Technical Writing Communication Etiquette – (Part 2)

Sections of this topic

    How to communicate to others. The previous content presented ‘How not to communicate as a Technical Writer’. This segment involves a list of ‘How to communicate as a Technical Writer’.

    Technical Writers do not have an easy job. They translate and communicate relevant information into easy to understand information to their audience. To communicate well to any audience, the Technical Writer should:

    • Always communicate understandably to the audience. Whether it’s communicating by speaking or writing, the relevant content should always be communicated at the audience’s level. The writer should be able to differentiate between writing for upper management and users.
    • Always take time to review all the details before communicating. A Technical Writer is a detailed individual who wants to be sure that everything that is conveyed is correct and vital.
    • Always be learning and never say something is not interesting. Learning and hence being able to communicate the knowledge is at the forefront of a Technical Writer’s job.
    • Always collaborate, communicate, and build trust. Build up your knowledge groups and team members. Make sure that individuals, team members, or groups are comfortable with you so that relevant knowledge is always shared.
    • Always be as sensitive to the tone in your writing as you would in your voice.
    • Always pay attention and listen to others. Especially listen to your SMEs. Your SME’s know what is happening (how, when, where, what, etc.).
    • Always be patient and listen before speaking. Not giving individuals enough time to speak and to finish their thoughts and sentences is not good etiquette. Interrupting people while they are speaking causes some to just stop speaking and sharing as they feel you must know it all, or they might have wanted to say something different. You are not a mind reader.
    • Always watch the user, the speaker, the person you are communicating with. Watch their faces, mannerisms, etc. Faces might say one thing, but their words say something else. For example, when asked if the handouts or any written material was beneficial, an individual may not like to hurt anyone’s feelings so they might say the material is good, when it isn’t. Watch and see their facial expressions and mannerisms as they turn the pages.
    • Always listen to the tone of your voice when speaking. Keep it open, friendly and undemanding.

    The above were just a few highlighted important rules for Technical Writers to follow when communicating. The one rule that all Technical Writers share and abide by is that they always communicate clearly, concisely, and accurately. That is the most important rule.

    Do you have any ‘Must do’s’ to add to this topic? If so, please leave a comment. Thank you.