PowerPoint Presentations

So I am sitting in Einstein’s sipping a nice hot cup of coffee and brainstorming the skills that are probably most necessary, yet underrated when coming to college. Yes, reading and writing is essential for success at university and basic math skills and an elementary command of generic science and history topics will probably suit you well, but never underestimate the need to know how to make a PowerPoint presentation.

Yes, PowerPoint, the program you were forced to use in your interpersonal communications class in high school (Virginia high school students have to do that too, right?). If you are in an honors class, a leadership class or basically any other kind of entry level class at CNU with fewer than 80 students in it, you will probably be tasked with doing a presentation of some sort. PowerPoint becomes your best friend.

For those of you unfamiliar with PowerPoint, it is a program that allows you to put together a slide show filled with images and text. For those without fear of public speaking PowerPoint presentations are recognized as the easiest part of a presentation project. Unless you are required to submit an essay or research on the presentation topic it is entirely possible to put together a PowerPoint presentation that holds in eight slides the entirety of your knowledge on a topic. It is up to you, the presenter, to then imply that you know more than your PowerPoint shows.

If you are one of the great number of people who fear public speaking more than death itself, allow me to ease your mind a bit about presentations at CNU.

First, it takes a certain amount of maturity to get into this university. Yes, we all like to play video games, wear funny clothes and watch “Boy Meets World” marathons on ABC Family, but you’ll find that no one here is going to laugh you out of the room unless your presentation consists of you arguing that magic causes climate change and that Jar Jar Binks should have won best supporting actor for his stunning performance in “The Phantom Menace.”

Very few of the classes at CNU have students competing against one another, this means that everyone in the class wants you to succeed as much as they want to succeed. When you kick butt on a presentation in your class, it raises the bar. It encourages everyone to do as well or better. In a way the things you do contribute to the overall quality of CNU itself. If you work hard and encourage others to work hard, then word will continue to get out that CNU is churning out top-notch students and soon-to-be workers. Why does that matter? It matters because it makes that degree you hold at the end of it all even more valuable.

But I digress. If you don’t know how to make a PowerPoint you should spend some time and make sure you learn because it is something you’ll need to do in college even if no one has told you about it.

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