WITI WIN SEMI Silicon Valley Breakfast Workshop Recap, November 13, 2015

Hillary Barnhart

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A diverse group of WITI members spent the morning learning how to create digital content to advance their careers and thought leadership status. Participants included project managers, engineers, scientists, marketers and creative development managers who work in the semiconductor and embedded system industry. Two experienced writing coaches, Erica Zeidenberg and Roberta Silverstein, shepherded us through six key steps to develop compelling and engaging digital content using topical examples and amusing live visuals. Both coaches shared personal experiences that helped guide us. Their enthusiasm and delineated hands-on approach allowed each woman to craft a framework as well as define the tools needed for her first or next piece of digital content - be it article, podcast or video.

- "Their tips gave me confidence to write about what I've learned throughout my career and challenges I've faced in my roles," shared Karen

- "I was inspired to write after learning the steps and talking with the other women," noted another woman after the workshop

It all starts with content; something that is useful, insightful, significant or profound. We learned content can be expressed through an article, speech, dance, art, music, play, blog post, video or a digital audio file. For WITI WIN purposes, content "curated" by the author (you, WITI WIN member) and molded to attract the audience's attention.

Step 1: You - The Author, Creator, Artist must decide what subject you want to know/learn/consider.

- What is interesting to you?
- Who might be an interesting person you want to meet/interview?
- What do you already know = what is your personal experience?
- What do you want to read about, hear or view?

Step 2: Research

- Ask questions of: WITI members, Co-workers, Friends, someone you want to meet
- Take notes, Take a photo, Talk into a digital recorder
- Watch a TED talk about the person/topic
- Write by hanging around and observing

Step 3: Advocate

- What does your reader/listener/viewer time want to read/hear/view?
- What's in it for THEM?
- Ask the question: What does this mean for you as the creator of content?

Step 4: Voice

- Fill in this sentence: This (article/podcast/video) is about______. The reader/listener/viewer will walk away with_____.
- Create content in your own voice, the way you speak ; 20% slower &20% clearer
- Find content you enjoy, ask yourself why you enjoy it:
- Practice reading, listening, watching that content normally,
- Now read, listen or watch that content - focusing on the author's style.
- Then ask yourself, do I want to adopt of any of that author's style to my content creation?

Step 5: Styles

A) The 5Ws Style: Who, What, When, Where, Why
- Character, Plot, Chronology, Setting and Motivation

B) The P-A-S Style:
- Problem: Short one word sentence
- Agitation: What happens if you stay in the problem
- Solution: How someone fixed the problem and agitation

C) Wall Street Journal Style (WSJ)
- Set the scene: a person or situation
- Quote that person or another person to strengthen the content introduction
- Use a "Nut Graph" to explain why your audience should care. Include statistics, facts, figures and a different quote from an authority
- Explain the link between the "Nut Graph" and the original person's situation or issues
- Provide a striking, human conclusion by returning to the original person or situation.

Step 6: Composition

- You may opt to interview a person, share an experience, interview an expert about one topic, ask many people about a topic or conduct a Q&A with someone.
- Topics meaningful to WITI women include job transitions, career development, sharing best practices, overcoming challenges, leadership development tips and lessons learned.
- It's OK to be messy, part of the content creation process is to start and do it.

Key Takeaways and Tips:

- Content begins with YOU. Be sure to summarize, indicate the type of content, research, decide on a style and then go for it! Be messy... it's ok, really. Change that "Monkey mind Critic" on your back into your friend by giving it a new job - "Monkey mind Editor"!
- Spell out acronyms or abbreviations, be concise, and apply active language and colorful verbs. Incorporate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) if needed.

Podcasting, soundbites, webinars and videos were other areas discussed during our workshop. Erica and Roberta, our coaches, gave succinct resources for us to learn more about developing podcasts, sound-bites and webinars. They suggested 5 minute maximum Podcasts, and recommended using a 7 minute "teaser" to demonstrate the value of watching longer webinars.

(Note: the information shared above is copyrighted by several sources including Erica Zeidenberg and Roberta Silverstein, for WITI use with permission)

If you could not join our WITI WIN in-person workshop, and would like to learn more:: Look for upcoming announcements for WITI's webinar on the "Six Steps," to inspire and educate the WITI audience on how to develop compelling, and engaging digital content, to advance your career and thought leadership status"

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