Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Most US students think Beethoven is a dog

This year’s Mindset list is out:
In addition to being humorous and potentially depressing, it’s also a great list for presenters (or any author, really), reminding us about the continually changing nature of audiences and the assumptions one makes. Of course, this was the point of the original list. And though it was originally developed by professors for professors, it’s a useful touchpoint for anyone who is trying to communicate with people who are not you (see implicit assumptions).

It also helps demonstrate the fine art of headline writing. This blog post’s title is from rawstory (who may have lifted it from somewhere else). Others:
  • Class of 2014 Can’t Write in Cursive, Considers Nirvana ‘Classic Rock’ (Wall Street Journal blog)
  • Email is too slow and wristwatches are pointless for college freshmen (CNN)
  • The College Mindset List: No Cursive Skills or Cold War Fears (PBS Newshour)
Imagine having a similar headline in big type to open your next presentation.

(Interestingly, as I look through other headlines from Google News, there are lots of less-than-compelling headlines about the list – what a great opportunity for you to perfect your headline-writing skills, your great opening.)

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