Energy, Excellence, and Inclusion: Three Summit Keynotes

By Liz Herman

Years ago, on a very early Saturday morning, I was driving to a tech comm event in downtown Washington, DC. Not typically an early riser on a Saturday morning, I was grumbling to myself and asking myself why I had registered for the event given its early hour. When I arrived, I was still feeling a little grouchy. I slunk into the back row of the first session of the day intending to just quietly listen and try to continue to shake off my sleepiness. The speaker arrived and started the session. Within the first 10 minutes, I was up on my feet smiling and laughing and feeling so grateful that I was there. There may have been dancing. Either way, there was meaningful movement and a meaningful message, and I was incredibly invigorated, and it completely turned my day around. This is the energy and excitement our opening keynote speaker Andrew Lawless brings to his sessions.

Andrew’s opening keynote (Noon EDT 15 May) is titled “The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals”. Have you ever wondered how some people achieve so much more than their peers? Why is it that it’s rarely the best candidate who gets the job or the promotion? What makes one company go under in a recession while a same-sized competitor doubles their revenue? Extraordinary people are not necessarily the most skilled or highest educated people. So, what do they do differently? Is there a superpower they have that others don’t? In this energetic keynote, Andrew reveals how extraordinary people become that way – and how you can too.

Our next keynote speaker made me cry. If you haven’t read Judith L. Glick-Smith’s book Flow-based Leadership: What the Best Firefighters can Teach You about Leadership and Making Hard Decisions, I highly recommend adding it to your reading list. It is a powerful story about flow-based decision making. The firefighting experiences that Judy shares may move you to tears. I still remember her writing long after I finished the book.

Judy’s Honors Event keynote (Noon EDT 16 May) is titled “Using Flow to Craft a Life of Excellence in Tech Comm”. Judy says, “You have chosen an amazing career. Because the tech comm profession is ever emergent, your opportunities will never stop. However, you must be resilient and be willing to learn new tools, new processes, new systems, and new content sources as they present themselves. Tech comm requires a love and commitment to life-long learning. To stay relevant, you must commit to being a change agent for yourself and for your profession. Using tech comm as a base, you can create a life for yourself that never gets boring or stale and which contributes to the betterment of others.” In her keynote, Judy will talk about flow and how it fits into crafting a life of excellence. She will also discuss how you can use a flow-based approach to improve your own sense of well-being and to help improve the lives of others.

I can’t keep up with Scott Abel. When discussing this session over the phone, Scott’s passion about the profession came through loud and clear as did his pace. He talks fast, thinks fast, and has an amazing number of ideas at the ready. His prolific tech comm career is expansive and impressive and I’m in awe. As a content management practitioner myself, I am also excited about his new role with Heretto.

During his closing keynote (11:00 AM EDT, 17 May) titled “Inclusive Language: Survey Findings and Best Practices for Content Strategy”, Scott will discuss the importance of using language that is inclusive and respectful to all and will share the findings of a recent survey of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) professionals on the topic of inclusive language. Through an analysis of the survey results, you will gain insights into the current state of inclusive language initiatives, as well as best practices for developing and implementing an effective content strategy for promoting inclusivity. You can expect to come away from this keynote with a deeper understanding of the importance of inclusive language in today’s diverse and ever-changing world.
There you have it. I danced, I cried, I tried to keep up. Please join me during the 2023 Summit in welcoming these special keynote speakers and listening to them share their thoughts on becoming extraordinary, achieving excellence, and promoting inclusivity.

Keynote Speaker Bios

Andrew Lawless is the Founder of the High Performance Consultant Academy™, a Behavioral Scientist and Certified High Performance Coach™. As a finalist of the Kolbe Professional Award, he is recognized as one of the world’s leading human instinct coaches.

Judith L. Glick-Smith, PhD is an author, technical communication expert, knowledge architect, and leadership development consultant for over 40 years. Judy is a Past International President and Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. She is a recognized expert on the topic of “flow” and “flow-based leadership.” She has been studying flow-based decision making and leadership in Fire and Emergency Management Services for over 15 years.

Scott Abel is a content strategy evangelist, known as The Content Wrangler. He has helped countless organizations to streamline their content production and delivery processes and improve the quality and effectiveness of their technical product information. He is a recognized thought leader in the field of content strategy and has been a featured speaker at numerous industry events around the world.


Ready to hear these three fantastic speakers in person for yourself? Register now before the rates go up on 16 March! Don’t forget to book your discounted room while you’re at it!

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