President’s Corner

President’s Corner

Debra JohnsonThe President’s Corner

By Debra Johnson, President
Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter

With his permission, I am reusing and updating a wonderfully written article from January 2003 by our then President, Mike Murray to again speak to the incredible benefit our joint meeting with the Future Technical Communicators of UCF is to the Technical Communication community.
For the most part, what applied then still applies now….
The Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter is a moderately sized chapter who as of May 2013 has garnered seven awards for Community of Distinction, as well as other Society-level awards such as Community of the Year and Most Improved Community.

It’s our chapter’s relationship with our local universities, our student member numbers, and our accomplished mentoring program that have all become the envy of other chapters in the Society.
While Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter leaders are proud of these accomplishments, we are well aware that numbers, while an indicator of potential success, do not alone ensure that success.  As in most other measurements of success, quality takes precedence over quantity. That’s why the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter leaders, which include prominent UCF and other school alumni, work to develop leading edge programs that are of mutual value to faculty, students, student STC members, other STC members, and students of other universities alike.
This focus is what makes the annual joint STC-UCF meeting on January 16, 2014 at the University so important.

It’s Educational – We have a very special guest speaker for the evening.  Rhyne Armstrong. Rhyne is Director of Documentation at RouteMatch Software. He has 19 years experience in the technical communication field; often moving from the core discipline of technical writing to the outlying roles of corporate communication, product marketing, and user experience design. Over the last several years, Rhyne has consulted on social media and social networking strategies for several organizations and individuals, and often dives head-first into emerging technologies and communication trends. He is a senior member of the Society for Technical Communication, serving on the Community Affairs Committee.

Rhyne is presenting, “Does Your Audience Hate You?”  It is about speaking in front of a group of people which is very hard to do. You don’t want to make it worse by making your audience feel like you are boring them, confusing them, or wasting their time. In this meeting, we will discuss presentation skills, software demonstrations, and tips to make sure the people you are talking to actually want to listen.

It’s Accessible –

Because the January meeting focuses on students, it is free, it is held on the UCF campus, making it as easy as possible for students in the technical communications program to benefit from attending.

Student Membership is reasonable –

Student Membership is reasonable – Sign up or renew your student membership at the meeting. An STC student membership is the best bargain in town when you consider everything you get for $75 –
You get:

  • Classic Membership Benefits
  • 1 Student Chapter membership
  • 1 Professional Chapter membership
  • Academic SIG  membership
  • Membership in 1 other SIG of your choice

…and that’s before the added bonus of a $20 discount for new student members or four $5 meeting discount coupons for renewing student members, compliments of the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter!  You simply can’t afford not to jumpstart your career with an STC membership.

Membership is a Tremendous Value  Check with some of the current student members and find out  for yourself about:  • Content-filled, fascinating monthly chapter meetings  • Opportunities to network with technical communications  professionals  • Job leads  • Mentoring opportunities  • A wide variety of training possibilities to fit your specific  needs and interests  • Professional publications (printed and online) bursting at  the seams with the latest technical communications  processes, ideas, and research  • An extensive online database of scholarly articles to support your research projects.  • Lots more, all geared to the technical communications student and future and present professionals

An Investment in the Future for Everyone – Not only is student membership good for the future technical communicators at UCF and other higher education institutions; it’s a wonderful opportunity for STC.  Already, several past student members have assumed prominent leadership roles in the   Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter. The former students get actual leadership training and experience, while the Orlando Central Florida STC Chapter benefits from the energy and fresh ideas contributed by students from one of the most outstanding technical communications programs in the nation.  Don’t regret not attending the joint STC-UCF chapter meeting on January 16, 2014 at UCF. Opportunities like this don’t come around every day.

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