Posts for the Topic communication

Tips and tricks on how-to write a professional email

Man typing on his laptop.

Ever email your professor or employer and click the send button, only to realize seconds later it was littered with typos and grammar mistakes?

The art of professional email writing can be challenging if you’re not too sure where to start. Learning the dos and don’ts of what to include will not only steer you in the right direction but help you develop your professional persona. Having a professional voice in writing and in speech is important because it establishes how you want to be perceived. There are so many ways you can let your professional side shine, and emails are one of them.

May flowers: some poems that survived the winter

potted flowers by a window

Spring is here. The birds are singing, the snow has melted, and flowers are poking up through the dirt, both where they are expected and where they are not. At the beginning of winter term, I wrote a blog post on freewriting with a focus on my notebook as an agent of the writing process. I’d like to come back to this general topic, but from a slightly different perspective: spring.

Psychologically speaking: your brain on writing

Brain-shaped word cloud saying "Psychologically speaking: your brain on writing"

Remember when you were little and just learning how to write? Just writing your name was a huge accomplishment. Yet with practice, it became much easier. The brain is not a muscle; although, in some ways it develops like one. The more you use it in a specific way, the more able it is to perform the task. So what is the brain actually doing while you write? The following are a number of brain areas that work together to form ideas and get them down on paper.

Frontal Lobe

What is rhetoric

Picture of two heads facing opposite directions with colors coming out of their mouths to symbolize communication and ideas.

Have you ever tried to convince your parents to increase your allowance? I have. I remember trying to use whatever method I had to make my parents see my point of view, which caused me to use rhetoric without even being aware of it. Rhetoric is the art of persuasive speaking or writing, and we use it in one way or another whenever we communicate.

Words that changed their meaning

Cartoon man studying a word in a large book

Suppose you were in 16th century England and someone asked you if you wanted to eat meat for dinner. If you were expecting some steak, you might be surprised to receive only some potatoes and vegetables. Back then, meat meant any solid food, not just meat. Quite a considerable distinction from our modern definition!

A new chapter

group picture of the writing and communication center staff

Last week, we celebrated John Vardon who has made a tremendous impact in his 40+ years working as a Writing and Multimodal Communication Specialist at the Writing and Communication Centre. As John retires and starts a new adventure in doing so, we look back at his time spent here.

Overcoming public speaking

public speaker sweating

Almost everyone gets nervous before they have to speak in public. It’s natural and common, but can actually be a positive thing. Public speaking is an important part of many careers and professions, and being an effective public speaking is a huge asset to have. Whether you are speaking in front of an audience of 300 or speaking in front of a board or committee of 10 people, effective public communication skills are essential to getting ahead professionally. First and foremost, you must understand that nerves are okay; it’s your body telling you that something is at stake.

Delivering your speech: the power of nonverbal communication

microphone in front of audience

When I say “public speaking” what comes to mind? Dread? Nervousness? Excitement? “Public speaking” often brings uneasy feelings to first year students, as standing in front of a classroom ranging from first year to fourth years may seem a lot more intimidating than one full of your long-time high school classmates. You have a well-written and researched speech and you have already sought out a peer review from the Writing and Communication Centre, but the easy part is over.

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