What’s your trademarked hand gesture?

By Laura Bergells on

Sarah Palin writes notes on hers. Bill Clinton is famous for the modified fist with the softened thumbs up gesture. TV pundits vary their hand gestures for emphasis and interest. What do you do with your hands during a presentation? For the past year, I’ve seen an alarming trend in presentation hand-gestures — especially by …

Why You Should Never, Ever Crowdsource Your Presentation Title

By Laura Bergells on

Intro to X X 101 X for Beginners Ugh. What presentation titles could possibly be more overused? If you’re going to a presentation with one of these titles, you can be almost certain that the presentation is going to be every bit as boring and cliched as its headline. These kinds of titles are a …

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 …

PowerPoint Deaths Climb in 2009: But at Slower Rate

By Laura Bergells on

Every year, I Google the phrase “Death by PowerPoint” (without quotes). Exactly one year ago today, this “Death by PowerPoint” inquiry yielded 366,000 search results – over 4 times as many results as 2007. Today, if you Google “Death by PowerPoint”, you’ll see 980,000 results — only about 2.7 times as much as 2008. The …

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 …

Halloween Meets the Fear of Public Speaking

By Laura Bergells on

Imagine getting this event invitation: “Come to our Halloween party. Dress as your worst fear.” I received just such an event invitation a number of years ago. Delighted, I set my mind to the task of what I would wear. “Worst fear. Let’s see. I’ll bet people will come as ghosts, werewolves, monsters, and such. …

Two Ways to Let Your Audience Co-Create Presentation Content

By Laura Bergells on

Your audience has the technology. They’re carrying smart phones. They have net books or note books. So why not let them use their snazzy tech tools to co-create presentations? Here are two tech-driven ways to let your audience co-create presentation content. PollEverywhere. Audience interactivity is a big part of the draw of PollEverywhere. You ask …