Comm Skills for ELEC30x0

Comm Skills for ELEC30x0 - Effective Communication ELEC...

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ELEC 3040/ELEC 3050 V. P. Nelson & J. Y. Hung Effective Communication
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ELEC 3040/ELEC 3050 V. P. Nelson & J. Y. Hung Effective Communication Enhancements by Stu Wentworth
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Why is this topic important? Employers rank communication skills #2 behind technical expertise as desired traits for new engineers 20-25% of engineers’ time spent writing 70-75% of time communicating (reading, writing, speaking & listening) Good communication skills enhance professional advancement opportunities
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Other reasons/benefits Putting thoughts on paper helps organize and refine ideas Written material & oral presentations can persuade an audience to support your effort (financially or otherwise) Preserve your work as a starting point for future work http://www.bbc.co.uk/southyorkshire/content/image_galleries/treasures_v_and_a_beauchi ef_bishops_house_gallery.shtml?26 Leonardo Da Vinci
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Design project documents (some or all may apply) Pre-proposal/project abstract Proposal Project plan Progress reports Test plan Report on test results Final report User manual (end-user documentation) Various memoranda Engineering notebook http://www.gocomics.com/thefly ingmccoys/2010/02/20/
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Seven steps to a successful document Divide responsibilities Determine tone, style, length & format Develop an outline Write a draft Revise and proofread Review (peer and other) & revise again Generate the final document
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Divide responsibilities Team members write sections with which they are familiar Team “editor” integrates sections, ensuring consistency and good flow between them Use the same or compatible word processor & related software (charts, schematics, etc.) Large industrial projects are often assigned a technical writer to assist the engineering team
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Overall look & feel of a document (need to sell your ideas) Match writing style and tone to your audience Peers, managers, technical people, … Use appropriate terminology & use it properly Convey to readers your knowledge of the project Clearly define report sections with headings Avoid use of 1 st person in technical reports Not: We decided to … Instead: It was decided that … Spell out acronyms 1 st time used Ex. videocassette recorder (VCR) … Then use VCR in the remainder of the document.
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Format, layout, fonts, etc (make it look professional) 11 or 12-point font (<14 for section headings) Single or 1 ½ line spacing Top/bottom margins 1-1.5”, left/right margins ¾ - 1” Page numbers (in header or footer) after title page: Arabic numerals for body (1, 2, 3…) Lower case Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, …) for prefatory pages Use “bullet points” to break up lists of items Avoid overuse of bold , underline , italics & other “special effects” (can be distracting) Boldface for section headings Italicize for emphasis where necessary
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The “body” of a report Basic structure (from High School): Say what you’re going to say Say it Say what you said
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