Other Topics

Setting Up a Technical Publications Department

You’re a new manager and your first job is to hire some people and set up a department. Now what? Here’s how.

Project Management for Technical Publications Managers

There are some basic problems that all Technical Publications managers have to deal with. This topic will show you some simple and effective tools for tracking resources and projects.

How to Hire a Winner

No matter what kind of group you’re managing, from janitors to developers to executives, hiring good employees is a challenge. This presentation describes how to identify winners who will add to your team and make everyone’s job a little better.

Asking the Right Question

Too many people set themselves up for failure by looking at things the wrong way. Here’s a simple and effective way to shift your thinking around to provide you with an unlimited number of possible solutions.

A Dozen Great Myths about New Technology

Managers and executives are bombarded with information about new technologies and what it can mean to them and their companies. Unfortunately, new technology is frequently surrounded by hype, misperceptions, and outright lies that make it harder for us to use it effortlessly. This presentation cuts through some of the fog by discussing twelve of the most popular myths of new technology.

Everything You Need to Know About Managing in a Nutshell

Being a good manager is pretty simple… but it’s not easy for some people. This presentation provides tips on the very few rules that will make you respected by your employees.

How to Choose a Software Solution for Your Company

The costs of choosing the wrong solution can be enormous, making the process of choosing a technical solution for use throughout the company a stressful job. This topic presents a process that eliminates most of the guesswork and maximizes your chances of success.

Time Management

None of us has “enough” time, so it behooves us to manage our time effectively.

How to Be Famous in Your Profession

Fame in one’s profession can be a valuable commodity… and it’s a lot easier to attain than you might think. This presentation gives you a variety of ways to become famous in your profession, as well as a cautionary note on the results.

Creative Latitude

Managers and executives in charge of development teams, writers, marketing teams, and other creative workers need to let the teams be creative while keeping the output flowing in ways that reasonably meet the client’s requirements. This presentation shows you how to give your teams the most latitude for creativity while still keeping them focused on what needs to be done.

“But I Was Trying to Buy Flowers!”

Setting User Expectations Appropriately This was written after dealing with a misleading website. The presentation discusses how to set user expectations by clearly communicating what you’re selling your readers and viewers.Add Description here

How to Be Immortal

A motivational topic, this presentation talks about finding what you need to be doing as part of the Great Work and how to leave your mark on the world.

Captive versus Freelance: Making an Informed Decision

Not everyone’s cut out for being an employee… but neither is everyone going to make a good contractor, either. This topic identifies the advantages and disadvantages of each of type of employment and helps you understand which is best for you.

How to Estimate

Whether you’re a freelancer or a captive writer, knowing how much to estimate is one of the most important skills for any technical communicator. If you can’t estimate, you can’t set rates, schedules, or production dates. Conversely, being able to set precise estimates lets you make accurate bids and tighten your schedules so you can squeeze in that much more work. This 90-minute presentation shows you how to create documentation plans (so you know what you’re producing), develop personal metrics (so you know how long it’ll take you to produce it), and understand rates and how much is ‘enough’ (so you won’t starve while doing it).

Setting Up a Home Office

What do you need for a good home office? Some things may surprise you.

Writing for Periodicals

One of the most popular kinds of writing moonlighting is doing magazine articles. Learn how to approach magazines, get assignments, and get more work.

Creating Documentation Plans

“Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” Creating a good documentation plan will help you identify what you’re going to do and can be a valuable political document if the project shifts from under you.

Pre-emptive Project Planning

It’s not the projects we know about that are the problems, it’s the ones that surprise us that cause us the most grief. Here’s how to track the projects that don’t exist yet while looking really organized in the process.

Building Teams for Cross-Media Publishing: Staffing and Training

Hiring the right people for a cross-media team isn’t just a matter of looking at a resume and a portfolio. Finding the right people for a cross-media team takes careful interviewing and a non-traditional look at the hiring process. This topic shows how to find graphic design and pre-press people who can complement and support the rest of your team.

Working with Technical Publications Departments

Writers will rant about being handed projects at the last minute by developers, but then they frequently turn around and do the same thing to graphic designers and pre-press folks (who then level the same complaints at the writers). This presentation shows graphic designers and production staff how to work effectively with technical publications people and teach writers to give the people downstream ;the information they need to be successful.

“Hey, Kids! Become an Author at Home in Your Spare Time and Earn Big Bucks!”

One of my favorite speaking topics! How you can write non-fiction books. Covers how to find a publisher, how to pick topics (you don’t need a topic before contacting a publisher), basic contracts, royalties and advances, and the book-writing process itself.

Writing Effective Book Proposals

One of the most important parts of selling a book idea to a publisher is to have a good proposal. This topic tells you how to put together a solid book proposal that sells your vision to a publisher.
Publishing a Third-Party Book: How to Drive the Publishing Process and Get a Book about Your Company’s Products
his topic is aimed primarily at companies who want to get additional marketing presence for their products.

Publishing a Third-Party Book: How to Drive the Publishing Process and Get a Book about Your Company’s Products

This topic is aimed primarily at companies who want to get additional marketing presence for their products.

Co-authoring without Homicide

Writing something by yourself is not too difficult, but writing something with another person can involve enormous amounts of friction. This topic tells you how to avoid killing each other in the process.

Seeding the Clouds: How to Make it Rain on Yourself Even During a Dry Spell

This lively topic tells you two dozen ways to find a job that you never thought of before.

What I Would Have Liked to Know

A collection of things learned over 30+ years as programmer, writer, and consultant. Although aimed at people starting on their careers, this is also helpful for seasoned professionals.

Ways to Add Value and Make Money

A presentation for members of professional or civic organizations who want to increase the value of their local chapters to the members and to generate more money for the group while doing so.

You’ve Had an Accident–Now What?

This general-interest presentation is for people who’ve been involved in an auto accident and are unsure of how to deal with the insurance companies, health-care providers, and attorneys.

Tips for Online Dating

A general-interest presentation for anyone who’s interested in trying out online dating for themselves, including ideas for identifying what you really want, pitching yourself in your profile, and meeting the right people

Divination for the Non-spiritual

A motivational presentation on how to create your own simple system of non-spiritual divination to give you additional input for answering questions.

“Oh, No, They’re Coming Over in Half an Hour!”

This short, lively presentation is generally aimed at a younger audience (although men of all ages have been known to respond well to it). It describes how to get your place cleaned in short order when guests are about to arrive unexpectedly.