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

Do You Hear What I Hear???

 

woman wearing headphones standing beside man

Photo by Nicholas Githiri on Pexels.com

Listening to me and Hearing me are two different things. How well do you listen? According to PR Daily, less than 2 percent of the country’s population, have had formal education on how to listen. Did that not just blow your mind, because mine is flabbergasted! We communicate everyday with people from around the world, only to realize what we are saying to each other is only being heard, and not comprehended. I have 3 quick points on how we can enhance our communication skills, by simply improving our listening abilities.

  1. Pay Attention
  2. Open Your Mind
  3. Interact

These tips do not have to be completed in order, but you will realize it is much easier to get a better understanding of the conversation if you do. Now to break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying Attention is the key to the conversation. This allows the sender and receiver, the opportunity to feel each other out. It is also needed to retain pertinent information.
  • Open your mind to all ideas, whether you feel like it is good or bad. You never know what someone else can bring to the table, not to mention we all fall short of knowing everything, so always be willing to learn something new.
  • Both the sender and the receiver should interact with each other. By doing this the other knows if the message sent is clear. Interaction could be as simple as eye contact or a nod of the head. The point is you are letting the other know you get it!

I have found in relationships that I have with others in my life, communicating effectively is so important. Not understanding what someone is trying to tell you, after they have said it over and over, and you have heard it over and over, is past frustrating. That is why during the communicating process, we must openly listen to each other and pay attention to the details in the message so that we can respond to it effectively. Considering there are so many cultures that make up our country, some ways of getting a message across will vary. These steps might not work for every situation, but they can assist with the process.

A Typical Job Interview

I’m sure many of you if not all of you have been through at least one job interview in your lifetime so far. Well, how many of you actually took time and effort to prepare for the interview? Probably not as much as you wish you would’ve.        An interview consists of many simple but huge steps you should always follow. After completing all your resume steps which should have been done in order for you to get an interview, you want to make sure those files and documents are accessible to yourself as well as your future employer. Make sure you always plan ahead and maybe even bring an extra copy of your resume. You should always go into the job interview feeling confident and strong that you have a place to fill the position you’re trying to get. Employers have many jobs other than being a hiring manager. Time is money, don’t waste their time. Most employers will only bring you in for an interview if they feel like you will be a good fit for the position and team. Most interviews for very serious businesses are put together to get to know you more personally. If they know you can do the job, they will always have you come in for a face-to-face interview that way they can get to see how you act in person. Most of the time you’re going to be at work and so they want to make sure they like you at a personal level as well as a coworker/team.        In order for you to do good in an interview, you should always be conversational with the employer. Don’t be shy, speak up and speak to them as if you met a new person. A lot of times people feel discouraged in an interview which results in them being quiet and not showing themselves at a high potential. You don’t want to make them feel awkward, the more you talk the better you will be off. You should always be prepared physically as well as mentally. Going into an interview you should be wearing something that is at least a bit dressier than a regular day for yourself. Maybe slacks, jeans, polos, clean shoes, etc. Dress yourself accordingly to the job title. Although not everyone can look as nice as one another, you should always try to be at your best physical appearance that way they know you are serious enough about their opening position.        Expect the greatest but don’t let that tear you don’t fit the requirements for the open position. You can expect to receive a drug test, background check, legal citizenship, and other requirements for the job. Hopefully this has given you a few helpful tips about a job interview.

 

By Corey Wall, Business Management Major – IUPUC

Why must we listen?

When you were young do you recall your parents telling you to LISTEN?  Perhaps you remember them saying ‘I know you hear me but are you LISTENING to me?’ At the time did you wonder ‘What is the difference?’ Let me try to explain what the difference is and why it is an important life skill.

Hearing is a physical activity that refers to the vibrations your ear receives then turns into sounds. On the other hand, listening is much more involved and can be a physical AND mental activity.

There are also different types of listening. For example, active listening involves not only the physical activity of listening to what is being said but also in watching the body language of the speaker. Effective listening requires focus, and concentration which requires both physical and mental activity. Both types are extremely important in our daily communications.

By being both an active and effective listener you can help in preventing miscommunication, misunderstandings, establish a connection with the speaker, and also improve the interpretation of what is being said.  I am sure we have all experienced a variation of miscommunication or misunderstanding. What if you had a simple misunderstanding while working on project and someone was hurt? Could a  miscommunication from a co-worker lead to clients losing their investment? Would you lose your job? Unfortunately, all of these things can and have happened.

Here are some ways you can improve your listening skills.

Maintain eye contact. By keeping eye contact with the speaker your mind will wander less and the distraction of those around you can be kept to a minimum.

Remain attentive. Once eye contact is established you can remain attentive and you are likely to absorb and retain more information.

Keep an open mind. Save your questions and judgements for the end of the speech simply because they may be answered at the speech progresses.

Listen to the words the speaker is saying and when you hear them in context and it will help in interpretation and limit misunderstandings.

Don’t interrupt. Of course this goes without saying however we often need reminded.

Employers are providing workshops and seminars to their employees simply because of they want to emphasize the importance of listening. Listening is a skill that is not only required but essential for the workplace, relationships, and everyday communication.  How well do you think you listen?

 

 

By Lindsay McIntosh,  Senior at IUPUC

 

 

Closing the Age Gap

If I had a dollar every time my grandparents asked me how to use Facebook, fix their phone, or even how to send a text with a picture attached, I’d be rich. In today’s society of ever-evolving technology, the baby boomers seem to have a much steeper learning curve than the millennials.

The communication style between these two generations is drastically different for many reasons. One of which being that the technology that is available today is very different than the technology that was available in the 1970s/1980s. Many millennials have grown up communicating through texts and snapchats instead of through outdated letters and phone calls. Baby boomers would not be able to figure out snapchat and can barely figure out how to text. Most of them would much rather call if they need to talk or reach someone. Although these two styles of communication are much different, the same idea is behind each form of communication and the same goal is achieved, just in a different way.

Another big difference between baby boomers and millennials is cell phone usage. Today, it is becoming more and more acceptable to carry a conversation through text, while also carrying a conversation in person. If you have ever tried to even send just one text while talking to a baby boomer, you most likely received a dirty look, or a snarky remark about your phone. To them, the act of even just checking your phone while carrying a casual conversation can come across as extremely disrespectful.

Even though at times the communication styles between these two age groups seems to be drastically different, the one thing we all have in common is all generations have a need for human interaction. No matter the form.

 

Emma Sanders

Psychology Major at IUPUC

Social Media: Business Made Easy

 

It’s 2017. Times have changed. People can be connected to their friends and family with a touch of a button now thanks to social media. Because of the vast amounts of people logging onto Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram each day, businesses both big and small have created their own social media platforms. Why do this? Why change the way customers find out about your company and products? What are the benefits?

Well-known companies and brands such as Apple, Hollister, and Wal-Mart have figured out the best benefit of social media: marketing. On Facebook, ads catch a person’s eye and take them to the company’s page. This not only promotes the business but also introduces it to new people. However, not many teenagers use Facebook as their main source of social media, so a business might consider making an Instagram account to attract the younger generation to their products. While marketing is a big part of a business’s interest in social media, companies also can use it for connecting with their customers.

Twitter is a wonderful way for a brand to know their customers wants and improve their business practices. For example, many fashion brands will post new releases on their account which allows their customers to comment, like, and share the post. This introduces another benefit of business on social media: feedback. Companies would know what they need to improve after reading through the comments on their posts, create a relationship with the customers, and know what they are excelling at. Though there are several other benefits of incorporating social media and business, marketing and instant feedback make combining the two worth the time.

Aside from the major sources of social media, businesses also advertise on successful blogs. My cousin Lauren Bradberry, who writes a style blog, had an unpleasant experience with Ipsy, a company that sends people make-up samples for a monthly fee. “I was put on a waiting list for an indefinite period,” explained Lauren. “Unless I shared their company on all my social media platforms, then I would be taken off.” Lauren cancelled her subscription because she thought Ipsy was being manipulative. From Lauren’s experience, businesses could learn that it is best to promote themselves on their own social media and allowing people to come across it on their own.

If anyone is thinking of starting a business or is looking for ways to improve one they have already created, social media is the key. It gets the company’s name out there and is more likely to be recognized. With social media playing an important part today, it shows that people are accepting of businesses having a respectful role. Several companies have already taken on the challenge of growing through social media, so why should you miss out?

Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

What Martial Arts Belt Are You When It Comes To Presentations?

How well can you kick butt at presenting? I have videos and quizzes below; let us find out how much you know presentations and what belt you rank. Take notes while watching the videos to see what the mistakes or improvements are then take the quizzes to test your knowledge.  Please leave comments on the page to let me know what you think!

Delivering a bad presentation – spot the mistakesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATfY8dvbuFg&gt;.

Did you cringe as much as I did watching that video? Did you see any mistakes that were happening with this presentation? If so, then take this quiz and see where you rank in kicking presentation butt.

Presenter Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-not-to-do-in-a-presentation

Power Point Quiz:

https://www.playbuzz.com/haleyt26/what-should-not-be-in-a-power-point

How well did you do? If you scored as a Black belt, then you are on the right track of kicking presentation butt, if you scored Blue belt then that just means you have a couple more things to learn!, if you scored White belt then my friend this blog is here for you. Take these skills and learn how to make yourself a Black belt when it comes to presentations! Here is a video of what a good presentation looks like. Take notes and see what you notice the differences are.

Delivering a good presentation – identify the good techniquesYoutube.com. University of Bedfordshire, 6 Jan. 2012. Web. 13 Apr. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5utoLhjUuAI&gt;.

If you are still not sure you got everything, check your notes with the cheat sheet below mark off what you got right. If you have the information down, try retaking the quizzes again!

Presenter Mistakes:

  • Does not have the technology prepared or know how to use the equipment when it is their turn to present.
  • Did not introduce herself
  • Was playing on her phone and taking a drink at the beginning of the presentation.
  • Presenter is facing the presentation screen and not the audience.
  • Presenter is reading from the slides instead of using it as reminder points.
  • Presenter has her arms crossed while talking.
  • Volume is too low or too fast.
  • No eye contact or scanning of the room to keep connected to the audience.
  • Audience did not have time to ask questions or receive answers.

Power Point Mistakes:

  • Bad choice of background color, and font color.
  • Inconsistency of images, spacing and fonts. (not professional or uniform throughout)
  • Overcrowded slides
  • Irrelevant & unprofessional pictures along with unnecessary and unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • No reference list at end for her citations.

Presenter Improvements:

  • Presenter introduces herself and her topic
  • Faces the audience instead of the board
  • Uses good volume and speed throughout the presentation
  • Moves hands but in a non-distracting way.
  • Does not read every point off the slides, only looks at slide to read the examples.
  • Breaks away from looking at the slide to make eye contact.
  • Gives the audience time to answer her questions before giving the answer.
  • Gives more time for audience to ask questions before ending presentation
  • Ends presentation with a positive attitude and conclusion.
  • Presentation is engaging the audience

Power point improvements:

  • Uniform slide colors (not too dark or too light)
  • Uniform font size and colors (does not blend into the background, easy to read from a distance)
  • Examples in presentation are a different color to highlight the point. (does not distract or blend with the background color)
  • Slides are not overcrowded
  • Great use of bullet points
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional images
  • Did not use unnecessary or unprofessional animations/transitions.
  • Moved through slides at an even pace

 

Did you score better this time? If so then great! You are on the right track to being a Black belt at presentations! Take this information with you to help determine between good and bad presentations from here on out.

 

By: Haley Thompson, Business Major- IUPUC.

 

Communication with Foreign Co-Workers on Overseas Assignments

There is no doubt that we are globalizing ourselves and that we are more diverse than before. The United States has become a land of many cultures. Communication has become better through technology and the socialization of the human species. Yet, how can we prepare employees for an overseas assignment? This is something that can be seen in two ways, a structured plan for the assignment itself and the in-depth cultural communication factor.

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Andy Molinsky and Melissa Hahn write that there are five ways one can succeed on an overseas assignment in a structured way.

  • Have a purpose and a person who can promote that purpose. Having the right person to make this assignment work is quite important, especially in cultural understanding and understanding of the project.
  • Having a close connection to home works well, that way the person overseas doesn’t lose touch with what he or she is doing for the company. A good mentor would work.
  • Communication between the worker and employer needs to be constant for best results.
  • Before leaving, it is ideal to start on talks of how the assignment was beneficial and what was learned.
  • The company can distribute what it learned from that experience.

We often forget that to have a successful assignment overseas, the communication between the employee and the foreign team is crucial. We need to consider cultural, social, and language barriers amongst diversity and work. There is no denying that “…English is now the global language of business.” as mentioned by Tsedel Neeley in her article Global Business Speaks English. But this doesn’t really help many. My interview with Dr. Joann Jones, Executive Director – Leadership Development for Cummins, led to these tips.

  • Prepare the assignment ahead of time so that everyone working on the assignment can understand the assignment.
  • Know that there will be a need for clarification as language and cultural barriers are present.
  • If possible, know the language and culture of where one may stay can improve results.
  • An ending follow-up on the assignment will be helpful, especially a written documentation of the progress and results. This may help clarify any miscommunications.

Making sure an overseas assignment is completely worked out is the main goal, but knowing the cultural factor and having a structured plan can lead to a successful assignment.

 

By Alvaro Garcia, Business Major – IUPUC

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