Telecommuting: are you ready for your close up?

By Laura Bergells on

Owing to global weirding, those who can are making plans to telecommute today. If you’re a writer, teacher, or communicator: you might have access to tools that allow you to do your jobs remotely. In a pinch, remote tools can often allow ‘the show to go on’. I remember speaking at an out-of-state conference a …

Please: stop “hiring to cultural fit”

By Laura Bergells on

I bristle at the trendy, thoughtless phrase “hire to cultural fit”. And I’m not alone. Often, you’ll hear this phrase parroted at tech, business, and startup conferences. Generally, it means, “when hiring, consider personality first — consider tech and business skills second”. Here’s the loosey-goosey rationale for ‘hiring to cultural fit’: “Hey, it’s easier to …

sleep is the enemy

7 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Sleeping

By Laura Bergells on

“Help me! I can’t sleep!” I see variations of the “I can’t sleep” post on Facebook almost every week. I know that some friends have serious health problems and need medical help: this post is definitely NOT for them. This is just a “hey, friends — if you’re having a tough time sleeping lately, here’s some …

pro peace

How can you positively frame your core message?

By Laura Bergells on

A number of people and organizations have gone out of their way lately to tell me that they are non-violent. They remind me of people who go out of their way to tell me that they are not racists. Not sexists. Not homophobic. It’s a tell. Let’s take a look at what a person who …

uncanny valley

Beware the uncanny valley of presentation design and delivery

By Laura Bergells on

A performer and presentation can be overly polished and perfect. Creepily so. Borrowing from the world of robotics, I call this phenomenon the uncanny valley of design and delivery. This is when a presenter looms a bit too near perfection. I don’t run into the uncanny valley of presentation design and delivery too often, but when I …

How long do you plan for Q&A?

By Laura Bergells on

Q&A — questions and answers — is my favorite part of any business or training presentation. I’m curious. I like hearing what’s going on in the heads of the audience. I like learning from the audience every bit as much as learning from the presenter. When I give a presentation or training session, I almost …

OK, so never start a sentence with these 10 words…

By Laura Bergells on

No offense, but I recently had to leave a lecture because the speaker began every other sentence with either “So…” or “Alright, so…” His information may have been spectacular, but after a half hour, I felt too distracted to listen anymore. When your audience starts playing a mental drinking game based on taking a sip …

Who else remembers a world before PowerPoint?

By Laura Bergells on

Who can remember the first presentation they ever gave using PowerPoint? Can you remember with any specificity, or is PowerPoint so ubiquitous that you can’t really remember? For those of use who are over 23 years of age — we are not PowerPoint natives. Some of us can remember a time before PowerPoint existed…and we gave …

Sloth Doing Nothing

Doing Nothing is the New Doing Something

By Laura Bergells on

Recently, I noticed this absurd trend of gallantly and heroically doing nothing. About 19 months ago, I accidentally left my cell phone home and traveled out of town on business. When I arrived at the hotel, I needed to find the conference organizer. I used my laptop to call her via Skype & explained that …

The Titanic

Why do you need a building to get an education?

By Laura Bergells on

A few weeks ago, I went to tour the new Seidman Business School Building on the downtown GVSU campus. Reports say the new building cost around $40 million. Wow. All that money for a business school building! Accounting, economics, finance, management, marketing — fields like that. You know, the kind of topics people all over the …