Getting the most from Channel 2
Channel 2 is Bluffton's campus announcement and programming channel provided by Marbeck Center. It is connected through the campus cable system to every on-campus television including those in residence halls, academic buildings and Marbeck Center.
Students, faculty, staff, campus departments, organizations and groups are free and encouraged to submit announcements and information for distribution through Channel 2. Announcements are generally made in the form of a single slide, but other video content arrangements can be made.
Operations & guidelinesAll slides should follow the guidelines listed:
- Events must be of general interest to the campus community
- Events must be open to all members of the Bluffton University community
- Slides must adhere to the policies and expectations outlined in the student handbook
Due to the bulletin board nature of Channel 2, each slide will appear for eight seconds.
Channel 2 is updated at 8 a.m. each weekday morning. Marbeck Center reserves the right to edit slides for clarity, format and readability. To submit a slide, just email the slide in PowerPoint format to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to include
It might be hard to believe, but one of the most common mistakes on slides is that folks leave out the most important information! When you start to make a slide, be sure it lists the answers to people's basic questions:
- Name of event
- Date and time
Font fun (and fear!)
Perhaps one of the most important things about your slide is the overall look and
feel of it. You have a very limited amount of time to communicate a message with viewers,
and your font choices can often make or break the success of your slide.
More important than anything else is to use LARGE TEXT - at least 18 point or larger. Not only does that make sure all of your words are readable, it also forces you to be clear and concise in your writing.
Use fonts that are generally easy to read. Not sure what that means? Take a look at some examples:
High readability (even strokes, few embellishments)
- Times New Roman
Low readability (varied stroke width, many embellishments)
- Edwardian Script ITC
Although the above fonts can be fun and creative, use them sparingly in your slides (if at all)! If you're not sure what the words above say, how will your viewers read what it says when it's on TV?
In living color
Just as important as font choices is the color scheme of your slide. On televisions and computer monitors, light-colored text tends to show up better on dark-colored backgrounds (think about how they do TV credits!). If you're using a background photo or image, make sure it's not too "busy" and distracting viewers from your message. Check out some of the pre-made templates stored in PowerPoint; their color choices are usually pretty solid.
Some combinations to try:
- White text on black
- Black text on light grey
- Yellow text on very dark colors
Some combinations to avoid:
- Green on red or red on green
- Purple on blue or blue on purple
Quick tips for success
- Remember that students, faculty/staff, and campus guests will all see your slide!
- Pretend that your slide is a billboard. People will only see it for a few seconds, and probably won't sit down with some popcorn to watch the slideshow. Keep things short and to the point.
- Use large fonts.
- Light text on dark backgrounds tends to show up the best. Avoid fluorescent text; it can be tricky to see (and looks radioactive on TV!).
- Try to limit yourself to six or so lines of text. Too much information can appear jumbled and be difficulty to read.
- Try some animation. Nothing catches the eye like movement, but be careful not to overdo it!
- If you need ideas about what looks good and what looks bad, watch some of the slides on Channel 2! Make a note about the slides you remember and the ones you don't. What is it about them that catches your attention? What is it about others that makes them not as effective?
- Channel 2 does not check spelling. Make sure you proofread your slides!
- Be certain you have the correct date, time and location on your slide. It can be quite embarrassing if a slide runs incorrectly for a while.
- Compared to your monitor, slides will look somewhat fuzzier when they're displayed
on a regular TV. Try squinting a bit and read your slide. If you can't tell what the
words say, you might need to make some changes.