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 It is safe to consider both of these concepts outdated, based on the average 8 second attention span.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 two 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 three 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 it is much easier to understand the conversation if you do. Let’s break these tips down into a simpler form.

  • Paying attention is the key to any 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 they are 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 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 beyond 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 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.

Should Cursive Writing Be Taught in Schools?

As of right now, 41 states do not require cursive writing to be a part of their curriculum (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). That is far too many states in my opinion. There are many reasons as to why cursive is important and necessary to teach in elementary school.

Since Technology has increased drastically, many people think that teaching cursive writing is a waste of time. However, cursive motivates the brain. When writing in this form it improves the dynamic interplay of the left and right cerebral hemispheres, assists in creating neural pathways, and improves mental effectiveness (Hatfield).

Cursive uses different hand muscles and activates different parts of the brain that neither typing nor printing can do. For a more beneficial way to further the development of motor skills, children should be between the ages of 7 and 8 (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”). Teaching children repetition by encouraging the force needing to be applied to the pencil and paper, positioning the pencil on the paper at the right angle, and motor planning to form writing each letter smoothly from the left to right creates physical and special awareness to write. Repetition also creates neural foundation of sensory skills to perform everyday tasks such as tying shoes, picking up objects, reacting, buttoning, and note-taking (Hatfield).

By learning cursive, it gives children the opportunity to better understand and know the alphabet. If they are only taught English in one form, print, then they only get that one chance of learning and memorizing the alphabet. It also gives a clear understanding of how letters are formed and that can also improve on printing as well (“5 Reasons Cursive Writing”).

Some children write sloppy in print that it is hard to determine where one word ends and another begins. However, cursive requires children to write from left to right so letters join together in correct sequence, which makes it easier to read. In cursive, it allows the child to see words as a whole, instead of separate letters, and makes it easier to check for spelling. After repetition of the use of cursive, the hand acknowledges the spelling patterns through movements that are repeated in spelling (Hatfield).

If schools take away cursive writing, students will not be able to read or write important documents. Many of the historical documents are written in cursive. Some of these documents are translated into print online but there are still some that are not. Without knowing cursive, children will miss out on our history and even read important letters from grandparents or great-grandparents. The older generation use cursive daily and if kids do not learn how to read it then they will miss out on certain things (Hatfield).

Cursive writing is a unique form of writing that can only be read by those who have been taught to write it. Using this form of writing is how we sign our own important documents such as checks, contracts, opening bank accounts, etc. With that being said, there are many important reasons why cursive should be a requirement to be taught in schools.

By Taylor Seaborn, Business Major – IUPUC

Works Cited

“5 Reasons Cursive Writing Should be Taught in School | Concordia University – Portland online.” Concordia University’s Online Education                           Degrees | Online Masters in Education. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://education.cu-portland.edu/blog/curriculum-instruction/5-reasons-cursive-writing-should-be-taught-in-school/.

Hatfield, Iris. “Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks .”Teaching Cursive Handwriting Tips Cursive Workbooks Penmanship .                           Memoria Press, n.d. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. http://www.newamericancursive.com/learncursive.