One of the most important considerations a writer must keep in mind when preparing to write is the intended audience. For example, the differences between a technical manual written for engineers and a business report for executives are substantial. The writing must take into account the style expected by the audience, the format required by the kind of document, and the technical skills of the audience (VanAlstyne, 2005).
Style and technical skills of the audience are closely tied together. Generally, engineers have a greater understanding of the technical jargon related to their field. This naturally means that a technical manual for engineers can include jargon and more difficult technical subject matter. A business report for executives, on the other hand, should avoid technical jargon and present technical matter only if necessary. Business reports tend to highlight business-related matters, rather than technical matters, so it can be assumed that business executives have an understanding of jargon related to their field.
Formatting will naturally be different for each kind of document. The two documents have different purposes and that will present itself in the formatting. Technical manuals are informative, while business reports tend to present analysis. A technical manual for engineers will include detailed processed and diagrams explaining how to perform the necessary functions. A business report for executives presents a high-level overview of the subject matter, but should also include graphs and diagrams as necessary.
VanAlstyne, J. S. (2005). Professional and technical writing strategies: Communicating in technology and science. Sixth ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson-Prentice Hall.