How to stop a boorish Q&A Hog in 3 easy steps

By Laura Bergells on

I recently attended a terrific, high-powered panel presentation that unfortunately became hijacked by what I’ll call “a Q&A hog.” You’ve probably witnessed a Q&A hog in action at a conference or presentation. Q&A Hog, defined: an annoying creature that rambles incoherently during the Question and Answer period of a presentation. The hog typically takes up …

Your final words: how NOT to close a presentation

By Laura Bergells on

I asked folks on Twitter: “What’s the worst way to end a presentation?” My own personal pet peeve is ending with “Are there any questions?”  Q & A is such a weak & wimpy close. Regrettably, I hear it far too often. However, within 12 minutes of my Twitter query, I received even more brilliant …

My Guiltiest Twitter Pleasure: Favstar.fm

By Laura Bergells on

OK, I’ll admit it. Very few days go by where I don’t check into favstar.fm. Why? Because I like a good grin. And I like to find humor in offbeat and unusual places. Favstar is like an underground Twitter subculture of frustrated writers and wanna-be comics. A Twitter companion site, you can simply go to …

Steal This Press Conference!

By Laura Bergells on

Actually, the title of this post should be: “If you don’t like the news, why not go out and make your own?” The above question is a quote from “Steal This Book“, a social instruction guide written by Abbie Hoffman in the 1970’s. Hoffman was a master at getting free publicity for his causes in …

Top 3 Ways Presenters Can Make Sex Boring

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s imagine that you’re asked to give a presentation about sex. Really! Your audience of adult coworkers are eagerly anticipating the fascinating insights you’re going to share with them in your one-hour presentation. I’m seriously asking you to imagine this. Go ahead. Giggle, blush, scoff —  but ask yourself: How might you prepare? What might …

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 …

How much health info should you share on FaceBook?

By Laura Bergells on

Stop discussing your family’s medical conditions on social media channels like FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Stop blogging about your children’s illnesses. Please. You want support and information? Pick up the phone and talk one-on-one with medical professionals. Join a confidential support group. Discuss your concerns over dinner with your family and loved ones. Get counseling. …

How Twitter is like a Native American Talking Circle

By Laura Bergells on

What if you were to approach Twitter as if it were a Native American Talking Circle? In the Talking Circle format, you value every voice equally. You listen respectfully. Everyone can contribute. You share your soul, learn from others, and make decisions. You build ideas and relationships in a collaborative environment. The Talking Circle uses …