Spayer Scheduled for Spectrum 2018 (to talk about Gleek Speak and more)

Our own Tricia Spayer is scheduled to present at Spectrum 2018 held March 25-27. This conference is a partnership of STC Rochester and the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with details at the site. It is also STC Rochester’s 59th annual regional technical communication conference. Lines & Letters recently asked Tricia about her scheduled presentations.

What will you be presenting at Spectrum 2018? 

I am doing a progression and a lightning talk.

What is the topic of the progression and what does the progression involve? 

The topic title is – Who me? Nervous? How to deal with fear of public speaking. Many people suffer from stage fright – including me!  A few years ago, my idea of public speaking was if someone overheard me in the grocery store. I’ve been giving speeches in Toastmasters for almost 10 years. In this progression, I hope to help the approximately 13% of the population who have extreme nervousness and social anxiety, which I’ve learned that I have.

I plan to provide tips about breathing, eating and drinking, preparing presentations, exercising, and even dressing, to help channel one’s nerves, and have a great presentation. A progression is usually an hour-long session with several tables in one big room. Participants usually sit at one table for about 20 minutes, then move to the next. This way, they benefit from three presentations in that hour. This year, Rochester Spectrum plans to switch things up by having three progression speakers speak to the entire group for about 20 minutes each. This way, everyone in the room benefits from all presentations.

What is the topic of the lightning talk and what does the lightning talk involve?

The topic title is Gleek Speak. A lightning talk is a 5-minute speech, where the presenter has 20 slides, with someone controlling the slides for him/her, and the speaker talks for 15 seconds with each slide.

“Gleek” means ‘to make a joke.’ I had not heard that term until the day I was putting my speech proposals together. It was Word of the Day on It was kismet! My topic is about writing jokes. Humor adds life to your presentations. You connect more with your audience. People actually pay attention!  The lightning talks are presented at the end of the day, which is a great way to wrap up the intensive learning experiences!

What other years have you presented at Rochester conferences? 

In 2012, I presented “Get What You Want” about creating a business case for tech comm tools.  In 2015, I presented “Top 10 Mistakes Leaders Make,” for the Leadership program, “Great Graphics” as a progression, and “Translating Engineering into English” as a Lightning Talk.

What are you looking forward to the most about your presentations? 

Finishing! 🙂  Seriously, though, I hope to inspire some folks, who might be too afraid to get up and do presentations, to give it a try.

What other thoughts do you have about Spectrum conferences?

The Spectrum conference is a fantastic event. With warm, welcoming people hosting and volunteering at the event, I learn a lot and feel part of a wonderful community. It’s only about a five-hour drive from Cleveland, so it’s an easy road trip. I also get to pick up my supply of Tim Horton’s coffee when I’m there! The after-conference party is a lot of fun, as is the karaoke event. I had never done karaoke in my life before the last time I went to the Rochester Spectrum conference. I got up there and sang my favorite song, just about losing my voice in the process.

The great part was that I was out of town, and would never see most of those people again. It was liberating! I would highly recommend this conference to our members. Go to re-ignite that tech comm spark!

By Tricia Spayer and Jeanette Evans