A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 Pillars of Public Speaking

In this article, you’ll learn what ethos, pathos, and logos are (the secret!), and what every speaker needs to understand about these three pillars of public speaking.

Dlugan, Andrew. Six Minutes (2010). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric


Evaluating DITA-Enabled Content Management Systems   (PDF)

This presentation describes how authoring DITA topics and managing those topics in a content management system (CMS) will contain translation costs while improving overall information quality. This is not a recommendation for any particular product. It is a guide to how one group built their candidate list and computes return on investment.

Adams, Ann H. XML.org (2007). Presentations>Content Management>DITA>Assessment


Evaluation of Training Programs in Technical Communication   (PDF)

To remain viable in this economy, executives and administrators must produce efficiently and hence must assure sound evaluation of training programs in technical communication. These decision-makers can benefit from the insights of professional evaluators of educational programs so as to establish goals, secure resources, review the activities, and report results. Described and then illustrated here is the CIPP-model to review the activities, that is, the contexts, input, processes, and products. Well-done evaluations lift the level of communication skills, the morale of the students and faculty, and the organization’s products.

Battle, Mary V. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Education>Assessment


Even Excellent Sites Benefit from Expert Reviews

Get the flavor of an Expert Review as Dr. Schaffer points out the strengths and weaknesses of 11 award-winning Web sites.

Schaffer, Eric M. and Phil Goddard. Human Factors International (2006). Presentations>Web Design>Assessment


Evolution to Performance Support: From Help to EPSS to PCD   (PDF)

TimeCorp, a leading publisher of commercial labor management software, has been working to incorporate increased levels of user support within its software interface. In this case study we will present samples of the TimeCorp product support as it evolved over time, from the initial online help to the electronic performance support (EPSS) prototype to the performance-centered design (PCD) solution. The types of information provided in the support also evolved to match the mode of presentation. The documentation team led this evolution within the organization and their roles have changed as a result.

Battle, Lisa H. and Metta Johnson. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Documentation


The Evolving Role Of Writers in Design   (PDF)

The role of the writer is evolving as companies and teams evolve in what they produce and how they produce it. Web products demand the involvement of design-savvy writers, and GUI products in general demand writers ready to work within a design process. The writer not knowledgeable in design or design processes will not be ready to design in today’s software development environment. This paper examines one case study of writers’ involvement in the development of a GUI product and shows through the case study and through helpful tips how today’s writers can make a difference in product design.

Olsen, Eric. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Writing>Design


An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides

“An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides” provides students with valuable experience in evaluating effective PowerPoint backgrounds. The 24 slide presentation includes examples and instructions that guide the analysis of photo backgrounds- their qualities, elements, and effectiveness- in presentation design. Students will emerge with their own “rules of thumb” regarding photo backgrounds and develop standards for the use of background images in their own PowerPoint presentations.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Graphic Design>Presentations>Assessment


Exercises in Evaluating Word Density in Slides

The following 21-slide PowerPoint presentation provides An Exercise[/Exercises] in Evaluating Word Density in Slides. Questions guide students through numerous examples of wordy or sprawling text. Discussion prompts help students consider why and how word choice and streamlining can assist in creating successful PowerPoint presentations. Through the lesson, students will develop their own standards and “rules of thumb” for readability, comprehensibility, and clarity.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Usability>Assessment


Experimental Error: Lies, Damned Lies, and Seminars

One key to understanding seminars, should you fail to escape one before it begins, is realizing that seminar speakers couch their abundant jargon in half-truths. Euphemisms fly by so fast that inexperienced audience members may not be able to translate them in real time -- hence this handy guide.

Ruben, Adam. Science (2011). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication


Exploiting Verbal-Visual Synergy in Presentation Slides   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Describes the most challenging aspect of creating slides for an oral presentation. Presents two principles for creating informative and persuasive graphics. Explains how to use drawing tools to communicate the schema of the slide and to emphasize important portions of the images.

Markel, Mike. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Presentations>Writing>Rhetoric


Exploiting Web Tools to Make HTML Documents Accessible

More accessible documents through authoring tool supports. Exploit mainstream tools for easier information retrieval and document manipulation.

Treviranus, Jutta and Jan Richards . University of Toronto (2004). Presentations>Web Design>Accessibility>Software


Faceted Browsing

Discover what "faceted browsing" is and other Web-focused terms for old ideas.

Instone, Keith. Instone.org (2004). Presentations>Web Design>Metadata


Features of Success in Engineering Design Presentations: A Call for Relational Genre Knowledge   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This study explores design presentations that were graded by engineering faculty in order to assess the distinguishing features of those that were successful. Using a thematic analysis of 17 videotaped, final presentations from a capstone chemical engineering (CHE) course, it explores the rhetorical strategies, oral styles, and organizational structures that differentiate successful and unsuccessful team presentations. The results suggest that successful presenters used rhetorical strategies, oral styles, and organizational structures that illustrated students’ ability to negotiate the real and simulated relational and identity nuances of the design presentation genre—in short, they illustrated students’ relational genre knowledge.

Dannels, Deanna P. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (2009). Articles>Presentations>Engineering>Genre


Fifteen Tips for Effective Usability Testing in India

An Introduction to Usability Testing and Tips for Effective Usability Testing in India. Created and presented by Abhay Rautela at Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, India at Bar Camp Delhi 6

Rautela, Abhay. Cone Trees (2009). Presentations>Usability>Testing>India


Final Cut Professional

An introduction to using Final Cut Professional 4.0 for multimedia video production.

Eisenbraun, Michael and Amanda Metz Bemer. Studio for New Media (2004). Presentations>Multimedia>Video>Final Cut Pro


Find It Quickly: Creating Effective Indexes   (PDF)

Although an index is one of the most important sections of a document, it's also one of the most misunderstood. Many people don kknow what an index is or mistake itfor the table of contents. For those casons, companies often don ‘tinclude indexes in their documentation. Will-written indexes increase productivity by helping employees$nd information faster This workshop provides the basic techniques of cteating an index your audience can use to find the information they need. lbu ’11have time to prepatv an index fmm a section of a document cun-ently in use by a major corporation.

Landes, Cheryl A. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Indexing>Writing


Finding the Best Mix of Paper and Online Documentation: A Case Study   (PDF)

The concept of the “paperless oflce” has become popular with executives who want to reduce costs and users who, often with good reason, refuse to open a manual. Technical communicators, who often understand the practical flaws behind this concept, must be prepared to make smart decisions about what information to present in manuals and what to present online. They must also justljj to management their decisions either to resist moving everything online or tofkd creative ways to do so without forgetting about the needs of the user.

Jones, Chip. STC Proceedings (1997). Presentations>Documentation>Online


Five Levels of Planning   (members only)

The purpose of this presentation is to learn how to plan Agile projects from product vision all the way to daily stand-up and to feel the effect when 100 people prioritize, estimate and commit the plans for a major delivery.

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


Five Tips for First-Time or Nervous Presenters

When you’re giving a presentation, the last thing you want is to convey a sense of anxiousness or nervousness. It’s no secret that speakers who don’t appear calm, cool, and collected don’t gain the complete confidence of their audience. As a result, they lose much-needed credibility and authority with their attendees. But, keeping it together isn’t always so easy – particularly for first-time presenters, or people who are just nervous by nature. What are some of the best ways to keep your anxiety in check – or at the very least, to hide it from your audience?

SlideRocket (2010). Articles>Presentations>Advice>Rhetoric


FLOSS Manuals: Too Good To Be Free

Documentation has to have an aesthetic strategy. Documentation has to be consumable. It has to be friendly, not just in the way it’s written but in the way it presents itself. It should be easy to read, it should look attractive, and it should look like something you want to engage with.

Nesbitt, Scott. SlideShare (2010). Presentations>Documentation>Open Source


Following the Rules

Laying out your poster on a grid establishes limitations for your poster. Choosing a font establishes limitations for your poster. Being conservative in your design choices establishes limitations. Working within limits requires discipline. Setting yourself limitations does not necessarily limit creativity; it can do just the opposite.

Better Posters (2009). Design>Presentations>Document Design>Posters


For A More Powerful Performance, Say It Short And Well

Centuries ago great orators often spoke for several hours at a time. But today, when sound bites on television news are the status quo and complex sociological problems are solved in an hour on a television drama, audiences are most interested in speakers who get their points across in a short period of time. Today, great speakers are noted for their brevity.

Boyd, Stephen D. Presentations (2003). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric


Forming a Policies and Procedures Professional Interest Committe   (PDF)

This session offers participants an opportunity to learn and contribute ideas about forming a policies and procedures professional interest committee (PIC) within STC. The presenter defines 'policies and procedures' and its growing importance in industry. Represents STC’s requirements for forming a PIC. He proposes a mission statement, goals, objectives, and activities for having this PIC. Participants comment on and volunteer for making this PIC a success.

Urgo, Raymond E. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Collaboration>TC>STC


FORUM ’95 Conference Demonstrates International Cooperation   (PDF)

The unusual mix of participants and formats in the FORUM 95 conference supported international cooperation and demonstrated new approaches for professional conferences. The FORUM 95 conference, held November 13-15, 1995, in Dortmund, Germany, supported international cooperation through its themes and organization. Using English as the operating language, FORUM 95 attracted widespread international participation. With the theme of “Disappearing Borders,” the conference demonstrated how limitations in political boundaries, media, and employment locations have shifted during the last five years. For example, registrants from the former East Germany, South Africa, and Estonia brought new perspectives on technical communication. Among more than 320 attendees, 41% were German, 13% Dutch, 12% Swedish, 10% US, 6% British, 4% Danish, 3% Norwegian, 8% all other European, 3% all other.

Reilly, Annette D. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>TC>International



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