Be yourself? Why not be someone else?

By Laura Bergells on

Say you’re giving a live presentation to a large audience. And let’s say this is not something you do on a regular basis. You might be a little nervous about your presentation, so you turn to friends or the internet for some public speaking advice. As you do, you’ll undoubtedly hear or read this strange …

What’s your trademarked hand gesture?

By Laura Bergells on

Sarah Palin writes notes on hers. Bill Clinton is famous for the modified fist with the softened thumbs up gesture. TV pundits vary their hand gestures for emphasis and interest. What do you do with your hands during a presentation? For the past year, I’ve seen an alarming trend in presentation hand-gestures — especially by …

Why You Should Never, Ever Crowdsource Your Presentation Title

By Laura Bergells on

Intro to X X 101 X for Beginners Ugh. What presentation titles could possibly be more overused? If you’re going to a presentation with one of these titles, you can be almost certain that the presentation is going to be every bit as boring and cliched as its headline. These kinds of titles are a …

How Twitter is Like Public Speaking

By Laura Bergells on

“I just don’t know what I would say…” “I can’t believe anybody would care…” “I think I’ll make a fool out of myself…” Speechwriters and presentation coaches often hear these three objections from new clients. Today, I hear the same objections from clients when they talk about approaching Twitter. Stage fright? It’s being replaced with …

Presenting with Twitter – Free Ebook

By Laura Bergells on

The Twitter backchannel is changing the way speakers deliver presentations. Twitter is also changing the way conference planners promote and manage events. What do teachers, trainers, speakers, and conference planners need to know to keep up with these fast-breaking changes? You can find out in a wonderfully written (and totally free!) ebook written by “Speaking …

How to Be a Great Audience Member

By Laura Bergells on

When I’m presenting live, I look for a friendly face in the audience. I like to focus on attentive, smiling, thoughtful faces. They give out a good energy that I respond to as a presenter. Often, just one friendly audience member can make me a better, more confident presenter. So when it’s my turn to …

Two Tips for Curing the “Trailing So…”

By Laura Bergells on

Americans find the word “whatever” annoying. They find it way more annoying than the phrase “you know” and “it is what it is.” This factoid comes courtesy of USA Today, as quoted in a recent Marist Poll. Really? As for me, I have trouble with another pervasive verbal tic. I call it “The Trailing So.” …

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 …

Just Who Do You Think You Are?

By Laura Bergells on

“Just be yourself.” How many times have you heard this three-word bit of useless advice? Yes, you read that right: I wrote “useless”. Why useless? Two main reasons: There’s nothing “just” about being yourself. You’re complicated. You’re deep. If you were a rock or a piece of wood, perhaps you could “just” present yourself without …

The Days of Talking Heads Are Nearly Over

By Laura Bergells on

I ♥ David Byrne. I even ♥ David Byrne’s “I ♥ PowerPoint.” Really, I do. But the days of the Talking Heads are over. I’m not talking about the band. I’m talking TV. And presenters. And presentations. We have social media to thank. photo credit: andyket Interactive presentations are in. Authoritative anchors reading dispassionately from …