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 …

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 …

Show and Tell v. Public Speaking

Hey, you used to ❤ Show & Tell. What happened?

By Laura Bergells on

Hey remember third grade? You got up and you did show-and-tell and  you loved it. ❤ You didn’t feel nervous or anxious. So what changed? What made you thrilled about public speaking when you were eight… and anxious about it as an adult? Three things: One: you’re more inhibited as an adult. You now know you stand the risk …

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera.

Lose your fear and learn to present on-camera

By Laura Bergells on

Three years ago, I organized an online web conference. At the request of an organization, I interviewed three of their Subject Matter Experts to get background information for a presentation. The following photo is a re-creation of what I saw in this online meeting: Uh-huh. That’s right. For almost the entire interview, I stared at …

Is real bravery fake confidence?

Face it: you need to fake it. Authenticity is not all it’s cracked up to be.

By Laura Bergells on

Authenticity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. To show our care and compassion for others, we often need to put aside our feelings. There are higher truths that need to be served. Ask a mother whose child has fallen off a swing set. The child is bleeding and crying. Does the mother give in …

Illusion of Transparency

The science is IN! What every anxious public speaker must know before their next big presentation…

By Laura Bergells on

After a student gives a class presentation, I’ll sometimes conduct a quick poll. I’ll ask the entire class: on a scale of 0-10, how nervous did the speaker appear? The audience might give the speaker a 2 or a 3. But the speaker? A nervous speaker might rate themselves a 7 or 9. That’s a …

speak clearly

How clearly do you speak? Try this one insightful public speaking test:

By Laura Bergells on

As a public speaker, you’ll want your audience to understand you. You’ll want to be clear. To gain insight about your speech clarity, try this insightful and easy exercise. Take the one-minute “speech pace” exercise I posted last week. Then, upload your one-minute video sample to YouTube. Within a few moments of uploading your video, YouTube …

speech pace

Speech pace: do you talk too fast, too slow…or just right?

By Laura Bergells on

I designed an exercise to give public speaking students insight into the concept of pace. If you’re curious about your own speaking pace, you can complete this exercise in minutes. Try it alone, or as part of a class (or party?) activity. Step One: The script below contains 170 words. Read it to yourself, so …

public speaking head trip

One Simple Mind Game That Can Make You Feel Better About Public Speaking…

By Laura Bergells on

People say they’re scared of public speaking, but are they really? I see these people speak in public all the time. They’re relaxed, confident — and they seem to be enjoying themselves. Take a friend of mine. Let’s call him Greg, because that’s his name. Greg insists he’s terrified of public speaking. Yet, I’ve seen …