Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preparing for the STC Conference

The annual Society for Technical Communication Summit in Chicago is a little more than 2 weeks away. So my preparations are in full swing. I wrote my presentation based on average words/minute for public speaking. Turns out, I talk fast (no surprises there, my friends and family would say). So I'm 2 minutes short. Either I slow down, or I write more text. Knowing myself, I suppose I better opt for the latter.

Meanwhile, STC created a social media app just for the conference where attendees can set up profiles, follow others, post their schedules (only official sessions, though), etc. Great networking opportunity, but it can be time-consuming. But then, I suppose, networking takes time in general.

So I said in an earlier post that I'd try and have the client-focused blog up and running by the time I depart for Chicago. I have been working on writing/re-writing posts for that, but I'm not sure I'll have the time to actually set up the blog before I leave. Maybe I'll find time at the conference to do it (one can always hope!).

Another item on my to-do list is to get a decent picture of myself for posting online and using in other promotional material. Again, I'd like to have this done (and up on my website, the conference social media app, etc.) before I leave. Looking for photographers online earlier today, I had a brainstorm: Macy's here in New York has free makeup sessions in its cosmetics section (where they then try to sell you expensive makeup stuff), as well as a photo studio. Maybe I can combine the two, get a professional makeup job on the first floor, then a professional picture on whatever floor the studio is on. If it's digital, I should be able to get it while I wait, right?

Then, of course, there is notifying regular clients of my absence, preparing flight and hotel information for my family, checking that my business clothes are clean and ironed, etc. Not to mention practicing my presentation, actual packing, backing up everything and making sure I have all the files and applications I might need while in Chicago.

I wonder how frequent conference/event speakers handle all these preparations (and the attendant stress) ...


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