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fun video

What if you didn’t own a car anymore?

I own a car. When it dies, I may not buy another. In fact, I may never own another car again in my lifetime.

I don’t want to be careless. I’d rather be carless.

This is a shocking statement for a middle-aged Michigan suburbanite to make. For a time, I worked in the auto industry. Almost everyone I know here is dependent on cars for their livelihood. Many even derive their identity and social status from the type of car they own.

A car isn’t what people drive: it’s who they are. 

So how could I say “I’m not buying another car” — and still expect to have friends? Will I ever be invited to parties again?

Sure. From time to time, I say things that upset my friends. We all do.

But when I announce that I’ve had it with car ownership, my friends and colleagues regard me with amusement. They react as if I’ve told them a joke. 

But I’m not kidding. Here’s my reality:

I bought a brand new car in 2003: cash, no note. It’s still in good shape. Today, I mostly bop around town in it. 

I pay $700.50/year in annual car insurance. Between oil changes, repairs, licensing fees, and fuel: that’s another $1K. So I’ll round up and say I have operating costs of around $2K/year.

(Notice how I’m not even counting original costs, depreciation, loss of interest, parking, or storage. If I did, that would be another $2K a year.)

Many would characterize my car situation as “dirt cheap”. But today, I consider my car ownership a luxury. I needed a car in the ’00’s – but do I really need it anymore?

What I’m really paying for is convenience. If I have a whim to go somewhere at any time, I can indulge it.

I don’t have to think or plan. I’m paying for the privilege of being mindless: for the illusion of being able to go wherever I want, whenever I want.

But $2-4K a year? It seems excessive.

I work out of my home office. Most of what I do and where I go is within 2 miles of my home. I walk almost everywhere. Further, technological advances are changing the way I think about car ownership.

For most client work, I use online tools. We meet using Skype and Hangouts: or Zoom and BlueJeans. That’s a giant change from 2003, where most client meetings and work needed to be in person.

I avoided renting a car for business travel this year. Not once so far! (Fingers crossed.)

For some meetings and events, I still need to be physically present. For example, I can drive to and from one client’s office in 22 minutes. A bike takes 40 minutes. The bus? 84 minutes — but only when it’s on time. (The bus is almost never on time in my home town of Grand Rapids.)

Further, I can only take the bike or bus on mild days. I can’t show up to client meetings covered in rain, snow, or sweat. Getting to the airport for out-of-town work? It requires a car service: taxi, limo, Lyft, etc. 

While I use my car for some trips — I find myself using it less over time. In 2016, I drove it a total of 3,104 miles. In 2017? I drove 2,604 miles. 

So if you’re like me and would prefer not to own another car: let’s do a thought experiment. What would happen if my reliable old car stopped working today?

I wouldn’t buy another. Rather, I’d bike more. I’d walk even more than I already do. I’d use ride services like Lyft more. 

I’d probably invest in an electric bicycle, to give me an assist as I go up more hills. Until autonomous ride-hailing becomes reality, I’d rent cars for out-of-town business trips. I’d also use public transportation more. 

Without a car, I’d be less thoughtless and spontaneous. I’d be more thoughtful about planning my time and trips. 

I’d probably have to buy more goods online. This means saying bye-bye to monthly trips to Costco. (This popular online warehouse is a 26 minute round trip drive from my home, but it’s 2+ hour trip by bus. Over an hour of that bus trip involves walking to bus stops. With heavy parcels? Costco’s free snacks are nice, but a big warehouse in the middle-of-nowhere-with-a-huge-parking-lot? That model’s not gonna work in my near future.)

Socially, I know some friends would be upset by my lack of car. My curtailed spontaneity will be inconvenient for them.

Other friends are supportive. In a small town in Michigan in 2018, I suspect “going carless” would generate some gossip.

But in a short time, gossip will stop. And soon, going carless will be seen as normal. Everyone will be doing it. 

When more people stop buying cars, neighborhoods change. Public transportation improves. Communities plan infrastructure with walking and biking in mind.

People will say “hi” more. Health improves as people bike and walk more in fresher air. Small neighborhood businesses spring up and thrive on popular walking/biking routes.

Am I wrong about some of these positive aspects of giving up on car ownership? Am I dreaming?

Will we soon see significant social, economic, and environmental changes brought about by the decline of car culture? Or do people love the idea of cars too much to give them up, no matter what the costs?

I dunno. I still can’t figure out what we’ll all do with all our empty garages and parking lots. Build the next great technology, I guess. Or start a grunge band. I like to tinker and experiment, so maybe I’ll do more of that. 

How do you feel about the mere idea of giving up your car…for good? Does it fill you with thoughts of dread and anger? Or do you have a more sunny view of your carless future?


Laura Bergells writes, coaches, and teaches. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

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Coaching communication crisis Education video

Don’t let cold hands stop you from writing: try Voice Typing

Sometimes, voice typing can come in handy for really unexpected reasons!

It’s October 1, and it’s freezing. My poor fingers are now cramped from typing in a cold room all morning.

Google Voice Typing to the rescue! I’ll open up Google Docs, activate voice typing, and talk through a first draft. 

Google Voice Typing within Google Docs comes to the rescue of cold, cramped hands!

I can always go back in and edit this first draft with my fingers later. But for right now, I’ve got deadlines to meet. I can’t let cold hands stop me from writing!

There are three other great reasons to use voice typing instead of finger typing for a first draft:

  1. You talk faster than you type. With voice typing, you can increase your total word count.
  2. You shut off your internal editor. When you talk, you resist the temptation to edit yourself as you’re talking.
  3. You reduce distractions. You’re not goofing around on social media or opening up another tab on your browser. You’re talking.

I find myself using voice typing a lot now. I get 97% accuracy with no special equipment. I just use the mic that comes with my $320 laptop.

No big whoop. In the olden days, you needed a special microphone and pricey software. Now, you can probably just use equipment you have on hand.

Voice recognition is getting better all the time. It makes sense.

Think about how many of those Google Home devices have been in use over the past year. Or how many times people use their Android devices to say “OK, Google” — then use their voices to issue a command.

Google is drawing on an enormous amount of data to be able to understand a wide variety of voices. I expect Google’s accuracy will only get better over time.

Cortana and Alexa and Siri? If they work for you, great. But they don’t work for me.

In my experience, Cortana, Alexa, and Siri are far slower and less accurate than Google. And this makes sense: these services aren’t drawing from the vast amount of voice data that Google continues to collect.

If you haven’t checked out voice typing in a while, give it another try. You may find that it works better than you ever expected!

(And as the weather gets colder, I’ll probably use voice typing even more.)

Are you a voice typing fan? Why or why not?


Laura Bergells is a writer and instructor. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

Laura Bergells writes, coaches, and teaches. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

Signup for LinkedIn Learning

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Coaching Presentation public speaking video

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

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 of ridicule or humiliation.

Two: you tell yourself the stakes have changed. What you’re doing now is just so much more important than when you were eight!

And three, you stopped practicing. In school, you did book reports oral reports plays and sports… and you did it on the regular.

One, two, & three?

They all add up to one diagnosis: you are living in your head. That is what’s making you anxious about public speaking.

So, get out of your head. Get up. Find opportunities to speak in front of people.

Do it today. When you practice regularly, you’ll feel way less anxious & way more confident.

Anxious Public Speaking V. Third Grade Show-n-Tell

Laura Bergells writes, coaches, and teaches. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

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Coaching communication Presentation public speaking video

Power posing debunked: the truth about power poses

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!

Someone who’s victorious. A champion!

Or they might stand with their hands on theirs hips while looking up. Just like a superhero! Strong, confident, large and in charge!

And these kinds of expansive poses are a form of warm up exercise. You can gain emotional energy from putting your body into these types of postures that make you feel more powerful.

Huddling and crouching? Those are classic postures we adopt when we feel scared or submissive.

Huddling and crouching poses send a message to your brain to feel afraid. Using broad gestures sends a message to your brain to feel confident.

And while the science on power posing isn’t exactly clear right now, consider this: warm-up exercises have been a part of theater tradition for a long, long time. That’s because the warm up exercises you perform off stage can help you project the emotional energy you want to portray onstage.

Power posing is actual a riff on an old acting technique. It’s a simple but powerful warmup exercise. And it’s one that’s worth trying.

After all, when you’re performing on stage or in front of a camera, you need to put out about 25 percent more energy than you might do in a normal, everyday conversation.

If you’re just being ‘yourself’ on camera — and you don’t project a little more emotional energy that you normally would, you’re probably going to come across as lifeless and flat.

Actors often do warmups before they go on stage.

Professional performers know it’s way easier to come down from an amped up emotional state than it is to try to ramp up to a heightened emotional state.

So if you don’t believe in the science of power posing, why not take a centuries old tip from the world of acting and performance?

Get yourself a ritual. Try some warmups before you hit the stage.

Look at it this way. You have nothing – zero – to lose.

And best of all, you might be delighted by the results you achieve with a few simple warmup exercises before your next speech or presentation. Give them a try. Let me know how power posing works out for you.


Laura Bergells is a writer and instructor. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

Laura Bergells writes, coaches, and teaches. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

Signup for LinkedIn Learning

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Coaching communication public speaking social media video

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

Consider these four questions. You’ve seen headlines like these in your social media feeds:

  1. Who suffers more: Alzheimer’s patients or Alzheimer’s caregivers?
  2. What’s more important: presentation content or presentation delivery?
  3. Office work or remote work: which is better for productivity?
  4. Why would anyone need to go to college when they could just take online classes?

Media outlets that depend on advertising dollars often like to post false dilemma questions like these. They do it with the aim of “increasing engagement” or “starting conversations.”

A casual reader or viewer might not even care that deeply about the posed question. But once they’ve responded by picking a side – uh, oh!

They’ve entered a trap.

Once people answer one way or the other, they might feel as if they have to defend their position. Sometimes, they’ll even fight with people who selected the other side of the either-or equation.

You know what happens next. Fights draw crowds.

With one simple either-or question, the media outlet that posted the question used an agitation technique. Deliberately posing a false dilemma question to ‘increase engagement’ is propaganda.

Often, the intent is not to inform or educate. The true aim of the false dilemma question is to agitate, confuse, and/or polarize.

Keep your eye out for these kinds of questions. You’ll see and hear deliberate agitation techniques all the time.

Some polarizing questions are posed innocently, but most are deliberately designed to agitate. They create pointless fights and arguments. They prevent any kind of substantive progress.

Increased engagement? More like “increased agitation”.

And it’s not just media outlets who use this technique to cause fights or draw crowds. Sometimes, you’ll be presented with an either-or question in everyday work or personal situations.

Let’s say you’re presented with a false dilemma question in real life. Unlike social media, you can’t choose to not participate. How can you answer it without helping to create an unstable and contentious environment?

Sometimes, you can’t say nothing. You must respond. If so, you might like to try a classic, 2-step pivoting technique.

For example, let’s say a public speaking student asks me, in front of class:

“For our next class presentation, tell us. What’s more important: content or delivery?”

Since the student is asking an either-or question, I might use a pivot statement.

I might say, “I wouldn’t frame the question that way.”

Then, I say how I would frame it. Then, I answer that question.

And my answer? It’s almost never either-or. It’s almost always both-and.

For example, I might say,

“I wouldn’t frame the question that way. Content and delivery are both important, so you need to work on both. Don’t forget – you need to make a connection with your audience.”

Remember that two step process:

  1. Use the pivot phrase “I wouldn’t frame it that way” to politely reject an either-or, false dilemma scenario;
  2. Proceed with framing a both-and response.

Let’s see how this 2-step technique might work in a TV interview. Pretend a reporter asks a doctor:

“Who suffers more, Alzheimer’s caregivers or Alzheimer’s patients?”

The doctor might recognize the false dilemma from media training and say:

“I wouldn’t frame it that way, since both groups suffer in their own unique ways. Nor should we try to make suffering some sort of competition. Instead, I’d rather use my time here today to address what we can do to ease the suffering of both patients and their caregivers.”

Well, done, doctor!

And now, I’ll give you two brief exercises to try on your own. Now that you know to recognize a false dilemma question when you see one, practice answering this either-or question:

“Which scenario is better for productivity: office work or remote work?”

Try using the two-step technique to answer. (Here’s my take on the subject…no peeking until you’ve answered on your own!)

And now, here’s your last exercise. Answer this oft-asked question:

“Why would anyone need to go to college when they could just take online classes?”

Go ahead. Once again, formulate your own answer.

Here’s my 11 second pivot response to the Classroom v. Online learning question.

Learn to recognize and respond appropriately to inflammatory and polarizing questions. Life is seldom an either-or scenario.

Your life is bigger than “either-or”. Your life is almost always “both-and”.


Laura Bergells is a writer and instructor. Check out her online courses at LinkedIn Learning.  You can also find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

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Coaching communication Education fun Presentation public speaking video

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera

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 a close up of one man’s ear. After a few minutes, I told him he might want to adjust his camera.

“Oh, sorry,” he said. I then got an extreme close up of what appeared to be his hairline. 

“Is that your neck?”

“Probably.”

“I think I preferred your ear.”

“Oh. OK.”

For the next hour, we all looked at his ear. 

My interview subject never saw his audience. He never looked at the camera. We could see his ear twitch a bit as he talked, but that was about it.

Let me be clear. The expert with the wiggly ear?

He’s brilliant in his field. He had wonderful information to share. And he’s also a delightful person.

He simply didn’t know anything about presenting on camera. It was his first time, and he was too intimidated to tell anybody he didn’t know what he was doing.

He thought he could fake it. And in a way, he was right. 

We were a friendly group. We didn’t judge our colleague too harshly.

We were in a time crunch, so we smiled and went on with the meeting. And after all, we all knew the guy was a genius.

But I also know he’s doing much better now. Post-meeting, he took some good-natured ribbing and sought help.

He learned more about delivering online presentations. And of course, he continues to gain valuable experience.

There are plenty of tips available to help you improve your own online video performance. Here are six of my favorites: they’re all available through LinkedIn Learning:

1. Successful video conferencing tips

2. Developing your on-camera presence

3. Setting up your home or office filming environment

4. Wardrobe and makeup tips

5. Lighting tips

6. Tips for on-camera body language and posture

This sort of specific information and advice can help get you going in the right direction with regard to your next on-camera presentation. Think you don’t need help? That it’s no big deal? 

Your audience was raised on TV or online. We have expectations for how people look and perform on a screen. You may be warm and wonderful in person – but how do you come across on camera?

We were all kind to “ear guy” — but you don’t always have the luxury of being in front of an audience who loves and accepts you no matter what crazy thing you do. You’ll want to learn and practice some of the basics before you present to employers, clients, key stakeholders, and the public. 

You probably don’t think of yourself as a film star. But if you’re asked to present on camera, guess what? 

You’re a video star now, my friend. It may be a low budget production from your home office, but who knows? One low budget presentation could have enormous business stakes…or at least lead to previously unheard of opportunities. (It happened to me.)

Prepare yourself. We’re all video stars now.

If it hasn’t happened to you already… it’s going to happen soon. We’ll all be presenting more on camera in the future.

See you online!


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a LinkedIn Learning course author. Check out Establishing Credibility as a SpeakerCrisis Communication and Public Speaking.

Categories
Coaching Presentation public speaking video

The science is IN! What every anxious public speaker must know before their next big presentation…

After a student gives a class presentation, I’ll sometimes conduct a quick poll. I’ll ask the entire class: on a scale of 0-10, how nervous did the speaker appear?

The audience might give the speaker a 2 or a 3. But the speaker? A nervous speaker might rate themselves a 7 or 9. That’s a pretty big gap in perception between speaker and audience.

This perception gap is a wrapped up in a cognitive bias called the Illusion of Transparency. Here’s an example of how the Illusion of Transparency works:

Let’s say you believe others know what you’re feeling when they look at you. They can tell exactly how nervous you are. They all know you’re a giant fraud.

That’s your Illusion of Transparency talking. But guess what?

It’s an illusion! It’s not real!

My informal classroom poll lines up with a 2003 study published by Savitsky and Gilovich. The title of their study is “The illusion of transparency and the alleviation of speech anxiety“. It was published in The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The reality? Other people have a hard time decoding your feelings. If your audience had to guess, they’re likely to rate you as “more confident” than you rate yourself.

While a public speaker might think “I’m a nervous wreck and everyone knows” — the audience might think, “Wow, that speaker is super passionate and enthusiastic!”

It’s important for speakers to know about the Illusion of Transparency. This tiny bit of knowledge can actually help you become a better public speaker. Here’s why:

If you didn’t know about the Illusion of Transparency, you might feel nervous. But you’ll assume everyone in the room thinks so, too. And this cognitive bias can make you feel even more nervous: because it makes you meta-nervous.

Meta-nervous:

When you’re nervous about being nervous.

The Illusion of Transparency sets you up for a downward spiral of nervousness. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can make you feel increasingly anxious. 

But here’s the great news: now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, you’re in a better position to cope with public speaking anxiety. Savitsky + Gilovich found when they informed public speakers about this cognitive bias right before a speech, speakers presented with more confidence.

So now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, you can say to yourself,

“Hey, it’s just my cognitive bias talking. It’s not real. I might feel nervous, but so what? No one else can tell.”

And that tiny bit of knowledge can help make you feel more confident. You can relax and deliver a more compelling presentation.

Bonus: now that you know about the Illusion of Transparency, be sure to share this knowledge with a friend or colleague. Chances are, you’ll feel even better when you help someone else gain confidence as a public speaker.

Instead of a downward spiral of nervousness, help create an upward spiral of increased confidence.


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a #LinkedInLearning author. Check out her courses on Crisis Communication and Public Speaking.

Laura has decades of experience as a business communication coach. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and leads workshops on effective communication. You can find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

Categories
Coaching public speaking social media video

How clearly do you speak? Try this one insightful public speaking test:

As a public speaker, you’ll want your audience to understand you. You’ll want to be clear.

To gain insight about your speech clarity, try this insightful and easy exercise. Take the one-minute “speech pace” exercise I posted last week.

Then, upload your one-minute video sample to YouTube.

Unlisted YouTube Video

Within a few moments of uploading your video, YouTube will automatically generate closed captioning (CC) for your one-minute vocal sample. Read the captions YouTube generated. You can find them in the YouTube Creator Studio, under “Subtitles/CC”.

closed captioning YouTube

(You can also just press “CC” at the lower right of your published video.)

How well did YouTube translate your spoken words?

If YouTube had a hard time translating you — it’s not them. You can blame Siri and Cortana and Alexa for misunderstanding you in 2018. But you can’t blame Google-owned YouTube. Not anymore.

YouTube/Google has become shockingly good at understanding and translating speech. It may not understand proper nouns (like my uncommon last name). It may bobble homophones (I.e., “pique” may become “peak”. Or “Tide Ad” may become “Tie Dad.”). However, YouTube/Google understands most conversational speech fairly well.

If you see multiple errors in your YouTube transcript: you may need to work on your speech clarity. Consider the four P’s of your vocal performance: projection, pace, pausing, and pronunciation.

Projection:

Was your volume level loud enough for YouTube to hear? If your voice sounds soft or weak, is it you…or your recording equipment? It might be your mic: but it could be that you speak too softly. If you speak with a weak voice, you may need to work on breath support so you can speak with more volume and strength. Or, you may simply need to step closer to your microphone.

Pace:

If you speak too quickly, your enunciation can suffer. Try slowing down to a conversational pace. A conversational rate is between 140 and 170 words per minute. Practice reading my 1 minute speech pace script until you can record it in one minute – give or take a few seconds.

Pausing:

Introduce pauses into your speech. Pausing can help you catch your breath and organize your thoughts, so you can pronounce your words more clearly. For an exercise, pretend you’re introducing yourself to someone who doesn’t know you. Say your full name.

Now, say your name again. This time, slow down…and put a slight pause between your first and last names.

Sample script:

Hi. I’m Laura (split second pause) Bergells. (longer pause) You can call me (split second pause) Laura.

(This may sound unnatural to your own ears. You’re used to your name, so it might sound too slow to you. However, people who don’t know you will appreciate the extra effort you made to be clear and memorable.)

Pronunciation:

Look at your YouTube transcript for patterns in misunderstanding. Do your trouble areas have anything in common?

Sometimes, people get sloppy when they pronounce words with more than 3 syllables. Other times, they can drift over short connector words like “to” and “a” and “and”.

If you spot patterns like these, make a note of them. Work on your specific issues by marking up your problem areas with hashes for pauses, and bold for emphasis.

For example, let’s say YouTube had trouble understanding you when you read this sentence aloud:

“This rate of speech typically ranges from around 140 to 170 words per minute.”

You might try re-writing it with vocal cues like these:

“This rate of speech | typic-LEE | ranges from around | one hundred forty | to | one hundred seventy | words per minute.”

(Use emphasis and pause cues that work for you.)

Projection, pace, pausing, and pronunciation: the 4 p’s of vocal performance can impact how well your audience understands you. Try uploading a one minute vocal performance to YouTube to gain more insight into your own speech clarity.

What other techniques do you use to work on your speech clarity? How else can you make sure you’re understood?


Laura Bergells is a writer, teacher, and a #LinkedInLearning author. Check out her courses on Crisis Communication and Public Speaking. NEW! If you’re a writer, check out Laura’s latest course: Scrivener Essential Training.

You can find Laura on Twitter and at YouTube.

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social media video

Mastodon Social: your first look

Mastodon? Mastodon?

Do we really need another social network? And do we really need to name it Mastodon? That’s hard for people to spell off the top of their heads.

If you’re wondering why people are talking about Mastodon and what it looks like, I give you a glib and superficial glance at this open source service. I joined Mastodon on April 8. These were my initial impressions.

In this short video, you can gain a glance at Mastodon without going through the hassle of signing up for it yourself. Learn from my mistakes, and see if it’s right for you.

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PowerPoint Presentation Sway video

Microsoft Sway: give it a try, avoid the hype

Microsoft Sway is now freely available online. If you’re a story teller, check it out. Take a few minutes to watch the Microsoft tutorial video.  It will give you a broad overview of what Sway is and how you might use it. Then, go monkey around with it a little. It’s at Sway.com.

Whatever you do, don’t read too much about Sway right now. Avoid tech and business journals in particular. I’ve read too many online posts about Sway that I’ll politely call “myths mixed in with enough facts to be confusing”.

Three Microsoft Sway Myths Widely Perpetuated in Media Hype

Myth 1: Sway is a PowerPoint killer! Nope. It’s not. In fact, one of the first activities the Sway interface challenges you to do is to upload a PowerPoint presentation. Hmm. Unless Sway kills PowerPoint by telling you to use PowerPoint, how is it a PowerPoint killer? At its core, Sway is an online storytelling tool. PowerPoint is presentation slideware. The two coexist peacefully.

Myth 2: You need to download an app to use Sway! Uh-uh.  You can go directly to Sway.com and create a online story, right now. All you need is a computer with internet access and a Microsoft user name + password. No download is necessary, although if you like that kind of thing, go for it. You can go app happy at the Microsoft store.

Myth 3:  You can’t create original content in Sway! Sigh. I lost track of how many times that I read that you MUST upload a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, or PDF — otherwise Microsoft Sway is useless.  Those writers must have missed the giant “Create New” button. Fact: you can start a story from scratch. (I did that for my very first Sway story.)

Sway is not a PowerPoint Killer
These are the first two activities you’ll see in Sway. And yet, it’s a Powerpoint killer? And you can’t create new content? Phooey.

Go ahead and give Sway a try. Avoid reading about it and have a little fun actually playing with it. Bring along a Word document, PowerPoint presentation, and a PDF file to see what Sway will do with them when you upload them. You might like it, hate it, or feel indifferent: but if you play with it for a half hour, you’ll probably have 29 more minutes of experience with Sway than many of the reporters who wrote about it.

Have some fun. Play with Sway. You can form your own cursory opinions, free from confusing media hype and spin.