1st Edition

What Every Engineer Should Know About Business Communication

By John X. Wang Copyright 2008
    208 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    208 Pages
    by CRC Press

    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.

    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


    John X. Wang