Practice Makes Perfect Presentation

I am sure anyone reading this has had their fair share of PowerPoint presentations. After much feedback over the years, I thought that I was doing everything right, as you probably think too. I always figured you just need to add pictures, transitions, and make sure it looks well organized and not clustered. However, after doing some research and watching this extremely helpful Ted Talk, I learned way more than I thought I would. Give it a watch:

To sum up the video, there are five key points to consider when making a PowerPoint. David JP Phillips says that first, make sure you only put one message per slide. This is because our brains are very limited on how much they can take in and concentrate on at a time.

Secondly, work the audience’s memory. In order to do this, only use short bits of text per slide and include images. If you find yourself using big long sentences, then use that as the content you deliver verbally, but take away some key words to put on your slide.

Third, watch your sizing. We often make the headline bigger than the content on the slide. However, the headline is rarely the most important part. The most important part of your PowerPoint should also be the biggest, because this is what your eyes will spend the most time on.

Fourth, use effective contrast. This will help show what needs to be focused on. A good tip would be not using white for your background. If you use black or a dark color, then the audience can relax their eyes and focus on the person delivering the presentation as well, and not only focus on the big white screen. YOU are the presentation. The PowerPoint is simply your visual aid.

Fifth and final, only put enough objects that can be seen. Do not put so many to where it takes the audience a while to count how many are on the slide. Personally, I think four or less objects per slide is acceptable. Otherwise, it causes the audience to use more energy, which also can exhaust their interest in your content. Now, this may cause you to have more slides, but that is not an issue compared to having slides that are too content heavy.

Knowing how to present is very important in school and in many jobs. Practice using these five tips with every PowerPoint and I guarantee you will perfect each one. Hopefully you found this just as helpful as I did!

By Kamryn Cantu, Business Major-IUPUC

HI, HOW ARE YA?

What really is a “brand” anyway? A brand, by definition, is a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.

If you really think about it, a lot of things/people have brands.

For example, Jeffree Star is well known in the makeup industry for the amazing makeup that he produces. 

Jeffree makes his money in multiple different ways,

  1. YouTube:  
    • Where most people are familiar with this big brand influencer
    • Not even where the bulk of his money comes from
    • 16.2 million subscribers on YouTube and growing
    • His views average from 4M-35M
    • His YouTube videos give him a 6 figure pay out each year, easily
    • He is the richest YouTuber
    • He is the 2nd highest subscribed person on YouTube in the beauty section
  2. Makeup:
    • His empire, also where most people know him
    • Makes $150 million a year, which 70 million of, he pockets
    • Profits 7.2 million for every product launch
    • Independent brand, not a large owned brand which means he profits more
This is Jeffree’s brand logo, if you notice his last name is Star, so for his logo it is a star.
  1. Real Estate/ Marijuana
    • These are side investments that Star has took interest in
    • These are basically backups if the makeup brand does not work out

Jeffree has a lot of things that come together to make his brand, and make it signature to him. His logo of a star, which is also his last name, and the intro to his YouTube video.

Star has three personal homes, and 10 businesses he is running besides his makeup brand.

How to Create a Brand

  1. Determine your brand’s audience.
    • Motivation
    • Pain points
    • Influencers
    • College students
    • Single moms
  2. Establish your brand mission statement.
    • “Just do it.” – Nike
  3. Research bands within your industry niche.
    • The goal is to differentiate from your competition
  4. Outline key qualities and benefits your brand offers.
    • A better way to support productivity
    • Reducing costs with more affordable options
  5. Create a brand logo and tagline.
    • Logo size and placement
    • Color pallet
    • Web elements
    • Photography/image style
  6. Form your brand voice.
    • Professional
    • Technical
    • Friendly
    • Self-oriented
    • Promotional
    • Authoritative
  7. Build a brand message and elevator pitch.
    • Who you are
    • What you offer
    • Why people should care
  8. Let your brand personality shine.
    • Telling stories about real experiences
  9. Intergrade your brand into every part of your business.
    • Visible and reflect in everything that you say/do
  10. Stay true to your brand building.
    • Consistency is key
  11. Be your brands biggest advocate.
    • No one knows your brand like you do, spread the word

Making a brand is not all that hard, once you think about it. Just follow these steps, stay true to you and your brand, and you’ll be on your way to having your own personal brand!

Zoe Chasse, Business Major IUPUC

Communication in a Die-versity Workplace Won’t Kill You!

Image result for diverse workforce

When you google what diversity means it defines it as a range of different things, which is correct, but in the way that we are using it, it needs to be more specific. The way that I would define diversity is understanding that everyone is unique and recognizing our differences. Some examples of our differences are economic status, age, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and physical abilities.

 Working in a place where there are many diverse individuals makes for an inclusive workplace. When you have an inclusive workplace with many diverse employees the flow of communication will strengthen. Communication is described as the exchanging of information from one to another, when communicating you must always remember to be clear and concise between, your co-workers and managers so that the message isn’t decoded wrongly.

The benefits of working in a diverse workplace and having strong communication skills with one another are tremendously effective for your personal business. Here are some listed benefits:

  • Diverse employees can inspire creativity and innovation
  • Diverse teams are more productive and perform better
  • A diverse skill set in your business will offer a range of different products and services
  • Diverse employees can bring different ideas to the table

While there are benefits, there are also challenges that come with communication in a diverse workplace some of which are:

  • Co-workers from some cultures or economic status may be less likely to get their voices heard
  • When working with a diverse group it is likely to face prejudice
  • The language barrier might be hard to overcome

Although there are only a few benefits and challenges listed, communication in a diverse place can excel if those are remembering the basic communication process, which is:

  1. Having an idea
  2. Converting ideas in heads to convey a message
  3. Message travels channels
    1. For example, sending the message through an email
  4. Receiver translates the message
  5. Feedback travels to the sender of message
  6. Then possible feedback to the receiver

I hope in your place of work you excel in communication and use these simple steps in the communication process.

The Art of Spoken Word

When we think of “Spoken word performance”, we often think of dusty brew houses, beret-adorned hipsters reciting their supposedly “Avant-Garde” poetry. On the surface, it can seem like an art form long dead.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In fact, spoken word performance is thriving. Though it might be hard to recognize it as such: Spoken word lives on in perhaps one of the most popular genres to date: Rap music. Now, i’m not really a fan of Rap/Hip-Hop myself, but I have composed and studied various forms of poetry, rhyme, etc for years. Before I get too far ahead of myself, it’s a decent idea to ask: What is spoken word performance defined as, anyhow? It’s essentially any work of poetry that is specifically made to be recited aloud or performed as opposed to read. The line between typical “Musical style” performance and spoken word lies in the fact that traditional music vocals tend to center themselves around creating a melody, a sound pleasant to the ear. It is a performance that puts your needs first. Spoken Word, quite frankly, doesn’t give a damn.

Bonus points if you get the reference

Spoken word oftentimes had no accompanying music, and if it did, the music was centered around the words, not the other way around. And most Rap music tracks are written like that. In fact, “Freestyling” typically involves no accompanying music, possibly excepting a percussion beat to help keep the Emcee in rhythm.

I have, thus far spoken about Rap as a nebulous concept that relates to spoken word. It is worth noting that some things you might consider “Rap” wouldn’t fall under this category, as again, they’re centered around creating a melody pleasing to the ear, not on rhyme, wordplay, and meter. The vast majority of rap music, especially older stuff, is firmly in the spoken word category.

To understand the relationship between Rap and Spoken word, we would need to go back to the 1920’s. Specifically, back to Harlem. Around this time, the African-American community experienced a revival of Art, Music, Philosophy, and all manner of things that helped shape the creative identity of African American culture, the effects even rippling to this day. Spoken word poetry, of course, being a popular form of expression at the time. These Black Poets would rhyme about all manner of things, but frustration and struggle were recurring themes for many of them. Specifically, the struggles they faced as an oppressed racial minority mostly consigned to poverty. Around this sense of shared struggle, in fact, is where much of the cultural cohesion of the Harlem Renaissance took place. However, this was still “Conventional” oral poetry in practice. The beginnings of what we know as “Rap” wouldn’t emerge until the seventies. The rest, is history.

A video of the most famous Creative to come out of the Harlem Renaissance, Langston Hughes, reading one of his most iconic poems.

Obviously, some rappers utilize spoken word more than others, but perhaps one of the most subtly poetic MCs is also one of the most vulgar.

Stefan Burnett, better known as MC Ride, is the lyrical front-man of the experimental Rap trio Death Grips, and perhaps one of the most influential spoken word artists of our generation. It could be argued some of his tracks are so post-modernist as to defy the medium of spoken word altogether, but I would disagree. His vocals are the obvious center of the performance, oftentimes being discordant with the actual music. I could talk at length about his style, and how it really is spoken form in almost pure form, but perhaps showing you would do better:

Keep in mind, the first minute or so is an audio clip taken from an interview with Charles Manson.

What’s the point of this blog post? To, hopefully, convince you that spoken word performance is far from an aging, irrelevant, “Hipster” medium, but is alive and well. Even if it’s far from those dusty brew houses and their accursed poetry slams.

Cover Letters and Thank You Letters and Interviews, OH MY!

Are you looking for the real reason to use cover letters and send thank you letters? Look no further!

What is the real reason we use cover letters and thank you letters? Well, let me tell you. It definitely has nothing to do with lions and tigers and bears! I have a few good reasons you will want to use a cover letter and follow-up with a thank you letter.

Why a Cover Letter?

  • To show the employer how AWESOME you are
  • And to make them FLIP THE PAGE to your resume
  • This gives you a better chance to get the interview

There are a couple of things to be aware of though. When you’re writing your cover letter be sure not to brag but tell the employer how you can benefit the company. If you’re applying to a few different places, then be sure to change some of your wording in your cover letter for each company. Employers DO NOT have time to read pages about how great you are. It’s important to keep it short and sweet and to the point.

Cover Letter Info

Interview

Now, if everything goes right you’ll get the interview!

Why Send a Thank You Letter?

  • This is for after the interview.
  • It shows you have good manners, of course!
  • This is your last chance to leave a positive impression AND your last chance to get your name in front of them.
  • Did you forget to mention something in your interview? Thank you letters are the perfect chance to say it!

Thank You Letter Info

IMPORTANT

If where you’re applying to specifically asks that you don’t add a cover letter, then don’t. Not following instructions can cause you not to get the interview. So, make sure you know what the employer wants!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

I hope this helps anyone wondering why it’s important to use cover letters and thank you letters. Please let me know what you think! Best of luck to your future endeavors.

Emily Brugh – Business Major @ IUPUC

 

6 Steps to an A on Your Presentation

  1. First Impressions Matter

Watch those baby steps! The first thing people notice is your theme. The wrong theme and your PowerPoint already failed. Play to your audience and ask yourself if this is something you would want to sit through. A clever title is a dead giveaway of your work and lets the viewer know what’s in store for them. Don’t drag down your points because your title was “Cow Farts” in a presentation about methane.

  1. Organization, Organization, Organization

Keeping pace with the presentation is what makes you a successful speaker, so don’t forget to organize your points. Make sure to introduce your main ideas before speaking them. Give the audience a simple sentence to prepare for the next section. Something as easy as, that was Organization next is Consistency.

  1. Consistency is Key

No one wants to see a bunch of random nonsense cluttering up your PowerPoint. Watch where you place your pictures and keep them even in every slide. Just keep it simple and stick to set transitions that can still grab attention but don’t distract from the importance. So, it still looks like the same presentation but with all the pizzazz you intended.

  1. Word Count Those Slides!!

Watch the words on your slides no one really wants to sit through a presentation anyway so don’t add an essay on top of it. Stick to main ideas, unless you’re quoting something directly the PowerPoint is to aid your audience, not your script.

  1. Summarize and Conclude

Make it a spectacular finish and summarize your points for your audience. This can help them catch up on details they missed or allow them to review your points for questions at the end. If you want your audience to remember your points repetition is a surefire method of success. It lets your viewers relax and enjoy your presentation instead of working to learn it even after you are done.

  1. Spell Check

Never forget to review your presentation for clear errors when its done. It is always best to have someone else check your work but since we all know you did this an hour before it was due at least spell check your work. There is a big difference between “your” work, and “you’re” work.

There are a few tips to give yourself a shot at an A even if you aren’t a strong presenter. A good presentation doesn’t make quality materials, but it sure does disguise crap.

How Baseball Players and Coaches Communicate

 

catcher

Baseball is one of America’s oldest games. It was invented by a soldier named Abner Graves during the Civil War in 1839. The game was first played in Cooperstown, NY where the baseball hall of fame is now located. Baseball is a very strategic game that teams will do anything to gain an advantage. One advantage a team can have against each other is secretly communicating by using hand signals.

If you have ever watched a baseball game, you have probably seen the nonverbal communication between players and coaches. The most obvious being the catchers hand signals to the pitcher to signal what pitch to throw and where to throw it. Another form of nonverbal communication used in baseball is the hand signals used by the coaches. These signals tell the player if they should bunt, swing, take a pitch, etc. Baseball teams use these signals so that opposing teams do not know what to expect when they are playing.

The main example of hand signals in baseball is from the catcher. If you have ever watched a baseball game on TV you have seen a catcher use these signals. These signals allow the pitcher and catcher to know what pitch and what location to expect whenever the ball is thrown. For example, typically a catcher pointing his index finger means a fastball. If the catcher shows two fingers it generally means a type of off-speed pitch, either a curveball or a slider. If a catcher would put up three or four fingers, this would be a pitcher’s choice of his specialty pitches, such as a two-seam fastball, sinker, or changeup. Catchers also use these signs to signal the location the pitch needs to be located. A catcher could put two fingers and move them to the left side of his leg it means throw a curveball to the right side of the plate.

Whenever there is a runner on base however things get a little more complicated. On second base a runner can directly see what signs the catcher is using. If the catcher used his regular signals the baserunner could tell his teammate what pitch is coming next. To prevent this from happening, when there is a baserunner catcher add more signals to for one pitch. The most common form of this would be the first sign being the pitch and the last type the location. The first sign is determined just by the number, and the location is determined on if the last number is odd or ever, odd numbers meaning outside of the plate and even numbers being inside of the plate. For example, if a runner is on second base, the catcher could put down a sequence of: 1, 2, 2, 1, and 4. This would mean the catcher wants and inside fastball. During the game catchers and pitchers may change their signal in order to ensure the opposing players do not crack the code.

Infielders also need to know the signs to determine who will cover second base. If a left-handed batter is at the plate the shortstop will look at the catcher to see what the pitch is coming. After looking a what the pitch will be he will then figure out whether he or the second baseman will cover the bag. He relays this message by covering half of his face with his glove and using his mouth to say me or you. An open mouth means “you” and a closed mouth means “me”.

The last example of non-verbal communication in baseball is the coaches hand signals towards the players. Signs differ from each team and most likely change in each game. These signs are given by the coaches to determine whether or not to steal, bunt, hit and run, hit right or left side of the field and many more. Some of these signs are very hard to understand for spectators, but players know exactly what their coaches are saying. Examples of what these signs are touching both shoulders for a steal, touching your hat for a bunt, or running your hand down your arm for a hit and run. Normally when looking at these signs the last sign the coach gives is the play you need to make. An example of this would be the coach touching his hat first, grabbing one of his ears, running a hand down an arm, and then touching both shoulders. This would be the coach telling a baserunner to steal second base. It is important for players and coaches to have backup signs just in case the opposing team figure out what the sign means.

Baseball is a very strategic game. Players and coaches use hand signals to relay messages secretly. Next time you go to a baseball game or watch a baseball game, try and see what the players and coaches are doing to see if you can guess what is going to happen next.

By Spencer Silence, Business Major

 

Who Needs a Kickstart?

What do all good commercials have in common?

Image result for Kickstart

All good commercials have a Kickstart!

Well other than being in the Super Bowl, all good commercials grab the audience’s attention just long enough to get their ideas out. Finding common ground to reach everyone is hard so I will discuss briefly why humorous commercials don’t always work. Throughout this blog, I hope to give you an idea of what it takes to create a good commercial by using one commercial as a guide. Please take a few seconds to watch the following commercial. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6n_K6wuC5cw

This may seem like another boring commercial at the start, but then it takes a weird twist to create an instant classic. By taking a simple idea and throwing in something such as a puppy monkey and baby all fused together, this commercial had everyone talking for months after Super Bowl 50. I still think about this commercial sometimes because it had a hold on me that stuck for the past couple of years. Speaking of the Super Bowl and all the commercials we have grown to love, why is this the one I picked from the long list.

This Puppy Monkey Baby Mountain Dew commercial showed up and took everyone by surprise literally. So what makes it so great? Well, that’s just it, this commercial was surprising to the whole audience. It didn’t wait for the audience to pay attention, it made us. I personally don’t like to watch long commercials about a drink or a car dealership, so a quick out of no-where commercial such as the one above is perfect.

A good commercial needs to be effective and informational. Some say it’s all about being humorous as well. This I disbelieve, as too many people have different opinions on what is funny and what is not. Making a humorous commercial might split your audience in half just by the way some people perceive a joke. Quickly grabbing someone’s attention with a loud noise like yelling “wow that’s a low price” or having a puppy/monkey/baby appear is what catches an audience. Some might think it’s funny to see such a weird creature and others might not, yet it still catches the attention of the audience and gets them to wonder “what in the..”.

Right after they hook the audience with the Narnia like creature, they begin showcasing their new product, even though it was just a small part of the commercial. The new Dew Kickstart wasn’t even the center of attention, but was involved in just enough close-ups so the audience gathered why this was a commercial.

To review what makes this commercial great, it captivates the audience. It gave us something new and out of the ordinary to grab our attention. It was quick to get the product out before a loss of interest and created a connection to the product from the weirdness the commercial created. Shortly after this commercial was released people were looking all over to get some of this new Kickstart because of a puppy, monkey, and baby. That is why this commercial is so great… Dilly Dilly!

By: Stuart Bryan, Business Major

A Podcast to Reach Your Dreams

By: Ashleigh Meister

Do you have dreams? Do you dream about getting a degree and finally graduating? Do you dream of what it would feel like to pay off all of your debt and be able to spend your earned money how you want? Do you dream of buying your dream house? What about owning your own business? All of your dreams are possible if you do the work to make them happen.

Rachel Hollis is a mother, a wife, and a self-made business woman who has dreams just like you and she is working towards her goals every day. She has figured out how to reach many of her goals by researching and not taking no for an answer. She created this podcast to share the tools that she used for her own success. Her podcast is called “Rise Podcast”.

In this podcast series, she interviews several successful business people, narrates chapters from her own book, and easily motivates you to actually make steps towards your dreams and goals. Rachel’s audience is mostly made up of females in the “Rise Podcast”. She speaks primarily to women because she was in the same place as her audience at one point in time.

There is a lot of marketing in this podcast. Like mentioned before, Rachel narrates chapters from her book. This is a form of marketing for her book. She also asks you to screen shot the podcast episode you are listening to and post on social media by tagging her in your Instagram stories or post via @msrachelhollis. I think this is very smart and a great way to market herself without saying, “Hey, go follow me!”. She knows how to drive traffic to her other outlets.

Rachel’s podcast may be focused on women but that does not mean that men cannot take notes. She has several interviews with very successful men. While this podcast’s main focus is women; Rachel and her husband have an additional podcast for married couples. This is something that she also markets in her “Rise Podcast”.

“Nobody, not a voice of authority, not your Mama, not the foremost expert in your arena; gets to tell you how big your dreams can be. They can talk all they want, but you get to decide if you’re willing to listen.” -Rachel Hollis

Listening is Key

Listening Blog

Listening is a huge part of life. Listening is a crucial part when it comes to communication. Having the ability to listen effectively can change not only your life but also the lives of others around you. A quote that really stuck out to me was, “No one is as deaf as a man who will not listen.” (Jewish Proverb) This quote makes a lot of sense to me. Even people who cannot physically listen, because they are deaf, can still listen in other ways. For example, someone’s body language can tell you a lot about the kind of mood they are in. People who don’t listen cannot effectively communicate because it turns in to one-way communication. This kind of person generally only cares about what they have to say. They will say what they want to say and then just tune out what others are saying. I believe that listening is about hearing, I think it is about understanding and getting the meaning out of what is being said.

When communicating with others if you listen well you can get out lot out of what they are saying. If the speaker knows that you are listening it generally makes them feel better and more comfortable to speak to you. While having a conversation you can listen and figure out what kind of mood the person is in by paying attention to the tone of their voice, how they are talking, and body language. If you know this information you could attempt to make the person feel better. Sometimes all it takes to make someone feel better is to have someone their to hear what they have to say. I know that when I’m feeling down about something it is great to have someone there who will listen to what I have to say and how I feel. Listening to someone could make a difference in their life because many people don’t have someone, they can talk to that will listen to what they have to say.
Listening Blog2
If think that you are struggling with listening there are ways to make yourself better. A good thing to start off doing is maintain eye contact. Maintaining eye contact makes yourself focus on what the speaker is saying and also shows them that you are paying attention. Keep anything distracting away such as cellphones. Ask questions. Asking questions causes you to be engaged in the conversation. These are just a few useful tips to become a better listener.

In conclusion, listening is very important in our lives and in others. Without the ability to listen effectively, life can be pretty difficult. If you can listen effectively it can help you understand more and make others around you feel better and want to speak to you more.

By: Gabriel Wilson, Business Major, IUPUC

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