A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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No More Slidesters, Part 3: Draw in the Open

As discussed recently, many people use PowerPoint to design posters, an act that borders on criminal. PowerPoint was designed for multiple projected images with minimal text, not one large image with complex text and graphics. People use PowerPoint because it’s the only thing remotely resembling a graphics software that people are familiar with. Microsoft Office simply doesn’t have a good, high end graphics component. Publisher comes close. OpenOffice does have a graphics component, simply called Draw. If you are not willing to shell out the big bucks generally required of a professional graphics software package, Draw has several features in its favour.

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


Non-Linear PowerPoint Presentations

This non-linear PowerPoint tutorial will help you plan and create a presentation using some of the advanced branching and linking tools. You'll be able use the common drawing tools to design a simple user interface and navigation scheme.

Guides and Tutorials (2006). Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Nothing Reveals Personal Expertise Better than Questions; Therefore…

Slides never proved expertise. Confidence never proved expertise. Correct answers to unprepared questions prove personal expertise.

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scientific Presentations (2010). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Advice


On the Razor’s Edge: Languaging, Autopoiesis, and Growing Old

A. L. Becker’s 'modern philology' is an approach to discourse rooted in multifaceted explorations of particular texts: a line from Emerson, a Southeast Asian proverb, a Javanese shadow play. He explains 'autopoiesis' this way: 'One of the tenets of the gaggle of ideas calle ‘autopoiesis’ is that languaging is orientational, mostly. A says something to B -- and no ‘message’ is ‘transmitted’ -- rather what A says orients B (and him/herself, of course). But the orientation of A is not the orientation of B, except to the extent they have the same reactions to prior texts (lingual memories).

Becker, A.L. EServer (1998). Presentations>Lectures>Streaming>Audio


On-line Information Development: How to Keep It Clear   (PDF)

There are many pitfalls that await the on-line developer when constructing a web site that includes detailed and complex information. It is difficult to keep the information manageable, navigable and understandable. Charts, information 'chunking' and word maps are effective techniques of organizing complex information in a way that provides increased clarity and usability. Such techniques, commonly used with hard copy, may be modified and combined to provide concise information presentation for on-line distribution.

Mumaw, Rebecca Smith. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Business Communication


Online Authoring Tools: Descriptions and Demonstrations   (PDF)

It’s sometimes difficult to determine which tool is right for a particular job. This demonstration shows the types of online documentation projects that are best suited to each of three online authoring tools: Dot-To-Help by WexTech Systems, ToolBook by Asymetrix, and RoboHelp by Blue Sky Software. Technical writers who have used these products to create online help projects will discuss feature comparisons, system requirements for both author and user of the online documentation, and limitations of the tools. By seeing demonstrations of the authoring tools and the projects created with these tools, attendees should have a better understanding of what each tool can help them accomplish.

Roddy, Laurie C. and Lee S. Turner. STC Proceedings (1995). Presentations>Documentation>Software>Adobe RoboHelp


The Online Editing Evolution   (PDF)

Increasingly, editors are being asked to perform online editing of traditional paper documents, edit documents that will ultimately reside online, or both. Yet many editors are unfamiliar with the new tools and information media that often require us to rethink existing ways of doing our jobs. Editors and other information developers will discuss some of the issues we must face and share their own insights about this emerging area of concern as we move into new, initially intimidating territory.

Hamilton, Karen J. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>Editing>Online


The Only Thing to Do When Disaster Strikes Your Speech

No matter what the distraction, you’ve got to stay focused and continue on. Unless someone needs medical attention, the best thing you can do is deliver the speech as best you can. Improvise if you have to, but keep going.

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


Open Source Documentation Doesn't Have to Suck

In open source, the standards for documentation are typically quite low. But they don't have to be.

SlideShare (2009). Presentations>Documentation>Quality


Open Source For Technical Writing Teams

A presentation introducting how to support technical documentation teams with open-source tools.

SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Collaboration>Technical Writing>Open Source


Open Source Practices and Technical Communication Programs   (PowerPoint)

Structural differences among different resource formats impede efforts to develop a learning community. With OSS, education issues/critique include media, medium, and message. OSS complicates framework issues.

Faber, Brenton D. and Johndan Johnson-Eilola. Clarkson University (2002). Presentations>TC>Open Source


Oral Communication Assessment in a General Education Professional Communication Course: Politics and a Proposal   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

This article discusses ways that an oral communication, Professional Communication course was assessed not only to meet the requirements of the university’s outside governing board but also to increase instructional effectiveness within the course while collaborating with faculty who teach it. As a result of course faculty’s taking ownership of the assessment process, despite difficult politics, the faculty created a new assessment form genre, which allows them to begin assessing required characteristics for the governing board, as well as characteristics identified by the faculty as essential for students to master as they learn specific oral communication genres within the course. The article focuses on assessment processes and politics while also proposing a framework for assessment that goes beyond meeting requirements to expanding the process by meeting specific student and faculty needs.

Pickering, Kristin Walker. Programmatic Perspectives (2013). Articles>Education>Presentations>Assessment


Oral Presentations in Professional Settings

This course is designed to help you improve your oral presentation skills and strengthen your ability to make a good argument and communicate effectively to an audience. You will gain these skills by studying rhetorical principles, analyzing other presentations, and practicing your own speaking.

Ratliff, Clancy. University of Minnesota (2004). Academic>Courses>Presentations>Rhetoric


Oral Presentations: Delivering Technical Information Face-to-Face

This document describes how to write and deliver a formal oral presentation on a technical subject. The content is the most obvious component of an oral presentation -- after all, if you are talking, you had better have something worthwhile to say. But an oral presentation -- no matter how well-written -- is only as effective as its delivery. If you cannot hold the interest of your audience, your presentation is a failure.

Jerz, Dennis G. Seton Hill University (2001). Presentations>Slideshows


Organizing an Analysis for a Review of Published Literature

This handout explains the features and functions of a talk that reviews published literature.

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


Organizing Your Argument   (PowerPoint)

This presentation reviews the elements of an organized essay, including the introduction, the thesis, body paragraphs, topic sentences, counterarguments, and the conclusion. The twenty-one slides presented here are designed to aid the facilitator in an interactive presentation about constructing a well-organized argument. This presentation is ideal for the introduction of argument to a composition course, the beginning of a research unit, or the assignment of a written argument.

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


Overview of Agile   (members only)

This presentation provides a broad introduction to concepts of Agile software development and Agile methods. The talk is based on the speaker's experience as an Agile coach and Certified Scrum Master. Traditional concepts from waterfall or plan-driven development are transformed to an Agile perspective. Examples are release and iteration planning, progress reporting, meeting formats and scaling projects from 10 people teams to 300 people teams.

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


An Overview of HTML-based Help   (PDF)

HTML...HTML Help...HTML-based help...WebHelp... JavaHelp...Oracle Help...what does it all mean? There are so many online help options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. This paper discusses the difference between HTML Help, WebHelp, JavaHelp, and Oracle Help. Specifically, it explains each help technology’s features and limitations, the user requirements, and best use.

DeLoach, Scott. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Documentation>Help


Overview of the Web Accessibility Initiative

An online presentation explaining why Web accessibility is important and what the Web Accessibility Initiative does.

Brewer, Judy. W3C (2003). Presentations>Slideshows>Accessibility


Page Source Order and Accessibility

In this presentation, the authors report on a survey and testing with screen reader users designed to determine how the placement of navigation in the source order (before or after content) affects accessibility.

Hudson, Roger and Russ Weakley. OzeWAI (2005). Presentations>Web Design>Accessibility


Painless XML Authoring?: How DITA Simplifies XML

Structured writing requires an analysis of content and a reorganization into the smallest possible coherent topics.

Doyle, Bob. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Content Management>XML>DITA


Pan Through Images with Apple Keynote

With this technique the presenter moves seamlessly inside a document larger than a slide by imitating a camera panning through a document, as if the hand moved a transparency across an overhead projector (Keynote pixel-based offset).

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Graphic Design>Software>Apple Keynote


Pan Through Images with PowerPoint

With this technique the presenter moves seamlessly inside a document larger than a slide by imitating a camera panning through the document, as if the hand moved a transparency across an overhead projector (PowerPoint inch-based offset)

Lebrun, Jean-Luc. Scivee (2009). Presentations>Graphic Design>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint


Participatory Decision Making, Technology, and the Environment: Overview   (PDF)

Technical communication is increasingly identified with high tech and particularly with documentation. This affiliation and the issues that technology raises have spurred the field to grow not just in numbers but also in knowledge. For example, the concepts of users and usability offer rich ways to look at documents and their development and implementation.

Rude, Carolyn D. STC Proceedings (2001). Presentations>Collaboration>Technology



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