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Presentations are an interesting genre, since they can cover a variety of genres and purposes. Presentations provide the opportunity to present information in a multimodal format, and often require you to condense information for a broad audience. Within the very broad genre of “presentation” many genres fall with more specific conventions and constraints. Some examples include:
- Conference presentations
- Less formal meeting or business presentations (internal)
As technology continues to develop, you might consider other genres under the umbrella of “presentations,” including:
- Youtube videos
In this section, we talk about the specific genre of presentations, but we also focus on taking complex information (such as gathered in a formal report) and reworking, condensing, and remixing that information into a presentation, a website, a poster or infographic, or a podcast.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
Just like with the other common genres that we’ve discussed so far, presentations are developed for a specific audience. So, you need to consider how your audience might best receive the information that you are working to communicate. Presentations are a great way to reach an audience, and as a communicator you get to explore various communication modes and approaches. As with anything else, what might work for one audience would not work for another audience; think back to the different ways to communicate the process of conducting a Covid-19 nasal test. Each example was effective, but only in the context of their intended audience.
Technical presentations are a specific genre that often take the complex, lengthy information included in a formal report and condenses and translates that information in a way that includes visual and audio communication modes. Consider why it is useful to present information in various ways (as a formal report and as a 5-10 minute presentation). How might presenting information in various ways or formats increase accessibility? How might developing a presentation work towards equity of information access?
When creating a presentation, the principles of universal design are important things to keep in mind. One example might be adding captions if you create a presentation that has any audio component. The captions are essential for any audience members who are hearing impaired, AND they make it easier to absorb content and understand the audio for your entire audience. Remember that universal design means that accessibility of information is an essential part of your presentation: do not think about accessibility after you’ve created your content, but work it in from the beginning and throughout your process.
Technical presentations can vary quite a bit in length and content, depending on your purpose, audience, and context (remember that the rhetorical situation is always relevant!). Generally speaking, a technical presentation will:
- Condense a longer text, such as a formal report
- Summarize the most important, useful, or meaningful information from that text
- Use visuals, text, and audio together in order to tell a story
Most often, presentations work to inform, to persuade, or both. All the things that we’ve discussed so far are important to consider when you create a presentation, including plain language, document design, and considering diversity, equity, and inclusion. Just as with any other genre, to create an effective presentation, you must understand your audience.
These are only 3 of many free tutorials available online.
When creating effective presentation slides, be sure that you balance the amount of information on each slide. Consider how your audience is interacting with these slides: they are not likely sitting down with so much time to carefully read through each one. Rather, they may only have a minute to take in all the content. So, less is often better than putting too much text on any one slide. It’s also important to use a variety of visual modes–such as graphics and images–along with text.
The text that you choose should summarize key points, and the images should reinforce or illustrate those points. Do not make your audience take in large blocks of text. Instead, summarize key questions, data points, findings, and conclusions. Show them examples that help to illustrate these important points, but do not overwhelm them. You cannot include everything in a presentation that you would include in a lengthy report. Rather, you must choose the most important pieces so that your audience has a clear idea of what you want them to take away from your project.
When planning and creating audio, be sure that you do not simply read the text from our slides. Instead, you can use the audio portion of your presentation to further explain key concepts. Give your reader a bit more detail, but do not overwhelm them. A presentation works to create a narrative or tell a story. The audio and text should complement each other, but not be exactly the same (if you’ve ever attended a presentation where the presenter read each slide out loud, you know how uninteresting that can be!).
Finally, consider accessibility when you design your presentation. Create closed captions or subtitles when recording audio, and be sure to incorporate the principles of universal design. Try to imagine how to make information accessible to your audience in regards to your text, your use of language and terminology, your use of visuals and graphics, and your use of audio.
On way to create stronger, more memorable presentations is through the use of message titles rather than subject titles for each slide. It’s important to use strong titles, and a message title delivers a full message to your reader. A subject title is briefer and less specific. An example of the difference between a message title and subject title might be:
How can I protect myself from Covid-19?
A message title is generally more effective for audiences because it provides more information. Further, delivering a full message helps audiences to retain the information presented in that slide and it frames what you cover in that section of your presentation. Remember that audiences must listen to your presentation and read your slides at the same time. Subject titles provide information, but message titles helps audiences place that information into a more specific framework. A message title delivers your message in a more complete way.
Condensing and remixing
While most formal reports use some sort of presentation software and rely on a combination of slides (which contain visuals and text) and audio (which may be spoken live as you present to an audience or may be recorded ahead of time), there are other ways to remix and present information in a condensed and useful way. As technology develops, so does the presentation genre. For example, podcasts, videos, or websites might be useful in place of a technical presentation, again depending on the audience, purpose, and context.
If you are enrolled in WRIT 3562W, you are not asked to create a podcast or website; however, you may come across such genres and want to use them as sources in your own report. And, you will likely want to (or be asked to!) create a website or podcast someday. So how can you begin to take information presented in something like a formal report and revise, translate, and remix it for a completely different medium?
First, consider the rhetorical situation and reflect on your own experiences as a website user or a podcast listener. Which websites do you like best? Which podcasts do you enjoy? Then, do some reflection and analysis and consider the following questions:
- When interacting with a website, what features are most important to you? How are you typically interacting with content (do you want to be able to search for something specific, do you want something easy to skim, do you want to deeply read all the text, etc.)?
- Think of the easiest to navigate website you’ve visited recently; what specific features made it easy to navigate? How did it use text, images, alignment, repetition, contrast, colors, language to help you know how to find and understand information?
- Think of the most difficult to navigate website that you’ve ever visited; what made it difficult? What specific features can you identify or isolate that made it hard to find information?
- Consider your favorite podcast; how does the creator(s) organize the content and present information clearly? How long does it take to listen to? What environment do you usually listen to podcasts in (your car, at home, using headphones, on a speaker while you cook dinner…). What specific features can you identify or isolate that make it enjoyable?
These types of reflection questions help you to make decisions about the texts that you create. They are useful when considering conventions or strengths of specific genres, AND they are useful when you have to create a genre that is completely new to you. Remember that analyzing the rhetorical situation and genre conventions together make it manageable as you approach any new communication task.
Throughout this text, we’ve discussed technical communication as rhetorical, as always concerned with diversity, equity, and inclusion, how we define or set the boundaries for technical communication, and the conventions of common genres. As you continue your education and practice as a technical communicator, or as you approach any new communication situation, keep doing the work of analysis and reflection. Consider how each act of communication engages a specific audience for a specific purpose. Even the most seemingly objective genres require you to make choices: what information do you include, whose voices and experiences do you elevate, how do you take in feedback and revise your texts, how do you approach research in a way that reduces bias and incorporates marginalized experiences–these are all important pieces of the communication process. As technical communication continues to develop and evolve, and as technology and genres also change, keep these considerations in mind.
Activity and Reflection: Presenting information
Together or with a partner, find a presentation (you can search YouTube for technical presentations or Ted Talks). Reflect on the following questions to perform a rhetorical analysis on the presentation:
- Who is the target audience for this presentation? How can you tell?
- What is the main purpose or goal of the presentation? How can you tell?
- What did you like about the presentation (be specific)? What features make it effective?
- What would you change, and why?
- How does the presentation use text and audio together to deliver a message? How do these elements complement each other?
Introduction to Technical and Professional Communication Copyright © 2021 by Brigitte Mussack is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.
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Guide to Technical Report Writing
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Table of contents
2 structure, 3 presentation, 4 planning the report, 5 writing the first draft, 6 revising the first draft, 7 diagrams, graphs, tables and mathematics, 8 the report layout, 10 references to diagrams, graphs, tables and equations, 11 originality and plagiarism, 12 finalising the report and proofreading, 13 the summary, 14 proofreading, 15 word processing / desktop publishing, 16 recommended reading.
A technical report is a formal report designed to convey technical information in a clear and easily accessible format. It is divided into sections which allow different readers to access different levels of information. This guide explains the commonly accepted format for a technical report; explains the purposes of the individual sections; and gives hints on how to go about drafting and refining a report in order to produce an accurate, professional document.
A technical report should contain the following sections;
For technical reports required as part of an assessment, the following presentation guidelines are recommended;
There are some excellent textbooks contain advice about the writing process and how to begin (see Section 16 ). Here is a checklist of the main stages;
- Collect your information. Sources include laboratory handouts and lecture notes, the University Library, the reference books and journals in the Department office. Keep an accurate record of all the published references which you intend to use in your report, by noting down the following information; Journal article: author(s) title of article name of journal (italic or underlined) year of publication volume number (bold) issue number, if provided (in brackets) page numbers Book: author(s) title of book (italic or underlined) edition, if appropriate publisher year of publication N.B. the listing of recommended textbooks in section 2 contains all this information in the correct format.
- Creative phase of planning. Write down topics and ideas from your researched material in random order. Next arrange them into logical groups. Keep note of topics that do not fit into groups in case they come in useful later. Put the groups into a logical sequence which covers the topic of your report.
- Structuring the report. Using your logical sequence of grouped ideas, write out a rough outline of the report with headings and subheadings.
N.B. the listing of recommended textbooks in Section 16 contains all this information in the correct format.
Who is going to read the report? For coursework assignments, the readers might be fellow students and/or faculty markers. In professional contexts, the readers might be managers, clients, project team members. The answer will affect the content and technical level, and is a major consideration in the level of detail required in the introduction.
Begin writing with the main text, not the introduction. Follow your outline in terms of headings and subheadings. Let the ideas flow; do not worry at this stage about style, spelling or word processing. If you get stuck, go back to your outline plan and make more detailed preparatory notes to get the writing flowing again.
Make rough sketches of diagrams or graphs. Keep a numbered list of references as they are included in your writing and put any quoted material inside quotation marks (see Section 11 ).
Write the Conclusion next, followed by the Introduction. Do not write the Summary at this stage.
This is the stage at which your report will start to take shape as a professional, technical document. In revising what you have drafted you must bear in mind the following, important principle;
- the essence of a successful technical report lies in how accurately and concisely it conveys the intended information to the intended readership.
During year 1, term 1 you will be learning how to write formal English for technical communication. This includes examples of the most common pitfalls in the use of English and how to avoid them. Use what you learn and the recommended books to guide you. Most importantly, when you read through what you have written, you must ask yourself these questions;
- Does that sentence/paragraph/section say what I want and mean it to say? If not, write it in a different way.
- Are there any words/sentences/paragraphs which could be removed without affecting the information which I am trying to convey? If so, remove them.
It is often the case that technical information is most concisely and clearly conveyed by means other than words. Imagine how you would describe an electrical circuit layout using words rather than a circuit diagram. Here are some simple guidelines;
The appearance of a report is no less important than its content. An attractive, clearly organised report stands a better chance of being read. Use a standard, 12pt, font, such as Times New Roman, for the main text. Use different font sizes, bold, italic and underline where appropriate but not to excess. Too many changes of type style can look very fussy.
Use heading and sub-headings to break up the text and to guide the reader. They should be based on the logical sequence which you identified at the planning stage but with enough sub-headings to break up the material into manageable chunks. The use of numbering and type size and style can clarify the structure as follows;
- In the main text you must always refer to any diagram, graph or table which you use.
- Label diagrams and graphs as follows; Figure 1.2 Graph of energy output as a function of wave height. In this example, the second diagram in section 1 would be referred to by "...see figure 1.2..."
- Label tables in a similar fashion; Table 3.1 Performance specifications of a range of commercially available GaAsFET devices In this example, the first table in section 3 might be referred to by "...with reference to the performance specifications provided in Table 3.1..."
- Number equations as follows; F(dB) = 10*log 10 (F) (3.6) In this example, the sixth equation in section 3 might be referred to by "...noise figure in decibels as given by eqn (3.6)..."
Whenever you make use of other people's facts or ideas, you must indicate this in the text with a number which refers to an item in the list of references. Any phrases, sentences or paragraphs which are copied unaltered must be enclosed in quotation marks and referenced by a number. Material which is not reproduced unaltered should not be in quotation marks but must still be referenced. It is not sufficient to list the sources of information at the end of the report; you must indicate the sources of information individually within the report using the reference numbering system.
Information that is not referenced is assumed to be either common knowledge or your own work or ideas; if it is not, then it is assumed to be plagiarised i.e. you have knowingly copied someone else's words, facts or ideas without reference, passing them off as your own. This is a serious offence . If the person copied from is a fellow student, then this offence is known as collusion and is equally serious. Examination boards can, and do, impose penalties for these offences ranging from loss of marks to disqualification from the award of a degree
This warning applies equally to information obtained from the Internet. It is very easy for markers to identify words and images that have been copied directly from web sites. If you do this without acknowledging the source of your information and putting the words in quotation marks then your report will be sent to the Investigating Officer and you may be called before a disciplinary panel.
Your report should now be nearly complete with an introduction, main text in sections, conclusions, properly formatted references and bibliography and any appendices. Now you must add the page numbers, contents and title pages and write the summary.
The summary, with the title, should indicate the scope of the report and give the main results and conclusions. It must be intelligible without the rest of the report. Many people may read, and refer to, a report summary but only a few may read the full report, as often happens in a professional organisation.
- Purpose - a short version of the report and a guide to the report.
- Length - short, typically not more than 100-300 words
- Content - provide information, not just a description of the report.
This refers to the checking of every aspect of a piece of written work from the content to the layout and is an absolutely necessary part of the writing process. You should acquire the habit of never sending or submitting any piece of written work, from email to course work, without at least one and preferably several processes of proofreading. In addition, it is not possible for you, as the author of a long piece of writing, to proofread accurately yourself; you are too familiar with what you have written and will not spot all the mistakes.
When you have finished your report, and before you staple it, you must check it very carefully yourself. You should then give it to someone else, e.g. one of your fellow students, to read carefully and check for any errors in content, style, structure and layout. You should record the name of this person in your acknowledgements.
Two useful tips;
- Do not bother with style and formatting of a document until the penultimate or final draft.
- Do not try to get graphics finalised until the text content is complete.
- Davies J.W. Communication Skills - A Guide for Engineering and Applied Science Students (2nd ed., Prentice Hall, 2001)
- van Emden J. Effective communication for Science and Technology (Palgrave 2001)
- van Emden J. A Handbook of Writing for Engineers 2nd ed. (Macmillan 1998)
- van Emden J. and Easteal J. Technical Writing and Speaking, an Introduction (McGraw-Hill 1996)
- Pfeiffer W.S. Pocket Guide to Technical Writing (Prentice Hall 1998)
- Eisenberg A. Effective Technical Communication (McGraw-Hill 1992)
Updated and revised by the Department of Engineering & Design, November 2022
School Office: School of Engineering and Informatics, University of Sussex, Chichester 1 Room 002, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QJ [email protected] T 01273 (67) 8195 School Office opening hours: School Office open Monday – Friday 09:00-15:00, phone lines open Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00 School Office location [PDF 1.74MB]
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- Academic Skills
- Report writing
Technical report writing
A quick guide to writing technical reports in Engineering.
The main purpose of an Engineering technical report is to present a solution to a problem in order to prompt action. Technical reports provide a record of your developing expertise and are a legal record of your work and decision making.
What is a technical report?
Technical reports are a central part of your professional success and are usually designed to:
- Convince the reader of your position
- Persuade them to act, or
- Inform them of your findings.
They are an opportunity for you to:
- Clearly communicate a solution to a problem
- Recommend action, and
- Aid decision making.
Technical reports are designed for quick and easy communication of information, and use:
- Sections with numbered headings and subheadings, and
- Figures and diagrams to convey data.
How do I structure a technical report?
Regardless of the specific purpose of your technical report, the structure and conventions rarely differ. Check your subject requirements and expand the sections below to learn more about each section. Download a Technical Report template here.
Technical reports usually require a title page. To know what to include, follow the conventions required in your subject.
A technical report summary (or abstract) should include a brief overview of your investigation, outcomes and recommendations. It must include all the key information your reader needs to make a decision, without them having to read your full report. Don’t treat your summary as an introduction; it should act as a stand-alone document.
Tip: Write your summary last.
Help your reader quickly and easily find what they are looking for by using informative headings and careful numbering of your sections and sub-sections. For example:
A technical report introduction:
- provides context for the problem being addressed,
- discusses relevant previous research, and
- states your aim or hypothesis.
To help, consider these questions:
- What have you investigated?
- How does your study fit into the current literature?
- What have previous studies found in the area?
- Why is it worth investigating?
- What was the experiment about?
- Why did you do it?
- What did you expect to learn from it?
The body of a technical report is structured according to the needs of your reader and the nature of the project. The writer decides how to structure it and what to include.
To help, ask yourself:
- What does the reader need to know first?
- What is the most logical way to develop the story of the project?
Tip: look at other technical reports in your discipline to see what they’ve included and in what order.
Technical reports include a mixture of text, tables, figures and formulae. Consider how you can present the information best for your reader. Would a table or figure help to convey your ideas more effectively than a paragraph describing the same data?
Figures and tables should:
- Be numbered
- Be referred to in-text, e.g. In Table 1 …, and
- Include a simple descriptive label - above a table and below a figure.
Equations and formulae should be:
- Referred to in-text, e.g. See Eq 1 for …
- Centred on the page, and
- On a separate line.
Your conclusion should mirror your introduction.
Be sure to:
- Refer to your aims
- Summarise your key findings, and
- State your major outcomes and highlight their significance.
If your technical report includes recommendations for action. You could choose to report these as a bullet point list. When giving an answer to your problem, be sure to include any limitations to your findings.
Your recommendations can be presented in two ways:
- Action statements e.g. Type approval should be issued for tunnel ventilation fans.
- Conditional statements e.g. If fan blades are painted with an anti-corrosion coating system, it is likely that… e.g. The research has found that the fan hub should be constructed from forged steel and the fan housing should be constructed from hot dipped galvanised steel, but future research…
Acknowledge all the information and ideas you’ve incorporated from other sources into your paper using a consistent referencing style. This includes data, tables and figures. Learn more about specific referencing conventions here: https://library.unimelb.edu.au/recite
If you have data that is too detailed or lengthy to include in the report itself, include it in the appendix. Your reader can then choose to refer to it if they are interested. Label your appendix with a number or a letter, a title, and refer to it the text, e.g. For a full list of construction phases, see Appendix A.
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Technical Report Writing and Presentation Skills for Oil & Gas Engineers and Technical Professionals ILM Recognised Course Provider – Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT)
About this virtual instructor led training (vilt).
Oil & Gas professionals increasingly need to translate complex findings, analysis and recommendations for effective decision-making. If you face challenges in getting your findings into paper, you will benefit from this course.
The Technical Report Writing and Presentation Skills for Oil & Gas Engineers and Technical Professionals focuses on the unique needs of technical professionals who write for both technical and non-technical readers. This separately bookable course will demonstrate how technical professionals can use their technical knowledge and logical edge to write in a reader-friendly style, produce grammatically accurate reports and persuasively communicate for buy-in purposes.
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LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING SKILLS
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:
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- Use clear & powerful language to target and persuade readers for positive results
- Use tried and tested proof reading techniques to check and review documents more effectively
- Identify and avoid common pitfalls in technical report writing
LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR TECHNICAL PRESENTATION SKILLS
- Present and sell your technical presentation more effectively both internally and externally
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This training program has been researched and developed for all Oil & Gas Engineers and Technical Professionals.
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Your course leader managed the Business Skills Unit of the British Council programmes as well as oversee all training-related matters from 1997. The trainer considers himself a trainer first and specialises predominantly in high-level writing and technical report writing programmes.
In addition to conducting training in Technical Writing, the trainer has also been the chief editor for many large writing projects. These include a year-long project editing the entire Start-Up Manual (including the Black Start Manual) for Nippon Oil’s Helang Integrated Platform, a 4-month project rewriting the manuals for the Puteri Dulang FSO off Terengganu, and editing the current revision of the PETRONAS Procedures and Guidelines for Upstream Activities (PPGUA).
To further optimise your learning experience from our courses, we also offer individualized “One to One” coaching support for 2 hours post training. We can help improve your competence in your chosen area of interest, based on your learning needs and available hours. This is a great opportunity to improve your capability and confidence in a particular area of expertise. It will be delivered over a secure video conference call by one of our senior trainers. They will work with you to create a tailor-made coaching program that will help you achieve your goals faster. Request for further information about post training coaching support and fees applicable for this.
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Technical Writing, Presentational Skills, and Online Communication: Professional Tools and Insights
- Raymond Greenlaw
This book addresses four main topics: professional ethics, technical writing, presentation skills, and online writing. These topics are woven throughout the book and some of them are the main subjects of one or more chapters. The overarching theme of this book is to provide well-tested, best-practice techniques and strategies for main topic areas while focusing on information that can be immediately applied to help the IT professional improve a particular skill.
Technical Writing, Presentational Skills, and Online Communication: Professional Tools and Insights is a collection of work aimed at any professional that deals with ethical issues, writes up a technical project, gives or develops a presentation, or writes material for an online audience. While focusing on practical information and process, the goal is to improve the readers ability and knowledge in each of these four areas. This book presents the big picture relating to the chosen topics so the audience will have an excellent framework and foundation in the areas of professional ethics, technical writing, presentation skills, and online writing.
About the Author
Raymond Greenlaw received a BA in Mathematics from Pomona College in 1983 and an MS and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1986 and 1988, respectively. He is a Research Scientist at Elbrys Networks, Inc. Ray is also the Leighton Endowed Distinguished Professor of Information Technology at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Chiang Mai University in Thailand. Ray holds a visiting professorship at the University of Management and Science in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was the Founder and Dean of the School of Computing and Professor of Computer Science at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia. Ray also served as the Regional Coordinator for the State of Georgia's $100,000,000 Yamacraw Project, which was designed to make the state of Georgia a leader in the telecommunications field. Ray has won three Senior Fulbright Fellowships (Spain, Iceland and Thailand), a Humboldt Fellowship (Germany), a Sasakawa Fellowship and fellowships from Italy, Japan and Spain. He has published over 20 books in the areas of complexity theory, graph theory, the Internet, parallel computation, networking, operating systems, technical communications, theoretical computer science, the Web and wireless. He is one of the world's leading experts on P-completeness theory. His books have been used in over 140 Computer Science and Information Technology programs in the United States, as well as internationally and have been translated into several languages. Ray has lectured throughout the world presenting over 210 invited talks. He served on the Executive Committee for the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET and was Chair of the Training Committee. His research papers have appeared in over 85 journals and conference proceedings. As a PI or co-PI, Ray has been awarded over $6,500,000 in grants and contracts, and his research has been supported by the governments of Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand and the United States. Ray is an avid outdoorsman. In 2003 Ray broke the world record for the fastest thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail by completing the 2,659-mile trail in 83 days. His book titled "The Fastest Hike" describes that epic journey. In 2011 Ray bicycled 3,477 miles across the USA from east to west in 36 days. Ray has run over 125 races, including the big four 100-mile runs and completed many Ironman triathlons. He has climbed 6 of the world's 7 summits. He is a NAUI Dive Master. Ray has been to 49 of the United States, 69 of 77 provinces in Thailand, half of the provinces in China, 102 countries, 7 continents and many islands, including Aruba, Bali, Boracay, Bermuda, Cooks, Cozumel, Fiji, Galapagos, Guam, Half-Moon Bay Cay, Heimaey, Isla del Sol, Koh Nang Yuan, Livingstone, Magdelena, Palau, Peleliu, Reunion, Similian, Tahiti, Tobago and US Virgin Islands, among others. He has traveled about 2,000,000 miles.
In this Book
- Ethics for the IT Professional
- Online-Communication Forums
- Comments on Manuscript Preparation
- Structure of a Technical Paper
- Ethical Issues in Writing
- Professional Communication
- Documenting an Event, and Reports
- Fundamentals of Presentation
- Delivering a Presentation and More
- Writing a Résumé
- Introduction to LATEX
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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)
Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.
At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.
Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.
Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.
Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.
You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:
Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event
Making a toast at a dinner or event
Explaining projects to a team
Delivering results and findings to management teams
Teaching people specific methods or information
Proposing a vote at community group meetings
Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors
Why are presentation skills important?
Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.
No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:
Enriched written and verbal communication skills
Enhanced confidence and self-image
Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
Better motivational techniques
Increased leadership skills
Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity
The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.
Effective presentation skills
Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.
How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.
Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.
The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.
How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.
Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.
Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.
During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.
Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.
Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.
Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.
Understanding an audience
When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.
Learn more about presentation skills from industry experts at SAP:
How to improve presentation skills
There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:
Work on self-confidence.
When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.
Develop strategies for overcoming fear.
Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.
Learn grounding techniques.
Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.
Learn how to use presentation tools.
Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:
Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize
Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy
PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations
Practice breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain. For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.
Tips to help you ace your presentation
Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.
Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.
Become familiar with the layout of the room.
Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.
Listen to presenters ahead of you.
When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.
Use note cards.
Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.
Learn to deliver clear and confident presentations with Dynamic Public Speaking from the University of Washington. Build confidence, develop new delivery techniques, and practice strategies for crafting compelling presentations for different purposes, occasions, and audiences.
Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.
Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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A Comprehensive Guide To Technical Report Writing Skills
All you need to know about technical writing and technical report writing skills..
As the word suggests Technical Writing is writing that involves a particular art, craft, subjects, or techniques. Technical Writing is a specified way of writing a given piece of information in such a way that it is free of any technical jargon and the only technical knowledge of any specific field and facts are stated in a simpler and less complex form to its targeted readers.
Technical Writing acts as a bridge between the specified readers for which the piece is specifically written and the technicians who have developed or produced that product or UI . Technical Writing summarizes the important points of the product that needs to be known by its users or readers in a way that can be understood by people of any background, language, or ethnicity easily.
Examples of Technical Writing is; Annual Report, Books, Computer Hardware Guide, Magazine, Newspaper letters, Organizational Manuals, Articles, Software Guides, Technical Reports, etc.
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Technical Writing Course
All you need to know about the Technical Report Writing can be put under 4 different categories:
Technical Report Writing
- What is Technical Report Writing Skills?
Why should you acquire Technical Report Writing Skills?
Who can become a technical report writer, free technical writing e-book.
Learn Basic Technical Writing With Our E-Book
Technical Report Writing is writing where you prepare a report from given or known information conveying all the important data and technical knowledge required to be understood by its readers or users.
Technical Report Writing should have the following structure:
Must read: Technical Report Writing Today: What you need to know!
With the increase in scientific research, developments of various software and products, the career opportunities for the Technical Report Writers are said to be rising rapidly. Excessive Globalization and Digitalization have led to an increase in the dependency of people around the globe on our gadgets for work, education, entertainment, and from ordering home delivery of luxury items to availing the basic necessities at home.
The definition of everything is changing due to the situation created because of the pandemic, we are living in for more than a year. From the ways of marketing to the means and techniques of sale, level of entertainment, and the depth of the new discoveries, everything is leading towards our more reliability of the digital contents and less one-to-one human interaction. That makes being a Technical Report Writing one of the fastest-growing career opportunities.
Also, read about Technical Writing courses as a first step to building yourself a prolific career in technical writing
Technical Report Writing Skills
Technical Report Writing Skills is a set of skills required to become a Technical Report Writer and succeed in the profession of Technical Writing.
The basic skills involved in the preparation of a professional Technical Report Writing are as follows;
Solid written and verbal communication skill-
For writing a professional Technical Report, you need to have good verbal communication skills as the instructions and technical information that need to be reflected in your writing is going to be dictated by the technical experts who created or made the product.
Technical knowledge is not enough for good Technical Report Writing as the user or reader needs to understand the language, concept, and usefulness of the developed UI or product properly. For better understanding, the written piece must be articulated according to the nature and intentions of the targeted group and their general behavior. That makes good writing skills a very important skill for Technical Report Writing.
A strong technical mindset with the ability to learn new technologies-
Technical Report Writing doesn’t involve any flowery language or personal opinions. Technical Report Writing is a skill that requires a quality knowledge and understanding of the techniques and interest in the new technologies. As the topic dealt with in these writings are only facts and figures, that is why a strong technical mindset becomes an important skill in representing the true knowledge of the papers.
Super skills in using technical documentation and related software
Technical Documentation tells the architecture, functionality, or creation of the created product or developed software to its users. It’s something like a how-to guide or instructions where how the said product is going to be used or operated is explained to its targeted consumers. To become a Technical Writer, you need to have the ability and skills to describe the use or functioning of the given product in a precise and accurate manner with a complete understanding of the product and its targeted user.
Ability to write clearly and concisely for the intended audience
Technical Writing as discussed earlier is writing that involves 4 C’s – Clear, Concise, Correct, Careful. The Technical Writer needs to be clear with his/her idea of where the report is going, providing all the information and facts concisely, using the correct terms and data, and be careful with the easy readability, understandability while being super informative at the same time.
A Technical Writer works with many technical professionals, observes and understands their work very closely so that they will be able to articulate the whole process and data in their report precisely and easily. A Technical Writer needs to have Team playing skills to gain long-term success in the projects and life.
Ability to multitask
The Technical Report Writer needs to be able to work on multiple projects at the same time. Big companies sometimes provide you with multiple projects with different techniques to be able to handle that level of pressure and still be able to complete their job accurately is a must skill.
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Writing Skills are taught to us right from our schools, but the difference between Writing Skills and Technical Report Writing Skills is that in writing skills you are taught to write a personal essay or report based on your opinions, experience, or judgments but in Technical Report Writing Skills you learn to write professional reports based on the verified information and accurate data, according to the mindset and the requirements of the target readers or users.
In Technical Report Writing, you need to prepare a precise and user-friendly report so that there is no chance of any miscommunication between the developers of the given product or software and the reader of that report. It is the art of preparing jargon-free, useful, and informative reports.
These are the perks of learning the skill of Technical Report Writing –
- Technical Report Writing Skills helps you present a technical professional or educational report precisely and with complete accuracy. This kind of ability can add a golden star to your resume or grades.
- Once in a survey, it was found that Written Communication skills are always at the top priority of an employer’s wish list. So if you apply for a job and have a certification in Technical Report Writing Skills then there are higher chances for your employer to put you on their “preference list”.
- Good Writing Skills are often a consideration in a professional promotion. An ability to prepare a report with conciseness and correctness presents you as a skillful professional in the office with a clarity of his/her work and words.
- Many Corporations and Companies look and hire a skillful professional with Technical Report Writing Skills who can prepare reports for their developed products or software with simple usability and easy readability. Working with such companies as a permanent Technical Writer not only provides you a steady monthly income but also secures many additional employee benefits.
- You can opt to freelance with your Technical Report Writing Skills and enjoy the pleasure of work-from-home or you could also take multiple projects at the same time if you are capable of producing quality reports for all of them on time.
- As the name suggests this Report Writing Skill is solely dedicated to technical fields so if you are a technology enthusiast and love technology or new techniques, then you can take the Technical Report Writing Skills to become a Technical Report Writer.
Any individual with good Technical Communication Skills can become a Technical Report Writer but to have good technical knowledge you need to be either a student of engineering/computer applications or have a strong passion for new techniques and technology to acquire sufficient knowledge and a solid interest to keep acquiring the knowledge of Technical fields.
Technical Report Writing involves writing a report with easier readability, but at the same time providing all the information required to be communicated to the reader or the user of the product or the software in a less complicated and precise form. All technical jargon, terms that can be misleading or have a risk of being misinterpreted is avoided and a very practical, professional, and clear report is prepared by the Technical Writer.
For doing these a technical professional needs to be well qualified and skillful with his/her words, verbal or written too, as at first he/she needs to take all the notes and guidance from the technical experts by trying to avoid any misuse, omission, or overuse of words and data and then communicate that knowledge in a way that people of all diversity and background can easily understand it.
So, in short, you need to have the following qualification to become a Technical Writer:
- Degree in Engineering or Computer Application
- Good verbal and writing communication skills
- Interest and Passion for Technologies with a Certification in Technical Report Writing from a qualified institution.
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Advanced Technical Report Writing and Presentation Skills
This course provides technical professionals with the written communication skills to structure and write effective reports confidently, competently and persuasively.
An effective business report captures and provides the right level of information on findings or projects accurately and logically.
Report Writing for Technical Professionals is designed to help technical professionals improve report writing skills, sharpen up and deliver reports that are concise, logical and persuasive. One thing is for sure, the more effective reports are, the greater the chances for a successful outcome.
Technical writing involves the ability to understand technical language as well as being able to express that knowledge in a clear, concise, and coherent manner. Our two day report writing course is extremely practical giving participants the opportunity to analyse technical writing in terms of language, grammar and style.
Delegates will have to identify three things they can implement in their workplace immediately upon their return. They will be encouraged to discuss these with their Manager or Supervisor when they get back to work.
- Write for a particular target audience, and adapt the same material for different audiences.
- Formulate the purpose and goal of the writing, and develop an approach and method of persuading the audience of your main points.
- Order and structure the material and the flow of information in a manner to support your argument.
- Given the purpose and the persuasive message, create a report outline, and know how the various sections are going to link together to support the persuasive message.
- Recognise the value of writing in plain English.
- Recognise the value of visual material in technical reports, and be to match the verbal message with a graphical message
- Recognise the importance of layout, and the non-verbal messaging in the preparation of reports.
- Write effective technical reports and procedures that cater to the needs of their target audience
- Present complex experimental data in a logical, clear and concise manner making optimal use of graphs, charts and tables
- Build credibility by following the conventions of scientific writing to support explanations and arguments
- Ensure technical documents achieve maximum impact by efficiently structuring the data and avoiding common written English mistakes
- Analyze experimental data using the principles of statistical analysis
New skills you will learn:
- Preparation, planning and research
- Identifying the purpose of the report
- The challenges of presenting technical information
- Effective report writing fundamentals
- Using relevant and appropriate language
- Proof-reading and editing
Who is this Training Course for?
- Heads of Engineering Departments
- Project Managers
- Electrical Engineers
- Civil Engineers
- Mechanical Engineers
- Plant Engineers
- Production Engineers
- Graduate engineers
- And anyone interested in improving their report writing and presentation skills
The Course Content
Module 1: Defining the Features of Technical Writing
- Principles and Strategies of Technical Report
- Knowing Your Audience, Purpose and Length of Report
Module 2: Formatting Technical Reports
- Headings, Chapters and sections
- Running headers and footers
- Types of reports and templates to use
Module 3: Get to the Point-Discovering the Main Idea and Arranging Details in Logical Sequence
- Writing styles & techniques
- The 12 golden rules of Writing
Module 4: It Takes Two- The Importance of Audience Awareness
- Focus on your audience’s needs
- Deter word choice, tone, and amount of details to include
Module 5: Style of Writing
- Writing Clear Sentences and paragraphs
- Remove Jargon, Redundancy and Wordiness
Module 6: Graphic Details- Punching Up the Presentation
- Kinds of graphics and their messages
- Suitability for placement in a graphic representation
Module 7: Group Practice and Interactive Session
- Spotting common language problems ( lengthy and confusing sentence structures, weak vocabulary, etc)
- Editing Content, Logic and Language
- Guided writing practice with examples
Participants are to bring along their reports for group learning, editing and discussion
Module 8: Putting it all together
- Drafting – the mindset to avoid writer’s block
- Checking your own
- Giving and receiving constructive feedback – what makes a review effective?
Supply chain and logistics management have been among the fastest evolving business disciplines over the past two decades. The continuous arrival of innovative concepts and techniques into the mainstream has resulted in a non-stop journey of learning and development for professionals in supply chain and logistics.
One of the key skills of effective management is achieving success through others, enabling your team to develop their skills and achieve success.
Inventory Management training course is designed for people working with warehouse or storeroom managers who are responsible for what comes in and goes out of the company. They must understand how to lead an efficiently operated and cost-effective process, with the right amount of products available.
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This Intermediate Project Management course is for participants who already know about project life cycles, goal setting, creating a vision, and statement of work, this one-day Intermediate Project Management courseware program will be ideal for further skill development. At this level, participants learn to approach projects at a deeper level, and to function within a project team.
This Project Management Fundamentals course is a basic introduction for administrators or supervisors who may be asked to take on project tasks as part of their regular work. This training program is intended to familiarize participants with common project management terms, identify the benefits of projects, teach the concepts of project life cycles, prioritizing and setting goals, use some basic, simple planning tools, and explore charters and statements of work.
Managers and business owners know that risk management can reduce the negative impact of crises, and provides measurable benefits and cost savings. Our course offers a risk management framework that is flexible and works with any organization. It can be applied to a single project, a department, or an enterprise-wide risk management program.
This course will confidently teach you the essential skills of: estimation and breaking down work; task dependencies; resource scheduling; uncertainty and risk management; communication essentials; creating viable schedules; and more.
Although it does take plenty of creativity to design an event that is memorable and meaningful, it also takes careful attention to detail, adaptability, effective delegating, and a lot of work. This course will walk you through the process of event management, from the beginning stages of planning, to the final touches (like decorations, food, and music).
The International Data Corporation estimates that by 2020 mobile workers will account for nearly three quarters of the workforce around the world. Make sure you’re on top of the virtual workplace trend with this comprehensive Managing the Virtual Workplace training course.
Sitting through a long meeting where participants get side-tracked and issues don’t get resolved isn’t a good use of anyone’s time. With Meeting Management: The Art of Making Meetings Work, learn how to get results from a meeting, whether that involves solving problems, brainstorming, or sharing information.
Budgets and Managing Money will teach participants how to make informed and intelligent financial decisions. Rather than being omitted from the process, managers who don’t have a background in finance can fully participate in budgeting decisions and exercises once they have completed this training course.
Whether you are newly promoted or an experienced supervisor, the transition from being part of a team to leading one comes with a steep learning curve and can be extremely stressful. You may have reached where you are by hard work and technical skills but leading a team to improve results for the company requires a whole different skill set.
As a supervisor, the success of your organization rests in your hands. This course provides you with the opportunity to develop highly effective and essential supervisory skills that will strengthen team work and organizational success. Also, this course will help you manage everyday operations with greater ease. Furthermore, it will help you leverage both your managerial and people skills to meet your new challenges as the 21st century supervisor.
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International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 5, Issue 5, May-2014 1299
Technical Report Writing and Presentation: A Necessary Tool for Effective Engineering Practice and Technological Advancement
Department of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Anambra State University, Uli Nigeria.
ABSTRACT: Technical report writing and presentations are the backbone of interdisciplinary communications among professionals in all areas of business and government activities. They are effective tools for selling an idea or product, out ling a plan or procedure, or explaining a problem and the recommended solutions. This paper therefore, discuses how a professional engineer, scientist or technologist should take advantage of the tool by being convinced of the importance of writings and presentations, understanding the related human interfaces, and appreciating the scope and relationship of the various elements that must be considered.
Key words: writing, communication, presentation, visual aids, technical, audience, report., 1. introduction.
The inability of the average engineering graduate to convey his ideas or plans to others is not only a handicap to himself, personally, but it is one reason that the profession is not recognized as one of the learned professions today as expressed by Harrington (1950). Most engineers and scientists devote all the time they have to study professional theories and advancement, but fail to recognize that their ideas are of little value until they can be transmitted to others in forceful and lucid manner. Many engineers, scientist technical managers and other technical professionals faced with the requirement to present a technical paper, explain an engineering proposal, propagate a scientific breakthrough, or outline a management plan can draw upon formal training for the techniques needed to effectively communicate face to face with an audience. Technical report writing and presentations are a vital aspect of almost every phase of governmental, industrial, and academic worlds. Various establishments use highly sophisticated presentations to sell their products or services to potential customers. Likewise, government agencies, companies and non-governmental establishments use technical writing and presentations to outline and explain proposals for initiating new projects and to report progress and achievements in those projects as they proceed and even after they have been completed Technical report writing and presentations can also be used in (i) Describing a new engineering technical policy or organization. (ii) Defining the scope and requirements of a new engineering / technical or manufacturing project. (iii) Reporting the results of a laboratory experiment, project design and report, or analytical study. (iv) Describing the plans for a new project or special facility. (v) Presenting papers at conferences or symposia/seminars.
IJSER © 2014 http://www.ijser.org
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For effectiveness of any technical report writing and presentation as modeled by Woelfle (1975), it must be tailored to the requirements and conditions of a particular application. Such tailoring requires effective consideration of several variables, such as the size and nature of the audience, the venue or location and characteristics of the facilities to be used, the types and quality of the visual aids that can be prepared and used, finally, the amount of time allocated and money available for the presentation. The class and quantity of information that will be collected from the presentation, the availability of existing materials, and the length of time available for the preparation must also be considered. Since so many parameters are to be taken into consideration, careful planning is a necessary ingredient for all effective technical report writing and presentations. In planning technical report writing and presentations, one must first and foremost take into consideration the audience to be addressed. Since the whole purpose of a presentation is to communicate particular information to the audience, the presenter should know as much as possible about his particular audience and then tailor his presentations accordingly. The attitude of the audience is also of great importance to be considered because the approach for a “friendly” audience would be significantly different than for the same subject presented to an “unfriendly” or “skeptical” audience. The size of the audience must not be overlooked since it has a significant impact on planning a presentation. Other factors are the anticipated physical and psychological environments, the length of presentation or writing and the time of the day scheduled for the technical presentation. These factors allow the presenter to maximize the effectiveness of his presentation for his specific audience. Visual aids’ usage is also a major ingredient to be considered in planning and executing a technical presentation. The processes and equipment used to prepare and utilize visual aids have evolved rapidly over the past few years. The most widely used now is power point technique with the aid a computer and an overhead projector. Finally, referencing and citations are very necessary aspects of technical report writing and presentation to be considered for effective planning and execution of any presentation. As established by Maxine et al. (1996) and Kelvin et al. (2003), there are different methods of referencing nowadays depending on what subject the author is actually writing on. These are, (1) IEEE- Institute of Electrical Electronic Engineers’ style, (2)The Oxford style, (3) MLA- Modern Language Association style, (4) APA- American Psychological Association style, (5) The Harvard System, (6) CBE- The Council of Biology Editors style, (7) AWC- Alliance for Computer and Writing’s style. Madueme (2008) stated that referencing and citations give credibility to technical reports, reflect the thoroughness, quality and originality
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are assured through citations. Odinma (2008) is of the opinion that a good technical report writing and presentation should therefore be devoured of plagiarism, contain adequate references / citations and must contain something new or original.
2. MODELLING A TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING / PRESENTATION
It is tempting to believe that there is a secret formula for writing technical papers and that if you could just discover it, your life would be much easier as opinioned by Maxine et al. (1996). Assurance is hereby given to every engineering personnel that no such formula exists, and no one is a failure because he has not discovered one. Nevertheless, researchers who have studied the process of composing, agree that writers do seem to follow particular patterns of behavior comparable to those that occur in other creature activities. The procedure for modeling technical report writing could be based on the structure developed by Maxine et al. (1996).
PREPARING PLANNING DRAFTING INCUBATIONS
Revising editing, proof reading presentation, preparing : in this stage, the writer reads, brainstorms, and interacts with people in order to decide what he wants to write about and generates ideas about it., planning: the writer in this stage develops his ideas and organizes his materials. he does his by preparing working lists, outlines summaries and charts., drafting: the writer here starts to put words down on paper. one may compose one or more.
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 5, Issue 5, May-2014 1302
drafts, rethinking and remodeling or reshaping his works as he deems necessary.
INCUBATING: Here, the writer takes his time off to digest his ideas. Solutions or better ideas could come in during his period.
Revising, editing and proof reading: in this stage the author reviews what he has written, revising to make changes in topic/organization, or audience adaptation, editing to make small changes in style and readability and finally, proofreading to get rid of some mechanical problems such as spelling and punctuation errors., 3. classification of technical report writing / presentations technical report writing and presentations take the form of official letters, memorandum reports, research proposals, project/contract proposals, tendering letter, engineering design reports, results and discussions, journal paper publications, seminar or conference presentation, organization of meetings etc. each of these classes has a format, language, style and mode of representation different from others..
Experience has shown that engineers, technologist, scientists, engineering and science students lack the special skill in technical communication. In most cases their write – ups and presentations lack the right words, phrases and style most essential for expressing ideas or results from investigation tests, experiments or projects. It is also true that many engineers have lost most tenders to improper technical proposal presentation or tendering method. Students of engineering most times mess up their reports in their industrial training reports, seminars, projects even laboratory tests’ reports and end up making themselves laughing stocks. At this stage a look is taken at some of the classes of technical reports that are commonly used. • MEMORANDUM REPORTS: Memorandum report usually called memo is normally written to a specific person or group of persons concerning a familiar topic to both the writer and recipient. • RESEARCH PRPOSAL: A research proposal is normally given to an undergraduate or a post graduate student as a prelude to his or her project or thesis as the case may be by his or her supervisor. • PROJECT: This is a write-up of an independent research work for oral examination of an undergraduate student for award of a degree. • THESIS OR DISSERTATION: Thesis or dissertation is a report of an independent research for export assessment and eventual oral examination of a post-graduate student for award of a higher degree. • TECHNICAL REPORT: A technical report is a report normally written at the end of a project. It is almost same as a memorandum but it is normally a more complete document than a memorandum.
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• TERM PAPER: This is normally a write- up given to under graduates during their course of study. It is almost same as a project only that is normally on a sub-topic and never defended. • CONTRACT PROPOSAL OR SIMPLY A PROPOSAL: This is usually an appeal letter i.e. report written to a sponsor soliciting for a financial support. This is normally to convince the sponsor of the value of your idea and to convince him that your company has capabilities (manpower) and facilities to deliver the expected results. • ENGINEERING DESIGN REPORT: The intention of a design report is to communicate information on engineering design of components, infrastructure, equipment etc. normally submitted to government or commercial establishment. One major feature is its self-explanatory nature and must contain all relevant information necessary for the design to be carried out by competent persons. The format or structure of each of the above discussed classes differ from each other and are properly documented by Kelvin et al. (2003) and Obi (2009).
4. IMPORTANCE OF TECHNICAL REPORT WRITING AND PRESENTATIONS.
(a)Technical writing and presentations contain expository materials, they are often persuasive, and frequently involve audio-visual aids. They normally have the serious purpose of acquainting an audience with information about a specific matter, often with the intent of aiding or influencing decision making. (b)Good technical writing and presentations are the mark of a true professional. As your engineering career progresses, the more presentation (both oral and written) you give, the more you are promoted and the more success you make in your field. Presentations could be made inside and outside your organization, such as Professional Societies, Schools, NGOs etc. Much of your success professionally depends on the effectiveness of the writings and presentations you make at group problem – solving sessions within your organization or professional body. (c)Successful presentations are avenues of advancement. Technical writings and presentations often occur at times of crucial importance to an establishment, government or professional body. If one therefore, makes one excellent presentation-just one-it may lead to a significant decision about either the individual or the professional body as the case may be. (d)Mastery of presentation is part of your professional growth. Here, the effectiveness of a presenter or writer depends upon what kind of person the writer / presenter is, how much he knows about his subject and how well educated he (the writer / presenter) is in general. Therefore, one’s personal growth is involved. Based on the theory developed by Woelfle (1975),if one wants his standards, the standards of his
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profession, his responsibility as an educated citizen, and his own self-directed efforts to keep growing professionally, he makes it imperative for himself to give serious attention to both oral and written presentations at all times. It is therefore necessarily important for Technical professionals to translate complex and innovative ideas into action. Imagine if all your findings, analyses, conclusions and recommendations were well documented and communicated, what your advancement in technology would have been by now.
5. CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATIONS
It may not be out of place to say that poor foundation in technical report writing and presentations in tertiary institutions nowadays is the main cause of the problem. Some Engineering graduates, Scientist and Technologists of the eighties and back could effectively do technical report writing and presentations, the same could not be said of the present day graduates. Apart from inadequate number of lecturers in our respective Universities who are technical report writing and presentation literate, the die-hard approach of most Engineering Deans, heads of Department and Departmental Curriculum Officers to stick to their old tradition with passion hatred to change remains a pathetic sight to behold. Engineering education is dynamic and usually moves to the direction of the changing world. This paper dealt with what technical report writing and presentations is, it’s importance to engineering practice and education, it is therefore the authors’ view that technical report writing and presentations be given its rightful place in all the Universities, Polytechnics and Engineering / Technical training institutions. In order to curb this anomalies and generate serious interest in this all – important aspect of engineering knowledge and practice, the following recommendations are made: (a) Credit loads allotted to technical report writing and presentations in University and all higher Engineering Institutions be increased. (b) Engineering and Technical Undergraduates should be exposed to technical report writing and presentations from 200 level. (c) Professional bodies to increase marks allotted to technical report writing during professional interviews and on how well a registrable member is in technical oral presentation before registration. (d) University Libraries and Engineering Departmental libraries should be encouraged to update their stocks with recent books on technical report writing and presentations.
 Harrington, C. B. (1950) “A survey and Analysis of the speech courses Taught in Colleges and Departments of Engineering in the United States of America”. PhD thesis, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, p.7.
International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, Volume 5, Issue 5, May-2014 1305
 Woelfle, R. M. (1975) “A Guide for Better Technical Presentations” Publisher: IEEE press New York.  Maxine Hairston and John J. (1996) “The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers” 4 th Edition, Harper Collins Publishers Inc. U.S.A.
Students Engineers and Scientists”. Votex Publishers, Port-Harcourt.  Madueme, T. C. (2008) “Essential of Project / Thesis Writing and Supervision” Paper presented at Seminar on Technical Report Writing and Presentation by Electrical/ Electronic Engineering Department ANSU.  Odinma, A. C. (2008)” Technical Research Paper” Paper presented at the International Conference and Exhibition on Power and Telecommunication (ICEPT 2008)at Abuja.  Obi, P. I. (2009) “Technical Report Writing & Presentations ENG. 306 Lecture presented to Electrical / Electronic Engineering Students of Anambra State University Uli.
Technical Report Writing
Dec 20, 2019
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Islamic University of Gaza Industrial Engineering Department EIND2103: Work Analysis and Design Lab. Technical Report Writing. Technical Report writing. The ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing is of great importance to professional engineers.
Islamic University of Gaza Industrial Engineering Department EIND2103: Work Analysis and Design Lab Technical Report Writing
Technical Report writing • The ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing is of great importance to professional engineers. • After graduation, you will spend a good part of your time explaining your ideas and points of view both to your superiors and technicians under your supervision. • You are, therefore, advised to work on improving your written communication skills, and the preparation of lab reports provides you with an excellent opportunity to do so. • Unlike a newspaper article, a technical report has a certain standard format that must always be adhered to. In addition, the style of technical and scientific writing is different from that used in, say, books of literature. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Technical Report writing (Cont.) • Colloquial language must NOT be used; instead, explain your ideas in simple and grammatically correct English using clear and short sentences. • Try to get to the point directly and avoid unnecessary elaborations and wordy text • Also, report in the third person (i.e., avoid using “I” and “we”) and in the past tense. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Technical Report Contents • In most cases, a technical report should consist of: • Title Page • Abstract • Table of Contents, List of Figures, and List of Tables • Introduction ( Background and theory) • Objective • Equipment • Procedure • Results and Discussion • Conclusions and Recommendations • References • Appendices (if appropriate) Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Title page • It should indicate the following: • University , Faculty, Department, and Course • Title and serial number of the experiment • Student name • Instructor name • The date on which the report is submitted Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Abstract • A one- paragraph summary of the key points of the report: objectives, methods, results, conclusions, recommendations, and benefits. • Make sure that you include specific numbers with your results, recommendations and benefits. • Written for a top executive who doesn't have the time to read the whole report, but who is interested in what was done (methods, results, conclusions) and why it was done (problem, expected benefits). Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Table of Contents ,List of Figures and Tables • Listing the major contents that will help the readers to find what they want quickly. • Following the table of contents, there may also be separate lists of the abbreviations used in the report with their meanings, all the figures by titles, and of all the tables, also by titles. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Introduction • Background or related information • Theoretical information including laws and equations. • Expected benefits of the experiment (what potential applications may result?). Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Objective • Why did you do the experiment? • Briefly state purposes or goals of the experiment. • It should not exceed two fairly short paragraphs. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Equipment • List the equipment used in the experiment and briefly mention the specific characteristics of each (e.g. capacity, accuracy of reading). Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Procedure • A short sequential list of steps that you took to perform the experiment. • Write in your own words the actual experimental procedure followed. • The procedure should reflect the facilities available at the lab. • Any assumptions or limitation should be mentioned. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Results and Discussion • Raw data taken during the experiment should be presented in an appropriate from such as tables, graphs, figures, or photographs. • These must be numbered and supplemented by captions that briefly describe what the figures are all about. • Whenever graphics are used, special attention should be given to the drawing scale in order to yield meaningful curves that clearly indicate the significance of the results. • Miniature and over enlarged graphs should be avoided. • Discuss data with regard to trends, compare results between different methods, etc.; but do not draw conclusions Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Results and Discussion • Discuss the significance of the results as related to the objectives. • Indicate any quantitative and subjective implications of your results. • Identify possible sources of experimental error and in what may these have affected the results. • It may include a correlation and/or a comparison of your experimental results with those that can be predicted from theories or the use of theoretical analysis, and try to explain any discrepancies. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Conclusions and Recommendations • Present what you can conclude from the results of the experiment and the analysis applied in the discussion. • Present the important recommendations that you have drawn from your results. • Make sure these conclusions relate to the problem and objectives. • It may also be appropriate to add your opinion whether the experiment served its goal of reinforcing what was covered in the materials science lectures. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
References • Provide a numbered list of scientific books or articles to which you refer in the text. • Make sure that each reference was actually cited. • For parts of books: • Author name (Publishing Date), "reference book title", edition, publisher and publishing place. e.g: Sherif D. El Wakil; Material Science and Engineering Lab Manual; PWS Publishing Company, Boston; 1994 • For web sites: • Company or foundation name • The link Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Appendices • Appendices may contain mathematical derivations, typical or special computations, figures, tables and graphs that supplement your report. • Usually, it deals with specific phases of your investigation that either support the report or add further information that would be out of place in any of the other parts. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Page Numbers • Title page must contain NO page numbers. • Roman numerals must be used on all other pages preceding the main text, beginning with Ifor the abstract. • Arabic numerals must be used for all subsequent sections, beginning with 1 for the Introduction “the first page of the main text”. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Fonts and Spacing • The manuscript must be typed in Times New Roman font size 12, except where specified otherwise. • For example, headings for Abstract, Table of Contents, List of Tables, List of Figures, chapters in the main text (beginning with Introduction), and appendices must be typed in Bold Times New Roman font size 16. • 1.5 Line Spacing. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Tables and Figures • Go in result section. • Must have headings, above the table for tables, below for figures. e.g: Table(1): , Fig.(1): • Must be mentioned and described in text, otherwise it should NOT be included. • Should be placed beneath or on the page immediately following the point at which they are first described. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Grading Policy Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
Grading Policy • The report must be typed i.e.; handwritten reports will NOT be accepted. • You should submit the report ONE week after the experiment is conducted. • Any lateness after the deadline will affect your grade. • The report of non-attended experiment will grade to ZERO. • Any similar report will grade to ZERO. • Working in a group of 2 students. Ergonomics & Technical Report Writing
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