The right to bare arms!

Fashions change. Fundamentals don’t.

By Laura Bergells on

In the 1990’s, I worked for a company that changed its dress code. We went from business formal to business casual. Employees accepted this change readily. I felt like I got a raise, because my dry cleaning expenses almost disappeared. And the comfort of ditching a suit for the dark jeans, tee-shirt, and blazer combo? …

What are you doing with your face and body during a team presentation?

What are you doing with your face + body during a team presentation?

By Laura Bergells on

Being a part of a team or ensemble can be fun and uplifting. And for the audience, a great team is a joy to watch. Ask any sports fan. They’ll tell you this is true. In contrast, let me describe the on-screen action I saw in a recent online group presentation. Maybe this will sound …

Is real bravery fake confidence?

Face it: you need to fake it. Authenticity is not all it’s cracked up to be.

By Laura Bergells on

Authenticity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. To show our care and compassion for others, we often need to put aside our feelings. There are higher truths that need to be served. Ask a mother whose child has fallen off a swing set. The child is bleeding and crying. Does the mother give in …

hate meetings

Hate meetings? Try implementing this one simple rule to change the way you feel forever.

By Laura Bergells on

I love meetings. But I understand why you might not. A friend recently shared a workplace anecdote. One day, she and her colleagues gathered together for a meeting. For the first few minutes, they shuffled papers and fumbled with their phones. Then they stared at each other. Finally, someone said it. “Hey, what’s this meeting about?” …

Impostor Syndrome is not the problem. Expert Syndrome is.

By Laura Bergells on

Apparently, I have Impostor Syndrome. An estimated 70% of us do. Even so, I don’t feel I should write this post. Who am I to write about my own experience? I don’t even know how to spell it. Is it Imposter Syndrome? Or is it Impostor Syndrome? E or O? That’s the essence of Imposter Syndrome. …

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 …