Don't be a boring accountant: Lessons from a technical author

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Mark Lee talks to Ellis Pratt who explains what accountants can learn from technical authors to avoid being seen as boring

EP:  I follow the “boring is optional” messages in your newsletters and tweets, and, in many ways, I believe technical authors have the same issue as accountants in being seen as boring.

ML: Thanks Ellis. I know you guys don’t write text books for accountants so you’d better explain what a technical author does in your world.

EP: Like accountants, they are good at simplifying and clarifying information. Accountants generally deal with numbers, technical authors deal with words. You’d use someone like us if you needed a product user guide or you wanted some company procedures written.

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By waltere
19th Feb 2013 12:06

WIIFM?

For most forms of communication (written and spoken) I would say the most important guidance is always to consider "WIIFM?" - What's In It For Me?  That question should always be framed from the audience's point of view, rather than the writer's / presenter's.  Of course, you never lose sight of the message you're trying to convey, but you will only succeed in conveying it if you bear in mind your audience's needs and priorities.

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19th Feb 2013 12:45

Spot on @Waltere

100% agree.

The risk we all run is that we write from our perspective without adequately considering the mindset of the recipient.

Mark

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