Is This Graphic Really Fantastic?

By Kaylee Burriss

Well, no, not always. Choosing the wrong graphics can distract from your message. When adding graphics to your writings and presentations it is important to make sure that the graphics are enhancing your message. There are also several different kinds of graphics that can be used and it is important to choose the one that best fits your message. The most used graphics are images and graphs.

CameraImages are easier to use in all forms of writing, as graphs are most useful when displaying lots of numbers about a specific topic. When selecting an image for a paper or presentation it is important that the image is not distracting and that the reader will still be interested in the content that you are sharing with them more than the image. Images that have too many details, a lot of bright colors, or extra information that is irrelevant to your topic can all lead to your readers being distracted. The best images will be simple while still fitting in with the content in your writing or presentation.

When using graphs it is important to use a format that shows your data in a relevant way.  It is important that the type of graph you use makes sense for your data. Using a pie chart for data that is not measured in a percentage does not make sense. In the first image above, Smartphone Ownership, it is easy to see how much smartphone sales have increased over time just based on the sizes of the bars. By adding the percentage values on top of these bars, anyone that wants more specific information, such as how much did sales increase from 2012 to 2013 it is easy to find this information. The second image above, Time Spent on Mobile Devices, is confusing. This graph is comparing the average usage of smartphones in the first quarter of 2013 and 2014, then switches to using the fourth quarter for 2015 and 2016. It would be easy to assume that based on this graph Americans were using their mobile phone twice as much in 2016 than they were in 2013, but since the entire year is not being represented in either case there is no way to know if this is really true.

Regardless of what kind of graphic you are using it is important to remember that need the graph or image to enhance what you’re saying and not distract from the message you are attempting to convey to your readers or listeners.

Power Point-ing: Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

In college or at work, at some point you are going to create a power point presentation. You may prefer Prezi, Google Slides, or the most commonly known Microsoft PowerPoint itself. These programs offer endless options in colors, themes, graphics, animations, and even cute little icons for bullet points to personalize your message. But please remember: Just because you can, does not mean you should! Yes, it is cliche, but it is true: Less is more. You can use catchy phrases and cheesy jokes to gain the attention of your audience, but let it end there. Here are a few helpful hints on how to make an awesome power point presentation without losing your credibility.

There are so many rules to follow when you are creating a presentation. Know your audience to better determine which approach to take. The ever popular 10-20-30 rule is a favorite. Your presentation should be no more than 10 slides, 20 minutes, and use 30 point font or larger. This is a great tool for the novice presenter. Keeping a simple theme with little or no animation and using a standard font will get your point across.

Maybe you have heard of the 5 by 5 rule (5 words per bullet point, 5 bullet points, and no more than 5 text heavy slides in a row). There is also the 1-6-6 rule (each slide has one main idea, 6 bullet points, with no more than 6 words each). It is safe to consider both of these concepts outdated, based on the average 8 second attention span. Text is evil and will lose your audience quickly.

The most important thing to remember as a presenter using PowerPoint, is the slides do not replace you. The images you provide are nothing more than a prop. Do not let your audience get caught up in reading and stop listening to your message.

Here is a new style of PowerPoint that is simple, easy to follow, and even easier to remember for your next engagement. “B4 You Present” is here to sweep the nation. The 4 B’s will save your audience from needing that second shot of espresso.

*Beyond the basic font – find a happy medium between boring and comedy. The font you use speaks volumes.Choose your style carefully, and stay consistent throughout your presentation.

*Big and beautiful – Create a clean slide with large font. Can you see me now?

*Browse for high quality images- Use one or two pictures per slide, no fuzz no pixels

*Boil it down – Break up your bullet points to their own slide, no more than 8 words per idea.

Let’s be honest with ourselves. No one wants to read a slide show, even if it contains graphics and bright colors. What we really want is to be entertained. So, treat each slide like its own individual advertisement. Use meaningful info graphics to display those boring figures and follow those four steps when building your PowerPoint slides. You will be the star of the show.

dosndonts

-Tiffany Riggs-Kredit, IUPUI

Marketing – Slogan message.

How does businesses communicate to the customer their product? Most would say through the various channels such as T.V., radio, newspaper, social media, etc. and all are correct. But what is the message that they want to convey for their benefit and how is it developed? This is where Marketing comes into play. Many businesses spend millions of dollars in research and development to create brand equity. The task is not easy, businesses must develop a marketing plan for their product and eventually create their logo, slogan, and promotions to attract customers.

I want to give more emphasis on business slogans as is what most customers remember when a company is mention. The slogan does not only represent the company but is also the message that businesses want the customer to remember. Such as Home Depot, “More saving. More doing.”, choosing effective slogans that relate directly to customer satisfaction is key. Ultimately, no one buys something if it does not satisfy a need or want. Effective slogans draw attention to the business and their products.

This marketing technique is very important and seen with most major corporations in the world. Slogans are so important that they are utilized in the business’s commercial, apparel, billboards, videos, business cards, and anything else that they may use for advertisement. Now, can you think of different companies and see if you remember their slogan? Wal-Mart, Nike, Red Bull, McDonalds, Skittles, MasterCard, etc.  If you could recall the company’s slogan can you think of why it became important to you as a customer?

If you were to start your own business think of how important it is to develop an effective slogan. Remember that your slogan should be memorable by customers, it should define a benefit, and differentiate you from competitors. While there are many more key factors in a business always remember that your slogan will be something that your customers will remember, and it will carry on for years.

By: Emir Gonzalez, Business Major – IUPUC.

America: Land of the free, home of Groupthink?

Group-think.

You may not know the term very well, but you are probably quite familiar with what it is. Group-think has long been associated with past events like the Nazi regime, the Challenger explosion, as well as the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In each of these instances, people have come forward after the fact and stated that at the time when some major decisions were being made, instead of saying they didn’t agree, they chose to “go along with” ideas or decisions that cost many people their lives. Things that could have possibly been avoided had someone stood up against the “group.”

Have you ever done something because numerous people you trusted suggested it, even if you didn’t do research on your own or really think about the consequences? Did you vote straight Republican or Democrat without examining the candidates voting record or beliefs? Perhaps you really didn’t even want to do something, but you went along with an idea of a group because you felt pressure to conform? That in a nutshell is group-think; conforming to the ideas and decisions of a group because of fear. While we all do these things in day to day life like choosing a restaurant or buying a brand of toothpaste, these instances are not going to cause you many issues. In large settings or when you help contribute to the making of a powerful decision, it can be a dangerous place to be in.

Group-think still happens in major ways today. We will see it in many forms come November. Even now the fear of being judged or treated poorly for simply not voting is a whole new wave of group-think. I have seen people who will vote simply because they are told they aren’t American if they don’t, while not even knowing the candidates’ names on the ballot.

By understanding the dangers of group-think, we begin holding ourselves accountable to our actions, diving into fear, and standing up for something that is right or we believe in, (especially when we are not in the majority.) While we know this is not an easy task, we are seeing people stand up all over the US today and make it known that fear will not stop them. From the Rosa Parks to the #metoo movement, standing up for what is right will always be the what makes America, the home of the BRAVE country it has always stood out to be.

 
-Christina Jones – Business and Communications Student – IUPUC