Who amongst us would not strive to be that most self-actualized of persons, master of many fields, an intellectual powerhouse, knowledge warrior and universal genius known as a Renaissance Man.
A Renaissance man (or woman) is not simply a jack (or jill) of-all-trades. It’s someone who has an outstanding talents in, and great knowledge of, a wide variety of areas. Leonardo da Vinci is the classic example. He was an exceptional artist, scientist, engineer, inventor, and so much more. He was intensely curious and had a tremendous imagination: the ultimate technical communicator. Using his plans, many of his inventions were reconstructed in modern times and performed well.
Technical communicators are not just technical, and we do far more than communicate. A true technical communicator is a Renaissance communicator, as our talents involve many other professions and fields of knowledge.
Renaissance Communicators are:
- artisans designing, formatting and shaping words and images, as well as sound and motion in instructional videos
- teachers imparting information to others in a manner so subtle and seamless that our students don’t even realize they’re learning something
- architects designing and building complex informational structures
- physicians healing incomplete, incorrect or inaccurate documentation
- detectives piecing together clues to solve the mystery of the product we document
- translators and interpreters of the meaningless into the meaningful
- magicians turning chaos into order and creating guides out of thin air
- craftspeople building, tweaking, and endlessly tinkering with our data creations
- cartologists of information mapping the big picture of a product or service
- code-breakers decoding incomprehensible gobbledygook into meaningful prose
- archaeologists hunting for buried informational treasures
- ambassadors between those who create products and those who use them
- journalists persistently pushing, prodding and probing our subject matter experts with the tough questions
- soldiers in the war on error and confusion
We are the true multi-taskers, knowledge workers, and service bureaus that willingly absorb the pain of misinformation, disinformation and no information to create informational works of art.
Not only are we Renaissance Men and Women, our profession itself is undergoing a renaissance, as technical communication processes move toward separating form from content.
It’s a Renaissance, man.