Presentation, Writing and Interpersonal Communication Skills is a “print on demand” book available at the site www.webknjizara.hr. It was originally brought to light in order to meet the demands of students of technical faculties in the field of written and spoken communications, but it is also strongly recommended to students in other academic fields, as well as to the wider public that lacks skills in delivering presentations, writing papers or business communication. Therefore, the book surely provides a lasting and positive impact and offers a good and interesting reading material for all those who are interested in the field of communication and successful presentation delivery.
The book consists of three chapters. The first chapter offers a systematic guide to delivering presentations in English. It starts with presentation planning – mind-mapping, “an effective means for taking notes and creating a presentation with the aim of vocabulary acquisition”, and the pyramid principle, “a hierarchically formed mind-mapping prior to the phases of writing and speaking”. The authors proceed with presentation skill levels and focus their attention on verbal and vocal behaviour, nonverbal behaviour, presentation visuals, and question-and-answer sessions. Close attention is given to the guidelines on how to create a coherent presentation structure (“beginning – tell them what you are going to tell them; central part – tell them; ending – tell them what you told them”), how to organise presentations in the field of technical sciences. The text is followed by a rich selection of photographs and examples of the presentation visuals, appropriate body language, tone of voice and choice of words while delivering presentations. The authors argue that consistent body language, words spoken fluently and in a lively manner contribute to a large extent to a successful and satisfactory performance. On the other hand, they also claim that images are an essential part of a good presentation since “they provide a second kind of memory code together with the verbal one”. This chapter also introduces guidelines for reading mathematical expressions, a list of common mistakes on presentation slides, as well as presentation peer evaluation (students’ and teacher’s assessment, students’ attitude towards peer evaluation). At the end of the chapter the authors provide a number of useful exercises for practising and mastering presentation skills. Furthermore, a series of challenging tasks is incorporated to encourage students to take charge of interactions, build a better active vocabulary and improve their knowledge and accuracy.
The second chapter entitled “Written communication” covers writing seminar papers, professional and scientific papers, final papers as well as formal letters. It encompasses all the phases of writing a paper such as organisation, content drafting and content editing. It also deals with the structure of the paper, citing references, inserting tables and diagrams, formulae, measurements units used in engineering, and the scientific style used in technical writing. According to the authors of the book, not only the students who want to become professionals in the field of electrical engineering, but all those who are interested in technical English should practise and develop certain oral social skills such as small talk, introducing oneself, client contacts, etc. Furthermore, they should obtain necessary knowledge of giving presentations, describing various technical processes, conducting research, writing e-mail messages, formal technical reports, conference papers, journal articles, and other documents. At the end of the chapter the authors offer a series of phrases and conjunctions which facilitate successful written communication.
The third chapter is aimed at scholars who need to develop strong communication skills, besides having professional knowledge. Bearing in mind that the modern era demands widely educated professionals who have acquired the necessary professional knowledge and have mastered not only communication skills but also creativity, motivation, team work, cooperation and decision making, the authors also introduce a number of useful communication patterns for effective business communication. They claim that adopting and mastering phrases in real-life communication will improve speaking, self-confidence, accuracy and fluency. The sections on socialisation and interpersonal communication offer examples of “small talk” with colleagues, telephone conversations, questions about work and life, avoiding negative answers – a series of functional phrases which could be considered as “useful language formulae”. The section that deals with group and team communication offers useful language for chairing or participating in a decision-making meeting, dealing with difficult questions, presenting a new plan or idea, negotiations, reporting, decision making, reaching an agreement and many other common situations in everyday business communication. This chapter is followed by a rich selection of exercises for developing and mastering oral communication proficiency. Dealing with presentations from a new perspective, the authors discuss the importance of presentations within the framework of the demanding business world, and state that presentations are not only used to exhibit plans and procedures, but also “to present and sell ideas, products and services”. At the end of each chapter the authors provide “review questions” which digest masterfully the most important issues from the particular section.
This book has been created to develop and improve real-life communication skills and powers of self-expression. To this end, it has achieved its goal –“to help students improve their oral and writing skills in English, as well as to introduce them to useful expressions for their future professional communication”. The lively content of Presentation, Writing and Interpersonal Communication Skills and its highly innovative potential provide an excellent basis for a professional as well as interesting and entertaining approach to mastering presentation skills and written and oral communication proficiency. Therefore, this book offers a great opportunity to reach people in different academic fields as well as the general public. Moreover, it provides a brief, functional and accessible insight into the fields of communication, and is highly motivating for learning and using English, which in turn bolsters self-confidence in open communication.