Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Gilda Attends WBDC Event at the Governor's Residence in Hartford

I recently was privileged to attend a VIP Reception at the Governor's Residence in Hartford, CT, hosted by the The CT Women's Business Development Council (WBDC). 

Attendees had a chance to network and tour the beautifully restored Governor's Residence.  Governor Dannel Malloy also addressed the crowd and spoke of the positive impact that women entrepreneurs have on the state of Connecticut.  

The Reception was part of the lead up to the WBDC's 13th Annual Business Breakfast to be held on November 13 in Stamford.  Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro is the Honorary Chairwoman of this year's Breakfast, which will highlight "Entrepreneurship as the New Women's Movement."  

A panel discussion of experts in the field of women's entrepreneurship and leadership will be moderated by veteran journalist Paula Zahn, currently host of Investigation Discovery's "On the Case With Paula Zahn" and WNET's "NYC-Arts."  And I am honored to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Breakfast. 

Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman with WBDC CEO & Founder Fran Pastore 
and WBDC Vice President Marian Cicolello

CT Governor Dannel Malloy addressing the crowd
with First Lady Cathy Malloy

Gilda Bonanno with Robin Imbrogno, WBDC Breakfast Chairwoman and 
President, Human Resources Consulting Group

For more information about the Breakfast or to purchase tickets, please visit www.ctwbdc.org

The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women become economically self-sufficient. WBDC is the leader of entrepreneurial and financial training for women in Connecticut and has been educating, empowering and promoting women through entrepreneurship, financial education and expanded career opportunities for 17 years.

Photos courtesy of WBDC
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gilda presents for Starfish Connection

Last month, I had the privilege of presenting a workshop for Stamford-based Starfish Connection, a 501c3 corporation whose mission is to help academically talented youth from low income families reach their potential and their dreams of attending college. 

Your body language can make a
difference in how your communication is perceived
The workshop, Shaking Hands With the World: How to Connect With Adults, used improv comedy exercises to teach communication skills which are useful when students connect with adults in school, jobs, internships and volunteer work. 

Starfish Connection provides mentorship and support in education along with enrichment and extracurricular activities to students throughout their elementary, middle and high school years

The 22 students and their mentors participated in activities designed to help them break out of their  comfort zones, develop confidence , learn how to introduce themselves and understand the power of networking.

Starfish Connection was founded in Stamford, CT in 2008 by David and Judith Martin in memory of their mothers, June Martin and Rhoda Reasenberg.

To find out more or donate money, computers or gently used muscial instruments, please visit  

Practicing the all-important handshake -
useful when meeting adults, networking and interviewing
Gilda with Starfish Connection co-founder Judy Martin
Mentors and students doing an improv exercise 

All photos courtesy of Bernie Weiss

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Social, Mobile, and Gamification: More than Just “Check the Box” ASTD-SCC 10/20 Meeting

So. CT Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD-SCC) presents

Monday, October 20, 2014
5:45 -8 PM
Topic:  Social, Mobile, and Gamification: More than Just “Check the Box”
Speaker:  Adam Weisblatt,  Learning Technology Leader, Nielsen
Social, Mobile, and Gamification are exciting new trends in the learning world.   Join us on October 20th when Adam Weisblatt, Head of Learning Technology at Nielsen, provides a fresh perspective on using these tools to increase learner engagement and bottom line results.  Adam will build your understanding of the concepts and share real world examples of integrating these tools into your learning experiences, without breaking the bank.  
As a result of attending this session, you will be better able to:
  • Understand the underlying needs that drive requests for Social, Mobile, and Gamification approaches in today’s learning environment
  • Evaluate the suitability of these approaches for your learning experiences
  • Identify one or more opportunities to use these concepts and tools in your training         
  • Identify tools that can be easily used to develop and facilitate the learning experiences
Speaker Bio:
Adam Weisblatt is a Learning Technologist focused on creating environments for great learning experiences. A specialist in the selection, deployment, and optimization of learning infrastructure and toolsets that support the delivery of online and in person training, Adam is a creative problem solver with an in-depth understanding of the workflow and business drivers that Learning Professionals grapple with every day. Adam is currently the head of Learning Technology at Nielsen and formerly held that role at Pfizer. He was an eLearning designer at FactSet, and he provided training and consulting to several companies through his consulting business.  Adam speaks at industry conferences and is the author of the blog "Creating Understanding." (http://weisblatt.wordpress.com

Norwalk Inn and Conference Center


  • Full time student
To register or for more info http://astdscc.org/event-1767938

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Prevent a Translation Disaster When Presenting

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com 

A client shared with me the following story of translation gone wrong:

A speaker presented in Japan to 80 people at an association meeting.  The association found a local high school student who was fluent in English and used him as a translator. 

However, he didn’t know the technical jargon and the speaker spoke too quickly for the translator to keep up. As a result, the audience was frustrated because they didn’t get the full presentation and the benefit of the speaker’s expertise.

Here are 9 tips to prevent a translation disaster from happening to you:
  1. Decide which is best for the situation: simultaneous translation (where the translator listens to your sentence and translates it immediately while he or she is also listening to your next sentence) or consecutive translation (where you pause every few minutes to allow the translator to speak).  Both have their challenges and not every translator can do both well.
  2. Find a translator with translation experience, ideally in the area of technical expertise that you’re speaking about.
  3. Always send your material to the translator ahead of time so they have time to prepare.
  4. Spend time with the translator before your presentation (ideally in person) to go through your entire talk, paying special attention to idioms and industry jargon.
  5. Check with the translator about any humor you have planned, including avoiding sensitive or taboo topics.
  6. Understand the cultural nuances of whether people will laugh or ask questions and how you can check for understanding.
  7. Decide whether/how you will handle questions.
  8. When delivering, speak slowly and enunciate. 
  9. Check in occasionally during your presentation to make sure the audience understands what you’re saying.

Sign up to receive more public speaking and networking strategies from Gilda's e-newsletter: http://www.gildabonanno.com/Pages/newsletter.aspx

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Public Speaking Basics: You Know Them, But do You Do Them Consistently?

by Gilda Bonanno LLC www.gildabonanno.com 

It is one thing is to know something intellectually and another thing is to actually do it, and do it consistently.

This applies to public speaking skills, too.  “Doing it” consistently is what matters.

Several years when I was teaching a public speaking class, a few of the participants remarked, "we already know this stuff."  However, when I watched their presentations later that day, it was clear that even though they claimed to know “this stuff” about the fundamentals of good presentations, they hadn’t practiced it consistently.

Instead, their presentations were full of filler words (like "um" and "ah"), the organization of their information was jumbled and hard to follow, their slides were overcrowded with too many words in tiny font and their message was vague.

In order to be a good presenter, you have to go back to the basics of presentation content and delivery.  Master these basics through repeated practice and feedback, until they become a regular, consistent part of how you present.  Then you’re ready to say, “I know this stuff” and “I do it.”

For a review of the fundamental building blocks of good presentation skills, check out my articles: