What Every Engineer Should Know About Business Communication: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

What Every Engineer Should Know About Business Communication

1st Edition

By John X. Wang

CRC Press

208 pages | 28 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780849383960
pub: 2008-05-15
Hardback: 9781138423077
pub: 2017-09-20
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429126710
pub: 2008-05-15
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Engineers must possess a range of business communication skills that enable them to effectively communicate the purpose and relevance of their idea, process, or technical design. This unique business communication text is packed with practical advice that will improve your ability to—

  • Market ideas
  • Write proposals
  • Generate enthusiasm for research
  • Deliver presentations
  • Explain a design
  • Organize a project team
  • Coordinate meetings
  • Create technical reports and specifications

Focusing on the three critical communication needs of engineering professionals—speaking, writing, and listening—the book delineates critical communication strategies required in many group settings and work situations. It demonstrates how to integrate a marketing strategy into every facet of engineering communication, from presentations, visual aids, proposals, and technical reports to e-mail and phone calls. Using situational examples, the book also illustrates how to use computers, graphics, and other engineering tools to effectively communicate with other engineers and managers.

Table of Contents

Analyze Communication Purpose and Audience

How Engineers Learn

How Engineers Are Persuaded

Speak or Write: Select the Right Communication Channel

Consider Your Communication Purpose and Audience

Section 1: Spear Your Way to Engineering Success

Projecting the Image of the Engineering Profession

Overcome Anxiety

Primary Impact: Nonverbal Body Language

Secondary Impact: Control Your Vocal Quality, Volume, and Pace

Optimize Your Presentation Environment

Presentation Aids

Engineering: The Real da Vinci Code

Speaking Visually—Guidelines for Using Presentation Aids

Choosing among Options

Creating Visuals with Impact

Delivering with Visuals

Organize Your Talk

Planning Your Talk

Conducting an Audience Analysis: 39 Questions

Organizing Your Talk in Seven Easy Stages

Getting Attention and Keeping Interest

 “Five Minutes Early”—Time Management for Your Presentation

Delivering Your Introduction

Presenting Your Conclusion

Handling Audience Response

Create the Environment

Handle with C.A.R.E

Deal with Hostile Questions

Deal with Other Types of Questions

Control the Q&A Session

Thinking on Your Feet

Section 2: Write Your Way for Business Impact

Organizing for Emphasis

Make Your Bottom Line the Top Line

Purpose Statement and Blueprints

Open Long Reports with a Summary

Use More Topic Sentences

Develop Headings

Structure Vertical Lists

Write As If Talking to Your Engineering Associates

Use Personal Pronouns

Rely On Everyday Words

Use Short, Spoken Transitions

Keep Sentences Short

Reach Out to Your Engineering Readers by Asking Questions

 “5 Whys”—A Technique for Engineering Problem Solving

 “Lean” Your Expressions


Prune Wordy Expressions

Use Strong Verbs

Cut Doublings and Noun Strings

Eliminate Unnecessary Determiners and Modifiers

Change Phrases into Single Words

Change Unnecessary Clauses into Phrases or Single Words

Avoid Overusing “It is” and “There is”

Eight Steps for Lean Writing

Write Actively—Engineering Is about Actions

Active Voice: “Albert Einstein Wrote the Theory of Relativity”

How to Recognize the Passive Voice

How to Write Actively—Use Three Cures

Write Passively for Good Reasons Only

Theory of Completed Staff Work

Section 3: Integrating Your Speaking and Writing Skills

Everyday Engineering Communications—E-Mails,

Phone Calls, and Memos

Effective E-mail Writing: Seven Things to Remember

How to Be Productive on the Phone

 “Memos Solve Problems”


Visuals for Engineering Presentation—Engineers Think in Pictures

Optimize Slide Layout

Display Engineering Data Effectively

How to Develop Effective Graphics

Write Winning Grant Proposals

Know Your Audience.

Understand Your Goal and Marketing Strategy

Select the Correct Writing Style

Organize Your Proposal around the Four Ps

A Brief Checklist before Submitting Your Proposal

How to Effectively Prepare Engineering Reports

Writing an Effective Progress Report

Develop Informative Design Reports

Listening—Interactive Communication about Engineering Risk

Listening—A Forgotten Risk Communication Skill

Listening—Harder Than Speaking and Writing

How to Listen to Voices of Customers about Risk

Listen Attentively: Understanding What Drives Perceived Risk

Thirteen Questions about Risk Communication

About the Originator


John X. Wang

Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA

Learn more about John X. Wang >>

About the Series

What Every Engineer Should Know

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Engineering (General)