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 …

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 …

negative thinking

Engage in the Power of Negative Thinking

By Laura Bergells on

I’m a cheerful person. But I don’t like positive thinking. It makes me cringe. Instead, I try to spend some time every day engaging in negative thinking. For me, it’s a joyful meditation. “What’s the worse that could happen?” is a question I ask myself every day. And then, I imagine it. I take some …

direct question

How good are you at answering simple questions? Take this easy quiz.

By Laura Bergells on

As an intelligent business person, you might think you are excellent at answering simple, direct questions. But are you? Take this easy, 5-question quiz to find out: 1. A venture capitalist asks how much your new service costs. You: A: Explain how you and your team arrived at the various price points. B. Respond, “$79 …