Technical communication must consist of continuity. Continuity is a link from one thing to another. Whether continuity is applied in writing or speaking, if it does not exist, then readers, listeners, viewers are at a loss. Continuity provides readers, listeners and viewers, with clear, consistent communication in learning, understanding, and observing functionality.
Continuity in Writing
Continuity within technical material involves content (including diagrams, images, chapters, explanations, and/or examples) containing a logical, understandable flow of text. Every element has to follow meaningfully from the previous element. Sentences should be complete and make sense. All thoughts and information within each sentence should follow clearly from one to the next. If continuity within explanations, proposals, or objectives are not clear, then misunderstandings and wrong interpretations (with detrimental or chaotic outcomes) can occur within any environment (business, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, etc.). As a simple example of one thing leading to another, if the steps to perform an activity are not in proper sequence then problems and mistakes can occur. Note: Just as importantly, make sure that all the information you have gathered is correct and relevant. Every technical manual should include basic functionality, concise explanations, examples, and references.
Continuity in Instruction
Continuity in instructing your audience or transferring information verbally involves methodical planning and organization. Create an outline so that each detail or instruction leads to another. This way too, you will cover all essential points. Have continuity in outlines for presentations, examples, and activities, by showing how everything is connected or related. Begin with knowing your audience to see what they already know and then provide the information that they need to know. It is a good idea to also prepare ahead for any questions that might be asked. When answering a question, restate the question in your own words to ensure understanding. Then answer accordingly in complete sentences with one sentence leading to the next. Note: Plan so that the appropriate and complete training and knowledge will be transferred to the audience.
Continuity in Videos
Continuity in using video to provide lessons involves each slide displaying a logical progression from one slide to the next. The theme, idea, or aim of the lessons have to follow through from the introduction to lesson 1 to the final lesson. Make sure that one lesson leads to another by making a statement as to what will be coming next in the following lesson. In other words, the end of lesson 1 should end with a lead into the objective of lesson 2. If it does not, then there is a disconnect and the viewers will be confused. Note: Use entertaining or fun videos or emoticons to help in maintaining continuity and to engage the viewers.
Continuity provides a sensible flow for users from reading, to listening, to viewing. It is a link from one thing to another. Without continuity, disruptions, misunderstandings, misconceptions can occur, followed by confusion and mistakes.
If you can add more information to the importance of continuity or have seen examples of material not having continuity please leave a comment.