When was the last time you flipped someone the bird?

By Laura Bergells on

Earlier this week, I showed this image of an adorable baby during a body language training segment. I asked the class, “Is this baby angry?” The class smirked. Sure, the baby’s flipping the bird, but the infant’s not angry. A baby has no idea that showing the middle finger might be an obscene or angry …

I can haz mad communication skillz…

By Laura Bergells on

If you say you have excellent communication skills, you’re demonstrating that you don’t. Communication skills are self evident, not self described. Yet many hiring managers persistently write “strong communication skills” as a requirement in job descriptions. Sadly, savvy job hunters must include the vile term “excellent communication skills” in their résumés …or risk being rejected by …

Three vital presentation lessons learned…from a walk in the woods

By Laura Bergells on

For close to two decades, I take an almost-daily walk near my office. It helps the creative process to get out and clear my head. My office is located in an old forest. A creek runs through it, creating a sizable gully. I’ve seen deer, coyotes, rabbits, and all sorts of birds on my constitutional. …

Ask yourself: what does your audience really want?

By Laura Bergells on

Google Plus opened its doors for business pages yesterday. Far out, right? Boom! I’m suddenly getting swamped with requests to follow new G+ business pages. So let’s say you’re a business communicator. And you’re posting the exact same content to your Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus pages today. Oh, uh! You’re being redundant. Think about …

What shouldn’t you wear?

By Laura Bergells on

“What should I wear?” I asked the event organizer. We just agreed that I would speak at her winter event. She glanced up and down at me. “What you’re wearing now is fine. We’re a very casual business.” I was wearing dark jeans, fitted t-shirt, and blazer. So was she. In the olden days, an …

How else will mobile phones ruin your life?

By Laura Bergells on

I’ve owned a cell phone since 1999. I even had a bag phone circa 1995. Over 80% of American adults now use some kind of mobile phone. In my experience, I see cell phones as a tool that helps us avoid making plans and sticking to them. Cell phones give people an excuse to be …

Tsk! Some people do nothing but criticize…

By Laura Bergells on

“Waah! Some people just sit back + criticize when we try to do good for our community,” pout legions of wannabe activists. Many passive-aggressive dimwits have gotten it into their puny brains that thoughtful, articulate criticism is the equivalent of “do-nothing”. That critics “sit back” while criticizing. That criticism is a nobler, fancier word for …

Use super sticky notes for super sticky ideas

By Laura Bergells on

After a longish brainstorming session, I heard Mac Fowler quip, “I should buy stock in 3M.” He was referring, I reckon, to a perceived uptick in the use of 3M’s ubiquitous sticky note. It was true that I had flung a pack of these little devils on the table during our annual aimWest planning meeting. …

The most passive-aggressive phrase in social media

By Laura Bergells on

Ding ding ding! We have a winner for THE MOST passive-aggressive phrase used in Facebook and Twitter posts. Coming in at number one: “some people…”. As in posting “Some people tear down everything positive we try to do for our community” instead of “Cindy habitually encourages people to think critically before jumping on dubious social …

He’s Too Manly To Use the Mic – What Can You Do?

By Laura Bergells on

“I don’t need to use the mic for my presentation,” bellows our baritone speaker. “I have a strong voice.” “Yes, of course you do,” I soothe him. “But please don’t be afraid to use our microphone.” Photo Credit: Jim Bahn Fear. Many times, fear is the reason why seemingly polished presenters balk when we request …