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 …

Three Transparently Phony Ways to Appear Less Confident

By Laura Bergells on

Confidence. Somehow, this word became virtuous in the 1980’s. It remained a positive trait — until fairly recently. Confidence men, we called them in the 1930’s and 40’s. Over time, we shortened this to “Con Men” or “Cons”. Overly charming, smooth. Hucksters. Yech. Cons transmit that they are absolutely positive in their correctness. Who trusts …

The Creepiest PowerPoint Design Trend of 2009

By Laura Bergells on

architecture.revolutionary.relationships.re-contextualize. Those were four words on four slides in a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation I witnessed last month. The remaining 700 slides in the presentation each had one word on them, as well. OK, I’m exaggerating. There couldn’t have been 700 slides in that presentation. But it seemed like it. In the presentation I saw, …

Stop! In the Name of Acronyms!

By Laura Bergells on

“Stop! Police!” That’s what I’d yell if I was a police officer chasing a suspect. And apparently, I’d be wrong. photo credit: stevendepolo A buddy was watching a crime drama a while ago. I came in late. As I settled on the couch, a police officer was chasing a suspect. “Stop! NYPD!” shouted the policeman. …

Your PowerPoint Is Not Your Presentation

By Laura Bergells on

“May I have a copy of your PowerPoint presentation?” asks an audience member. “What for?” I ask. “So that I can look at it later.” “Is there something I said that isn’t clear? Do we need to go back?” I ask. “No, no. Great presentation. I just want a hard copy.” “Well, no,” I answer. …