Wednesday, August 16, 2017

ATD 9/18 Meeting in Norwalk, CT

Association for Talent Development, Southern CT chapter meeting 
Monday, September 18, 2017, 5:45 PM
Norwalk Inn & Conference Center, Norwalk, CT

Amazing Things Can Happen When You Stop Knowing What You Are Talking About
With guest speaker, Brent RobertsonPartner, Fathom

If our future is a world with unprecedented unpredictability, how can we rely on the tools of the past to successfully navigate it? In this talk, Brent Robertson will share how his consulting firm Fathom abandoned what they knew, and instead, applied their imagination to design a way to help their clients thrive in their future. 

Attendees will benefit by being introduced to:
• Unique ways of thinking about strategy and organizational development that open up possibility, invite ownership, and inspire action.
• Principles of practice that can help change practitioners be more effective in their work.
• Thoughts on who we need to be and what we need to provide for our clients to help them navigate the future.

About Brent:
Brent works with leaders to design futures worth fighting for. A partner at Fathom, he champions an approach to strategic planning, employee engagement, leadership succession and market differentiation that prioritizes people and relationships. As a result, his clients don’t simply plan their future, they bring them to life through the energy of organization-wide involvement in, and commitment to, generating businesses that matter. 

Brent serves on the Communications Committee of the New York chapter and Programming Committee of the Connecticut chapter of Society of Marketing Professional Services. SMPS is a national organization recognized as the premier resource for advocating, educating and connecting leaders in the professional services industry.  He is also on the Board of the University of Hartford Construction Institute.  He earned a BFA (Bachelor in Fine Arts) in Graphic Design, Ceramics, Art History, and Astronomy at the University of Hartford.

Let this eclectic and entertaining professional help you see and think in a new way!

For more information or to register, visit

Monday, July 31, 2017

Brian Tracy on Preparation

“The mark of the professional in every field is preparation. The more thoroughly you prepare for a meeting of any kind, even with just one other person, the more effective you will appear and the better results you will get.
The power is always on the side of the person who has prepared the most thoroughly. The individual who comes into a meeting unprepared has diminished power and sometimes no power at all.”
-Brian Tracy, Self-Development Expert
I had the privilege of meeting Brian Tracy at a National Speakers Association Meeting several years ago, when he shared his wisdom with NSA chapter leaders.  

Saturday, July 29, 2017

How to Stay Within Your Time Limit When Presenting

If you practice your presentation and find that it’s too long, you have only 2 options to cut the time:

1) Have fewer points
You can’t tell the audience everything you know about a subject, especially if you’re an expert.  Too much information will overwhelm them.  Instead, figure out what this specific audience needs to know about your topic - what is the one key message you’d like them to remember?  Then make sure your points support that message.

2) Say less about each point
Don’t go into detail about each point because too much explanation and background will cost you time.  Instead, mention the point briefly and then move on (And you could include resources containing more detail in a handout or at the end of your presentation).

Speaking faster is not an option, since in order to have a real impact on the time, you will have to speak too quickly for the audience to understand you.

To help with your timing, prepare time checkpoints so as you’re delivering your presentation, you can judge how you’re doing with the time.  For example, you would know that you should be on the second of your four points by midway through your time limit.

Following these strategies will help you stay within your time limit, which will automatically make you a better presenter.

Gilda Bonanno’s blog

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Miscommunication: Small or Large Olives?

Standing at the deli counter of my local supermarket, I say to the clerk, “I’d like some pitted Kalamata olives, please.”

He replies, “OK.  Small or large?”  

I respond, “The Kalamata olives.”

He asks again, “Small or large?”

Now I’m getting a little agitated, so I repeat in a louder voice, “The pitted Kalamata olives,” and point to the bowls of olives arranged behind the glass in the deli case.  

He repeats his question, “Small or large?”

More than a little agitated now, I respond in a slow, deliberate voice, “The black Kalamata olives, no pits.”

He looks blankly at me.  Finally I say in exasperation, “I don’t know what you mean.  I don’t see small or large olives. I just see ONE size.”

He smiles broadly and high above the elevated platform he’s standing on, he holds up two empty plastic containers, one small and one large, “Small or large?”

I smile and say, “Now I get it! A small container of Kalamata olives, please.”

How often does this kind of simple miscommunication happen? I thought he was asking about the size of the olives while he was actually asking about the size of the container and how many olives I wanted. 

It took us a while to realize the issue because he kept repeating the same words in the same question and I kept giving the same answer, just louder and slower as if he didn’t understand.  

Both of us bore responsibility for the miscommunication and could have helped the situation by giving more information, asking clarifying questions or viewing the situation from the other person’s point of view, rather than assuming the other person was wrong or stupid. 

This was not a crucial conversation and both of us laughed about it.  But this kind of simple miscommunication happens frequently and in more critical communications, eroding our ability to work with and lead others to get things done.  

So the next time you hit a miscommunication, whether it’s a seemingly simple interaction or the stakes are high, take a moment to clarify if the other person is asking about the size of the olives or the size of the container to put the olives in. 

And by the way, I added the olives to my salad of cucumber, tomatoes and bell peppers and it was delicious! Let me know if you’d like the recipe.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NPR’s 3 Tips for Better Voice Quality

Your voice is a key component of your communication delivery - and ever more important if you present over the phone, when you have no other body language element to communicate to the audience.

Here’s an article with helpful voice tips, from Jessica Hansen who coaches reporters at NPR (National Public Radio) on vocal delivery. She includes a video of vocal exercises to avoid vocal fry and improve breathing, resonance and vocal energy.

Read the article here:  Aerobics for your voice: 3 tips for sounding better on air