5 worst ways to start a speech or presentation

The 5 Worst Ways to Begin a Speech or Presentation…

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s explore 5 of the worst ways to open your next keynote or major presentation…that we hear ALL TOO OFTEN! Ahem! (clearing your throat – do vocal warmups beforehand, please!) Thank you…. (your audience doesn’t need to hear this.) It’s really great to be here….(you’re wasting even more time.) Can you hear me? (do your …

networking look at feet

Body Language Tip: when networking, look at feet

By Laura Bergells on

Some people find networking awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if you get in the habit of looking at feet. Feet??? Yes, feet! Feet point toward interest. If you’re talking to someone and your feet are pointing toward each other, cool. You’re both interested and engaged. But when someone’s feet start to stray, …

weird is where the growth happens

Weird is where the growth happens

By Laura Bergells on

A client was rehearsing her presentation. She stood on stage with her arms crossed in front of her. I stopped her. “Try standing with your palms out,” I told her. She did, then stopped. “That feels weird,” she said. “Good,” I said. “Try it again.” She did. “Still feels weird,” she said. “Again.” “Still weird.” …

using color in slide design

6 Tips on Using Color in Slide Design.

By Laura Bergells on

Color choices on your slides are important. People react to color on both a physical and emotional level. Often, we see color on PowerPoint slides that don’t seem to have a purpose. Or worse, the color undermines the emotional intent of the message. Sometimes, setting constraints or following basic rules on colors can help you …

5 crisis response mistakes

5 Common Crisis Response Mistakes

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s explore 5 common crisis communication response mistakes… and what to do instead. I’ve seen all five of these mistakes play out in the media recently. How about you? 1. Don’t ignore warning signs: conduct routine threat assessments. 2. Don’t cover up: take responsibility. 3. Don’t speculate: verify and confirm facts. 4. Don’t say “No …

4 places to find stories

Creating a culture of storytelling: 4 areas to begin your story hunt

By Laura Bergells on

Are you creating or nurturing a culture of storytelling at your organization? In my storyfinding workshop, we talk about 4 areas to begin a story hunt: 1️⃣ Online reviews. Start mining online reviews. People will sometimes describe an experience they had with your company. How can you follow up to create a story? 2️⃣ Complaints …

The four near enemies of noble emotions

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s UNMASK four near enemies. A near enemy is a WICKED emotion that comes disguised as a NOBLE emotion. Near enemies can be more dangerous than far enemies. That’s because far enemies are easy to spot. For example, hate is the far enemy of love. Or sadness can be a far enemy of joy. Since …

the word Zhoosh

Zhooshing up your business language with made-up or unusual words

By Laura Bergells on

“Zhoosh”. It’s a word that’s fun to say, but hard to spell. It has its roots in Polari, the slang language of low creative and underground subcultures. And yet, I used the word “zhoosh” in a client work email last month. Was I being professional? In the context I used it, it was a low …

Closed Captioning with Google Slides provides CC for live presentations

By Laura Bergells on

In an attempt to make live presentations more accessible, I first used Closed Captioning in Google Slides for a presentation I gave around a year ago. Closed Captioning in Google Slides is easy to use and does a terrific job. All you need is Google Slides, Google Chrome, a live internet connection, and a microphone. …

Walk and Talk meetings for data and research briefs

By Laura Bergells on

Do you do “walk & talk” meetings at your organization? One of my favorite times for a “walk & talk” is when I’m presenting research findings. If it all possible — due to the weather and other constraints — I want to get my clients out of the office and into nature. My reasoning? Clients …