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Celebrating our 50th anniversarySOCIETY FOR TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
Eastern Ontario Chapter

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2001/2002 Programs

June event

1st annual year-end barbeque

Come celebrate the annual STC BBQ!
Meet members of the new STC executive.
President - Peter Sturgeon
Vice President - Matt Rockall
Treasurer - Ken Kicksee
Secretary - Chris Hallgren
Program Manager - Rick Lorenz
Education Manager - Amberlee O'Connor
Newsletter Editor - Jackie Connors
Membership Manager - Lori Briggs
Webmaster/Employment Manager - Robin Kelsey
Public Relations Manager - Charles Bain
(Competition Manager - vacant)

Location: Nepean Sailing Club
3259 Carling Avenue,
Ottawa (Nepean)

Date: June 20
Time: 6 PM till closing
Free for everyone!

Meat and vegetarian BBQ, salads etc...
Two drinks on the house, then cash bar.


May Program Event

Annual General Meeting and Elections
Food, Refreshments, Door Prizes

Thursday, May 23
6-9 PM

Nepean Sailing Club
3259 Carling Avenue,
Ottawa (Nepean)

Volunteer!
Volunteers are still needed for various positions on the Executive and Admin Council. Some of these positions are critical and must be filled. We have had very good participation this past year from many of you at the monthly meetings, the competition, etc. We now need you to consider expanding your participation by taking on a role on the executive council.

There is a nomination form on our web site, along with a description of the responsibilities of the various positions and their duties. You can nominate either yourself or someone else, for an executive our council position. You can also contact Paul Ondovcik, our nominating committee chairperson, to "toss your hat into the ring". He can be reached at paul.ondovcik@sympatico.ca, or 831-6122. Please consider volunteering for a position!

Insurance
Also at the AGM a newly available insurance package offered exclusively to Canadian STC members will be unveiled. This package has been designed to incorporate the most advantageous features available in the marketplace and is offered solely to Canadian members of the Society for Technical Communication. A representative from the company administering the plan will be on hand at the May 23 meeting to present details of the package, and to answer any questions you may have.

-Visnja Beg, STCEO President


April Program Event

Designing CBT modules

Nepean Sailing Club,
3259 Carling Avenue,
Ottawa (Nepean)
April 25, 2002.  6-9 PM

- Free for all -

Sarah Sedgeman and Darryl Swerbrick gave a presentation on designing Computer Based Training modules.


January Program Event

Managing Your Documentation Projects
Nepean Sailing Club
Jan.24, 2002

Congratulations Victoria Stook and Claire Bernard, co-winners of the STCEO scholarship for top Algonquin tech-writing student. Each winner received a handsome plaque and a useful cash award.

Victoria Stook and Claire Bernard
Victoria and Claire

Chris Hallgren and Dent Tillotson offered their perspectives on managing documentation projects. Dent also prepared a presentation, which is available as a PDF file.

Review of the January Self-Employment Workshop
by Christel Kurz

Do You Work More ON Your Business or IN Your Business?

If you know the answer to this question, it's probably because you were one of 16 attendees at the "Self Employment Workshop for Technical Communicators" given by Laurel Simmons on Saturday January, 19 at Carleton University. Eventhough, I've been self-employed for five years now, I wanted to attend this workshop just to hear Laurel's tips as I knew she had run a successful technical communication company for years and is now in the full-swing of her new business adventure of career coaching. Laurel led a very interactive workshop including case studies, round-table discussions, and partnering for a little tête en tête. It was a fun day, and I not only learned things about being self-employed, but I learned new things about myself!

We started off learning the distinction between being self-employed and working in the business or being a business owner and working on the business. We learned that most of us play both of these roles to some extent; that is, we do the work that brings in an income and we do the work that makes the business grow and prosper. There could be problems though if we spend too much time working in the business and make working on the business a lower priority. If we really want to have a successful business, the focus must be on working on the business.

We learned the benefit of marketing our business as a product rather than offering a service. In order to market a product, we have to know what our product is, what distinguishes it from other similar products, and we have to package it. This led to several self-analysis sessions of defining exactly what product we had to sell based on our skills, experiences, likes, and dislikes. The product has to be clearly defined. Several people discovered that they didn't really want to include some of the things they had been offering as a service because it didn't fit into the package that they wanted to sell. Laurel believes that being a specialist does not limit our opportunities, infact, it makes potential clients more interested in us because we have the confidence to say I'm an expert.

Now that we understood the package, we had to know who to sell it to and how much to sell it for. Ofcourse, there's always a lot of interest when the subject turns to money, but we found that some people didn't want to aim for the $2,000 per diem rates that are apparently obtainable by a few in the industry! But in any case, the trick is to have income goals, to put them in writing, and to know how to take the steps to get there.

Growing our client base including our angels, centres of influence, and direct clients concluded the discussion in the afternoon. This is one of the most important elements in working on the business. We also learned that using the right professionals for our business support structure should be considered an investment, not an expense. Why would we want to spend several hours a month doing bookkeeping when we could be spending that time grooming our clients instead? Why do we think we can save any money by doing our own taxes when an accountant specializes in saving the tax dollar? Then there's the "virtual assistant" who will keep the business going while we are down in the Caribbean living off the big bucks!

If you missed this excellent workshop, take heart, Laurel offers lots of other products to help us advance our technical communication businesses. For more information, see her Web site www.seizeyourdays.com.


Update from the November panel discussion on contracting

Thank you to everyone who served on the panel and everyone who attended this program evening! The discussion and information were enjoyable and very useful.

Some of our panel members have provided the links you asked for. See the Ottawa Links section on the Links page for some resources that can help you begin your career as a contractor.

- Visnja Beg
STCEO president

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