Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gilda's Articles Appear in SNEC-PMI Newsletter

Two of my articles appeared in the latest newsletter of the Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute (SNEC-PMI). 

SNEC-PMI, whose mission is to to provide resources, professional development and networking opportunities to enhance Project Management, is one of the largest PMI chapters with over 1700 members.

As a certified Project management Practitioner (PMP), I am a proud member of the chapter and have keynoted at their annual conference.

Here is the link to the newsletter with my articles, When Presenting, Don't Go Over the Time Limit and Applying Lean Principles to Presentation Skills: Optimize the

It's a great resource if you work in Project Management or are interested in learning more about it. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Photos from Marist NJ Alumni Networking Workshop

On September 9 I presented "How to Schmooze" at a networking workshop for the Marist College New Jersey Alumni.  Held at Covanta in Morristown, NJ, this event gave alumni a chance to learn how to be more effective networkers and to practice their schmoozing with fellow alumni. A great group of fellow Red Foxes!

Gilda presenting "How to Schmooze"

Networking in action

Networking is a skill - which means you can get better at it!
For more networking tips, view my videos:
How NOT to Introduce Yourself at Networking Events:

How to Introduce Yourself Quickly:
How to Network at Holiday Parties:

Photos courtesy of Marist Alumni Office
Gilda Bonanno's blog

Monday, September 8, 2014

Reader Question: How to Move When Presenting Slides

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

I love responding to reader's questions. Recently, a colleague who teaches in an MBA program emailed me the following question about the speaker moving in the front of the room while presenting slides:
"Several students have walked across the room in front of their slides [while presenting], and it has caused them to be bathed in "slide light." I have suggested that they only move purposefully, for example, to shift to their next point or tell a story. I also suggested that they black out their slides when they do so, if they are using slides.

Anything else you would add on moving from one side of the room to another?"

This is a great question - here's how I responded:

"You're "right on the money" regarding walking in front of the room! Presenters should move with purpose - to walk to the flipchart, to move to the other side  of the room so they can face that part of the audience more comfortably, etc. Most of the time they should "stand and deliver" (as I was told by one of the Toastmasters World Champions of Public Speaking, Mark Brown).

Blacking out the screen is a great idea to avoid being "bathed in slide light." (I love the way she phrased that!).

Another option is to insert a black slide into your presentation that will remind you when it's time to move (for example, to hand something out or tell a story from the other side of the room). Just create a blank slide and format it with a solid-fill black background - I learned this tip from Garr Reynolds and his wonderful Presentation Zen blog

And if you are emailing the presentation to people or it will be posted on a website, remember to remove the black slides or they will confuse people and use up a lot of ink if printed."

Do you have any additional suggestions or horror stories of "slides gone bad"? Post them here on my blog - and feel free to post additional questions for me to answer.


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Gilda Bonanno's blog

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"Unleash Innovation" - Improv at the National Speakers Association Convention

My colleague Avish Parashar has written a great article about how to innovate:  "Unleash Innovation by Using Constraints to Your Advantage."

His article includes footage of an improv scene I performed in at the National Speakers Association Convention.

It was fun to perform improv in front of a large audience of our fellow professional speakers - and Avish was a talented director!

Read his article and watch the video here:

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Present Virtually to Non-Native Speakers of English

When presenting over the phone or via webinar to people who are not fluent in English, your voice and choice of words become even more important than when delivering a presentation in person. 

Here are 6 strategies to ensure that you can be easily understood:
1.      Slow down.  Allow enough time for people to hear and understand your words. 

2.      Enunciate.  Leave spaces between your words, so your audience can figure out where one word ends and the next begins.

3.      Speak louder than usual.  Don’t shout, but make sure you can easily be heard, especially over the phone connection (which could be a cell phone, international landline or a voice-over-IP line).

4.      Reduce your use of idioms, jargon and slang, such as “drag your feet” or “batting a thousand.” Use commonly-used, literal words and simple sentence construction.

5.      Include more words on your documents or slides than I usually recommend, since it is often easier for people to read English than to comprehend spoken English.

6.      Consider sending written material ahead of time so they have an opportunity to get familiar with it before your presentation. 
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Gilda Bonanno's blog

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yes, You Can Simplify Your Organization! ASTD-SCC 9/22 meeting

American Society for Training & Development - Southern CT chapter meeting (ASTD-SCC)

Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, 5:45-8:00 PM
Speaker: Ron Ashkenas, Schaffer Consulting

Over the past decade globalization, technology, regulations and new business models have dramatically increased the complexity of many organizations. Faced with too many choices, processes, and facts, managers often feel that they are working longer hours but getting less and less done. Unfortunately, a large portion of the complexity that managers must navigate is self-generated.
In this session, Ron Ashkenas will discuss some of the common ways that we create unnecessary complexity in organizations and what we can do about it.
Attendees will learn how to:
·         Understand the four main types of unnecessary complexity in organizations;
·         Gain self-insight into ways that we and our colleagues unintentionally create complexity;
·         Identify ways to begin addressing complexity in our organization or with our clients.
Ron Ashkenas is a senior partner with Schaffer Consulting in Stamford, CT and an internationally recognized consultant, executive coach, and speaker on organizational transformation, post-merger integration and simplification. Ron is an Executive in Residence at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and the author of Simply Effective: How to Cut Through Complexity in Your Organization and Get Things Done (Harvard Press, 2010)


Date: Monday, September 22, 2014
Time: 5:45 PM Networking/Registration.
6:15 PM Heavy Hors d'Oeuvres and Program
$37 Chapter Members; $50 Guests; $20 Students
Reservation Deadline: Friday, September 19, 2014
Meeting Location: Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT
To register or for more information, visit