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. …

Culture of Storytelling

4 ways to develop a culture of storytelling at your organization

By Laura Bergells on

How can you develop a culture of storytelling at your organization? Four quick tips: 1. Meetings: get into the habit of starting each meeting with a story. Ask for others to share stories. 2. Contests: you might have an “employee of the month” contest: why not try a “employee story of the month” contest? 3. …

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! …

Beware the false dilemma! How to pivot away from either-or questions…

By Laura Bergells on

Consider these four questions. You’ve seen headlines like these in your social media feeds: Who suffers more: Alzheimer’s patients or Alzheimer’s caregivers? What’s more important: presentation content or presentation delivery? Office work or remote work: which is better for productivity? Why would anyone need to go to college when they could just take online classes? …

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera.

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera

By Laura Bergells on

Three years ago, I organized an online web conference. At the request of an organization, I interviewed three of their Subject Matter Experts to get background information for a presentation. The following photo is a re-creation of what I saw in this online meeting: Uh-huh. That’s right. For almost the entire interview, I stared at …

The right to bare arms!

Fashions change. Fundamentals don’t.

By Laura Bergells on

In the 1990’s, I worked for a company that changed its dress code. We went from business formal to business casual. Employees accepted this change readily. I felt like I got a raise, because my dry cleaning expenses almost disappeared. And the comfort of ditching a suit for the dark jeans, tee-shirt, and blazer combo? …

What are you doing with your face and body during a team presentation?

What are you doing with your face + body during a team presentation?

By Laura Bergells on

Being a part of a team or ensemble can be fun and uplifting. And for the audience, a great team is a joy to watch. Ask any sports fan. They’ll tell you this is true. In contrast, let me describe the on-screen action I saw in a recent online group presentation. Maybe this will sound …

Is real bravery fake confidence?

Face it: you need to fake it. Authenticity is not all it’s cracked up to be.

By Laura Bergells on

Authenticity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. To show our care and compassion for others, we often need to put aside our feelings. There are higher truths that need to be served. Ask a mother whose child has fallen off a swing set. The child is bleeding and crying. Does the mother give in …