Who else remembers a world before PowerPoint?

By Laura Bergells on

Who can remember the first presentation they ever gave using PowerPoint? Can you remember with any specificity, or is PowerPoint so ubiquitous that you can’t really remember? For those of use who are over 23 years of age — we are not PowerPoint natives. Some of us can remember a time before PowerPoint existed…and we gave …

Thank You Slide

How do you feel about the “thank you” slide?

By Laura Bergells on

At the end of a presentation, you can say, “thank you.” Sure, it’s not the strongest close in the world. However, it’s certainly acceptable to say “thank you” if you’re feeling especially grateful or moved. But a slide that reads “Thank You” at the end of your presentation? That’s weak. A “Thank You” slide takes …

Bullet Points Equal Um

Bullet Points Equal Um, Ah, and Er

By Laura Bergells on

The next time you watch someone deliver a presentation that’s bullet point heavy – make a mental note. The speaker will often verbalize the bullet point with a filler word like “um, uh, ah, so, or like”. They’ll actually say “um” where the bullet point is! When I ask students to share the results of …

Three vital presentation lessons learned…from a walk in the woods

By Laura Bergells on

For close to two decades, I take an almost-daily walk near my office. It helps the creative process to get out and clear my head. My office is located in an old forest. A creek runs through it, creating a sizable gully. I’ve seen deer, coyotes, rabbits, and all sorts of birds on my constitutional. …

Professorial PowerPoint Humor

By Laura Bergells on

I’ve only been teaching at the college level for a few terms. One of the chief complaints I hear from students about PowerPoint lectures (from other instructors!) is the unbearable boredom when a professor uses the pre-packaged presentations included with the course textbook. These CDs contain mostly bullet-point outlines of the entire book. Yes, you …

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 …

PowerPoint Deaths Climb in 2009: But at Slower Rate

By Laura Bergells on

Every year, I Google the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” (without quotes). Exactly one year ago today, this “Death by PowerPoint” inquiry yielded 366,000 search results – over 4 times as many results as 2007. Today, if you Google “Death by PowerPoint”, you’ll see 980,000 results — only about 2.7 times as much as 2008. The …

Two Ways to Let Your Audience Co-Create Presentation Content

By Laura Bergells on

Your audience has the technology. They’re carrying smart phones. They have net books or note books. So why not let them use their snazzy tech tools to co-create presentations? Here are two tech-driven ways to let your audience co-create presentation content. PollEverywhere. Audience interactivity is a big part of the draw of PollEverywhere. You ask …

How do you EARN attention when presenting?

By Laura Bergells on

“No computers or handhelds during my presentation,” barks a presenter. “I don’t know whether you’re playing games or paying attention. For the next hour, all eyes up here, on me!” photo credit: Ana Marta 7 I ignore this insane outburst, of course. I’m an adult. So is the rest of the audience. I take notes …

Crowdsourcing Presentation Content with Twitter

By Laura Bergells on

What’s Crowdsourcing? According to Wikipedia, crowdsourcing is outsourcing a task to a large group of people in an open call. For example, when I was asked to present on the topic of social media & reputation management to an audience of college students earlier this month, I turned to the community at Twitter as an …