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 …

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 …

Are you nutritious or superstitious?

By Laura Bergells on

My host told me to go ahead and fill up at the wet burrito bar a half hour before I was scheduled to talk to a large audience. I politely declined. I can’t eat just ANYTHING before a major presentation. I don’t want to subject the audience to a fit of, em, gastronomic distress during a presentation. …

The 4 Most Important Elephants of Presentation

By Laura Bergells on

In grad school, a marketing professor insisted on an oral report. One student in class did not speak English as her first language. When she gave her report, she began talking about “The Most Important Elephants of International Marketing”. We all thought, of course, that she mispronounced “elements”. After the first time, most audience members, …