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 …

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 …

answering Q&A with wisdom

Answering Q&A questions and the path to wisdom…

By Laura Bergells on

Ah, Q&A. The “question and answer” portion of your presentation, where anything can happen! Instead of dealing with a Q&A hog, let’s say someone in your audience asks you a brilliant question. It’s timely and topical! It’s directly related to your content! At this point, your answer can fall into three categories. 1. Hey, I …

Team Presentation 4 roles

Team Presentations: what position will you be playing?

By Laura Bergells on

So, you’ll be presenting as a team. Super! Make sure you know what position you’ll be playing. One of the biggest mistakes I see in team presentations is when one person on the team is speaking — and the others on the team don’t exactly know what to do with their bodies. “Just because you’re …

Without opinion, you're just another person with data.

Flip W. Edwards Deming on his head…

By Laura Bergells on

A popular quote by W. Edwards Deming reads: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” But what if you flipped this saying? “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Leaders need to share informed opinions and insights. Any dashboard can spew data. It takes soft intelligence, leadership, and communication skills to …

The power of shhhhhhhh

Being quiet can be a storytelling power move

By Laura Bergells on

Perhaps the hardest part of telling a business story is resisting the temptation to finish your story yourself. I call this “The Power of Shhhhh.” It’s where you stop talking. Be quiet. Let your story and its lessons sink in. People hate a vacuum, and will often rush to fill it with their own conclusions. …

food prep is STEM education

What if food prep becomes the top tech skill we can’t live without? Sound crazy? Bear with me…

By Laura Bergells on

What if we started learning food prep and cooking in elementary school? And I’m not thinking about food prep as an elective course or two. No, my vision is much bolder: Learning to cook needs to be mandatory. Food prep needs to be integrated into every class you take in school. You must demonstrate ongoing …

carlessness

What if you didn’t own a car anymore?

By Laura Bergells on

I own a car. When it dies, I may not buy another. In fact, I may never own another car again in my lifetime. I don’t want to be careless. I’d rather be carless. This is a shocking statement for a middle-aged Michigan suburbanite to make. For a time, I worked in the auto industry. …

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▶ Do we need business cards any more? Really?

By Laura Bergells on

Do we really need business cards anymore? I find that when I go out to meet people, I’m more inclined to exchange LinkedIn information. Other people I know exchange electronic contact info to stay in touch.  When someone tries to hand me a business card, I usually try to ward them off. I know I’m …