A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Presentations

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76.
#38228

Chalk Talk Checklist

This checklist summarizes how to approach content, delivery, white board management, and question handling in preparing an effective chalk talk.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication

77.
#26532

Challenges and Solutions for Program Administrators

A discussion of challenges and solutions for hiring professional and technical communication specialists at teaching-focused universities.

Adkins, Kaye, Molly Johnson and Bruce Maylath. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Education>Recruiting>Interviewing

78.
#34839

Challenges of Multimedia Self-Presentation: Taking, and Mistaking, the Show on the Road   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

One privilege enjoyed by new-media authors is the opportunity to realize representations of Self that are rich textual worlds in themselves and also to engage the wider world, with a voice, a smile, imagery, and sound. Still, closer investigation of multimedia composition practices reveals levels of complexity with which the verbal virtuoso is unconcerned. This article argues that while technology-afforded multimedia tools make it comparatively easy to author a vivid text, it is a multiplicatively more complicated matter to vividly realize and publicize an authorial intention. Based on analysis of the digital story creation process of a youth named 'Steven,' the authors attempt to demonstrate the operation of two forces upon which the successful multimodal realization of the author's intention may hinge: 'fixity' and 'fluidity.' The authors show how, within the process of digital self-representation, these forces can intersect to influence multimodal meaning making, and an author's life, in consequential ways.

Nelson, Mark Evan, Glynda A. Hull and Jeeva Roche-Smith. Written Communication (2008). Articles>Presentations>Education>Multimedia

79.
#36832

Challenging the Common Practice of PowerPoint at an Institution   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Explores how to have a technical community adopt a new communication strategy that challenges the common practice of PowerPoint. Reveals the sources of resistance to that communication strategy. Finds that resistance is diminished when learners see the strategy being used effectively by someone with credibility in that learner's community.

Neeley, Kathryn A., Michael Alley, Christine G. Nicometo and Leslie C. Srajek. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Education>Presentations>Microsoft PowerPoint

80.
#36487

Review: Challenging the Presentation Paradigm: Prezi

Coming from a little start-up in Hungary, Prezi is a web app (Flas/Flex based) that lets you author and deliver what they call “zooming presentations.” The description is apt, as Prezi presentations aren’t actually based on a the traditional linear slide model. Instead, Prezi embraces a zooming user interface model in which blocks of content are arranged contextually in relation to other blocks of content – and the user can zoom in and out of the content, alternating between a “big picture” view and a “detail” view.

Watrall, Ethan. Prof Hacker (2009). Articles>Reviews>Presentations>Software

81.
#18198

Changing to Outwit Change: Staying Motivated in the '90s   (PDF)

Keeping motivation high and steady has never been easy; the changes of the 1990’s have made self-motivation even more difficult. We are expected to do more, faster, and better--with less structure and supervision. Simultaneously, other demands upon our time and energy have built, not lessened. Although the seriousness of these challenges cannot be denied, they can be met by the development of a motivational strategy requiring self-knowledge, self-discipline, and the willingness to change, as well as offering concrete ways of coping with the 90’s and making them productive, even happy. This Workshop will be a team presentation, alternating motivational theory/practice with supporting theories of brain functioning.

Weis, Monica and Alec Sutherland. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>TC>History

82.
#18199

Changing to Outwit Change: Staying Motivated in the '90s   (PDF)

Keeping motivation high and steady has never been easy; the changes of the 1990’s have made self-motivation even more difficult. We are expected to do more, faster, and better--with less structure and supervision. Simultaneously, other demands upon our time and energy have built, not lessened. Although the seriousness of these challenges cannot be denied, they can be met by the development of a motivational strategy requiring self-knowledge, self-discipline, and the willingness to change, as well as offering concrete ways of coping with the 90’s and making them productive, even happy. This Workshop will be a team presentation, alternating motivational theory/practice with supporting theories of brain functioning.

Weis, Monica and Alec Sutherland. STC Proceedings (1996). Presentations>TC>History

83.
#35983

Choose and Handle Presentation Remotes

Presentation remotes are both a blessing and a curse, depending on how easy they are to use and how familiar we are with them. They do free us from having to constantly stand by the keyboard, but misusing them turns off the audience. Strengths and weaknesses of four models are reviewed and advice for handling them is given.

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

84.
#18371

Choose Your Presentation Tools Carefully

These days, there are more ways to communicate a message than there have ever been – in the history of civilization. That's not an overstatement, it's an inescapable fact, one with which executives, educators, meeting planners, presenters and professionals of every stripe must grapple every day, whether they want to or not. After all, there was a time not so long ago when choosing the best way to inform, persuade or educate employees, prospects or customers was no more complicated than selecting from a modest appetizer menu: although some discernment was necessary, the options were hardly paralyzing. If you were holding a critical meeting, delivering a sales pitch or launching a training initiative, you'd gather the troops in a central locale for presentations by executives or instructors toting flip charts, transparencies or 35mm slides – or send a battalion of presenters into the field. If the objective was to communicate without forcing people to come to you, or you to go to them, you might select from a handy but hardly overwhelming number of choices that included videotape, CD-ROM or a workbook. But like the restaurant regular who arrives one day to find that his single-page menu has mushroomed into a constellation of new and beguiling food choices, today's presenters find themselves with far more options for interfacing with audiences, whether it be face to face or across time zones.

Zielinski, Dave. Presentations (2002). Articles>Presentations>Online

85.
#31973

Choosing a Help Authoring Tool   (PDF)

Discusses in detail why you might want to consider a specific tool for help authoring.

James-Tanny, Char. Helpstuff (2004). Presentations>Documentation>Software>Help

86.
#26993

ChromaKey Video Effects

Introduces producing video special effects, using ChromaKey technologies and Apple's Final Cut Pro.

Stanerson, Nick and Nick Boesel. Studio for New Media (2004). Presentations>Multimedia>Video>Final Cut Pro

87.
#13458

Cinderella’s Slipper—Does It Fit Americans and Europeans?   (PDF)

This paper represents an international study of IBM customers in the U. S., England, and Germany to see what effect the layout of a technical document has on usability for an audience of Americans and Europeans. The results indicate that while Americans and Europeans want most of the same usability features, they do not agree on all features. Communicating effectively with readers from different countries requires that writers work closely with international readers who represent the readers of their document; interview people who represent their audience; work with a document designer before starting the first draft; and test the draft document on representative users.

Ryan, Suzanne V. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Usability>Publishing

88.
#18365

Clockwork

Chances are you have watched your best intentions evaporate under pressure, to find yourself tweaking PowerPoint slides in the desperate hours or minutes before your presentation, scrambling to make time for a quick rehearsal and hoping against hope that you'll be able to pull off a miracle. Indeed, if good intentions paid dividends, plenty of presenters would have tidy sums to add to their retirement nest eggs. Procrastination being the force of nature it is, however, no matter how much lead time presenters give themselves and no matter how many resources are at their disposal, more often than not, the presentation-development process devolves from noble ambitions to utter chaos.

Zielinski, Dave. Presentations (2002). Articles>Presentations>Software>Microsoft PowerPoint

89.
#36180

Cloud Computing — Access Opportunity And Challenge

Web applications force separation of user-interface from core application. Makes development of multiple user interfaces affordable. Opens up new opportunities for meeting user needs.

Raman, T.V. SourceForge (2009). Presentations>Accessibility>Web Design>Cloud Computing

90.
#13940

Cognitive Strain as a Factor in Effective Document Design   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

People have a limited amount of cognitive resources. Coping with the increasing amount of information presented via a software interface strains a user’s cognitive resources. If a person has to use documentation, whether on-line or paper, additional cognitive resources are consumed, often overloading the user. Using several windows or multi-media elements can compound the problem. Unfortunately, as Wickens (1992) states, humans are unable to manage excessive cognitive strain and they respond by getting frustrated, committing errors, shedding tasks, or reverting to known methods.

Albers, Michael J. ACM SIGDOC (1997). Presentations>User Centered Design>Usability>Cognitive Psychology

91.
#14538

Collaborative Writing In Segmentalist Organizations: Commitments For Team Success   (PDF)

Many large, hierarchical organizations are segmentalist in their approach to management. Nonetheless, such organizations are capable of supporting integrated, team approaches to particular types of communication problems. For such approaches to be successful, however, there must be strong managerial commitments to team support. This paper discusses how committed leadership, specific production guidelines, and empowerment enhanced the activities of an Air Force writing team assembled to help revise and edit Air Force Policy Directives containing corporate level guidance on a variety of topics.

Rice, Rodney P. and James Waller. STC Proceedings (1994). Presentations>Management>Collaboration

92.
#32252

Color, Contrast and Design in News Design

An online guide that explains color theory and shows how to use it in design through examples and exercises.

Adam, Pegie Stark. Poynter Online (2007). Presentations>Communication>Graphic Design>Color

93.
#36825

Common Use of PowerPoint versus the Assertion-Evidence Structure   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Since 2001, harsh criticism of PowerPoint’s presentation slide structure has surfaced in several popular publications. Because Microsoft PowerPoint controls 95% of the market for presentation slideware (Parker 2001), its default structure certainly deserves scrutiny. However, what is more important than analyzing the default structure of PowerPoint is to analyze the slide structures that people actually use. For that reason, in technical communication, the key question is the following: what slide structures are commonly used for presenting science and technology?

Garner, Joanna K., Michael Alley, Allen F. Gaudelli and Sarah E. Zappe. Technical Communication Online (2009). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication>Microsoft PowerPoint

94.
#14397

Communicating Change to a Technical Organization   (PDF)

Communications played an important role in a major organizational transformation and outsourcing undertaking by the Information Technology Organization (ITO) of BellSouth Telecommunications. A two-person team was assigned to plan and develop internal and external communications during the project’s 18-month duration. The approach they took was closely related to the process for planning and developing technical communications. An 11-step method resulted and it is now used to improve communications at many levels within the ITO.

Wagnecz, Lorlee E. STC Proceedings (1998). Presentations>Management>Outsourcing

95.
#29535

Communicating Design: Web Design Documentation

An overview of web design methods, including a survey of questions one should ask during the process.

Brown, Dan. SlideShare (2006). Presentations>Web Design>Documentation

96.
#13943

Communicating Effectively With Interaction   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The ability to build interactions that support, enable, and improve communication is a valuable skill for help developers, Web-site designers, multimedia content developers, information-rich user interface designers-anyone who designs and develops information to be used online. This paper presents the basics of interaction design for information products and describes some basic underlying human factors and user-interface design principles.

Ames, Andrea L. ACM SIGDOC (2001). Presentations>Information Design>User Centered Design>Multimedia

97.
#38218

Communicating in Non-Routine Situations

This 19-slide PowerPoint presentation explains how to approach non-routine situations that require e-mail, written communication, and oral communication (including crisis communication).

conneXions (2008). Presentations>TC

98.
#13095

Communicating with International and Multinational Audiences   (PDF)

Preparing technical documentation is always a challenge. The challenges in preparing technical documentation for a multinational or international audience are even greater.

Stewart, Sharon D. and Sara M. Stohl. STC Proceedings (1993). Presentations>Communication>International

99.
#13308

A Communications Renaissance: Developing Tomorrow’s Developers   (PDF)

Mathematics and computer science can be difficult subjects for the communications teacher to penetrate. In 1997, the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo initiated the development of a pilot course in communications for Mathematics and Computer Science students. This paper explores the research and discoveries that built a successful course: a definition of “numeracy” that equates with academic “literacy” as knowledge creation; perceiving the students as “end users” and doing ongoing “usability tests” during the pilot course; and using case studies as social action to empower students and envision math and technology as dynamic, socially rich fields through communications.

McKenzie, Andrea. STC Proceedings (2000). Presentations>Education>Scientific Communication>Mathematics

100.
#33217

Comparing Open Source CMSes: Joomla, Drupal, and Plone

Open source content management systems (CMS) are particularly attractive to the nonprofit community because of their cost-efficiency, but what do these systems actually do? And what are the differences between the most common CMSs? We’ll compare Joomla, Drupal, and Plone for typical nonprofit needs.

Quinn, Laura S., Ryan Ozimek, David Geilhufe and Patrick Shaw. NTEN (2007). Presentations>Content Management>Software>Open Source

 
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