Using a Storyboard to Plan a Presentation

Melissa Clarkson Think about the last time you began to prepare a formal presentation for a group. There is a good chance the presentation included slides. If you were not reusing an old set of slides, you probably opened up PowerPoint or Keynote, picked a template, and began creating slide content. I would like suggest a different approach to … [Read more...]

‘What’ are my team members? Getting engineers to see the ‘who’: Part Two

Three key practices for getting to know and really communicating with your team members In my last post, I spoke about engineers’ and engineering students’ bias towards seeing ‘what’ their team members produce as opposed to ‘who’ their team members are and ‘how’ they can contribute to making the team and the product better. Teams that only see the … [Read more...]

Yvonne Cleary & Darina Slattery: How Virtual Teams Communicate and How They Might Communicate Better

Yvonne Cleary and Darina Slattery of the University of Limerick present the finding of their research into communication strategies in virtual teams, identifying common problems, and strategies for improving group communication in virtual spaces. Their talk was delivered at the IEEE PCS Conference in Limerick, Ireland in July 2015, and you can find … [Read more...]

Derek Ross: Land Ethics in Technical Communication (Lufkin Award Winner)

Derek Ross of Auburn University gives us an overview of his Lufkin Award (2015) winning paper, "Conversations about place: Dialogic ethics and land ethics in technical communication," co-authored with Russell Willerton, of Boise State University. Here, he defines land ethics, and discusses how they might apply to technical communication … [Read more...]

Brian Price: Peeling Back the Information Onion in Technical and Engineering Communication

Brian Price, Lecturer at Aston University, UK, explores the metaphor of the "information onion" in technical and engineering communication, which helps reveal important strategies for effectively delivering and designing information for your readers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5COPk-bwX0 His talk on "Peeling Back the Layers of the … [Read more...]

Dr. Alex Ilyasova on 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...]

Audience Autonomy: Use It to Power Your Presentations

By Pat Truman Three years ago...and I still remember four simple words a presenter said to me after his presentation. His efforts had engaged us for 90 minutes. We'd learned a lot. Our enthusiasm was audible. The session had flown by. I shook his hand and thanked him. He said to me: "I am your mirror." Mystified by these words at the time, I … [Read more...]

Improving the Q&A Experience: A Collaborative Effort

By Laurence Anthony How many times have you seen a smoothly delivered presentation with great slides and a clear and logical structure suddenly becoming disappointing or disastrous during the Q&A? Everyone has experienced a presentation Q&A session in which an over- enthusiastic presenter dives in with an answer before the audience … [Read more...]

Principles for Reuse: How to Repurpose Documentation for Different Situations

Professional communication often involves producing documentation for slightly different contexts, sometimes over the course of multiple years. Information about the same product, process, or event is often delivered to different audiences and to meet different purposes. Product specifications might need to be developed for an engineer working on … [Read more...]

Elements of Visual Communication

 Melissa Clarkson This brief tutorial introduces the foundational elements of visual communication. The emphasis is on techniques to graphically communicate (A) hierarchy, (B) grouping and (C) sequence— three concepts that are critical for designing effective figures, posters, and slides. Here is an overview of the strategy: Position, … [Read more...]