Styles and why we should use them

If you haven’t been using Styles in Word or Google Docs, you should start now. Not only will it save you time with formatting and give your documents a consistent look, it is also one of the most important accessibility considerations in documents. Styles provide a quick standard way to control the formatting of a document. How do styles save you time? Have you ever finished formatting a large document and then decided to change your headings or subheadings to a completely different font, size, color or spacing? Without styles, you have to make these changes manually to every heading, every paragraph, etc. With styles, you can make one change and it will automatically apply to the entire document. You can also easily create a table of contents just by using styles in your document.
How do styles provide a consistent look? Using styles helps you easily apply consistent headings and subheadings to create a hierarchical representation of your document. You can create consistently spac…

6 Tips for Creating Share-worthy Videos

While I can't promise you'll go viral...

I am willing to bet your number of views and shares will increase if you follow these tips:

1. Keep it short

A computer science professor at the University of Rochester found 3 to 5 minutes is optimal, and I always recommend to keep it under 10 minutes when possible. But that doesn’t mean you need to throw out great content -- just chunk it! Break up longer recordings into smaller, standalone videos.

But do boil the content down as much as possible. Here's why:

2. Create suspense or a need to know: pose a question or tease before you tell

3. Keep content fresh

Did you have any teachers growing up that showed the same old videos (or film strips) for decades?  Did dated hairstyles, old slang, or the obsolete equipment used to play it keep you from taking the video's content seriously?  Keep your material fresh to build trust and support engagement.

4. Make a list

Lists help people remember items in a sequence or a group, and successful websites like Buzzfeed use them a lot. They're alluring, reassuring, and can lead to deeper reading. (via Ann Fandrey, Alison Link, and Cristina Lopez's presentation The Cognitive Science of Clickbait.)

(But I don’t mean this kind of list!)

5. Show more than you tell: aim for a 3 to 1 ratio

6. Show up as an authentic person

Be on screen, be human, and use humor.  Amy is great at this!

Dress, speak, and act like you would in a seated class (or in the field) -- which includes remembering to tell stories that usually come out on the fly in-person.  Don’t be more formal than is necessary or natural.  Don’t be a perfectionist; none of us want to be an “on air personality” and it’s not fun to watch your own videos. Remember: small imperfections will humanize you, so try to see them as a positive thing and just don’t take yourself too seriously.


  1. Real talk: Amy Baker is my inspiration for how I conduct myself during training sessions, lightning talks, etc.

    1. YOU JUST MADE MY WEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!! :) :)

    2. YOU JUST MADE MY WEEEEEEEK!!!!!!!!! :) :)


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