Visual Rhetoric: Making Arguments Visually Using Elements of Visual Grammar

When designing visuals, we often neglect to identify a purpose beyond simply representing data. But visuals - particularly data visuals and infographics - are most effective when they are designed with a clear purpose in mind, particularly if they contribute to an argument. Melissa Clarkson's earlier post on The Elements of Visual … [Read more...]

Pitching Yourself, Part 2: Energize your Resume

  In a previous post, I wrote about your job application as an argument, and showed how we could use a rhetorical framework established by Stephen Toulmin to help your cover letters do a more effective job of connecting your evidence to the job requirements. In this post, I want to apply the ACR (Action-Context-Result) framework in order to … [Read more...]

The Impact of Indirect Speech Acts on Professional Communication

We don't always say what we mean ... In fact, we often avoid direct speech acts – saying what we mean – in the service of politeness and conflict avoidance, relying instead on indirect speech to communicate complex thoughts. An indirect speech act, according to linguist John Searle, relies on more than simply the words of an utterance to … [Read more...]

Greg Pogue on Entrepreneurial Communication

We asked Greg Pogue of the IC² Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, who, with Clay Spinuzzi, hosted a session and panel on entrepreneurial communication at ProComm 2016 about the fundamentals of making a good "pitch." Watch his response here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jUtMknh14Q&t=1s … [Read more...]

Sliding Into Excellence: Improving Technical Presentations for Higher Visibility, by Traci Nathans-Kelly

Traci Nathans-Kelly, co-author of the Wiley-IEEE PCS book, Slide Rules: Design, Build, and Archive Presentations in the Engineering and Technical Fields, is giving a live webinar on presentation design, July 28th, 1:00-2:30pm. Sliding Into Excellence: Improving Technical Presentations for Higher Visibility will help you transform your technical … [Read more...]

“What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team”: New York Times

Most working engineers work in teams on a daily basis, making teams important to a company's productivity. Teams skills can be essential for improving and optimizing team performance. In fact, we've published several articles on team communication strategies over the last year, and in its 28 February 2016 issue, the New York Times … [Read more...]

Using a Storyboard to Plan a Presentation

How do you start a presentation? If you have looked for a strategy to plan an oral presentation, you might want to consider Storyboarding, an important technique for planning described by Melissa Clarkson in this post. This technique for developing the structure and content of a presentation helps take you away from slideware to start, so that you … [Read more...]

The Role of Emotional Intelligence and Engineering Communication

Dr. Alex Ilyasova, Director of the Professional and Technical Writing Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, defines emotional intelligence and describes the important role that it plays in engineering work, particularly in communication within teams. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Ynt3pzjpQ Her research on this topic was … [Read more...]

The Elements of Visual Communication, by Melissa Clarkson

Are you in the process of composing a set of slides, a handout, or some other graphical document? You may want to read Melissa Clarkson's new contribution to the site, on The Elements of Visual Communication, where she identifies key strategies for graphically communicate (A) hierarchy, (B) grouping and (C) sequence, three relationships that are … [Read more...]

IEEE USA Webinar: That Bullet Is Not Magic – Avoid Presentation Mistakes and Create New Best Practices

IEEE USA will be presenting a webinar, led by Dr. Traci Nathans-Kelly, on slide design for presentations, titled "That Bullet Is Not Magic - Avoid Presentation Mistakes and Create New Best Practices " on December 4, 2014, 2:00-3:00pm EDT.  … [Read more...]