Categories
Coaching communication crisis video web meetings

Try the Turkey Tail Technique in your next Zoom Meeting

Turkey Tail Technique for on camera presentations

You need to maintain eye contact with a reporter or interviewer during an on-camera appearance. And yet, you need to cover your main talking points. And stick to an agenda and stay on time.

And you don’t want to have wandering or shifty eyes while you’re talking on-camera! What to do, what to do? How can you look at the camera and still keep focused on your main talking points?

Try using what I call ‘THE TURKEY TAIL TECHNIQUE.”

In the Turkey Tail, you put each agenda item or main talking point on one post it note. Stick the post it notes across your laptop or monitor. Fan the post it notes out like a Turkey Tail!

That way, you can subtly and evenly glance at your agenda items without having wild or wandering eyes. You can maintain good eye contact with the camera, and still keep on top of your agenda and main talking points.

Try the Turkey Tail Technique in your next Zoom interview or Zoom meeting

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Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

🔥🔥🔥 Laura also teaches “Presenting On Camera” – a live, interactive group class for sales and training professionals who need to shift from in-person to on-camera presentations. Call to inquire about availability and rates.

616-284-1688

Categories
communication crisis Education fun Presentation public speaking web meetings

Zoom Meetings: Prevent BATS IN THE CAVE with 2 simple tips

I’ve been in quite a few Zoom web meetings lately, and I’ve seen a lot of BATS IN THE CAVE, if you know what I mean.

If you don’t know what I mean by BATS IN THE CAVE — it’s when someone is using the camera on their laptop and I can look straight up their nose during the meeting.

Really, BATS IN THE CAVE is not a good look on anyone!

If you use a laptop for web meetings, I’ll give you two tips to help you get rid of that BATS IN THE CAVE look.

1. Get a stack of books. Raise your laptop up so your eyes are level with the camera.

2. Get a sticky note. Attach it to your monitor with an arrow or a smiley face, reminding you to look up and SMILE.

It’s the simple things. You can MacGyver this and still look like a polished professional.

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Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

Categories
communication

Body Language Tip: when networking, look at feet

networking look at feet

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, it’s a good time to walk away. It’s been swell, but it’s time to move on.

As you approach a group, you might wonder if it’s a good time to join in. Watch for an opening. When someone’s foot starts to stray outward, it may be a good time to step in.

Body language doesn’t lie. Look for body language cues when you network. It can make connecting and moving on much easier.

Categories
Coaching Presentation public speaking

Why might speakers cross their legs on stage?

standing with legs crossed while presenting

A woman stands on stage. She’s got her head down as she reads from her index cards. She’s tugging at her scarf and hair with her left hand. Her voice trembles and shakes. Then, she crosses her legs as she stands.

If you talk to many body language experts, they’ll tell you that crossing your legs while standing is a sign that you’re comfortable. But in this case, it’s not. The woman is nervous.

But why do we see anxious speakers cross their legs on stage? Isn’t leg-crossing supposed to be a sign that they’re comfortable with their audiences?

Consider the context. When you see a lot of other behaviors that signal fear – head down, trembling voice, and self-soothing gestures like playing with scarves and hair – the cross-legged stance can be considered yet another form of pacifying behavior.

It’s also a pose. Crossed legs are meant to signal comfort to the audience.

However, standing while crossing your legs isn’t an ideal posture when you’re delivering a talk. It can prevent you from getting the full breath support you need. It can contribute to your trembling voice.

Worse – standing cross legged while you’re nervous makes it look like you’ve got to pee!

If you find yourself standing cross-legged on stage, uncross. Widen your stance. Look up at your audience. Smile and take a breath.

You’ve got this.

Categories
Coaching communication Presentation public speaking

Weird is where the growth happens

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.”

“Again.”

Weird is natural when you’re learning a new approach. When you’re training new muscles, it’s bound to feel uncomfortable.

It’s weird.

It’s why we drill and rehearse. Until it feels natural, it’s going to feel weird.

It might be comfortable to do what you’ve done before, but weird is where the growth happens.


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, her courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy classes à la carte.

Categories
communication design PowerPoint Presentation video

6 Tips on Using Color in Slide Design.

using color in slide design

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 make better color choices.

Here are 6 quick tips that cover the basics of using color in slide design.

1. Use bright colors to attract + stimulate. Don’t use color merely for decoration. Use it for a purpose like drawing attention or setting a mood.

2. Use muted colors for reflection + contemplation. You don’t want to be in “attraction + stimulation” mode all the time. Think about the emotional content of color and how it can enhance learning outcomes.

3. Be careful about using too much color on one slide. It can be confusing. Remember the design concepts of contrast and sameness: without balance, you can create clutter and chaos.

4. Beware of bevels, gradients, and red text. They can be hard to see.

5. Check contrasts for accessibility. For those who are color blind or have photosensitivity, some colors may be difficult or impossible to see. Check contrasts at https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

6. Consider a limited, coordinated color palette. Pick one that meets your needs here: https://color.adobe.com/

What’s your fave quick tip for using color in slide design?


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

Categories
crisis video

5 Common Crisis Response Mistakes

5 crisis response mistakes

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 Comment” or “I Don’t Know” : drill tough questions

5. Don’t appoint an outside spokesperson: train internal spokespeople.

How many of these mistakes have you seen play out in the media recently?

Consider this: I teach crisis communication on LinkedIn Learning.

The full course is one hour. It’s a great resource for leaders (and students!) to view together to plan for crisis response.

Check it out. It’s free for LinkedIn Premium members. I get paid when you take the course! >>> https://lnkd.in/ePsngqj

Categories
communication content ideas storyfinding

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

4 places to find stories

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 + Compliments. Talk with the people on the front lines. Ask them: what’s the weirdest complaint you’ve received this month? Or try: tell me about a compliment that you didn’t expect. How can you transform the offbeat or unusual into a story?

3️⃣ Interviews + Conversations. Set out with the intention of collecting stories in your interactions with people. Say “tell me a story about a time when you faced a challenge at work” to hear a classic story about overcoming obstacles.

4️⃣ Meetings. If you want to create a culture of storytelling at your company, start with meetings. Kick off every meeting with a story — or ask someone else in attendance to do so. “Heard any good stories lately?” or “What did you learn today?” can often yield some vivid employee storytelling.

Where else can beginners look to find great stories?

Create a Culture of Storytelling at your Organization: Where to find stories


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

Categories
communication crisis video

The four near enemies of noble emotions

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 it’s easy to detect a far enemy, you know what you’re dealing with.

But near enemies are tricky. They pose as noble emotions while destroying the noble emotion. Near enemies are so good at disguising themselves, you might even mistake a near enemy for a noble emotion.

These dangerous four enemies can TRICK others…and they can even TRICK you.

😟 Pity can look like Compassion.

😍 Codependence can look like Love.

😑Indifference can look like Equanimity.

😂 Exuberance can look like Sympathetic Joy.

Beware the 4 near enemies! Unmask them!

Practice self-awareness. Gain emotional intelligence.


Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.

Categories
fun

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

the word Zhoosh

“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 creative risk.

It worked as a piece of flair to zhoosh up an otherwise dry, workaday missive.

As Stan Phelps of Purple Goldfish fame writes:

Wouldn’t the world be a brighter place if we all strove to put a little more zhoosh into the lives of others? Here’s a handful that I’m trying my best to make a small dent in the lexicon of life:

Lagniappe – similar to Zhoosh, a little something extra that’s added in customer experience for good measure. Mark Twain called it a word worth traveling to New Orleans to get.

Plussing – coined by Walt Disney, it’s kind of the verb of lagniappe. The act of looking at something and dong a little more to improve it and make it better by plussing it up.

Flawsom – the art of embracing what’s weird or weak, because our flaws hold the key to what makes us awesome.

Humanware – improving how our brain functions by sharpening our soft skills as we manage ourselves and perceive others.

Diamond Rule – the art of managing yourself under pressure and addressing the needs of others to avoid their triggers.

What unusual, risky, or completely made-up word choices have you used lately in a professional setting? How’d it work out for you?

Laura Bergells is a professional story finder. She writes, coaches, teaches, and speaks. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.

If you’re a LinkedIn Premium or Lynda.com member, these courses are free! If you’re not a member, you can either become a member or buy each of these classes à la carte.