Search Google for "best powerpoint templates" and you'll get a number of modern designs for sales pitch decks, portfolios, business plans, and CV/resume presentations (like these).
Not sure what a CV/resume presentation is? If you're asked to give a presentation as part of a job interview, you might start with some introduction slides. CV/resume presentations put your CV/resume into a presentation format.
Infographics have become popular in almost every field, but in more traditional areas, like science and academia, I believe there's a bit of a line to draw.
You may notice I have an infographic on my About page as well as on my LinkedIn. Personal websites and the media feature of LinkedIn are great spots for some well designed graphics. Just make sure they are informative, and look good when display-cropped on LinkedIn.
So if you can't use one of those fancy infographic templates for your next lab presentation or even your dissertation, what are you to do? Many academic institutions have ready-to-download institutional templates. By the end of this post, you'll know how to modify any PowerPoint template to suit your purposes. When looking for logos or identity colors, institution templates can be a helpful place to start.
I'm going to briefly explain
1) how to utilize Slide Master to design your own templates
2) how to match colors to your institution identity.
I've also provided a free PowerPoint template, ready for you to use! Just leave a comment if you download, and let me know how you think you'll use it. I love to hear from my readers.
how to use Slide Master
While you can choose a design and tweak it to make your PowerPoint design, or even start from scratch, when you do it in Slide Master, it applies to the Layout you insert, and populates to every slide.
Go to VIEW in the top menu, and Slide Master. The first slide is the Master Slide, and is where you want to make your overarching changes. The best way to learn is by doing, so open up PowerPoint and fiddle around.
You'll notice that between File and Home, you have the Slide Master tab. To edit as usual, just use the Home tab. To close Slide Master and create the content, Close Master View.
Then, you can tweak other slide layouts. I typically like to center align the title and subtitle on Title slide and Section Header. Also, with the two comparisons I like to improve on the title boxes, as well as make sure the bullet points are the size and color I want. In the master slide I usually increase font size for all bullets and add any background color stuff, too.
To save your PowerPoint as a template, Save As > .pot. It will save to your Microsoft destination folder in Custom Office Templates. Then to re-use, open, and Save as > .pptx and edit.
Go to COLORS and FONTS to automatically change your overall color scheme as well as the Serif-Sans, Sans-Sans, Sans-Serif combinations, etc.
Now, on to more colors!
how to match colors in PowerPoint
Institutions typically have information on their "identity" - use of logos, design, and colors.
To find yours, I suggest you Google search " [institution name] identity logo ". I'll use some of my previous institutions as examples.
- UNC Chapel Hill
- University of Virginia
- Cornell University
These are only meant as examples, though they do follow the linked guidelines above.
You don't have to guess at matching your presentation to that - use the eye dropper to grab colors from a logo or input the hex or RGB code to match.
These screenshots show how you can use the eyedropper to grab color from an existing item. I like this in particular when I make a spectrum gradient or colored histogram, and then I can just "drag and drop" the color to other elements. Does that make sense? If not, leave a comment.
You can also directly input the RGB code going to "More Fill Colors".
For logos, make sure you download high quality PNGs and have the background match your background. That is, use their black background logo for a black background poster or presentation, and white. If you use a transparent background PNG, make sure that it is OK for the color of the logo to be combined with your background. For example, if your school's colors are maroon, you probably shouldn't put it in a bright blue background. Choose instead their white or black logo.
UNC has very clear examples of what to do, so I'll use their awesome identity site and photos. Click to go through to the link.
That was a brief intro to colors. Questions? Drop me a comment or a note!
Today I'm sharing a clean cut template with all the edits made for you in Slide Master. It features serif titles and san serif body, with dark gray features and accent colors that can be changed from light gray (current) to your choosing via Slide Master. The file type is .ppt. To save as a template, Save As > choose template. It will be added to your Custom Office Templates.
This template is free! Just download from my Drive share (button below). I only ask that you leave a comment when you downloadd. I'd love to know how you plan to use this free powerpoint template!
'Graphite Serif Presentation'
Orientation brings a tsunami of information crashing down on your head. Administrators and students acknowledge this fact in your meetings with a smile and joke. But by the end of the day, your pleasant expression has twisted and you'd prefer they get on with it.
But it's not their fault - what you really need is for the semester to fast forward a week or two. Diving into course material in class, instead of syllabus review. A routine for your schedule - problem sets due Fridays, lab reports due Wednesdays, happy hour on Thursdays.
Everything fitting in neat little boxes in your head, instead of the nebulous cloud of worry and the frantic feeling you're forgetting something.
Transitioning from college to residency, I learned many workplace lessons that ended up being rather traumatic. Any infographic or article you see that lists the differences between Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millenials summarizes many of the challenges that twenty-somethings encounter in the workplace. While we use email and text as a go-to communication tool, more experienced colleagues and supervisors find it impersonal and possibly offensive to address certain topics via email. Similarly, being called in for a one-on-one meeting with your boss may throw a millennial in a tizzy. What did you do wrong? Why are you in trouble?
While everyone can benefit from understanding why and how these different generations function, that doesn’t mean everyone is going to assimilate. Learning how to construct an appropriate email is important. Learning when not to send an email may be even more important.
Email often lacks context, making it a challenging communication medium in general. When Baby Boomers and GenXers view email as impersonal and disconnected, the problem is compounded. As humans, we are programmed to consider facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, and our knowledge of the person. With email, we’re limited to the text in front of us and our knowledge of the person. Some consider TYPING IN ALL CAPS to denote excitement. For others, it’s angry.
I first heard the term "stretch assignment" in undergrad from a lecturer discussing career development. She encouraged us to identify those opportunities that are a bit beyond our current skill set and comfort zone, and embrace them as an opportunity for growth.
Did you know that women are more likely to apply for a job only if they meet all of the listed qualifications? But men will apply even if that last few bullet points don't describe them. Once I read this statistic, my entire approach to growth transformed. Many of my peers, upon graduation with their Master degree, are job searching. For myself, I am preparing myself for doctoral training, and reflecting back upon these past 2 years. What projects would I like to spend my time on? How will it influence my training and career path?
In high school, there was a quick change from using Britannica encyclopedias in the library (media center, anyone?) or online, to the tempting world of Wikipedia. Every time we had a paper assigned, the teacher would call out after us when the bell rang, "Wikipedia doesn't count!"
Transitioning into college, Wikipedia became more...consistent? reliable? solid? Or at least gave off the appearance of such a resource. I used Wikipedia as a starting point (it is the first result on Google, after all...) and then use the keywords linked in the articles to find more "reputable" citations.
So do I still use Wikipedia?
Yeah, I do. In the same way I used it in college. Thinking back on it, I use it much less due to the nature of graduate work. I'm well-versed in the topics I study. My time is better spent analyzing newly published research than reviewing a disorganized article on the big W.
What's your earliest memory of Wikipedia? How does it fit into your normal research habits?
Keep on keepin' on
Admitted Students days can be exhausting but informative, in the best case scenario. In all of my experiences, I attended these hosted visit days after already accepting my admission; however, many students go hoping to find another tidbit of information that can help them with a difficult decision. Regardless which camp you fall in, you should find this information useful.
Prep work. Since you've already applied to the school, you're likely pretty familiar with their program. But as you consider actually going there, you may have more nitty gritty questions related to funding, coursework, or general program structure. These are the hard pieces of information you should use to compare and contrast different schools. Next, think about your past educational experiences. Do you do better in large lectures with separate teaching sections, or in small group discussion classes? Do you utilize office hours like it's your job or do you prefer study groups with colleagues?
Last night, I flew back north after a whirlwind trip for Admitted Students Day. Since I've already accepted the admission offer, my focus for this trip was to hash out my expectations for the upcoming year and to leave a memorable impression on my future advisors and mentors.
Reflecting during the plane ride, I realized that the approach I took during my meetings and interactions could be articulated for you to address the issues of imposter syndrome we all struggle with at one time or another.
Setting the stage. The first step is to create your context. You need to establish your overall goal so that you have a solid "big picture" to come back to during hard times.
"The best productivity hack is blocking the time to do the work that produces the results you want from your life, a big part of that life being your work, and work being one of the ways you make a contribution." [source]
Grad student grandiosity sits confidently (but ignorantly) across the aisle from imposter syndrome. Grad student grandiosity is that overly wordy short answer response that makes grading that much more miserable. It rears its head in discussion section when one student dominates the conversation, and insists on arguing with you over a basic terminology definition because they can hypothesize a number of scenarios where it doesn't hold.
These feelings of grandiosity may be perpetuated by faculty in the department, as they smile and nod when a student contributes to journal club. Little does the student know their comment reflects basic knowledge (i.e. they paid attention in class) of an incredibly complex methodology. This positive reinforcement from authority figures is equivalent to a pat on the head when a child learns to ride a bike (that still has training wheels on).