Kennedy Nixon First Televised debate

For your next video conference: think Nixon…

By Laura Bergells on

Watch the first televised presidential debate on YouTube. Kennedy and Nixon go head-to-head in 1960. Today, this debate is often discussed as an example of how much your personal appearance matters when it comes to an important televised presentation. Kennedy took great care to look good on camera. He wore a neatly pressed dark suit. …

What’s next in online education?

By Laura Bergells on

Earlier this year, I wrote and performed Public Speaking Fundamentals for the Lynda.com Online Training Library. I wrote the scripts from April through June, and then flew out to California to shoot the series in July. The course went live on August 31. Go check it out — beyond my course, Lynda.com provides a massive library of …

Thank You Slide

How do you feel about the “thank you” slide?

By Laura Bergells on

At the end of a presentation, you can say, “thank you.” Sure, it’s not the strongest close in the world. However, it’s certainly acceptable to say “thank you” if you’re feeling especially grateful or moved. But a slide that reads “Thank You” at the end of your presentation? That’s weak. A “Thank You” slide takes …

Why do people love the positive-attitude presenter?

By Laura Bergells on

We have different feelings about that guy. Who’s that guy? Oh, you know that guy. He’s that presenter that’s very pumped up in front of his audience. He’s idiotically happy, and demands that you act that that way, too. HE: Good morning! AUDIENCE: Mmm. HE: I can’t hear you! Gooood MORNING! Let me hear you …

In business, do looks matter? Really?

By Laura Bergells on

When I was introduced to a man at a business meeting, I felt shocked. As I shook his hand, I stared into the face of an infamous serial killer. The man wasn’t really a mass murderer. Unfortunately, he looked exactly like him. As the man spoke to me, I tried to listen. Really. But I …

Go nuts with design

Slide Design: Try this ‘Simple’ Game…

By Laura Bergells on

I love working with talented professional designers. They can help you create slides that not only look beautiful, but really help enhance your presentation. However, most of the time, I don’t have the luxury or budget to hire a design team to produce my slides. For many business presentations, slide design becomes a do-it-yourself effort. …

How are you using improv skills to build credibility?

By Laura Bergells on

True story: I haven’t formally interviewed for a job since 1999. So when a local university called to ask if I could conduct a training session about interviewing skills, I politely declined. I haven’t interviewed for a real job since 1999. I don’t feel qualified to speak to a modern audience about interviewing for a …

mindful presentation

How to Effectively Coach a Public Speaker: try the “ONE” thing…

By Laura Bergells on

You can read a ton of books and blogs that offer advice on how to become an effective public speaker. However, you don’t have the capacity to implement all the advice at once. Instead, let’s look at the core of the word “presentation”. It’s the word “present”. I know I’m at my best when I’m truly …

Bullet Points Equal Um

Bullet Points Equal Um, Ah, and Er

By Laura Bergells on

The next time you watch someone deliver a presentation that’s bullet point heavy – make a mental note. The speaker will often verbalize the bullet point with a filler word like “um, uh, ah, so, or like”. They’ll actually say “um” where the bullet point is! When I ask students to share the results of …