The 2023 Miniconference has a varied slate of presentations and presenters. Take a peek at the slate of awesome presenters coming your way!

Note: Scheduling and presentation titles may change before the conference. Please check back for the latest updates.


  • 8:30 – 8:50am MiniConference Startup
  • 9am – 9:20am Special Presentation Keith Shaw
  • 9:30am – 10:20am From Biology to Writer – Lena Johnson
  • 10:30am – 11:20am API Documentation vs Mainsteam Technical Documentation – Robert Delwood
  • 11:30am – 12:45pm – Lunch/networking
  • 1:00pm – 1:20pm STC Technical Communication Body of KnowledgeCindy Pao
  • 1:30pm – 2:20pm Backward Design in ID – Kristine Fielding
  • 2:30pm – 3:20pm Recipe for Success: Incorporating Cookbook Design Elements into Technical DocumentationJamye Sagan
  • 3:25pm – 3:45pm Conference Wrap-up

Special Presentation- Keith Shaw

Keith Shaw

Keith Shaw will speak about how to focus and grow through your life and your career. His website is He will be running a special discount for attendees of the MiniConference for his coaching services!


Coach Keith Shaw is a Fortune 500 experienced executive coach and consultant, certified human resources leader, former university professor, certified leadership training facilitator and DISC behavior style analyst with 30 years of experience. He helps organizations create great work environments by developing a championship mindset, improving personal development, and developing world-class management skills and leadership practices which help managers become trusted, confident and well-prepared leaders that connect, engage and deliver amazing results. He is passionate about this topic because it helped him find his way from poverty to prosperity. He will provide the audience with inspiration, hope and a roadmap to the life, career and results they desire and deserve.

STC Technical Communication Body of Knowledge

Cindy Pao

The Technical Communication Body of Knowledge (TCBOK) is a source for content in the technical communication field. Established nearly 20 years ago, using a wall of post-it notes, the TCBOK strives to be the central location for information about the profession, as well as for STC content from members, communities, and periodicals. Join us in this session as we talk about the history of the TCBOK, its technical challenges, the content on the site, and how you can get involved.

About the Presenter:

Cindy Pao is a senior technical writer, developing user documentation for complex oilfield software. She has been a technical communicator for over 20 years. Cindy received a B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota and is a Certified Professional Technical Communicator. She has designed and produced online help systems, user guides, job aids, safety alerts, release notes, policy and procedure manuals, and intranet websites.

Cindy has presented at conferences, program meetings, workshops, and webinars many times, including All About the Technical Communication Body of Knowledge, Creating an Online Help System, Developing Workflow-Based Help, New Leader Table: The Basics of Running a Community, Using a Customer Response System in Writing and Updating User Documentation, and Creating a WinHelp Project.

Cindy’s involvement in STC includes Director-at-Large on the STC Board; Chair, vice chair, and member of multiple committees; President, Co-Manager, and member of several communities.

From Biology to Writer

Lena Johnson

Technical communicators can come from any background, and relevant skills lurk in unlikely places. Find out how a biologist became a technical writer within a year and how these skills collected over years of education, hobbies, and non-writing jobs led to a career-changing success. It’s never too late to become a technical writer.

About the Presenter:

Lena Johnson is a scientist-turned-writer. After giving up the laboratory, she now works as a technical writer for a medical device company. She lives in Colorado with as many cats as possible.

Recipe for Success: Incorporating Cookbook Design Elements into Technical Documentation

Jamye Sagan

Cookbooks not only contain a treasure trove of not only delicious recipes and anecdotes, but also serve as prime examples of solid technical communication. After all, recipes use words and images to help explain how to prepare a specific dish.

In this presentation, we will examine several examples of effective recipe design elements from various cookbook recipes. These examples will focus on the following elements of cookbook recipes:

  • Overall layout, including columns and use of space
  • Images, including photographs and drawings
  • Text, including font styles and the wording itself.

As we examine each design element, we will also learn how they help make instructions – the recipe –easy to understand. We will then show how to apply them in our own technical communication deliverables, including job aids and quick reference guides.

Thus, cleanly-formatted and well-worded recipes from cookbooks can serve as the recipe for success in creating clear and concise technical communication.

About the Speaker

As the Pharmacy Communication Advisor for H-E-B, Jamye helps design training programs and materials for various projects and initiatives within the pharmacy department. She also manages communications between the corporate office and the store pharmacies.

An Associate Fellow of STC, Jamye serves as the current President of the South Central Texas chapter. She also volunteers with the Instructional Design and Learning SIG as its Treasurer and Survey Manager and belongs to various SIGs. Jamye has also volunteered at the Society level in various roles, including the Community Affairs Committee, the Community Achievement Award and Pacesetter Award committees, and the Associate Fellow committee. Over the past several years, she has reviewed several publications for the Technical Communication journal.

When not making “sense out of the seemingly senseless” in the tech comm world, Jamye enjoys transforming yarn into pretty and useful objects. She lives in San Antonio, TX.

API Documentation vs Mainsteam Technical Documentation

Robert Delwood

Lead API Documentation Writer

API documentation writing has always been seen as an extension of technical writing. It’s not. The API documentation writing style is distinctly apart from mainstream technical writing. The confusion comes in when switching over to API documentation writing and not recognizing the differences. It’s possible that the writer’s experience now works against them. Writers and managers alike need to know these differences.

This presentation discusses the differences between the two styles, when to use each style, and how to stop trouble regarding them before it becomes serious. This presentation is for writers new to API documentation, those considering moving into this field, managers who have never managed API documentation.

About the Presenter

Robert is a programmer and technical writer, in API documentation and Microsoft Office tool development. For more than 20 years, he’s written Microsoft documentation for device drivers, military application manuals, and NASA applications, including making sure astronauts had clean underwear.

Backward Design in ID

Kristine Fielding

Backward design is not a new concept in instructional design, but it starts with the large picture of the end result. However, by using a “walking backwards” design approach, we can avert confusion, clarify connections among concepts, and enhance a person’s ability to understand and use the information. In addition, we can identify opportunities to embed UDL techniques on micro-levels that blend seamlessly into the overall design.

About the Presenter

Kristine’s 10+ years experience in education as an instructor and curriculum writer, as well as training in ID and UX, provide her with the ability to see an overall picture of a project as well as identify and troubleshoot issues before they emerge. She has a B.A. from Brigham Young University and an M. Ed. from Sam Houston State University. She currently writes curriculum for the Intensive English Program (IEP) at Gulf Language School, part of North American University in Stafford, TX. She also oversees faculty and teaches. Her specialty is breaking down abstract concepts into meaningful and simple steps so that a diverse audience with various English-speaking abilities can see the purpose for the steps and immediately use them.