RE: Transferable skills of a Tech Writer

Subject: RE: Transferable skills of a Tech Writer
From: <mbaker -at- analecta -dot- com>
To: "'Janoff, Steven'" <Steven -dot- Janoff -at- hologic -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 18:42:24 -0400

I would explain the curse of knowledge.

Communication is about figuring out the right thing to say and the right way
to say it to achieve a specific behavioral objective. That matters to just
about everyone in business and certainly to a VP of anything. VPing is all
about changing people's behavior, and communication is the number one way
you go about it.

The curse of knowledge is why it is hard.

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+mbaker=analecta -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Janoff, Steven
Sent: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 6:19 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Transferable skills of a Tech Writer

Apologies if this has been dealt with before.

If you wanted to educate a VP, or someone from the C-suite, as to what
"abstract" skills a Tech Writer has that could be applied to their own
challenges, what would you list?

This is for the purpose of leveraging existing skills into the needs of a
larger department.

I think these folks tend to think of writers as people who "write," and
that's it -- if even that. Lot of examples lately of stereotyping as "making
things look pretty," or just typing, or whatever.

For me the first things that come to mind are information architecture and
the organizing of information. What comes to mind for you?

So if you're sitting talking with a VP and you want to think of how you
could plug into his or her agenda, how would you characterize the highest
level, most abstract version of your skills?

You wouldn't say things like, "I can write stuff for you," or "I can make
your reports look pretty."

What would you say?

Thanks,

Steve

PS - This is *not* where you're sitting there trying to pitch yourself as a
Technical Writer. What you're trying to do is pitch a way that you could
approach one or more of their highest challenges for which you have skills
that could be applied. Process improvement is an example, but not just
Technical Writing process improvement or necessarily anything related to
Tech Writing -- it's just that your skills as a Tech Writer, in some
abstract form, at the highest level, might be able to be applied to their
problem/challenge/opportunity, whatever you want to call it.

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References:
Transferable skills of a Tech Writer: From: Janoff, Steven

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