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Persuasive Communication for Science and Technology Leaders Writing and Speaking with Confidence

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2022-12-01
  • Publisher: Wiley-IEEE Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Persuasive Communication for Science and Technology Leaders

Explore this insightful guide to the development of persuasive leadership skills perfect for students and managers in technical fields

Many technical managers receive little or no training in the persuasive arts. Though technically skilled, they often lack the ability to engage effectively with an audiences outside their field. Persuasive Communication for Science and Technology Leaders: Writing and Speaking with Confidence delivers a thorough treatment of how to connect with audiences whose knowledge, values, personal experiences, ethnic background, gender, and worldview may differ from their own.

Written in a highly readable and entertaining style, this book goes beyond the scope of a standard textbook on persuasive communication. Its practical lessons illustrate the techniques of effective scientific and technical writing while emphasizing values-based leadership for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable world, a theme that seems particularly pertinent during these times of multiple crises, misinformation campaigns, and science denial.

The distinguished speaker and author explores the broader importance of language and explains various techniques for expanding your expressive range and your professional influence. He will also teach you methods for conveying information clearly and precisely as well as in ways that inspire and leave a lasting impression.

You will also benefit from:

  • A thorough introduction to knowing and connecting with your audience, using voice, tone, and point of view for results, and engaging your reader with compelling openings
  • An exploration of explaining complex technologies clearly, succeeding with challenging writing assignments, and applying a variety of persuasive strategies for agile responses to a rapidly changing world
  • An examination of speaking effectively while thinking on your feet, including how to create a safety net and how to recover from momentary lapses
  • Easy-to-remember guidance on avoiding common language errors that might undermine your credibility or, worse yet, make people stop listening to you

Perfect for undergraduate and graduate students in scientific and technical fields such as engineering, geology, botany, climatology, and epidemiology, Persuasive Communication for Science and Technology Leaders: Writing and Speaking with Confidence will earn a place in the libraries of technical managers and leaders who seek to better connect with their audiences.

Author Biography

Stephen Wilbers, PhD, is a keynote speaker, speech coach, and award-winning author. He teaches written and oral presentation skills in the University of Minnesota#s Technological Leadership Institute. His clients include the Mayo Clinic, Medtronic, 3M, and a variety of State Bar Associations.

Table of Contents

About the Author xv

Acknowledgments xvii

How This Book Differs From Other Communication Guides xix

Previously Published Material xxi

Also By Stephen Wilbers xxiii

Welcome xxv

Introduction 1

Who can benefit from this book 2

How this book differs from other textbooks & communication guides 2

How this book evolved from my writing & teaching 4

How to read this book using the SQ4R method 6

How this book is organized 7

Questions to ask yourself as you read this book 9

Part ONE—Writing 11

Chapter 1 Explaining Complex Technologies Clearly 13

Writing in stages 14
Think of yourself as a translator 15
Adopt the seven habits of highly effective writers 15
Approach writing as a process 17
Don’t be blocked by writer’s block 18

Communicating internationally without ambiguity 20
Don’t confuse non-native speakers of American English 20
Limit your use of prepositionalized English 22
Don’t assume that American & British English are identical 22
Don’t be too quick to laugh at ESL or ELL errors 23

Connecting your thoughts with sentence & paragraph structure 24
Write in sentences, but think in three-part paragraphs 25
Break sprawling sentences & paragraphs into shorter units 27
Use introductory elements & transitions to connect your thoughts 27

Emphasizing key points with sentence variety 29
Use trailing elements & asides for variety, emphasis, & elaboration 29
Invert your sentences for variety, transitions, & coherence 30

Just for Fun: How Charles the Great changed Latin to our benefit today 34

Get Out of Jail Free: e.g. for i.e. 36

Chapter 2 Breathing Life into Scientific & Technical Writing 37

Supporting your explanations with detail 39
Support your argument with colorful, specific detail 39
Evoke the five senses to make your descriptions come alive 41
Don’t neglect smell, the most evocative of the five senses 42
Use graphs, tables, figures, & equations to highlight, illustrate, & explain 43

Animating your sentences & descriptions with verbs 44
Use verb-driven clauses to convey information succinctly & emphatically 44
Use colorful, action verbs to animate your descriptions 46

Working with verbs, noun stacks, & sentence variety 49
Keep your verbs within sight of their subjects 49
Unstack those noun stacks 51

Just for Fun: Nominalize your verbs to inflict pain on your reader 58

Get Out of Jail Free: It’s for its 59

Chapter 3 Expanding Your Expressive Range 61

Using your first person subjective voice 63
When appropriate, write in the first person for a more engaging style 64
Know the difference between transitive & intransitive, active & passive 65
Use the first person in theses & dissertations when appropriate 66
Know when not to write in the first person 67
Use an overtly subjective voice to convey honesty, personality, & warmth 69

Going beyond “Plain English” to more varied expression 72
Know the value of “Plain English,” but recognize its limitations 72
Vary your sentence structure & length 74
Punctuate your beat with pauses 75
Place key words at the beginning & ending of your sentences 75

Expanding your vocabulary to convey nuance, beauty, & complexity 76
Collect good words 77
Look up & learn new words as you read, starting with this book 78

Just for Fun: American poet runs afoul of Plain English guidelines 82

Get Out of Jail Free: Principle for principal 84

Chapter 4 Connecting with a Wider Audience 85

Getting your reader’s attention 88
Know how to write a good lead (or lede) 88
Use colorful quotes to enliven your writing 90
Collect examples of good leads (or ledes) for ideas & inspiration 91

Structuring your articles, blogs, messages, texts, & tweets 94
Follow a newsletter checklist to meet a tight deadline 94
Use a three-step structure in your email messages 96
Tweet short & sweet – and with integrity 98
Base your level of formality and correctness on four touchstones: Purpose, audience, subject, & occasion 100

Communicating correctly 102
Know the rules & know when to break ’em 103
Proofread for eight errors of hurry & haste 105

Communicating inclusively 107
Recognize all genders, ages, & ethnicities 107
Be aware of gender differences in communication patterns 112
Avoid ambiguity when writing to non-native English speakers 113

Just for Fun: SlumberWrite software guaranteed to produce soporific writing 116

Get Out of Jail Free: Complementary for complimentary 118

Part Two —Speaking 119

Chapter 5 Mastering the Physical & Behavioral Skills of Public Speaking 121

Connecting with your posture, dress, & appearance 123
Stand & sit tall 123
Dress appropriately for the audience & the occasion 124

Connecting with your eyes 124
Look directly into their eyes 125
Expect less audience feedback when presenting online or on camera 125

Connecting with your voice 126
Don’t underestimate the power of your speaking voice 126
Play your voice like a musical instrument it is 127
Be proud of your accent 128
Enunciate your words 129

Connecting with your gestures, facial expressions, & movement 130
Expand your gestural range 131
Make your face interesting 131
Claim your space early & hold your ground 132

Just for Fun: Sailing, writing, & speaking 134

Get Out of Jail Free: There’s for there’re & subject-verb nonagreement 136

Chapter 6 Feeling & Projecting Confidence 137

Feeling confident 139
Get control of your mind & your body by breathing 139
Prepare, release tension, & adjust expectations 139
Take a six-step approach to feeling confident 140

Projecting confidence 140
Speak at full volume 141
Don’t rush your delivery 141
Take the twelve-step approach to projecting confidence 142

Recovering from mental lapses & technical glitches 142
Prepare a safety net 143
Remember that the audience is on your side 144
Be prepared to be challenged 145
Aim for good, not perfect 146

Just for Fun: Speaking your mind & breaking the rules like Jesse Ventura 148

Get Out of Jail Free: Myself for I, Me, and Bobby McGee 150

Chapter 7 Connecting with Content, Conviction, & Humor 153

Opening, holding, & closing well 154
Get their attention 154
Give an overview & emphasize transitions 156
Prepare a good closing 156

Playing your part convincingly 158
Play it for all it’s worth 158
Show them the real you 159
Underscore key points with visuals 159

Making it fun by having fun 161
Know which types of humor work best 162
Play it safe with self-deprecating humor 165

Just for Fun: Papa says to maintain parallel structure 168

Get Out of Jail Free: Nonparallel structure 169

Chapter 8 Practicing, Delivering, & Evaluating Your Presentation 173

Creating muscle memory by practicing 175
Rehearse your words out loud 176
Practice your gestures & expressions 176
Practice working within your allotted time 176
For most presentations, don’t read your text 177

Handling difficult questions & inappropriate questioners 177
Decide whether and when to take questions 178
Answer the question when you can 178
Know how to manage an interview & how to talk to the media 180

Evaluating presentations with a score sheet 182
Enforce a strict time limit 182
Offer timely feedback & constructive criticism 183
Concentrate on strengths & note areas for improvement 183
Use a score sheet to identify and evaluate skills 183

Just for Fun: Even Eliza Doolittle trips over the rules of English grammar 187

Get Out of Jail Free: Who or whom do you trust? 188

Epilogue 191

Appendix A Words Every Educated Person Should Know 195

Appendix B Sixteen Common Language Errors 199

Remember the eight language errors that got you out of jail 199

Avoid eight additional common language errors 202

Appendix C Key Physical & Behavioral Skills of Public Speaking 207

Appendix D Key Themes & Strategies 209

Key themes & highlights from Chapter Summaries 209
Part One: Writing 209
Part Two: Speaking 210

Appendix E Works Cited, Recommended Reading, & Style Guides 213

Works cited 213

Recommended reading 216

Style guides 217

Index 219

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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