Pavlov's dog conditioner

When businesses thank you for your patience, they’re treating you like a dog — one of Pavlov’s dogs.

By Laura Bergells on

I often act patient, even when I don’t feel it. I’ll bet you have, too. We’ve been conditioned. Let’s say you been on hold with customer service for what seems like forever. One of the first things the phone rep might say is “thank you for your patience.” They’ve been trained to say it. But …

Illusion of Transparency

The science is IN! What every anxious public speaker must know before their next big presentation…

By Laura Bergells on

After a student gives a class presentation, I’ll sometimes conduct a quick poll. I’ll ask the entire class: on a scale of 0-10, how nervous did the speaker appear? The audience might give the speaker a 2 or a 3. But the speaker? A nervous speaker might rate themselves a 7 or 9. That’s a …

speak clearly

How clearly do you speak? Try this one insightful public speaking test:

By Laura Bergells on

As a public speaker, you’ll want your audience to understand you. You’ll want to be clear. To gain insight about your speech clarity, try this insightful and easy exercise. Take the one-minute “speech pace” exercise I posted last week. Then, upload your one-minute video sample to YouTube. Within a few moments of uploading your video, YouTube …

speech pace

Speech pace: do you talk too fast, too slow…or just right?

By Laura Bergells on

I designed an exercise to give public speaking students insight into the concept of pace. If you’re curious about your own speaking pace, you can complete this exercise in minutes. Try it alone, or as part of a class (or party?) activity. Step One: The script below contains 170 words. Read it to yourself, so …

public speaking head trip

One Simple Mind Game That Can Make You Feel Better About Public Speaking…

By Laura Bergells on

People say they’re scared of public speaking, but are they really? I see these people speak in public all the time. They’re relaxed, confident — and they seem to be enjoying themselves. Take a friend of mine. Let’s call him Greg, because that’s his name. Greg insists he’s terrified of public speaking. Yet, I’ve seen …

Practice and Drill Public Speaking Techniques

This ONE technique is essential for performing under pressure:

By Laura Bergells on

A colleague told me about a women’s self defense class she was taking. She shared some surprising information she learned. For me, the information was surprising on two levels. The first level was the actual new information about women’s self defense I learned. My colleague said, “If you’re being attacked, my instructor said you’re supposed …

voice typing 4 tips

Voice Typing: 4 Tips to Get Good at It

By Laura Bergells on

I’ve been voice typing every day since the middle of February. With daily practice, I’m getting good at it. When I first started voice typing, I Googled, “How to Get Good at Voice Typing”. I wanted tips on how to increase my word quantity and quality. Instead, all I got were tips on how to …

fidget toys

Do you use fidget toys?

By Laura Bergells on

I heard the term “fidget toys” for the first time this week. Listen, I’m old school. I’m accustomed to calling these things “toys”. But as it turns out, I use what we now call “fidget toys” all the time. And I use them without realizing they are a popular trend right now. But how do …

Public Speaking Tip: Re-frame “Fear” as “Excitement”

By Laura Bergells on

I’m going to lay a head trip on you. Check this out. If you’re feeling nervous or scared before your next presentation, think about this: “…why not re-frame that term ‘I’m nervous and scared of public speaking’ into ‘I am excited about presenting to my audience’?” It’s a small change, but it’s effective. Try it out …