Brain Rules by John Medina

Introduce emotional relevance to your presentations

By Laura Bergells on

“We don’t pay attention to boring things.” John Medina, Brain Rules Sounds basic, right? But how do you NOT be boring when you’re speaking or presenting? Medina tells us to be sure to introduce something emotionally relevant every 10 minutes. At least every 10 minutes! If we don’t, we risk losing the attention and interest …

Check color contrasts for accessibility

Slide design: check your color contrasts for accessibility

By Laura Bergells on

Design your slides with accessibility in mind. (I was trying to read small black text on a gray-radiant background earlier this month. I gave up.) One accessibility violation I see in many slide designs involves the use of color. ❌ Red text on a green background? Yikes! ❌ Green text on a red background? Don’t! …

Q&A at the end - not at the end of your speech

Never end your presentation with Q&A.

By Laura Bergells on

Never end your presentation with a Q&A. Got that? Don’t end your next presentation by saying, “Any questions?” There’s no need to announce that it’s time for questions and answers. You can do better. Always plan a strong closing. If you’re planning a Q&A session, you can have it near the end, but not at …

answering Q&A with wisdom

Answering Q&A questions and the path to wisdom…

By Laura Bergells on

Ah, Q&A. The “question and answer” portion of your presentation, where anything can happen! Instead of dealing with a Q&A hog, let’s say someone in your audience asks you a brilliant question. It’s timely and topical! It’s directly related to your content! At this point, your answer can fall into three categories. 1. Hey, I …

5 worst ways to start a speech or presentation

The 5 Worst Ways to Begin a Speech or Presentation…

By Laura Bergells on

Let’s explore 5 of the worst ways to open your next keynote or major presentation…that we hear ALL TOO OFTEN! Ahem! (clearing your throat – do vocal warmups beforehand, please!) Thank you…. (your audience doesn’t need to hear this.) It’s really great to be here….(you’re wasting even more time.) Can you hear me? (do your …

Team Presentation 4 roles

Team Presentations: what position will you be playing?

By Laura Bergells on

So, you’ll be presenting as a team. Super! Make sure you know what position you’ll be playing. One of the biggest mistakes I see in team presentations is when one person on the team is speaking — and the others on the team don’t exactly know what to do with their bodies. “Just because you’re …

Without opinion, you're just another person with data.

Flip W. Edwards Deming on his head…

By Laura Bergells on

A popular quote by W. Edwards Deming reads: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” But what if you flipped this saying? “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Leaders need to share informed opinions and insights. Any dashboard can spew data. It takes soft intelligence, leadership, and communication skills to …

The power of shhhhhhhh

Being quiet can be a storytelling power move

By Laura Bergells on

Perhaps the hardest part of telling a business story is resisting the temptation to finish your story yourself. I call this “The Power of Shhhhh.” It’s where you stop talking. Be quiet. Let your story and its lessons sink in. People hate a vacuum, and will often rush to fill it with their own conclusions. …

Culture of Storytelling

4 ways to develop a culture of storytelling at your organization

By Laura Bergells on

How can you develop a culture of storytelling at your organization? Four quick tips: 1. Meetings: get into the habit of starting each meeting with a story. Ask for others to share stories. 2. Contests: you might have an “employee of the month” contest: why not try a “employee story of the month” contest? 3. …

food prep is STEM education

What if food prep becomes the top tech skill we can’t live without? Sound crazy? Bear with me…

By Laura Bergells on

What if we started learning food prep and cooking in elementary school? And I’m not thinking about food prep as an elective course or two. No, my vision is much bolder: Learning to cook needs to be mandatory. Food prep needs to be integrated into every class you take in school. You must demonstrate ongoing …