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I currently offer three options for workshops and other training:
I've included a list of standard contract terms for my workshops at the end of this page.
The following workshops or training are currently available:
If you'd like to propose a customized workshop, please have a look at the complete list of my publications, and contact me to discuss details.
Onscreen editing offers tremendous efficiency advantages over traditional on-paper editing. In addition to eliminating the need to retype corrections (and the subsequent risk of introducing new errors), onscreen editing harnesses the computer's power to make editing more efficient. In this course, which is based on my quarterly "Onscreen editing" column for Intercom magazine, you'll learn:
- how to customize Microsoft Word to fit your personal preferences
- how to use the tools Word provides to increase your editing efficiency and accuracy
- typical barriers to implementing onscreen editing in the workplace, and how to overcome them
- implementing an efficient review and revision process based on onscreen editing
Want to develop a customized version of this workshop? Examine the table of contents of my book, Effective Onscreen Editing, and pick the topics that are most relevant to your needs.
Many workplace processes arise from historical conditions that no longer apply, and may no longer reflect the current work situation: the organizational structures or workplace technologies that shaped these processes have changed. Alternatively, current processes may indeed reflect the current work situation, but pose barriers to efficiency. This course is based on a "Kaizen" exercise conducted at a nonprofit research institute that reduced time to publication by more than 50%. You'll learn:
- the essential components of a review and revision workflow
- the human and technological barriers to an effective workflow
- how to overcome these barriers
Many organizations can no longer afford a full-time editor to perform quality control on their printed and online publications, and instead perform peer review. Peer reviewers often have no training in how to edit work produced by their colleagues. This course provides the necessary training. You'll learn:
- politics and diplomacy: the essentials of being an editor
- levels of edit: defining the job, performing "triage"
- the essential components of substantive editing
- copyediting basics
- proofreading: blind proofing and "reading to proof"
Over the past few decades, a substantial body of research has begun to provide deep insights into how people understand visual images, including both the text and the graphics that represent the majority of the work produced by technical communicators. Many "rules of thumb" have been proposed to describe our profession's "best practices", but blindly applying these rules leads to reflexive designs that may fail to meet the audience's needs. Understanding the basis for these rules lets you determine when they applyand more importantly, what to do when they don't. In this course, you'll learn:
- how readers read, and the implications for writing
- how viewers view, and the implications for graphics
- the "art" and science of combining words and graphics
- creating effective visual designs
- confirming that those designs truly meet the needs of your audience
Read a review of the workshop given for STC Phoenix. (Republished with permission from the author and STC Phoenix. Originally published in the December 2008 issue of Rough Draft, which is available via the chapter's home page.)
Many modern help systems emphasize "cool" technologies and flashy images. Others eschew these techniques in favor of a complete and accurate description of the software interface. Both approaches often fail to provide the information readers really need. But using an approach based on the "five W's" taught to journalists can help you provide the information your audience really needs. In this course, you'll learn:
- the difference between audience needs and interface descriptions
- the first W: who are you designing for?
- the second W: what are their needs?
- the third W: why do they have these needs?
- the fourth W: where must you direct them so they can meet those needs?
- the fifth W: when do these and other needs arise, and when do those needs change?
- how to create a help system that truly meets user needs
Many technical communicators collect substantial amounts of demographic information on their audience, such as the proportions of men and women in the audience and their educational backgrounds. Although this information can inform your design decisions, the information is often at least one level removed from more important concerns: what your audience needs to know to get their work done. In this course, you'll learn:
- how to determine what your audience wants to accomplish (task analysis)
- how to identify what they need to know in order to perform those tasks (context and dependencies)
- which aspects of your audience really constrain the methods you'll use to communicate
- how to use audience information to develop an effective first draft of your design
- how to test and improve that design
Many writers use word processors such as Microsoft Word as nothing more than a glorified typewriter. Others know many of the "ins and outs" of Word, but don't use its powerful tools to help them write more effectively. And many corporate environments enforce the use of a printed or online style guide that is used only by editors, long after it's too late for writers to benefit from the use of the style guide. In this course, you'll learn:
- how to create templates that will help authors create properly formatted documents
- how to customize Word so that its productivity tools are easily enough accessible that writers actually use them
- how to create a style guide that authors will actually use and that will minimize the need for subsequent editing
For a typical 1- to 2-hour presentation and a "reasonable" amount of travel time to reach you, there's no cost other than my expenses. I'm willing to donate my time and lose part of a day of paid work, but I can't afford to donate my expenses too. Thus, you'll need to cover my travel and accommodation costs:
For half-day or full-day workshops, much more preparation is involved, more travel time is required (I can't generally travel to another city and still have time to give a full-day workshop on the same day), and the work is often exhausting. Thus, in addition to expenses, I ask for a speaker's fee:
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