how to generate chit chat

How to generate chit-chat in online meetings and classes

By Laura Bergells on

Chit-chat is valuable. It’s how we connect with each other. It generates feelings of trust and empathy. How do you generate chit-chat and off-topic discussions in online classes and meetings? Here are my top 6 ways. 1. Pre-game. I tell students that I show up 15 minutes before class starts. If they’d like to pop …

bats in the cave Zoom meetings

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

By Laura Bergells on

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 …

Canva for Video Posts

How to transform presentation content into video social media posts

By Laura Bergells on

Here’s a question about presentations and videos I started to get a lot last month. I’ll paraphrase it: Hey Laura. How do you do those square, short, silent little videos that you share on LinkedIn and Twitter? The answer is: really easily! I use a tool called Canva. As a stand & deliver trainer, I …

Brain Rules by John Medina

Introduce emotional relevance to your presentations

By Laura Bergells on

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.” John Medina, Brain Rules Sounds basic, right? But how do you NOT be boring when you’re speaking or presenting? Medina tells us to be sure to introduce something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes. At least every 10 minutes! If we don’t, we risk losing the attention and interest …

Without opinion, you're just another person with data.

Flip W. Edwards Deming on his head…

By Laura Bergells on

A popular quote by W. Edwards Deming reads: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” But what if you flipped this saying? “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Leaders need to share informed opinions and insights. Any dashboard can spew data. It takes soft intelligence, leadership, and communication skills to …

food prep is STEM education

What if food prep becomes the top tech skill we can’t live without? Sound crazy? Bear with me…

By Laura Bergells on

What if we started learning food prep and cooking in elementary school? And I’m not thinking about food prep as an elective course or two. No, my vision is much bolder: Learning to cook needs to be mandatory. Food prep needs to be integrated into every class you take in school. You must demonstrate ongoing …

Google Voice Typing

Don’t let cold hands stop you from writing: try Voice Typing

By Laura Bergells on

Sometimes, voice typing can come in handy for really unexpected reasons! It’s October 1, and it’s freezing. My poor fingers are now cramped from typing in a cold room all morning. Google Voice Typing to the rescue! I’ll open up Google Docs, activate voice typing, and talk through a first draft.  I can always go …

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera.

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera

By Laura Bergells on

Three years ago, I organized an online web conference. At the request of an organization, I interviewed three of their Subject Matter Experts to get background information for a presentation. The following photo is a re-creation of what I saw in this online meeting: Uh-huh. That’s right. For almost the entire interview, I stared at …

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 …