his job, he can be found with his nose in a book, dancing, or on an archery field.

He is not as tall as some people think.

TCUK16 Speaker Graeme Dowdell – “System safety and the Technical Author”

Graeme Dowdell will hold a workshop at TCUK16 on “System safety and the Technical Author”.

Graeme Dowdell

Many organisations now have to demonstrate through assessment and documentation that their products are acceptably safe to use. This is known as System (or Product) Safety.

This workshop will look at what skills, knowledge and capabilities the Technical Author can bring to the assessment and documenting of System Safety. We will also examine what a Technical Author cannot do in this field, and when to say no.

This workshop will not deal with specifications. It will focus instead on roles and responsibilities, the concept and assessment of Safety Risk, introduce participants to a few key techniques, and explore the principle documentation issues. The workshop will also briefly consider Risk mitigation, Risk transfer, and how the results of the safety assessment affect the technical publications.

About Graeme Dowdell

Graeme Dowdell FISTC initially followed the classic career path of becoming a Technical Author, progressing to Senior Technical Author, and then managing a small technical publications department. He then broadened the scope of his work and became a Publications and Integrated Logistic Support Manager. In addition to technical publications, that role included managing the assessment and documentation of system safety; managing reliability, availability and maintainability studies; and other equipment support activities. Since 2008 he has enjoyed being his own one-man company.

TCUK16 Speaker Tina Hoffmann – “What’s at Stake? – An introduction to stakeholder management and creating positive working relationships”

Tina Hoffmann will be presenting on “What’s at Stake? – An introduction to stakeholder management and creating positive working relationships”.

Tina Hoffmann

You will have heard of ‘stakeholder management’ but why should you care? And what does it mean? Is it only me or does the advice offered by those who tell us ‘to engage with our internal and external stakeholders’ often have a Machiavellian ring to it?

This presentation aims to show how you can use the basic principles of stakeholder management to build trust, resolve conflict and create more positive working relationships.
Learn how to draw and code your own map (templates provided) and strengthen the interpersonal skills required to enhance your relationships, to benefit you and others.

About Tina Hoffmann

Tina’s career path has meandered from literature and art history via localisation to technical communication. As a supporter of William Morris, Tina believes you should have no document that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful. With most documentation containing everything the user needs but cannot find Tina spends a lot of time ‘tidying’.

As Documentation Lead, Tina looks after the technical authors responsible for all IT operational documentation for a leading payment processing organisation. She is accountable for end-to-end delivery of documentation to the company’s “Command Centre” and setting the direction for operational documentation.

TCUK16 Speaker Liz Gregory – “A three-eighths Gripley by any other name (see also: terminology management for technical authors)”

Liz Gregory will be presenting at TCUK16 on “A three-eighths Gripley by any other name (see also: terminology management for technical authors)”.

Liz Gregory

Technical authors all know the importance of using consistent language for clear communication. We also know that maintaining consistency can get difficult when you have large projects, multiple products and authors, SMEs with opinions, or a project handover. And the difficulties get magnified if you need to think about translation. Terminology management can really help, and is a great tool to add to your authoring box. This talk will describe a technical author’s journey from novice to terminology champion, and explore some ideas and techniques that work for projects of all shapes and sizes. Unleash your inner word herder!

About Liz Gregory

Liz Gregory is a technical author who recently made the leap from authoring in a team to being a sole author. She has a background in chemistry and education and writes about both hardware and software. Since starting as a junior author four years ago, she has progressed to an experienced, confident author, and a champion of terminology management and source control. A self-confessed nerd for words, Liz will talk with anyone about anything, and is a dedicated member of the Thames Valley ISTC group. In her spare time she enjoys knitting, web comics, and ballroom dancing.

TCUK16 Speaker Chris Hester – On style guides and portfolios

At TCUK16, Chris Hester will be presenting on “You’ve got style, darlings” and giving a workshop on “From Paperweight to Conversation Piece: Building a Portfolio You Love (and Love to Talk About)”.

Chris Hester

Presentation: You’ve got style, darlings

Whether we’re technical writers or content strategists, freelancers or full-time employees, we (secretly) have our own preferences when it comes to using our words and getting things done. Too easily, we (not so secretly) lose patience with others’ peccadilloes when they don’t abide by the guide.

A good style guide supports a team, whereas a poor style guide is a hindrance. And what if you join a team that has no style guide? Where do you even begin?

Let’s discuss decisions and processes we must consider with respect to style guides, including the decisions to “kill some darlings.”

Workshop: From Paperweight to Conversation Piece: Building a Portfolio You Love (and Love to Talk About)

There is nothing more awkward in an interview than watching someone glance through your portfolio without comment, other than watching it sit untouched.

This workshop focuses on moving your portfolio off the table and into the conversation, starting with a discussion about why we need portfolios and how to develop them. Then, we will break into small groups for review and “first impression” feedback from your peers. Remember to bring your portfolio!

We will reconvene to share highlights of the review, along with tips and techniques for creating a portfolio you are excited about. You will leave the workshop with feedback from each person in your group, plus a plan for showcasing your work going forward.
Portfolios of all shapes, sizes, and formats are welcome to this workshop, as are attendees who may not have a portfolio or those who hire technical communicators.

About Chris Hester

As an independent consultant and the founder of Red Desk Studio, Chris has delivered successful content strategy, training, and knowledge management projects to a variety of clients, including those in the advertising, construction management, entertainment, and healthcare industries.

Chris is an STC Fellow and has been actively involved in the technical communication community as a volunteer, academic mentor, and presenter at events such as the STC Summit, LavaCon, and BigDesign.

TCUK16 Speaker Troy Stein – “What do viewers want from videos?”

Troy Stein will be presenting at TCUK16 on “What do viewers want from videos? Updated Research and Findings”.

Troy Stein

In 2013, 1900 participants told us what makes an effective video.
In 2016, we followed up to see how these video viewing preferences had changed.
We will present the research results. We’ll cover practical tips to improve videos and engagement. We’ll discuss the role of humor, visuals, audio, story telling and more.
This is a sales-free, marketing-free presentation. No product promotions whatsoever.

About Troy Stein

Troy Stein has 20 years corporate video experience. Troy has worked for Cisco Systems, Netscape, his own video company and currently works at TechSmith Corporations. He’s an avid story teller, football (soccer) player, father of five and recently returned from a motorcycle trip across the Arizona desert.

TCUK16 Speaker Ellis Pratt – “Moving into API documentation writing”

Ellis Pratt will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Moving into API documentation writing”.

Ellis Pratt

With many software developers now spending their time developing APIs, there’s an increasing demand for API documentation writers. However, Technical Communicators might be uncertain how to migrate to these roles.

In this session, we’ll look at:

  • What is an API and what is API documentation?
  • The role of an API documentation writer, and how it differs from mainstream Technical Author roles
  • The skills you need as a writer of API documentation
  • The tools used to create API documentation
  • Becoming an API documentation writer

About Ellis Pratt

Ellis Pratt is a Director and Help Strategist at Cherryleaf, a technical writing services and training company based near London, in the United Kingdom. He has over 20 years of experience working in the field of documentation, has a BA in Business Studies, and is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Ellis was ranked the most influential blogger on technical communication in Europe, and he is also on the management council for the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC).

TCUK16 Speaker George Lewis – “DevOps documentation: Manage documentation in a shared ownership environment”

George Lewis will be presenting at TCUK16 on “DevOps documentation: Manage documentation in a shared ownership environment”.

George Lewis

DevOps encapsulates the collaboration between Development and Operations teams to create, deliver and operate a product or service. But in such a collaborative structure, who is responsible for the documentation?

Technical authors face a challenge when working with collaborative structures: knowledge is created in the team with the right specialty, not necessarily in the team which owns the document.
As organisations seek to deliver products and services to market at an ever quicker pace, collaborative structures such as DevOps are becoming more common. To make the issue more challenging, these teams may be spread across different organisations and countries.

I shall share doc-department’s experience working with DevOps organisation and how we overcame these challenges with an Open DevOps documentation approach that supports collaboration and communications across teams.

About George Lewis

George is the Managing Director of doc-department; a company that helps organisations access best in class technical authoring services to support their operations and marketing strategies.
Having started his career in tech comm over 15 years ago in Germany, George has served his time as a writer of documents as well as a consultant helping organisations automate their documentation workflows.

George is passionate about changing the perception of tech comm from a costly burden to a solution for business information issues.

You can follow George and doc-department on @docdepartment or on their blog at blog.doc-department.com.

TCUK16 Speaker Rahel Anne Bailie – “Pushing Syrup through a Straw: When Content Exceeds Capacity”

Rahel Anne Bailie will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Pushing Syrup through a Straw: When Content Exceeds Capacity”.

Rahel Anne Bailie

What happens when you have thousands of products – or maybe tens or hundreds of thousands – and not enough capacity to deal with them? In a play on “it takes a village to raise a child”, it takes a content ecosystem to produce content with any sort of efficiency. In the brief period of a presentation, we will look at some techniques for dealing with large volumes of product content to a publication-ready state, and how to create the village to raise content.

About Rahel Anne Bailie

Rahel Anne Bailie, Chief Knowledge Office for Scroll, runs the content strategy practice and consults for clients with serious content challenges. She blends techniques from multiple disciplines to develop content strategies that have business impact. Rahel also teaches in the Content Strategy Master’s Program at FH-Joanneum, runs the Content, Seriously meetup, and is working on her third industry book: writing content for a structured authoring environment.

TCUK16 Speaker Madhu G – “Technical Writing and Instructional Design: A great confluence!”

Madhu G will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Technical Writing and Instructional Design: A great confluence!”

Madhu G

Technical Writing (TW) and Instructional Design (ID) are two professions that have one basic element in common – information design. Both professions aim to provide informative content to the audience. Technical Writers stand to benefit from using the principles of ID.
In this presentation, I will provide pointers on how some of the ID principles can be used in TW to enhance:

  • Content planning and authoring.
  • Seeking customer feedback.
  • Providing alternative learning solutions.

About Madhu G

Madhu is working as a Senior Information Developer at ARM Embedded Systems, India. He holds a degree in Information Science & Engineering, and became a technical writer by choice. Over the past ten years, he has worked with various companies such as IBM, Capgemini, Alcatel Lucent, and Cisco on diverse domains. Madhu has played different roles in these companies such as, Software Developer, Instructional Designer, Courseware Developer, Scrum Master and Information Developer.

TCUK16 Speakers Cristina Belli and Maja Engel – “Adding strings to your bow”

Cristina Belli and Maja Engel will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Adding strings to your bow: branching out into usability design and content strategy”.

Cristina Belli
Maja Engel

The word on the street is that the future of technical communication as a single focus on writing documentation isn’t so rosy – in this day and age, who reads the documentation, right? If you’re worried this is the case or you’re looking for something new or you simply need to expand your skill set to remain competitive, this presentation shows you there are opportunities to branch out while still doing what you love and know best: writing. We talk about how our personal interests and natural inclinations led us to branch out into usability and content strategy.

About Cristina Belli and Maja Engel

Cristina and Maja work at ESTECO, an engineering software company in Trieste, Italy. Together they write documentation for four products and contribute to marketing content.
Cristina studied Economics at the University of Sydney. Since moving to Italy 25 years ago, she has specialized in ESL teaching, translation and writing marketing content. She has been writing
technical documentation for over ten years.

Maja has a degree in Conference Interpreting and Translation and started translating technical documentation straight out of university. Prior to becoming a technical writer at ESTECO in 2011 she worked for the EU and the Croatian government.

TCUK16 Speaker Glyn Turk – “What’s right for me, permanent or contract?”

Glyn Turk will be presenting at TCUK16 on “What’s right for me, permanent or contract?”

Glyn Turk

Weighing up the pros and cons of a permanent position or contract work is a dilemma that could apply to many technical communicators during their careers. Each has its own particular attractions, but also potential drawbacks. I have been both an employee and contractor who has faced exactly this decision on several occasions.

As I’ve yet to decide which method of employment I really prefer, I’m happy to share my experiences with others who may be contemplating moving from permanent to contract employment, or vice versa, and hopefully provide some food for thought, if not any concrete answers!

About Glyn Turk

Working as a technical author for the last 16 years, I have experienced both permanent and contract employment for a variety of software companies in diverse industry segments from digital TV to insurance, mobile phone networks to retail and hospitality point of sale. Some have been little more than start-ups, others large multi-national corporations, so I have encountered a wide range of working practices and approaches to the role of the technical communicator.

I’ve recently completed a 12 month contract and have made a return to permanent employment, so the considerations covered in this presentation are fresh in my mind!

TCUK16 Speaker Raymond Gillespie – “Backspace to the future: plain text in the 21st Century”

Raymond Gillespie will be presenting at TCUK16 on “Backspace to the future: plain text in the 21st Century”.

Raymond Gillespie

In this presentation, Raymond Gillespie will step through the history of plain text software documentation. He’ll bring us up-to-date with some examples of contemporary documentation written in Markdown, reStructuredText and AsciiDoc—three of the most popular lightweight markup languages. To finish, Raymond will touch on some key questions facing technical communicators today:

  • What types of documentation projects lend themselves to lightweight markup approaches and what types don’t?
  • Is there a middle ground? Can we integrate lightweight approaches into a more structured approach, for example in conjunction with DITA?

About Raymond Gillespie

Raymond Gillespie has over 20 years experience in the field of information technology. For the past 15 years, Raymond has lived in Budapest, Hungary, working as both a software engineer and a technical writer, mainly in the fields of telecommunication, medical imaging, and navigation software. He is currently working for Nokia as part of an R&D System Verification and Customer Documentation team. He holds an MSc in information management from Lancaster University Management School (UK).

TCUK16 Speaker Erin Vang – “Rockstars, not typists!” and “Where do tech comms managers come from?”

Erin Vang will be presenting twice at TCUK16: “Rockstars, not typists! Expanding your influence in tech organizations” and “Where do tech comms managers come from?”

Erin Vang

Rockstars, not typists! Expanding your influence in tech organizations

It’s an old story: tech writers get mistaken for the typing pool. Engineers aren’t sure why they should have to explain things to writers or review our drafts. When there’s a shortage of writers, people ask us why we can’t just get a couple student interns to help with formatting. But we know better! Let’s discuss how to bring up tech writers’ level of contribution and visibility, so our stakeholders finally start to recognize us as the rockstars who help make products better. We enable customer success, we help our collaborators who see a bigger picture, and we ultimately increase the production capacity of the whole team. We do all these things by using our tech comm superpowers for good. We are the secret, hidden rockstars in tech organizations, and it’s time to get the word out!

The only surprise in my talk is that there are no surprises. Any decent tech comms professional already has all the knowledge necessary to be recognized as a rockstar—but probably isn’t getting that message out. I pull together into one place the basics of knowing your value, delivering your value, and selling your value, challenging tech comms professionals to step outside their (usually shy, humble, introverted) comfort zone and get the attention they richly deserve.

Where do tech comms managers come from?

Where do technical communications managers come from? The stork doesn’t deliver them. Simply asking a top performing writer to take the job doesn’t usually work out very well, either. So let’s break it down. What does the job actually entail? What skills, talents, and interests do you need? How do you acquire these? How do you know when you’re doing the job well? What does leadership actually mean in concrete terms?

This session will be of interest to technical communications individual contributors interested in considering a management track, to general managers wanting to understand better the particulars of managing a technical communications functional group, and to current tech comms managers interested in widening the lens on a big job.

About Erin Vang

Erin Vang, PMP, has several decades of experience in commercial software documentation, quality assurance, project and program management, localization, content strategy, and people management, most recently as a senior manager of tech comms at Dolby Laboratories, and previously in the JMP division of SAS, at Abacus Concepts, and SYSTAT. In 2008 she formed the consultancy Global Pragmatica LLC®, offering services in facilitative leadership, localization, and custom statistical tool development.

TCUK16 Speaker David Farbey – “How Agile is your Parachute?”

David Farbey will be presenting at TCUK16 on “How Agile is your Parachute? Or, is there life beyond Concepts, Tasks, and References?”

David Farbey

You’re working for a great company, you’re surrounded by good people, but something isn’t right. How many times can you write another reference topic, attend another scrum stand up, or tweak another page layout?

In this session, David returns to a favourite topic: what is it that makes people in general, and technical communicators in particular, happy or not happy in their jobs? Along with a review of current thinking on job satisfaction and motivation, he offers some suggestions about what you can do if you aren’t satisfied in your job, and how your existing technical communication skills could be applied in other areas.

About David Farbey

David worked in technical communication for over twenty years in a variety of roles, mainly related to software documentation. He was also an Associate Lecturer on Sheffield Hallam University’s MA programme in Technical Communication. David has been interested in content strategy, information design, and the management of technical communication, particularly in the context of agile software development, for a very long time, and has served on the ISTC Council since 2010. In 2015 David launched a new phase in his career, becoming a technical consultant for a financial services company.

TCUK 2016 Keynote Speaker – Sarah Richards

We are pleased to announce Sarah Richards as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2016.

Photo of Sarah Richards

Content strategist, digital consultant, and former Head of Content Design for GDS. Sarah Richards has led high-performing, award winning, agile teams, and has a longer and more varied editorial career than she cares to admit.

Sarah started in a quiet team of editors and ended up banning Whitehall from using their favourite jargon on GOV.UK. Sarah will explain her journey from having to publish whatever lawyers and policy people said to running an agency that will only take on work if the process is agile and user-centred.

We’ll have more news from Sarah Richards in a later post.

TCUK 2016 Keynote Speaker – Jack Molisani

We are pleased to announce Jack Molisani as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2016.

Photo of Jack Molisani

Jack is the Executive Director of the LavaCon Conference, a conference on content strategy and technical communication management. He is also president of ProSpring Technical Staffing and author of the book, Be the Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement, which made Amazon’s top 10 career and resume bestseller list.

We’ll have more news from Jack Molisani in a later post.

TCUK 2016 Keynote Speaker – Chris West

We are pleased to announce Chris West as a keynote speaker for TCUK 2016.

Photo of Chris West

Chris West is a professional writer. He writes marketing and PR copy, ghost-writes and publishes works in a range of genres under his own name. His most recent publication is Hello Europe! A History of Modern Europe in Sixty Eurovision Song Contests.

The Beermat Entrepreneur was co-written with Mike Southon, co-founder of 1980s training company The Instruction Set. It was published in 2002 and was one of the first of a new generation of books on entrepreneurship. Previous ones had been rather dry manuals. Beermat told it like it was. The book has been translated into many languages and sold over 60,000 copies in the UK.

Chris West: Life on a Beermat
The Beermat Entrepreneur was one of the bestselling entrepreneurship books of the 2000s. I shall tell the story of how it got written and promoted, and what we did to turn the book into a ‘brand’ – what we got right and what we got wrong!

I shall look at (amongst other things):

  • Choosing the right subject
  • Choosing the right co-author
  • Working with a subject-matter expert
  • Choosing a publisher and working with them
  • Getting publicity
  • Building a brand
  • Brand extensions that worked – other Beermat books, speaking
  • Brand extensions that didn’t work
  • The importance of keeping focus and momentum