Happy New Year of Journaling in Scrivener

By Laura Bergells on

I keep a daily journal in Scrivener. I’ve been writing in a personal journal every morning for decades now. Yet I only started using Scrivener for my journal since October 2015. At that time, I looked for an online template to use, but I couldn’t find one. Undaunted, I kept writing in Scrivener every morning. I refined my …

my name is memorable

Five factors that make you more memorable

By Laura Bergells on

  I came across a stranger with a dog a few months ago. As we walked toward each other on my empty street, I grinned. “Cute dog,” I said as we grew closer. “Thanks,” she said. “It’s not mine, though. I’m dogsitting for a friend. Hey, do you know any good places to walk around …

Sloth Doing Nothing

Doing Nothing is the New Doing Something

By Laura Bergells on

Recently, I noticed this absurd trend of gallantly and heroically doing nothing. About 19 months ago, I accidentally left my cell phone home and traveled out of town on business. When I arrived at the hotel, I needed to find the conference organizer. I used my laptop to call her via Skype & explained that …

Kill I think

Which two little words can kill your confidence?

By Laura Bergells on

When I act as an editor for an opinion piece, I frequently strike the phrase “I think.” I remove those two little words because they can actually kill a speaker’s confidence! Let’s take a look at an example, taken from an attempt to persuade a client. Read these two sentences aloud: “I think this commercial …

Overcoming the Gross Out Factor

By Laura Bergells on

“I really hate public speaking,” said a student who stood up in front of class to deliver her first oral report. That’s not the most impressive opening line, but I hear it from a new student at least once per semester. And most of the time, the statement isn’t even true. Often, students who claim …

Freak out

What’s the exact opposite of what you’re saying?

By Laura Bergells on

When you edit a business presentation that offers a numbered list or step-by-step instructions, here’s a fun way to make your content more satisfying. In your head, ask yourself, “what might the exact opposite of that action be?” “Communicate with employees” might become “Leave employees in the dark.” “Follow the company policy manual” can be …

Ask yourself: what does your audience really want?

By Laura Bergells on

Google Plus opened its doors for business pages yesterday. Far out, right? Boom! I’m suddenly getting swamped with requests to follow new G+ business pages. So let’s say you’re a business communicator. And you’re posting the exact same content to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages today. Oh, uh! You’re being redundant. Think about …

Use super sticky notes for super sticky ideas

By Laura Bergells on

After a longish brainstorming session, I heard Mac Fowler quip, “I should buy stock in 3M.” He was referring, I reckon, to a perceived uptick in the use of 3M’s ubiquitous sticky note. It was true that I had flung a pack of these little devils on the table during our annual aimWest planning meeting. …

What is the most interesting part of your presentation?

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s say you’ve been asked to stand & deliver a one-hour presentation to a large business audience. So you craft a presentation. You rehearse. At this point, it’s time to deploy an old speechwriter’s tip. Ask yourself: “What is the single most interesting part of my presentation?” Answer honestly. Your response should give you some …