Secretary’s Column

By Marcia Shannon

Second quarter was enlivened with the Summit. If, like me, you could not attend, read on for feedback from those who were there. I am sorry that I could not meet those who attended our SIG Business Lunch. I heard that there was a good turn out and it was enlightening, and encouraging, to meet members face to face.

I am writing this during my favorite part of the TV season: dance competitions. Between So You Think You Can Dance and World of Dance, there are so many artists doing breathtaking things, to evoke emotions, engage the audience, and tell a story. Where we technical communicators use words and images, they communicate through music and movement. That common ground fascinates me and sparks my imagination.

Taking a break from writing to watch these dancers reminded me that dancers take classes to polish their core moves, acquire new skills, and stay current with techniques and trends. Those are shared goals among all sorts of communication professionals. Whether you opt for a refresher in proofing and formatting, learn a new software tool, or expand your skills into a different industry, technical communicators are always in learning mode. Experience is vital, but we all need to refresh our skills every so often. I hope you are getting the full benefit of your STC and SIG memberships by attending the free-to-members webinars that are available regularly. Most continuing ed and technical colleges offer online, inexpensive single-topic classes, which are an easy way to brush up your skills.

To have the full SIG experience, volunteer for a SIG leadership role. The SIG thrives when there is high participation. None of the leadership roles is a full time job and there are always other volunteers who jump in to help with the big projects. The monthly meetings are open to all members. Drop in, check it out, perhaps spot where you can help. Don’t be a stranger.