Engineering Speaking by Design: Delivering Technical Presentations with Real Impact, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Engineering Speaking by Design

Delivering Technical Presentations with Real Impact, 1st Edition

By Edward J. Rothwell, Michael J. Cloud

CRC Press

164 pages | 16 B/W Illus.

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Description

From the Authors of Engineering Writing by Design: Creating Formal Documents of Lasting Value

Engineering presentations are often a topic of frustration. Engineers complain that they don't enjoy public speaking, and that they don't know how to address audiences with varying levels of technical knowledge. Their colleagues complain about the state of information transfer in the profession. Non-engineers complain that engineers are boring and talk over everybody’s heads.

Although many public speaking books exist, most concentrate on surface issues, failing to distinguish the formal oral technical presentation from general public speaking.

Engineering Speaking by Design: Delivering Technical Presentations with Real Impact targets the formal oral technical presentation skills needed to succeed in modern engineering. Providing clear and concise instruction supported by illustrative examples, the book explains how to avoid logical fallacies (both formal and informal), use physical reasoning to catch mistakes in claims, master the essentials of presentation style, conquer the elements of mathematical exposition, and forge a connection with the audience. Each chapter ends with a convenient checklist, bulleted summary, and set of exercises. A solutions manual is available with qualifying course adoption.

Yet the book’s most unique feature is its conceptual organization around the engineering design process. This is the process taught in most engineering survey courses: understand the problem, collect relevant information, generate alternative solutions, choose a preferred solution, refine the chosen solution, and so on. Since virtually all engineers learn and practice this process, it is so familiar that it can be applied seamlessly to formal oral technical presentations.

Thus, Engineering Speaking by Design: Delivering Technical Presentations with Real Impact is inherently valuable in that itshows engineers how to leverage what they already know. The book’s mantra is: if you can think like an engineer, you can speak like an engineer.

Reviews

"… focuses on engineering presentations and their common issues: engineers typically don't enjoy public speaking and don't know how to deliver their knowledge to audiences who may not have their level of expertise. Audiences often complain, therefore, that engineering presentations are boring and confusing. This book focuses on oral technical presentation skills that will help these situations, providing engineers with directions supported by examples and outlining the common causes of communication failures and how to develop better audience rapport. Chapters discuss technical terms and requirements for importing information with an eye to appealing to the engineer's approach to problem-solving, couching public speaking routines in ways that engineers will understand. The result should be in any collection where engineers are readers."

The Technology Shelf, February 2016

"This book will help all who prepare and present technical information. Many engineers and technologists are uncomfortable speaking and struggle presenting. The authors’ application of engineering design principles to "design" technical presentations casts the material in a realm where the intended audience is experienced and confident."

—Dr. John Svigelj, Motorola Solutions, Inc.

"The book is a much-needed supplement to the technical education that students receive. I always tell students that people will judge them, implicitly or explicitly, on their written and oral communications, and it is extremely important to be able to make a cogent argument for what you are saying. This book will help engineers and scientists use a logical method, similar to solving a technical problem, to engineer a good technical talk."

—George Hanson, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

"A book that engineers must have to be just a useful reference or a good read on bettering ones skills/knowledge on engineering speaking. The authors’ long experience in academia & engineering is clearly visible in the writing and provides confidence in the material."

—Jose A. Hejase, Ph.D., IBM Corporation

"This book is an incredibly welcome resource for all students in technical fields. So many students are intellectually gifted yet when communicating their research results, the impact is lost due to poor execution of the presentation. I highly recommend this book for ALL undergraduate and graduate students in technical fields who intend to ever present their work publicly or interview for a job."

—Dr. Kevin E Howard, K4M Consulting

"This book will help all who prepare and present technical information. Many engineers and technologists are uncomfortable speaking and struggle presenting. The authors’ application of engineering design principles to "design" technical presentations casts the material in a realm where the intended audience is experienced and confident."

—Dr. John Svigelj, Motorola Solutions, Inc.

Table of Contents

Preface

Authors

Becoming a Presenter

Is Public Speaking Easy?

How Can I Learn to Be a Good Presenter?

The Benefits of Being a Good Presenter

Getting Started

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Engineering a Presentation

Quick Review of Some Design Concepts

Framing the Goal of Your Technical Presentation

How the Information Resides in Your Mind

Your Audience

Other Aspects of Situational Awareness

Checklist: Engineering Your Presentation

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Designing Your Presentation

Does Your Presentation Need a Structure?

Designing the Introduction

Designing the Conclusion

Designing the Main Body of the Presentation

Getting a Plan on Paper

Checklist: Designing Your Presentation

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Building Your Presentation

The Target Specifications

Quality Control: Some Key Aspects

Logic

English Usage

Mathematical Discourse

Visual Aids

Ethics

Checklist: Building Your Presentation

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Optimizing Your Presentation

Rehearsal

Feedback and Evaluation

Revision and Iterative Improvement

Checklist: Optimizing Your Presentation

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Showtime: Delivering Your Presentation

The Countdown

Do It!

If You're Nervous

When the Unexpected Occurs

Handling Questions

Checklist: Delivering Your Presentation

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Success! (What Now?)

It's Over

Chatting after the Talk

Use the Experience to Improve

Prepare to Be in Demand

Consider Reinventing Your Talk

Archiving Your Talk

Checklist: After the Talk

Chapter Recap

Exercises

Further Reading

Appendix: Presentation Checklist

Index

About the Authors

Edward J. Rothwell received his BS from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, USA; MS and EE from Stanford University, California, USA; and Ph.D from Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA; all in electrical engineering. He has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University since 1985, and currently holds the rank of professor. Beforehand, he worked for Raytheon Co., Waltham, Massachusetts, USA and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, USA. In addition to Engineering Writing by Design: Creating Formal Documents of Lasting Value, Dr. Rothwell has coauthored a book on electromagnetics and published numerous journal articles on related subjects. He is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, and URSI Commission B, and is an IEEE fellow.

Michael J. Cloud received his BS, MS, and Ph.D in electrical engineering from Michigan State University, East Lansing, USA. Since 1987, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan, USA. He currently holds the rank of associate professor. In addition to Engineering Writing by Design: Creating Formal Documents of Lasting Value, Dr. Cloud has coauthored 11 other books, primarily in the field of engineering mathematics. He is a senior member of the IEEE.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TEC007000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Electrical
TEC009000
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)
TEC009070
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Mechanical