Tips for Virtual Presentations

Working from home has become more popular than ever, but with that newly found freedom comes an additional expectation––virtual presentations. Some of us have mastered professional attire from the waist up, but if you’re looking to create a successful virtual presentation that will leave your colleagues highly impressed, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’re giving you tips that will enhance the virtual experience for you, your clients, and your teammates.

 

Less is more.

 

So, you’ve written out everything that you want to discuss in your virtual presentation. Now, you want to ensure that your presentation, above all else, is concise and cohesive. Believe it or not, people appreciate simplicity; most professionals are already stressed having to attend a Virtual meeting, so it’s best to eliminate additional stressors to ensure they remain invested in what you have to say.

 

Aesthetically, you want your viewers to have a user-friendly experience. This means that slide consistency should be a priority. Every slide should have a central point of focus (which should include the main point you’re trying to express). When applicable, use a plain or white background, as the color scheme you choose will contrast well for your viewers’ eyes. In the same vein, using a bold font gives your audience an easier read and keeps you from packing your slides with excessive text.

 

Use visuals to enhance the importance of your subject matter.

 

Who likes a presentation with no visuals? Adding visuals to your presentation will establish a deeper connection between your audience and the subject matter. Additionally, visuals are typically able to:

 

  • Decrease the text density
  • Summarize research findings and analytical data
  • Increase audience engagement
  • Clarify confusing information

 

Allow your audience to interact with the presentation.

 

As you continue to craft your virtual presentation, keep in mind that you are more likely to keep the audience engaged if your presentation:

  • Animates certain elements: By adding slide transitions or animating single objects like images or certain emphatic words, you draw the audience’s attention to those focal points. If you’re using bullet points, it’s also good to individually animate them, so as to add more emphasis on single ideas.
  • Includes links: In your webinar or presentation, you can add links to other helpful resources, such as PDFs or YouTube videos.

 

Make sure you have a stable environment.

 

The bane of our technology’s existence is poor internet connection. If it turns out that your connection is weak, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to provide a seamless experience for your audience. Interruptions could include the delay in slide transition and the beautiful effects that you’ve created to keep your audience’s attention. Furthermore, if there are connectivity issues, members of your audience might not stick around to see if you’ll resolve the issue. If able, try connecting to the internet with an ethernet connection, as doing so provides an uninterrupted connection.

 

Next, check that your laptop is connected to its power supply. By doing so, you avoid your computer shutting down during your presentation.

 

Above all else, create a clean background environment. If your bed is in the background and is covered with a pile of unfolded laundry, your audience will see it. Wherever your ‘office’ is located, make sure that the background is neat and tidy before turning on your camera. Your audience will thank you, and so will we, your brothers at Alpha Kappa Psi.

 

 

 

Back-to-School Checklist for Adults

Once you’ve gotten back into college as an adult, it’s great to take a moment and celebrate your achievement. But you know the work has just begun. As you’re preparing to attend classes while also balancing work and personal obligations, Alpha Kappa Psi hopes this checklist will help you get on track and stay there until graduation.

  • Consider Personal Obligations: While school is an exciting new element in your life, it’s important to start your adult college enrollment by fully assessing your other commitments and responsibilities. Some of these, like your job and your family, are necessary priorities in your life. Volunteerism, sports leagues, hobbies, and leisure time are also important, though a full schedule might mean they become less common. Go beyond simply thinking about these obligations and start a schedule for how you can keep them all in balance.

 

  • Review Transcripts and Prior Learning Assessments: If you’ve attended college in the past, communicate with your new institution’s registrar about getting a review of your transcripts. Whether you’re pursuing a full degree or a certification, credit for your past courses can save you time and money. The same is true of prior learning assessments. These are tests offered by many institutions that allow you to obtain credit for classes based on your real-world experiences and knowledge. Completing these tasks before you create your class schedule will ensure you are spending your time and tuition on the right subjects of new learning.

 

  • Brush Up on Student Skills: Skills like research, writing papers, and studying are not like riding a bike. If you haven’t used these skills in a long time, you might have lost them. Take time before you start classes to dive back into these habits. Study or research a subject you are interested in, or take a free online course to practice. As silly as it might sound, you could even try writing a paper just for the practice.

 

  • Create a Workspace: With your busy schedule, the psychological benefits of establishing a school-specific workspace could be extremely useful in helping you get it all done. If there is a desk or part of your home that you know is only used for schoolwork, going there will help you get into the mindset faster and more efficiently. Elements like plants, a bulletin board or whiteboard, and school supplies can help this space feel unique within your daily schedule.

 

  • Gather Technology and Source Textbooks: Part of your back-to-school checklist must include checking you have the technology and software you need to succeed. College today isn’t possible without some kind of computer or tablet, including word-processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Depending on your program, area of study, and if you are doing school online, you also might need a specific Internet speed or bandwidth. Textbooks are another area of concern and expense for many students. Remember that in addition to buying books new through the campus bookstore, there are often textbook rental services, used book services, and even free sources for textbooks that can help you achieve your academics on a budget.

 

  • Assess Your Apps: Lastly, going back to school means you might need to sacrifice some social media scrolling in the name of productivity. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest can be big time-eaters, especially when we want to procrastinate. Rather than deleting these apps, start to monitor your use and see if you can control the number of times you open the app. There are also other products that can help you with this, like built-in screen time monitors on your devices. In the end, you could try to substitute with a new app that empowers productivity instead.

 

Adult college students make up anywhere from 35-40 percent of the nation’s current college student population. While adult students have unique needs for flexibility, and many distractions competing for attention, the practical benefits of earning a college degree or certification are also very powerful. Whether you have gone back to school to earn more money or change careers completely, we hope you will continue to visit the Alpha Kappa Psi blog for resources, inspiration, and support along the way.

 

 

 

We’re Better Together with Cynthia Todd

“And whatever you do, be your individual best.”
Take a joyful and refreshing glance into the corporate workforce on today’s episode with Cynthia Todd. After experiencing loss at a young age, Cynthia pushed forward to bring positivity and passion to every aspect of her life. Cynthia advocates for the importance of teamwork and caring for each individual in order to achieve your common goal.

Cynthia Todd graduated from Calera High School as a Valedictorian scholar. In 1988, she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a major in business management from the University of Montevallo. Cynthia further matriculated at Birmingham-Southern College where she received a master’s degree in public and private management. Cynthia is a proven business management professional with over 30 years of experience and a track record of consistent promotions and increasing responsibilities in the areas of customer service, claims and benefit administration, performance management, business analysis, process improvement, project management, and training and development. Currently, Cynthia is employed at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama as an operations manager. Moreover, Cynthia gives back to the community. She serves on several boards and organizations such as: president of the University of Montevallo National Alumni Association and Board of Directors for The Literacy Council of Central Alabama. She is a graduate of Project Corporate Leadership and has served as a Loaned Executive for the United Way of Central Alabama where she received the Crawford T. Johnson Loaned Executive of the Year Award.   

External Links:

Connect with Cynthia Todd

Montevallo alumni profile

Top Grad Programs to Consider

2020 was a tough year for all of us, including the thousands of college graduates across the world who made a swift and stressful transition to virtual learning. Despite many challenges, institutions across the country have been able to provide online or hybrid graduate programs. If you are looking to enroll in a graduate-level program that will lead to a sustainable and successful career, here are some of the top in-demand programs through the next decade.

 

Land a Profitable Career with a Master’s in Accounting

A master’s degree in accounting can lead to profitable positions in the ever-changing business world. Financial Analysts, Statisticians, and Certified Public Accountants will always be in demand. From a compensation perspective, accountants can make upwards of $124,000 a year. Many students pursue a master’s degree in accounting to obtain the required credits for licensure examinations, such as the certified public accountant (CPA) exam.

TOP 3 SCHOOLS FOR MASTER’S IN ACCOUNTING

 

 

Improve Workplaces with a Master’s in Human Resources

By earning a master’s degree in HR, you’ll open the door to many opportunities to gain experience in ethical practices, organizational leadership, and communications. From benefits enrollment to hiring and labor contracts, human resources is a vital part of our economy. A degree in HR might also present the opportunity to earn an MBA with a concentration in human resources. As a result, students are well-prepared for advanced workplace roles such as HR Manager, HR Specialist and Compensation & Benefits Manager positions.

 

TOP 3 SCHOOLS FOR MASTER’S IN HR

 

Encourage Healthy Lifestyles by Studying Dietetics and Nutrition

When we think of eating healthy, we just grab the healthiest (and sometimes, the most expensive) items on the shelves. But our nutrition goes a little deeper than the surface. In fact, dietetics and nutrition goes so far as to combine principles of public health and general nutrition to help determine how communities worldwide can take advantage of healthier lifestyles.

With a master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition, you will have expertise in providing a wide range of nutritional insight, including but not limited to nutritional assessments and counseling. Additionally, you may pursue a career as a dietician or nutritionist.

 

TOP 3 SCHOOLS FOR DIETETICS & NUTRITION

 

Research Disease Prevention with a Master’s in Public Health

Public health covers a wide-range of disciplines and is included in almost everything that we do. Especially during a pandemic like this one, public health has anchored its roots smack dab in the middle of our economy. A master’s in public health prepares students for a variety of roles, including Epidemiologist, Public Health Administrator, and Clinical Research Coordinator.

Currently, the trajectory for job placement in epidemiology is set to increase by 5 percent from 2019-2029.

 

TOP 3 SCHOOLS FOR MPH PROGRAMS

 

Create Seamless and Fortified Systems with a Master’s in Software Engineering

With a projected 316,000 increase in software engineering positions, a master’s in software engineering teaches the elements of designing and utilizing programming applications. Master’s degree candidates also will learn how to successfully manage projects, databases, and network infrastructure.

Common positions in this field include Software Developer, CIS Manager, and Computer Network Architects.

 

TOP 3 SCHOOLS FOR MASTERS IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

 

Find the Master’s Program that is Right for You!

We know that finding the right master’s program is sometimes difficult, but that’s why we are here to help. AKPsi recognizes Knowledge as a vital core value, and we are devoted to helping you tap into the pathways that best suit your educational aspirations. If you require additional insight, do not hesitate to contact us.

Breaking Down Long-Term Goals into Short-Term Wins

We’re two months into the new year and some of us might have already crafted the ‘perfect’ plan of success…but guess what? It’s very likely that months will pass, life experiences will get the best of us, and we’ll forget the long-term goals that we’ve set for ourselves. Studies have shown that approximately 8 percent of individuals who set New Year’s goals actually achieve them.

That means that approximately 92 percent of us set goals and never reach them. Perhaps we never reach them because we’ve bitten off more than we can chew.

When we create and set long-term goals, it is important to remember that we must also include short-term action steps that represent small victories toward our ultimate goals. If you’re the type of person who is easily overwhelmed with long-term planning, here’s how you can break down your long-term goals into manageable, short-terms wins.

 

Identify Purpose and Set an Intention

An intention, at its core, is a vision statement that points to your end goal. In this case, you want to create an intention that allows you to see the purpose in your long-term goal. For example, if you’ve ordered delivery every night for the past two weeks and you want to make a shift and cook every day this week, then you may set an intention that says, “This week, I want to save money by cooking homemade meals for myself and my family.” The intention, now, creates purpose, saves money, gets you closer to family, and clears a path for the creation of action steps.

Now, this may seem like an unattainable goal, but with action steps––small achievables––anything is possible. Some reasonable action steps might include:

 

  • Making a categorized grocery list (i.e., Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Grains, etc)
  • Cleaning the kitchen to prepare for meal preparation
  • Preparing/cooking the meals
  • Using portioned containers to store meals

 

Hold Yourself Accountable With Clear Action Steps

After setting our intentions, we should start thinking of how the intentions will be accomplished by planning our actions. Let’s be honest –– we can set intentions all day long, but if we don’t act on them, we’ll never accomplish them. Acting on our intentions keeps us accountable to our coworkers, supervisors, friends, and most importantly, our families. A successful action plan should include the following but can be revised, depending on the situation:

 

  • A clear definition of the goal
  • Required steps to complete the goal
  • All accountable parties
  • A timeline for completion
  • Tangible items needed for success
  • Metrics that validate the effectiveness of the action plan

 

Now, you also might be familiar with SMART goals. If you’ve never heard of SMART goals before, here’s a breakdown of how they work:

 

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – attainable
  • R – relevant
  • T – timely

 

Celebrate Your Short-Term Wins

You owe it to yourself to celebrate even the smallest of wins. It not only keeps you motivated, but also shows that you find value in every accomplishment. Even if the short-term win was a fraction of the goal, you’re still one fraction closer to the end!

 

Connect with Alpha Kappa Psi for Goal Achievement Support 

Alpha Kappa Psi holds true to the values of Brotherhood, Knowledge, Integrity, Service, and Unity. As we share our education and experiences with you, please reach out for support or more information if you are having difficulties forming or achieving your goals.