Building Connections and Growing Together: STC Summit 2023 Takeaways

By The Good Words Team

May 31, 2023

The Society for Technical Communication’s (STC) 2023 Summit provided valuable insights into the evolving world of technical communication. Caity Cronkhite, Founder and CEO of Good Words, presented to a full-house of technical communicators and industry experts at the conference on “How to Make the Business Case for Documentation.” From discussions on artificial intelligence (AI) to the emphasis on inclusive writing, the four-day conference offered a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. We are here to share a few of our key takeaways. 

AI is All the Rage 

One of the prominent topics that captured our attention was the impact of AI on writers’ careers. Various sessions explored the opportunities, challenges, and potential risks associated with incorporating AI tools into writing workflows. While AI is a groundbreaking technology, it is not the first time that technical communicators have faced disruptive changes. Throughout the years, technical writers have successfully adapted to new technologies and methodologies, from the introduction of digital printing to the rollout of UX/UI design. With AI, we find ourselves at a similar crossroads. On the whole, it seems that most writers are not shying away from tools like ChatGPT. They are ready to embrace new possibilities and make work more efficient.

Inclusive Writing is Getting the Attention It Deserves 

Another important theme that emerged from the conference was the increasing focus on inclusive writing. Technical communicators have long been advocates for clarity and accessibility in their work, and now the field is taking actionable steps to address the importance of inclusivity. Speakers highlighted that considering diverse audiences, incorporating accessibility features, ensuring gender inclusivity, and retiring harmful phrases and language in our writing is a must-have for our audiences. By better representing our readers and users, with all their unique identities and abilities, we can create documentation that is more impactful and resonates with a wider range of people. 

Connecting Helps Us Grow 

In addition to the deep dive sessions and presentations, The STC Summit provided an invaluable opportunity for professionals in the technical communication industry to connect with others. In the last few years, the pandemic limited our ability to network and collaborate. This gathering was a breath of fresh air as people felt more comfortable to engage in-person. Attendees were able to hear from colleagues with various backgrounds and specialties and exchange ideas, experiences, and best practices. These interactions will not only foster personal growth, but also collectively propel the field forward. By sharing our insights, we can all become better communicators and stronger advocates for our users and customers. 

As the conference wrapped, Good Words left with a renewed sense of purpose and inspiration. The discussions on AI, inclusive writing, and the power of collaboration reminded us why we work in this specialized field. The future of technical communication holds tremendous potential. With the knowledge gained from this conference, Good Words is even more excited to welcome the new innovations that lie ahead.

In Case You Missed It

If you missed Caity’s live presentation, reach out to us today and get a copy of Good Words’ Documentation Impact Calculator. With that tool, you’ll be on your way to making a compelling, numbers-based business case to your company’s leadership.