Preconference Workshops

The Summit offers several preconference workshops.

Preconference Workshops Schedule

The Summit offers several preconference workshops. Additional rates apply for these sessions. You may register for these when you complete your full conference registration, which is opening soon.

Already registered for the Summit? Email  for help to add the preconference sessions.

Preconference Workshop Cancellation Policy: You may cancel your registration for a preconference workshop by 1 March and receive a refund, minus a $50 administrative fee. After 1 March, the registration fee is non-refundable, but may be transferred to someone else. All requests to cancel or transfer must be submitted via email to .

  • Full-Day WorkshopFull-Day Workshop
  • Half-Day WorkshopHalf-Day Workshop
  • Professional & Academic

  • Full-Day Workshop$350
  • Half-Day Workshop$275
  • Gold Member

  • Full-Day Workshop$350
  • Half-Day Workshop$275
  • Student STC Member

  • Full-Day Workshop$200
  • Half-Day Workshop$100
  • Nonmember

  • Full-Day Workshop$475
  • Half-Day Workshop$375
  • Retired

  • Full-Day Workshop$350
  • Half-Day Workshop$275

Preconference Workshops as of 15 December 2020

Dates and times may change. Times listed are Eastern time zone.

Saturday, 5 June 2021
9:00 AM–6:00 PM

At-A-Glance Infographics, presented by Mike Parkinson

Description: In this hands-on workshop, learn to quickly turn your words and data into powerful infographics. Use the tools you have to make clear, communicative, compelling visuals that improve understanding, recollection, and adoption. Discover new free and low-cost tools to make it even easier. See how to communicate even the most complex content and mountains of data in a way that is impactful and unforgettable. No design skill is required.

All participants receive Mike’s Billion Dollar Graphics ebook, 200 professional infographics, Mike’s popular Graphic Cheat Sheet, step-by-step instructions to make infographics, and more. This workshop requires Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 or newer and a mouse.


What I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know about Self-Employment, presented by Alisa Bonsignore

Description: When I started my freelance business, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Now 15 years later, with the benefit of hindsight, I’m here to help others avoid the pitfalls of self-employment. We’re going to discuss money, and how to ask for it; building client relationships; marketing; the importance of ongoing professional development; and how to write proposals.

9:00 AM—1:00 PM

Presentation Skills Master Class, presented by Leah Guren (This is a two-part class. Part two will be on Sunday, 6 June)

Description:  Now, more than ever, you need to be able to present yourself and your ideas clearly and effectively. Poor presentation skills can hold you back in your career and allow others to take credit for your ideas. In contrast, good speakers get promoted faster and earn more, plus they are exposed to more opportunities than their colleagues who present poorly.

This workshop involves hands-on exercises, games, and performance time. Even if you are already a confident speaker, you can learn techniques to improve your performance.

It’s time for you to stop hiding in the background and start enjoying the spotlight! In this workshop, you will learn to:

• Edit down your ideas to create a focused, organized presentation
• Catch the audience’s attention with a great introduction
• Connect your key points to keep the audience engaged and on track
• Remember your content without reading from notes
• Avoid the most common mistakes
• Handle questions with confidence
• …and more!

2:00—6:00 PM

The Agile TechDoc Manifesto: Applying Agile Principles to Information Development, presented by Dawn Stevens

Description: The combination of Agile development’s high speed, limited planning documentation, and short delivery cycles creates a unique set of challenges for technical publication organizations. These challenges require a shift in thinking about resource management, task allocation, and completeness of information. How do you make that shift? In this workshop, you’ll learn to make the Agile process work for you, rather than forcing your team to work for the process. Whether you are working with an Agile development team or simply looking to improve your own team’s performance, this hands-on workshop will help you uncover better ways of creating technical content and bring flexible structure to your constantly changing work.


Make Your Content Usable by (Almost) Everyone: An Introduction to Accessibility, presented by Char James-Tanny.

Description: Accessibility means making things available to everyone. We’re familiar with this to some extent, thanks to curb cuts. But we can also make our content accessible by following several guidelines. During this workshop, we’ll use the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to learn several techniques for making our content more accessible. (Even though WCAG includes “Web”, the principles, guidelines, and success criteria lend themselves to documentation, even if it’s not online.)


Topic Writing for Everyone!, presented by Janice Summers

Description: The average person is hit with approximately 105,000 words a day. That’s 23 words every second in a twelve-hour day. Add in images and sound, and now we’re talking 34 gigabytes of information a day!

This is the person who comes to you for information. How you meet that person makes all the difference in the world. You can make it smooth and easy, or you can make it confusing and overwhelming. If you want to maximize your customer satisfaction and your team’s collaboration, take a practical approach to writing content using minimalism and topic based writing. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to do it.

Sunday, 6 June
9:00 AM—6:00 PM

Content Strategy: Plan, Produce, Publish, presented by Bernard Aschwanden

Description:  Content strategy. Content analysis. Goals, Information Architecture. Reuse. DITA. These terms are being used more and more often in the technical communication landscape, but how do they all come together into a real solution?

This interactive and hands-on workshop will provide you the chance to be involved in planning the life of content from creation to archiving. You then will follow the plan to produce content that meets the needs of your audiences (yes, more than one). Ultimately, you will deliver the content in multiple formats, for multiple types of readers, on any device. You also will touch on several components of a content strategy and then implement aspects of all of it.

During the session there will be a chance to work in groups, interact, share experiences, and discuss the ways that the real-world needs of content impact the way we work. A plan is made, expectations set. Content is created, tools are explored. Once delivered you can see the results on YOUR device. Real-time, live, and with practical examples.


Launch Your Own Research to Implement Change within Your Organization, presented by George Hayhoe and Pam Estes Brewer

Description: As a technical communicator, you may see the need for change within your organization … change that can help your organization to become more profitable, more efficient, or more collaborative. However, you may have little understanding of how to research the problem or opportunity to produce recommendations that are both reliable and valid—opportunities that will support your organization as well as your professional goals.

Join Dr. George Hayhoe and Dr. Pam Estes Brewer for this full-day workshop where you will learn how to conduct reliable and valid research that will support positive change for your organization. Attendees will have the opportunity to work on a research project of their own with the session leaders.

9:00 AM—1:00 PM

You’re a Character: How Group Structure and Personality Types Influence Teamwork, presented by Danielle Matthews

Description: Personality is not an exact science. However, identifying your own personality traits helps you manage stress, identify triggers, and solve conflicts. Identifying traits of others helps you set teams, assign work, identify potential conflicts and plan mitigation, and solve interpersonal issues.

Consider the dynamics with changing work situations (office-to-remote, new job, new experiences). Some thrive in an office environment. Some thrive in a remote work setting. Some may act a bit differently at work than they do at home, so when work and home mix, it might generate some conflict. External changes and additional stressors might make people feel unbalanced, causing group dynamics to shift, affecting teamwork.

2:00 PM—6:00 PM

The Power of Storytelling in Business and Life, presented by Alan Hoffler

Description:  Storytelling is known as the Silver Bullet of communication. Storytelling can apply to most any situation, takes relatively little preparation, and is used by the masters of the stage and the pen in just about every forum imaginable. You’ll find ways to immediately put this weapon in your toolbox and WOW your audiences and readers, and have them ready to listen to your pitch, platform, paper, or presentation.

Whether you’re a hesitant speaker or a communicator who wants to be GREAT, this session will teach you a valuable and easy-to-learn technique to captivate your audience. In addition to learning about the Silver Bullet of Storytelling, you will practice and apply it to your message, whether it’s a technical presentation at work, a networking event, a sales/persuasion situation, or your online content marketing plan.

Come learn the one communication skill you can’t live without!


Responsive Content Best Practices and Real-world Solutions, presented by Scott DeLoach

Description: In this workshop, Scott will present best practices and real-world examples for responsive web design (RWD) and responsive web content (RWC). He will examine options for adapting text, lists, tables, and images for smaller screens. Scott will also discuss how to dynamically adapt content for use on phones, tablets, and PCs.