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 …

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 …

QR code that links to LinkedIn profile

Get a QR code that links to your LinkedIn profile – put it on the last slide of your presentation

By Laura Bergells on

How do you get a QR code of your LinkedIn profile? You can do it directly from within LinkedIn! I often put a QR code that leads to my LinkedIn profile on or near the last slide of my presentation. I sometimes will put one in a video. With a QR code that leads to …

Canva for Video Posts

How to transform presentation content into video social media posts

By Laura Bergells on

Here’s a question about presentations and videos I started to get a lot last month. I’ll paraphrase it: Hey Laura. How do you do those square, short, silent little videos that you share on LinkedIn and Twitter? The answer is: really easily! I use a tool called Canva. As a stand & deliver trainer, I …

stages of grief white board marker

White board markers and the stages of grief

By Laura Bergells on

You go to give a whiteboard presentation. You pick up a marker. But it’s dead. 💀 Happens all the time. You then go through 5 stages of grief. 1. Denial: It’s not really dead. 2 . Bargaining: Shake it really hard, try to write with it. 3. Sadness: Pick up another. 4. Anger: Argh! This …

Brain Rules by John Medina

Introduce emotional relevance to your presentations

By Laura Bergells on

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.” John Medina, Brain Rules Sounds basic, right? But how do you NOT be boring when you’re speaking or presenting? Medina tells us to be sure to introduce something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes. At least every 10 minutes! If we don’t, we risk losing the attention and interest …

Check color contrasts for accessibility

Slide design: check your color contrasts for accessibility

By Laura Bergells on

Design your slides with accessibility in mind. (I was trying to read small black text on a gray-radiant background earlier this month. I gave up.) One accessibility violation I see in many slide designs involves the use of color. ❌ Red text on a green background? Yikes! ❌ Green text on a red background? Don’t! …

Q&A at the end - not at the end of your speech

Never end your presentation with Q&A.

By Laura Bergells on

Never end your presentation with a Q&A. Got that? Don’t end your next presentation by saying, “Any questions?” There’s no need to announce that it’s time for questions and answers. You can do better. Always plan a strong closing. If you’re planning a Q&A session, you can have it near the end, but not at …