Check color contrasts for accessibility

Slide design: check your color contrasts for accessibility

By Laura Bergells on

Design your slides with accessibility in mind. (I was trying to read small black text on a gray-radiant background earlier this month. I gave up.) One accessibility violation I see in many slide designs involves the use of color. ❌ Red text on a green background? Yikes! ❌ Green text on a red background? Don’t! …

Q&A at the end - not at the end of your speech

Never end your presentation with Q&A.

By Laura Bergells on

Never end your presentation with a Q&A. Got that? Don’t end your next presentation by saying, “Any questions?” There’s no need to announce that it’s time for questions and answers. You can do better. Always plan a strong closing. If you’re planning a Q&A session, you can have it near the end, but not at …

5 worst ways to start a speech or presentation

The 5 Worst Ways to Begin a Speech or Presentation…

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s explore 5 of the worst ways to open your next keynote or major presentation…that we hear ALL TOO OFTEN! Ahem! (clearing your throat – do vocal warmups beforehand, please!) Thank you…. (your audience doesn’t need to hear this.) It’s really great to be here….(you’re wasting even more time.) Can you hear me? (do your …

Team Presentation 4 roles

Team Presentations: what position will you be playing?

By Laura Bergells on

So, you’ll be presenting as a team. Super! Make sure you know what position you’ll be playing. One of the biggest mistakes I see in team presentations is when one person on the team is speaking — and the others on the team don’t exactly know what to do with their bodies. “Just because you’re …

The power of shhhhhhhh

Being quiet can be a storytelling power move

By Laura Bergells on

Perhaps the hardest part of telling a business story is resisting the temptation to finish your story yourself. I call this “The Power of Shhhhh.” It’s where you stop talking. Be quiet. Let your story and its lessons sink in. People hate a vacuum, and will often rush to fill it with their own conclusions. …

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VIDEO: the importance of both focus and unfocus

By Laura Bergells on

In my workshop for content writers, I talk about the importance of being both focused and unfocused. We need to be focused to be productive. And that’s why we do things like set deadlines and write outlines. So that we can be productive and stay focused. But I also talk about the importance of being …

voice search optimization

Write the way your best customers talk to their friends.

By Laura Bergells on

OK Google. Cortana. Siri. Alexa. We’re all using voice and audio interfaces right now.  If you’re interested in voice search optimization and writing content for your brand’s voice — go ahead. Do a search for some how-to articles on writing for voice and voice optimization. After you’ve completed your search…I have three questions for you: …

Show and Tell v. Public Speaking

Hey, you used to ❤ Show & Tell. What happened?

By Laura Bergells on

Hey remember third grade? You got up and you did show-and-tell and  you loved it. ❤ You didn’t feel nervous or anxious. So what changed? What made you thrilled about public speaking when you were eight… and anxious about it as an adult? Three things: One: you’re more inhibited as an adult. You now know you stand the risk …

power poses debunked

Power posing debunked: the truth about power poses

By Laura Bergells on

Some people feel scared or nervous before they deliver a speech. To gain confidence, they might go somewhere private right before they speak and strike what’s called a power pose. This is a broad, expansive gesture like putting your arms over your head and looking up. It’s a classic pose of someone who just won! …