"To write an effective technical material, one needs to hone his creativity. It takes creativity, after all, to shorten expressions."
- Sheila Viesca, TalkShop

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Your Guide to Becoming a Good Technical Writer



When you read instruction booklets, medical reports, operating manuals, or appendices, you are reading examples of technical writing. Articles for marketing purposes such as press releases and promotional terms and conditions, or for specialized projects such as grant proposals or business reports, are also examples of technical writing.

Who are the people who write these documents? What kind of educational background is required to take on such a job? Is it a lucrative profession?

Technical writing is a job handled by a professional writer who is well-versed in the field he is assigned to write for or about. He does not need to hold a specific type of degree, but is expected to have excellent English writing skills. He must also have the ability to understand technical jargon and communicate every report in a clear, consistent manner.

Is technical writing a lucrative profession? Like any job, it really depends on the situation. Some writers work as freelancers and take on a mix of writing jobs from several clients at a time. Others hold full time jobs and do extra writing work on the side. And yes, there are also companies who look for full time technical writers to write their manuals, brochures, and other types of collateral.

What you should remember is, technical writing is just one among many forms of writing a professional writer can be great at. Being trained in technical writing can help you widen your writing portfolio, thereby making you more attractive to a wider range of employers.

If you want to add technical writing as a skill in your portfolio, you can sign up for a technical writing workshop at TalkShop so that you can learn the basics and intricacies behind the subject.

The course first gives you an outline of the importance of technical writing, setting expectations of your output, and how to differentiate technical writing from business writing. It will then progress into grammar review covering common areas of confusion, as well as rules and exceptions. This is something even seasoned writers like to do from time to time, as language and style constantly evolves.

Moving further, the course will give you examples to demonstrate why technical writing isnt exactly technicalthat oftentimes, the writing is needed to translate technical reports into laymans terms.

When it comes to composition, however, we will get technical with you by guiding you through logical sequencing of your ideas, non-technical considerations, and giving you exercises on different formats of technical writing: free-writing, essay writing, and speech writing.

Part of what makes a writer truly skilled is also his ability to proofread and self-evaluate his own compositions, and this course will also cover this by showing you how to avoid redundancies and superfluity, avoid commonly confusing words, implement simplified versions of words and sentence construction, and use proper presentation formats.

The course ends with activities that put together everything you learned from the workshop, followed by an evaluation, which allows your coach to give recommendations on how you can continue to improve on your newly acquired technical writing skills.

By becoming better in technical writing, you will discover that your communication standards will be at a higher level and that your writing style will develop more sophistication and versatility. Further, you will be equipped with increased confidence and productivity when handling and composing business correspondence. It will also take you less effort to proofread and revise technical compositions, whether they be your own or that of junior writers who look up to you for their own development.



Thursday, February 19, 2015

Do’s and Don’ts for Effective Business Writing


Business writing takes many forms in the workplace. Memos, emails, correspondence, reports, minutes, and MOAs require clarity, brevity, and the right tenor. Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO explains, “It is a matter of merging form and substance together for the desired results. Each communication form should be treated differently, but general guidelines rule in business communication.” She shares these tips:


  1.  Know your audience – demographics, preferences, attitude, and concerns.
  2. Aim for desired results. Whether imparting guidelines, issuing orders, or closing a deal, request for the response you need.
  3.  Simplify. The shorter the better, the simpler the better.
  4. Use the active voice. Write “I sent the samples parcel..., “and not “The samples were sent by me.”
  5. Use the right tone. Be business- like but friendly for correspondence, and friendly yet courteous for emails.
  6.  Use compelling words. Ditch “hopefully,” “perhaps,” maybe,” “might.”  Replace with “I am confident,” “I know,”  “…certainly,” etc.
  7. Avoid using jargon and slang language.
  8.  Be candid, while remaining respectful. While diplomacy is good, it should not get in the way of clarity and your purpose.
  9. Edit, edit, edit. Check for spelling errors and typos  that can undermine your content and image
“Learn as much by writing as by reading.”-Lord Acton

TalkShop, the leading ISO-certified training facility  accredited with the Civil Service Commission  trains teams and professionals on an array of Business Writing needs that communicate the corporate branding.



www.talkshop.ph(632) 894-5588| Business Writing, Technical & Content Writing, Newsletter Writing, Critical Writing

Monday, December 8, 2014

Top 7 Holiday Stressors and How to Handle Them



Hands down, Christmas is the favorite time of year for almost everyone. Yet, for all the cheer and goodwill it brings, it can be a rather stressful season. Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO explains, “There is so much going on during the holidays. The season brings with it the trappings, hustle, and bustle that can leave one feelingenervated, helpless, and drained.

The key is to have a handle on the celebrations to stay in control of one’s time, health, and budget.”She cites the top holiday stressors and how to cope with them:


1. Too many obligations. Set realistic expectations. Do not be swayed by the hype to overspend. Consider what is good for you and what will keep you sane.



2. No time to handle everything. Make lists – for gifts, food to serve andbring, chores, parties, and activities. You have to plan and organizeto avoid last minute scrambling.



3. Overspending. Set a budget for gifts, food, trips, and jaunts. And stick to it!



4. Loneliness. Missing loved ones or grieving a loss? Connect with family through Skype, FB, and e-mail. Volunteer for a good cause. Spend the holidays with friends.



5. Crowds. They are part of the holiday scene. If you get caught in traffic or long queues, think of them as temporary inconvenience. Don’t fret.



6. Exhaustion. Eat and drink moderately, find time to rest, and squeeze in some exercise to stay fit and well.



7. Unaccomplished goals. Don’t feel down when you think of what you have not realized this year. Reflect on the causes. Are the goals still important to you? If so, ask how you will approach them so they are easier to accomplish this time around.



TalkShop, the leading ISO-certified training facility accredited with the Civil Service Commission trains professionals and teams to hone their skills as they focus on their new year objectives with clarity and determination.


“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”- William James


www.talkshop.ph (632) 894-5588 | Time & Stress Management, Leadership, Image Enhancement

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Top 9 Email Don’t’s


Today, email is the preferred mode of correspondence. Workers use it even for internal communication for the ease of access and instant transmission. TalkShop CEO Sheila Viesca explains, “As with any medium, there are etiquette rules that apply to the use of email. The key is to use it as a tool that builds connection while maintaining professionalism. The fact that it is easy to use, makes its users prone to casual mistakes that may prove costly.” She offers tips on the don’ts of emailing:






1. Don’t reply with just one word. This comes across as impertinent.

2. Don’t send an attachment without any message.

3. Don’t swear. If you are angry, put off writing until you have cooled down.

4. Don’t ignore messages sent directly to you. You owe it to the sender to provide the information sought for.

5. Don’t criticize another’s grammar. An email is not an English grammar exam.

6. Don’t send chain mail. Nobody wants them.

7. Don’t wasting people’s time with too many details. Be brief and concise.

8. Don’t use it for trivialities. An email, like any professional communications, communicates important matters. Hold a private talk or meeting for scolding,changing game plan, and detailing tasks that need to be explained at length.

9. Don’t send suggestive and negative emails. These can backfire as proofs against you.

The email should not replace face to face encounters that are needed for critical assignments and talks where eliciting collaboration, support, and understanding is necessary,” adds Viesca.

“If E-mail had been around before the telephone was invented people would have said , "Hey, forget e-mail - with this new telephone invention I can actually talk to people”- Unknown

TalkShop, the leading ISO-certified training facility that is accredited with the Civil Service Commission trains teams on overcoming internal communication barriers, while reinforcing effective communication and healthy work relationships.

www.talkshop.ph (632) 8945588 | Employee Engagement, Corporate Protocol, Team Building



Monday, August 4, 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

TalkShop Leads The Way


TalkShop is the best English communication school in the Philippines. It is the leading consultancy and training institute for personal effectiveness, corporate protocol, and management communication.
The country’s pioneer in Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), TalkShop is the developer of Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) and is accredited by the International English Education Research Association and Civil Service Commission. It also received its ISO certification in 2012.
TalkShop’s client roster includes private organizations, government groups, multinational corporations, and individuals who seek professional advancement and personal growth. It was founded by Sheila Viesca in 2000.