Become a Judge:Chapter membership and extensive experience with technical communication are not required. All judges go through a training session, and more experienced judges on each team provide guidance.
Why Volunteer to Judge?
Who are we looking for?
Top Ten Reasons to Judge in the STC Carolina Competitions
- Make new friends.
- Add a new professional activity to your resume.
- The satisfaction of knowing that you’ve done something for your colleagues.
- Seeing some of the best work our profession has to offer.
- Having an excuse when your significant other says “Honey, let’s watch Ice Road Truckers.”
- Free breakfast and beverages!
- All the intangible benefits of working on a team.
- Having something new to Tweet about.
- Wearing black robes (optional).
- Giving advice that someone will actually appreciate and use.
Adapted from a list written by STC Fellow Larry Kunz.
What do Judges do?
How it's structured
Training day begins at 8:30 AM. We’ll talk about what to consider as you evaluate an entry and how to give the most helpful feedback. And as we evaluate an entry together, you’ll get an idea of how to work as a group and decide on an award.
Each team will review the entries together, before evaluating one small entry. This allows team leads to coach newer judges. Judges will evaluate entries in the context of the entry’s stated purpose. You’ll examine the content, structure, and design of each entry, and might decide on an award based on the individual entry’s strengths and weaknesses and how well it fulfills its purpose.
Evaluation criteria depend on the type of entry. For entries such as reference guides, judges examine how well an entry provides information appropriate to the task. For users’ guides, does the publication explain topics or concepts thoroughly and concisely, and how well does it help the user complete a task? For marketing materials, you decide whether the publication motivates people to buy or use a product. Training materials should assist in the process of teaching.
IMPORTANT: You must bring your laptop and AC adapter (and an extension cord, if you have one) so that you can fill out the evaluation forms during judging. Guest Internet access will be available.
Team or Lead Judge?
When you sign up to volunteer, indicate if you’d like to lead a group of judges.
- Lead Judges: You should have some previous judging experience. Lead Judges mentor team judges, provide direction in determining awards for each category they are responsible for, receive and review the complete scoring sheets and evaluations from your team, record the category awards and Best of Show recommendations from your team, and ensure that all comments and entry materials are returned to the Competition Manager.
- Team Judges: Team judges evaluate entries as part of a team of two to three judges. You and your teammates will evaluate entries, fill out a scoring sheet, and provide comments. Guidelines for how to judge the entries will be explained at Training and Judging Day.