“Once in a great while I attend a conference and hear something that changes the way I think. That’s what happened last week at the STC Summit, where Ellis Pratt gave the talk.” Larry Kunz
Providing original thinking to technical communication
Ellis is an well-regarded speaker and panel moderator on trends in technical communication: how organisations can deliver clear and simple information users will love.
The way in which software and other technology is marketed and sold is changing, which means it’s more important than ever to make sure users don’t get stuck, make mistakes or simply give up. This is also true for large IT projects, because research shows over 50% of these projects begin to fail within their first few months.
Ranked as the most the influential blogger on technical communication in Europe by Mindtouch Inc., Ellis’ research into the value of online User Assistance and technical documentation has resulted in him identifying new trends in how to help people complete tasks successfully.
Ellis is a Director at Cherryleaf. He has over fifteen years experience working in the field of documentation. He has a BA in Business Studies, and he is an Associate of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and an Affiliate of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He is also an aikido instructor in his spare time.
“Ellis Pratt stole the show with his presentation on applying game theory to software UA, using plenty of colorful, relevant examples …, and striking just the right balance between theory and practice.” Ultan O’Broin, Director, Applications User Experience team, Oracle Corporation.
“Ellis Pratt of Cherryleaf in the UK made a very compelling presentation on the Changing Nature of Content.” Maxwell Hoffmann, Adobe.
“I’ve never been to one of Ellis’ presentations and not left with buckets of stuff to think about.” Roger Hart
“Ellis, thank you so much for coming and being part of the STC Summit program. I heard many positive comments about your session.” more Paul Mueller, organiser of the STC Summit 2012, Chicago May 2012.
“On behalf of the TransAlpine Chapter, I want to thank you for taking your time to come to Vienna and be a part of our conference. We all had a wonderful time and our conference was a success. ” Janette Lynch, STC TransAlpine
“From consultants Cherryleaf, Ellis Pratt also brings wisdom – indeed, he has lessons on metrics that go beyond their use in technical publishing. First, he rightly issues what he calls ’18 minutes of health and safety warnings’ on how to measure – and mainly how not to measure – productivity. The point, he says, is that you don’t want to be having conversations with management about page count, cost per word, or number of pages put out per writer.” Professor James Woudhuysen, published in ITWeek
“Your presentation was fantastic – you really addressed what our members were asking to learn. And you made it great fun!” CJ Walker
“Cherryleaf also made a great contribution to the conference, with a comprehensive three-hour career development workshop” Stuart Culshaw
“Thanks for giving such an awesome presentation.” Tom Johnson
Ellis has spoken at conferences in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, the UK and the USA, including:
- Society for Technical Communication conferences (in Chicago, London and Vienna)
- MadWorld conference (San Diego) (MadCap Software conference)
- Technical Communications UK (hosted by The Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators)
- Congility – Content Agility Conference (UK)
- TICAD – Technical Information Creation And Distribution (UK)
- Tekom TCWorld (Germany)
- UAEurope – User Assistance Europe (in Brighton, Dublin, Edinburgh and Vilnius, Lithuania)
- Various ISTC regional groups
- Institute for Sales and Marketing Management
As a speaker at conferences and business meetings, Ellis brings humour, real life stories and practical applications to his keynote talks and seminars.
Ellis has been moderator for the panel discussions at the Adobe Day and Congility conferences. This involved pre-conference coordination between the conference speakers over topics that were going to be used, presentation materials and the discussion time available to each speaker.
- How technical content on the Web is turning traditional marketing strategy on its head
- Supporting users on a shoestring
- Planning user documentation when you are a startup business
- The changing nature of content and user support
- Towards an Agile authoring methodology
- Writing policies and procedures – how hard can it be?
- What historical sword fighting manuals can teach us about writing instructions and content strategy
- The Lean manual – Applying Lean methods to technical writing and content strategy
- What user documentation do you need when products ‘just work’?
- Recruiting the right writers
- Trends in User Assistance
- You win! Applying games theories to software user assistance
- Documentation as an emotional experience for the user
- Flow-based User Assistance
Applying gamification to User Assistance. Here is an edited version of our presentation at UAEurope 2011, “You win – applying games theories to User Assistance”. It covers how Technical Authors can use gamification theories in user documentation. The original 45 minute presentation has been edited down to 13 minutes.
The changing role of technical communicators -presented at Technical Communication UK 2011. This presentation was the result of a 5.30pm Friday night phone call from the conference organisers, as their original speaker had fallen sick.
Here is an edited version of Ellis’ presentation at TCUK 2010 on the emotion factor in User Assistance:
He is an author and editor of two books: “How to Write Instructions” and “Trends in Technical Communication”. Ellis has also had articles published on technology trends in documentation in journals such as Intercom (USA), Communicator (UK), The Southern Communicator (Australia and New Zealand) and Tech Talk (Victoria, Australia). He’s also been quoted in various journals, including The Independent newspaper.
Workshops, training courses and panel moderation
Cherryleaf can also provide workshops, training courses and moderation of panel discussions.