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Technical Communication, Principles and Practice, 2/E. Meenakshi Raman , Group Leader, Humanities and Management, BITS Pilani, Goa Sangeeta Sharma , Associate Professor of the Languages Group at BITS, Pilani. Chapter – 1 Introduction to Communication. Agenda Communication : Definition

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technical communication principles and practice 2 e

Technical Communication, Principles and Practice, 2/E

Meenakshi Raman,Group Leader, Humanities and Management, BITS Pilani, Goa

Sangeeta Sharma, Associate Professor of the Languages Group at BITS, Pilani


Chapter – 1

Introduction to Communication

  • Communication : Definition
  • Essentials
  • Purpose and Audience
  • Cross-cultural variations
  • Language
  • Required Skills
  • Effectiveness
  • Modes
  • Verbal and Non- verbal
  • Importance
  • The word “communication” comes from the Latin word ‘Communicare’, which means to share, i.e., to share information , ideas between a sender and a receiver.
  • Communication is essential for the existence of our society
  • Plays a prominent role in the functioning of different professional organizations.
Communication Competence is situational; ability to express views in an effective manner, to achieve goals and enhance relationship.

To communicate successfully, one has to learn how to control emotions .

  • Timing
  • Place
  • Structure of the message
  • Medium
purpose and audience
Purpose and Audience

Before communicating the message should be formulated according to the audience and purpose.

The purpose can be classified in to two broad categories:

  • General : inform, persuade, entertain
  • Specific : report on a survey, an interview
cross cultural variations
Cross- Cultural Variations

Culture is a complex concept, with a variety of definitions. It involves elements that may vary across cultures:

  • Language
  • Religion and belief
  • Values and attitudes
  • Politics and Law
  • Technology
  • Social Organization

Language is a system of words and sounds to communicate ideas in a meaningful way

Famous linguists Noam Chomsky and Saussure classified language as:

Artificial , Restricted , Abstract, Arbitrary

Creative , Redundant, Recursive

required skills
Required Skills

Four Major Communicative Skills (LSRW)

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Features essential for effective communication:

  • Clarity of the message that to be conveyed
  • Clarity about the purpose and objective of the research
  • Common language , background
  • Appropriate medium to convey the message
  • Appropriate feedback to the message
  • Formal and Informal
  • Oral and written
  • Internal and External
Oral Forms of Communication:
  • Face- to- face Conversations
  • Telephone Conversations
  • Meetings
  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Dictation
  • Presentation
  • Group Discussion
  • Interviews
  • Video Conferences

Written Form:

  • Memos , Letters , Emails, Faxes
  • Notices, Circulars, Newsletters
  • Reports, Proposals, Research Papers
  • Bulletins, Brochures
  • Manuals, In-house journals

Study physical movements of body parts.

Some Kinesics behaviors are deliberate.

Examples: Nodding head, blinking eyes, shrugging shoulder, waving hands, etc.

Personal appearance
  • Posture:
  • Slumped posture –low spirit
  • Erect posture- Confidence
  • Lean forward – defensive or disinterested
  • Crossed arms- defensive or not ready to listen
  • Uncrossed arms – willingness to listen
  • Enumerative - numbers
  • Descriptive - size of the object
  • Symbolic - abstract concepts
  • Locative - location of an object
  • Emphatic -emphasis
Facial expression:
  • Happiness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Surprise
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Eye Contact

It is the study f physical space in interpersonal relations

Space is related to behavioral norms.

Edward T. Hall divides space into four Zones:

  • Intimate
  • Personal
  • Social
  • Public
  • It is the study of how human beings communicate through their use of time.
  • People have their own time language
  • Time language also varies from culture to


importance of technical communication
Importance of Technical communication
  • Life line of business
  • measure of the success, growth
  • link within & outside
  • tangible product of the work
  • valuable repository of information
  • develops desirable qualities
  • reveals gaps in thinking
Communication can be divided into two types:
  • General Communication
  • Technical Communication
general vs technical
General Vs Technical

General communication

Technical Communication

Technical message

Mostly Formal

Follows a set pattern

Both oral and written

Always for a specific Audience

Frequently involves Jargons, graphics, etc

General message

Informal in style and approach

No set pattern

Mostly Oral

Not always for a specific audience

Does not involve the use of technical vocabulary or graphics, etc.