Introduction

Welcome to Effective Professional Communication, your text book for the RCM 200 course at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

As you already know, this course focuses on communicating in professional environments. Even if you haven’t held a job before, you know–at least on a basic level–that how you communicate changes depending on the context of your situation; specifically, you talk differently when you speak to customers/clients versus your co-workers versus your supervisors.

Our goal in this text is to break down the communication process in professional environments so you can maximize your chance to get hired and retain your job once you graduate from university. We will do this by looking at communication through political, rhetorical, ethical, and interpersonal lenses and applying this knowledge to your future career.

This text has seven main sections:

  1. Introduction to Communication: What is communication? Is it as a simple as one person transferring information to another? This section will provide a comprehensive overview of the communication process and give us some definitions to work from.
  2. Rhetorical Theory: How do you connect with an audience and make them care about your message? What are some common challenges that communicators encounter in professional spaces? Rhetorical theory will answer these questions and give you a framework for any messages you craft in the future, whether in written or spoken form.
  3. Technical Writing Essentials: We all have blind spots in our writing. What are yours? This self-guided collection of chapters will help you identify and improve any weaknesses you have in your writing.
  4. Technical Correspondence: You are going to write many memos and emails in your professional career. Do you know how to format and organize them in a way that is both professional and concise? We will cover that here.
  5. Applying for a Job: You may think that you still have time until you need to apply for jobs, but it will come sooner than you expect. This section will walk you through how to develop a stellar job application package to improve your chances of getting a job right out of university.
  6. Writing a Report: Many students falsely assume that they can write a report because they have written essays before. That is not necessarily true. A written report is a much larger undertaking that takes meticulous planning, organization, and research. We will break down this complex process here.
  7. Public Speaking: Have you ever been in a presentation or class where you feel lost or like the material is not relevant to you at all? Odds are that’s because the presenter has not done a good job building a relationship with their audience or making the content relevant. We will walk you through how to do this very thing in this final section.

Hopefully you can begin to see how this content will help you in your professional career. If at any point you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor.

License

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Effective Professional Communication: A Rhetorical Approach by Rebekah Bennetch; Corey Owen; and Zachary Keesey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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