Three Transparently Phony Ways to Appear Less Confident

By Laura Bergells on

Confidence. Somehow, this word became virtuous in the 1980’s. It remained a positive trait — until fairly recently. Confidence men, we called them in the 1930’s and 40’s. Over time, we shortened this to “Con Men” or “Cons”. Overly charming, smooth. Hucksters. Yech. Cons transmit that they are absolutely positive in their correctness. Who trusts …

The Creepiest PowerPoint Design Trend of 2009

By Laura Bergells on

architecture.revolutionary.relationships.re-contextualize. Those were four words on four slides in a 15 minute PowerPoint presentation I witnessed last month. The remaining 700 slides in the presentation each had one word on them, as well. OK, I’m exaggerating. There couldn’t have been 700 slides in that presentation. But it seemed like it. In the presentation I saw, …

Stop! In the Name of Acronyms!

By Laura Bergells on

“Stop! Police!” That’s what I’d yell if I was a police officer chasing a suspect. And apparently, I’d be wrong. photo credit: stevendepolo A buddy was watching a crime drama a while ago. I came in late. As I settled on the couch, a police officer was chasing a suspect. “Stop! NYPD!” shouted the policeman. …

Are you nutritious or superstitious?

By Laura Bergells on

My host told me to go ahead and fill up at the wet burrito bar a half hour before I was scheduled to talk to a large audience. I politely declined. I can’t eat just ANYTHING before a major presentation. I don’t want to subject the audience to a fit of, em, gastronomic distress during a presentation. …

The 4 Most Important Elephants of Presentation

By Laura Bergells on

In grad school, a marketing professor insisted on an oral report. One student in class did not speak English as her first language. When she gave her report, she began talking about “The Most Important Elephants of International Marketing”. We all thought, of course, that she mispronounced “elements”. After the first time, most audience members, …

Your PowerPoint Is Not Your Presentation

By Laura Bergells on

“May I have a copy of your PowerPoint presentation?” asks an audience member. “What for?” I ask. “So that I can look at it later.” “Is there something I said that isn’t clear? Do we need to go back?” I ask. “No, no. Great presentation. I just want a hard copy.” “Well, no,” I answer. …

Which PowerPoint Presentation Would You Prefer?

By Laura Bergells on

Today’s PowerPoint presentation question is inspired by a Molson Canadian Bottle Label. Answer HonestlyWould You Prefer… A hum-drum speaker using a scrumptious looking PowerPoint presentation? – OR – A scintillating speaker using a visually so-so PowerPoint design? Well, beer drinkers and others — what’s your answer? PS — In case (hah! case!) you have no …

PowerPoint Pet Peeve: The Passive Voice

By Laura Bergells on

Which sentence do you like better? A PowerPoint presentation was given by the CEO. The CEO gave a PowerPoint presentation. Both sentences relay the same information. So why do you like the second one better? The first sentence is longer. It uses the passive voice. The second sentence is shorter. It uses the active voice. …

How Twitter Can Enhance Your Presentation

By Laura Bergells on

Much ado over a Twittering Congress. Last week during the President’s address to the joint session of Congress, some members Twittered through the speech. Almost immediately, two basic attitude camps sprang up among pundits: 1. How dare they! Congress should be paying rapt attention, not providing color commentary.2. Kudos! Now, the public gets to immediately …