Carnegie Mellon University

Nisha Presenting: Workshop Image

Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations

Tuesday, September 18, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Juliann Reineke
Have you ever sat through a tedious or confusing PowerPoint presentation? This workshop will help you create effective PowerPoint presentations that present your research in a clear and compelling way. We will introduce innovative research on designing visually effective slides that increase audience engagement. We will also practice constructing and revising PowerPoint slides, and discuss other strategies for organizing and delivering your PowerPoint presentation. Pizza provided. Register here.

Team Communication I: The Fundamentals of Managing Team Projects

Thursday, September 27, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Maria Poznahovska
Teamwork is central to professional life, but most students don't know how to manage a team project so it flows smoothly. This workshop will teach you how to create a teamwork infrastructure that will help you avoid the most common team problems. You will learn strategies for structuring your collaboration, especially on group documents. This workshop will also cover effective strategies for talking with your teammates when problems do occur. The advice in this workshop is based on Dr. Wolfe's research interviewing hundreds of students and professionals about their team experiences and practices. Pizza provided. Register here.

Team Communication II: Handling Difficult People and Situations

Thursday, October 4, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Joanna Wolfe

Even if you do everything “right” on a team project, you can still encounter difficult people and difficult situations.  This workshop teaches you to confront difficult team situations in a way that is most likely to give you positive results.  You will learn strategies for confronting dismissive or aggressive teammates, how to respond to teammates who produce poor quality work, and how to advocate for a particular role on a project. We will cover both what to say and what not to say in tense situations. Pizza provided. Register here.

Making the Case for Your Research

Tuesday, October 9, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Juliann Reineke
This workshop will teach you four steps that make the case for why your research is an essential contribution to the field. These four “moves” turn your research into a compelling narrative and highlight the importance and innovation of your work, especially when communicating to a non-specialist audience. These well-established moves can help you structure the abstract, introduction and literature review of journal articles and papers, in both the sciences and humanities. They can also be applied in various other contexts, including conference presentations, application materials, and grant proposals. Pizza provided. Register here.

Making Beautiful Slides (That Work)

Wednesday, October 17, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio B with Suguru Ishizaki
It is easy to look at a presentation slide and appreciate that it is professional, effective, and aesthetically pleasing. It is much harder to create that slide yourself. In this workshop run by visual designer Dr. Suguru Ishizaki, you will learn how to make expertly professional and “beautiful” slides. Dr. Ishizaki will give you implementable strategies, like alignment, consistency and information hierarchy, and help you practice visualizing difficult concepts. Pizza provided. Register here.

Writing a Graduate School Application Essay

Tuesday, October 23, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Emily DeJeu
The graduate school application essay requires you to pitch your candidacy to a small number of faculty members who read through hundreds of other essays. This workshop will provide writing strategies on how to craft an effective application essay. You will gain insight into your audience and learn how to show these busy readers that you are a good fit for the program and can contribute meaningfully to their department. The instruction from this workshop can be applied to other professional materials, such as research statements and cover letters. Pizza provided. Register here.

Communicating Data to Non-Experts

Thursday, November 1, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Joanna Wolfe 

In your professional life, you may often have to present technical data to non-expert audiences such as managers, clients, politicians, or members of the general public. This workshop teaches you principles for creating graphs and tables that non-experts can understand. You will learn to think of your data as a story that needs to capture the audience's attention, and you will be introduced to strategies for minimizing distractions to this story so audiences can quickly grasp your main point. Pizza provided.

Designing Effective Scientific Posters

Tuesday, November 6, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Juliann Reineke
This workshop provides advice on designing effective scientific research posters.  We will teach you some basic – but effective – visual design principles to create a compelling and memorable research poster.  This workshop will help you create a persuasive visual "story" or narrative about your research project and findings. We will also discuss and critique several strong and weak examples of scientific posters. Pizza provided.

Writing a Related Work Section

Tuesday, November 13, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Emily Ferris

A related work section, or literature review, synthesizes relevant past literature to connect your work to the broader field. It also builds your credibility by showing your familiarity with major developments and trends in the field. However, it is easy for the literature review to become a “data dump” that overwhelms your reader with extraneous or irrelevant information. This workshop will give you strategies and language to connect research into trends and put studies in conversation with each other. We will look at strong and weak examples and focus on the language they use. This workshop is appropriate for students in the sciences and humanities, writing literature reviews in journal articles, research papers, dissertations/theses, and more. Pizza provided.

Concision and Clarity

Tuesday, November 27, 5-6pm, Hunt Library, IDeATe Studio A with Juliann Reineke
Have you ever been told that your writing is too wordy or is “choppy”?  Concision and clarity are core principles of effective communication. Writing that clearly and directly emphasizes the bottom line helps readers easily and efficiently understand your main point. This workshop teaches you simple – but effective – principles for being more concise and improving the logical flow between sentences and paragraphs. These strategies will help an audience follow the progression of your ideas and arguments, in both the sciences and humanities. Pizza provided.