Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Purpose Statement

My purpose in this communication is to inform students about collegiate dance teams and the amount of time, work and dedication that is involved.  Not many people know how much work actually goes into this sport, so it is motivating for me to be able to educate more people about the “daily life” of a dancer.  My audience will be college students, specifically ones that normally go to sporting events that the dance team performs at, which includes basketball and volleyball games.  A majority of students that attend the games are athletes themselves or have an interest in sports.  Because of this, I want to try and relate to them and prove that dance is a sport just like volleyball, basketball, or any other sport they may be involved in.  Athleticism, dedication, and hard work are required to be a dancer, just in different forms.  I hope that my audience will have more respect and a better understanding of dance as a sport after this communication.  During the time of communication it will still be basketball season/switching to volleyball season, which is important because that is when the student body is able to witness performances from the dance team.  The audience will view the blog post in a more relaxed setting so there will not be too much pressure, yet they still will most likely be expecting something entertaining, and something that keeps their attention.

Design Plan

Medium and Production:
I will be using a range of photographs as my medium.  I want to include all types of photographs including action shots, portraits, and symbolic photos.  I also want to include some involving setting.  Because my topic is dance, action shots will help to portray what exactly we do on a daily basis, at practice or performances.  Portraits will help to portray the rewarding aspect of dance.  I want to use portraits to demonstrate the friendships I have made, as well as express the various emotions that I have felt throughout the dance season this year.  For my symbolic pictures I want to include close up shots of what people associate with dance: dance shoes and costumes/uniforms.  I think this will help to educate people more about the specifics they may not know about dance.  Finally for my setting photos, I want to include pictures of where we practice as well as perform: those being the dance room and the university gym: Neil Carey Arena. 

Ethos – My topic is something I directly relate to, and something I will be able to educate people on based on experience I have had.  This gives me credibility as the author, and I feel that the audience will be able to take in the information I am giving them without questioning it.  To demonstrate ethos I can use pictures that include myself as the subject, or pictures that are not considered generic – some may be considered “behind the scenes” shots. 
Pathos – Some of the pictures I want to include will exhibit a happy persona, others may be considered reflective (symbolic photos), and some may show intensity and hard work.  As far as color and style of the presentation, I want to edit the photos and emphasize certain elements.  This includes cropping, coloring only one object in the photo, or adjusting the focus.  This will make it easier for my audience to understand what is going on and what it is that I want them to see.  I want to use bright colors (or highlight parts of a photo so they appear bright) for emphasis, but at the same time I don’t want the presentation to come off as boring or dull by using neutral colors, and not too intense with colors like black or red. 
Logos – For each of my slides, they will only consist of 1-3 pictures, and a caption (excluding the cover page).  The pictures will use most of the space, with the captions either on the side, or above/below depending on the orientation/cropping of the picture.  I will be sure to consider alignment when designing my photo essay.  I want the text to be aligned with the pictures, and everything on the slide to be aligned vertically and horizontally.  This will give the essay a professional appeal and create unity.  For my typeface I either want to use modern or sans serif.  Sans serif would demonstrate my goal of informing and educating well, and the fonts are very straightforward – they get the job done.  The modern fonts, however, give an elegant feeling, and they are a little more formal than the sans serif fonts. 

My goal is to inform my audience, so some of my pictures may get their own slide, while similar pictures may be side by side on the same slide.  When I show setting, I want to include the two different settings (dance room and gym) side by side, in order to compare the two and show what each one means to me.  My symbolic photos will be on separate slides.  I am not comparing anything with these photos, and I think they will have a greater impact if they are the main focus of the slide.  As far as my action shots and portraits, I want to emphasize the work being done, but in their proper setting.  I may have action shots in the dance room on the same slide, and action shots of performances on the same slide. 

Photo Essay

Closing Comments

As far as medium and production, I included all of the types of photos that I planned on using: action shots, portraits, symbolic photos, and setting photos.  I would have liked to have used more pictures that showed facial expressions during a performance, but I definitely included portraits that showcased friendships and camaraderie.  I included photos of both settings like I had planned, as well as photos of uniform like I had planned.

Concerning strategies, I think I portrayed ethos the best of the three.  I included some pictures of myself to show I have personal experience with this topic, and I believe that gave me a lot of credibility as an author.  I believe I achieved pathos fairly well in my presentation, in the sense that I followed my design plan and included what I wanted to.  I adjusted the focus of most of the photos and I used light colors, but I did not color certain portions of pictures like I had planned on doing.  As far as logos, I used a different font than I had intended but the organization and design of the slides turned out how I wanted them to.  I had originally planned on placing my symbolic photos on their own slides, but I ended up placing them on the same slide, side by side.  I still think they were just as effective because my caption was able to tie the two pictures together. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Writing and Design

Design has a very big impact on writing, especially when presenting the work or piece in front of an audience.  The layout of a power point presentation for example can have the ability to interest the audience or bore the audience.  Design of that presentation could include the way text and any pictures/figures/graphs are placed on the slide, the colors chosen for the slide, as well as fonts for texts.  It is important to take the time to think about the topic and decide who the audience will be.  For an informal audience such as a classroom presentation, the project should be geared more towards a younger audience.  This can be achieved by using various colors, emphasizing pictures and figures more than text, and using creative fonts.  The ability to be creative when designing a piece of work is very important and necessary for success.  Design also comes in to play when writing a paper.  It does not have to be all about visual presentation, it can be about how the text is organized as well.  If a paper, report, article, or review of some type is displayed in a general layout that everyone has seen before, it will not engage the audience.  More so for a less formal project, the writer should have the ability to be creative and express their ideas in an interesting way.  For example, the layout can include various font sizes and styles or the writer can emphasize any quotations used by separating them from the main text.  Design can take many forms in writing, and being creative with design will be very beneficial when presenting a piece of writing.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Abilities as a Communicator

Some of my strengths as a communicator include giving advice and listening to friends, family, classmates, etc. when they have an issue they may need to resolve.  I like to be able to help people I care about with problems they may have, and knowing I can aid in their problem solving makes me feel accomplished as a person.  In my group of close friends as well as my family, I am known as the listener.  For example, I am very close with my younger sister.  Everyday when she gets home from school she will tell me about her day or any problems she has, and I will always be there to give any advice I have.  The same is true with my group of friends.  I also enjoy talking about current issues, in a variety of topics.  I am a biology major so naturally I enjoy discussing biology related news or issues, but I like listening to hear what anyone has to say about any current events that are happening.

I am not very comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, so I strongly believe that is something I can improve on.  Yes, my speaking abilities have improved over the past few years due to practice, but now that I am in college there is a different level expected that I need to achieve.  Although I am not always comfortable with public speaking, I will be able to accomplish it if necessary, or if it is required for a class.  The same goes for one on one conversations with someone I may not be familiar with, such as a new professor or a boss when going to a job interview.  I do not think I have enough self confidence to be able to comfortably talk in front of someone I am not familiar with, and going to a job interview for example is not something I necessarily look forward to.

As we move through the semester I would like to focus on being able to appropriately express my thoughts in a logical way whether that be through an essay or paper, or a presentation.  When writing essays I believe I know the appropriate steps needed and what makes a good paper, but when it comes to organizing my thoughts and presenting the material, that is where it becomes difficult for me.  As far as presentations, I would also like to improve organization and relating for example, a power point to writing.  Lastly, I would like to improve the way I go about presenting.  Because I am not comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, I would like to be able to practice presenting projects or essays that I have completed.