17 June 2013

TCUK 2013: A two session preview

We’ve had some good news at Clearly Stated this week. We are both going to be presenting at TCUK in Bristol, which reflects well on our dedication to not only our own development as technical communicators, but the development of technical communication.

For those of you who are interested, we’re offering a slightly more in-depth sneak peak of our sessions at the conference. There is no need for a spoiler alert, but hopefully a bit more insight into the presentations will helps peers reading this blog choose their session at the conference.

When Culture Meets Content (Andrew’s session)
My first role as an author was creating training materials and designing courses for the Royal Air Force of Oman. This presented unique challenges together with the possibility to conduct research. The audience for these materials and courses were entirely male, Omani and Muslim, and I quickly began to notice that the reaction to materials (either my own or commercially published materials) was coloured by the cultural perspective of the students. Through a comparative study, I set out to explore some of the issues documentation and training materials face when being viewed through the middle eastern cultural lens. It is important to note that many of the cultures that are sensitised in some way to the perceived morality of documentation also favour indirect communication and value face. Many of the lessons learnt may help those wishing to position their documentation and services to avoid faux pas.
Managing as a freelance technical communicator (Alison’s session)
‘Managing’ often conjures up images of project plans, performance appraisals and (of course) meetings. Depending on the size of the organisation, one person may fulfil more than one role (as both a project manager and a people manager, for example) but nowhere do the hats pile as high on one head as when running your own small business. Since I started Clearly Stated, I’ve had to manage my workload, my finances (including estimating and quoting), my clients and my employee – and find time to actually do the work I’m being paid to do! The intention is for you to learn from my mistakes, helping you to work smarter, not harder.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Andrew and Alison

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