A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Discover Buried Treasure at Your Local STC Chapter Meetings   (PDF)

You don’t have to be an officer to benefit professionally from your local STC chapter meetings. Start attending your local chapter meetings and discover the many forms of buried treasure. These treasures will result in a new perspective to your writing, an increased library of professional resources, professional writers being hired at your workplace, and the chance to view the “Best of Show” writing. You can reap rewards such as these with a small investment of personal time.

Lunemann, Rhonda S. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Collaboration>Community Building>STC


Distance Learning: One Student’s Perspective of an Online Course   (PDF)

Taking a course online sounds easy and convenient--you can go to class whenever you want from the comfort of your own home. But you have to learn or know the software and tools necessary to navigate in this environment. Also, you give up the traditional classroom, perhaps never seeing your classmates or instructor. Distance learning is here to stay, but online courses may not be for everyone.

Deming, Lynn H. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Education>Online


The Divorce of Probabalistic Mathematics from Forensic Rhetoric (and Why This Matters to Technical Communication)

This paper discusses some of the founding work in the field of probabalistic mathematics (that of Jakob Bernoulli, the seventeenth-century Swiss scientist). By discussing similarities between Bernoulli's formulation of the mathematics to evaluate the probability of any given event and the forensic (or courtroom) rhetorics which Bernoulli had studied in school, this paper suggests that the foundations of probabilistic mathematics might well be rooted in part in forensic rhetoric. This is important to technical communication because it historicizes the origin of positivism in mathematical technical discourses.

Palmer, Terri. EServer (2001). Presentations>Lectures>Rhetoric>History


Do A Presentation At The STC 42nd Annual Conference!   (PDF)

Both old hands and newcomers can create a plan to do a presentation at the next STC Annual Conference. Simply follow this 5-step process: (1) Understand the call for proposals. (2) Discover possible topics to develop. (3) Identify gifts--something of value--to give your audience in your presentation and in your paper (if you do one). (4) Think of appealing gift wraps to attract your hearers and readers. (5) Prepare a thorough proposal for the Program Committee. This process works best in a workshop where the participants can form a critical mass for creative excitement, help one another generate ideas--and have fun!

Dean, Morris. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>TC>Research>STC


Do a Presentation for the 41st STC Annual Conference!   (PDF)

Both old hands and newcomers can create a plan to do a presentation at the next STC Annual Conference. Simply follow this 5-step process: (1) Understand the call for papers. (2) Discover possible topics to develop. (3) Identify gifts—something of value—to give your audience in your presentation and in your paper (if you do one). (4) Think of interesting gift wraps to attract your hearers and readers. (5) Prepare a complete proposal for the Program Committee. This process works best in a workshop where the participants can form a critical muss for creative excitement, help one another generate ideas—and have fun!

Dean, Morris. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>TC>Presentations>STC


Do You Sound Like a CEO Behind a Microphone?

"You have two options when you walk into a room," says public speaking expert Richard Levick about the art of giving speeches. Most entrepreneurs find speech making to be either terrifying or a waste of time. Too many CEOs see dealing with the media or making presentations as an interruption, but it's as essential to doing business as customers. If you can't deliver energetic and commanding speeches, or polished and articulate interviews, then you're short-circuiting your company's future. It's time to do something about it.

Krotz, Joanna L. Communication World Bulletin (2003). Articles>Presentations>Management>Rhetoric


DocBook: An Introduction for Technical Writers   (PDF)

A set of slides that gives a brief introduction to DocBook and why it is useful for technical writers. Also available in PDF format.

Nesbitt, Scott. DMN Communications (2002). Presentations>Documentation>Standards>DocBook


Documenting Sources: Using APA Format   (PowerPoint)

This presentation reviews the purposes of APA documentation, as well as methods for effectively using parenthetical citations and a reference page. This presentation is ideal for the beginning of a research unit in a science course or any assignment that requires APA documentation.

Liethen, Jennifer Kunka. Purdue University. Presentations>Slideshows>Writing


Does "New and Improved" Always Mean Better?

A few years back a Canadian company asked me to review their corporate presentation. They seemed pretty pleased with what they had created but asked if I could take a look at things with a professional eye and provide them with some constructive feedback. I rarely turn down these types of requests because every one of us can benefit from some objective perspective from time to time. They went on to tell me that they had been working hard over the years to improve the quality of their presentations and they even went to the extent of purchasing Macromedia Action (no longer available). This high-end presentation design package featured timeline-based slide orchestration, a boatload of new effects, easier media integration capability and a host of other features to be able to create `professional results in minutes'.

Endicott, Jim. Presenters University (2003). Articles>Presentations>Technology>Microsoft PowerPoint


DSDM: Go for the Nine   (members only)

This presentation reviews the benefits, principles and history of DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method).

Tabaka, Jean. Rally Software Development (2006). Presentations>Project Management>Agile


Dumb-Dumb Bullets

PowerPoint is not a neutral tool — it is actively hostile to thoughtful decision-making. It has fundamentally changed our culture by altering the expectations of who makes decisions, what decisions they make and how they make them. While this may seem to be a sweeping generalization, I think a brief examination of the impact of PowerPoint will support this statement.

Hammes, T.X. Armed Forces Journal (2009). Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


The Dynamics of Collaborative Design   (PDF)

The University of Colorado at Denver’s Internet Task Force designed a home page on the World Wide Web (WWW) for the School of Education, while simultaneously studying the group dynamics of the collaborative learning/design process. We developed a 4-point model which is appropriate for technically sophisticated adult learners, instructional designers, software developers, and information technologists. Critical features are reflection-in-action, building a common knowledge base, taking ownership of an authentic task, and generating research questions.

Sherry, Lorraine C. and Karen Madsen Myers. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Collaboration>TC


E-Resources for Technical Communication

A slideshow presenting various online resources useful to technical communicators.

Smith, Elizabeth Overman 'Betsy'. STC Proceedings (2002). Presentations>Slideshows>Online


The Ears Have It (Notes)

Some people call it blogging out loud. Podcasting is a fairly easy and fairly inexpensive way of presenting your ideas and opinions. But podcasting is more than a platform for reviews or polemic. It's also a powerful tool within the enterprise for training, for marketing, and for documentation. Imagine being able to carry product information or supplementary material with you and not have to worry about stacks of paper? You can do that with a podcast.

Davis, Aaron and Scott Nesbitt. SlideShare (2008). Presentations>Multimedia>Audio>Podcasting


An Ecological Approach to Design

This talk will explain how to use ecological design, which is an expansion of ethnography, to leverage both the rich local information from case studies, and a wider sociological perspective to take account of global realities.

Nardi, Bonnie A. Argus Center (2000). Presentations>Information Design>Knowledge Management


An eCommerce Primer for Technical Communicators   (PDF)

The burgeoning eCommerce industry has redefined not only traditional business processes, but the technology required to impart them. Roles are being created or redefined, where programmers, systems analysts, and engineers now have to have almost as much knowledge of business process development as they do of their technical specialty. The same can be said for technical communicators. Technical communicators involved in eCommerce today need to have an understanding of the major issues involved in eCommerce. This paper addresses five of these major eCommerce areas: the statistics behind eCommerce issues, eCommerce infrastructure providers, managed electronic commerce, business object technology, and data mining.

Le Vie, Donald S., Jr. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Web Design>E Commerce


Editing Audio Using Audacity

TechSmith asked me to create a video on using Audacity to edit narrations. Since the use of Audacity will be useful to many I've uploaded it here too. The screencast covers removing background noise, breathing and lip smacks, dynamic range compression, volume normalisation, fades and de-essing using the volume control.

Ozsvald, Ian. ShowMeDo (2009). Presentations>Multimedia>Audio>Screencasts


Editing Multimedia   (PDF)

Multimedia involves “many” “means of communication” – many ways of getting a message across. Whether you edit the work of others or submit your own work to the Red Pen, a closer look at what is involved in editing multimedia – tasks, process, and skills required – can help you create multimedia solutions that deliver your message with flying colors!

Prince, Deborah Smith and Cynthia C. Currie. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Multimedia>Editing


Editing Strategies for Print and World Wide Web Copy   (PDF)

Editing copy is more than fixing commas and typographical styles. Although many of the same editing strategies apply to both print and online copy, editing Web copy requires carefully considering the Web site’s functions, thinking about reading strategies, making heads and links clear, and considering Web structures.

Simmons, Barbara A. and Donald E. Zimmerman. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Web Design


Editing to Teach   (PDF)

Authors often are unreceptive to editing because they see editorial comments and changes as arbitrary. Editing that offers “rules,” asks questions, gives choices to authors, and provides examples of better ways to express ideas takes very little additional editorial time and enables authors to see editing as a significant contribution to document quality. Writing problems that cannot be addressed during editing can be addressed in brief training sessions that encourage authors to incorporate what they learn into their writing.

Sartoris, Brenda E. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Education>Editing


Education and Training Stem Overview   (PDF)

The field of technical communication is transforming at a rapid rate, responding to scientific and technological advancements, economic pressures, and social changes. This makes our field exciting and challenging. The excitement and challenge is intensified for educators and trainers, because we must stay high on the learning curve in order to help prepare others to meet the challenges and prosper by the changes. At the same time, we must be sure to integrate new knowledge, technologies, and skills with what is valuable in the old rather than simply letting the new displace the old.

Hirst, Russel. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Education>TC


Educational Websites and Gender Equality: An Analysis of How Educational Websites Respond to Gender Differences in Use   (PowerPoint)

The integration of technology into education includes increased educational Internet and web use. However the websites used in and for education are rarely critically examined, especially in regard to gender equality, design, and use. Print has been argued to carry with it certain attributes that disturb gender equality, so it is likely that electronic writing might cause similar problems.

Bowie, Jennifer L. Texas Tech University (2003). Presentations>Education>Web Design>Gender


The Effect of Text Structure on Text Comprehension of Japanese and American Readers   (PDF)

This paper presents the preliminary findings from a study that sought to determine whether Japanese and American readers’ comprehension of expository text is similarly affected by text organization. Results are presented and discussed with regard to their implications for technical communicators.

Spyridakis, Jan H. and Waka Fukuoka. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Language>International>Writing


Effective Interpersonal Skills   (PowerPoint)

Become genuinely interested in other people. Call people by their names. Talk in terms of the other person's interest. Smile. Listen.

STC India (2003). Presentations>Collaboration>Workplace


Effective Presentations

An essential aspect of any research project is dissemination of the findings arising from the study. The most common ways to make others aware of your work is by publishing the results in a journal article, or by giving an oral or poster presentation (often at a regional or national meeting). While efforts are made to teach the elements of writing a journal article in many graduate school curricula, much less attention is paid to teaching those skills necessary to develop a good oral or poster presentation - even though these arguably are the most common and most rapid ways to disseminate new findings. In addition, the skills needed to prepare an oral presentation can be used in a variety of other settings - such as preparing a seminar in graduate school, organizing a dissertaton defense, conducting a job interview seminar, or even addressing potential philanthropic sources!

Radel, Jeff. University of Kansas. Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric>Scientific Communication



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