Monday, April 27, 2009

Project Management Conference - Hartford, CT, April 30 & May 1

Attending the Southern New England Chapter PMI Project Management Conference in Hartford on April 30 and May 1, 2009?

Attend Gilda's sessions or stop by and say hi:

Thursday, April 30, 4-hour Workshop: "Presentation Skills for Project Managers"

As Project Managers, we often need to present in front of groups, including the project team and the stakeholders. This interactive session will provide you with the techniques you can take away and put to immediate use to make your next presentation more powerful, effective and engaging.

Friday, May 1, Conference Session, 3-4 PM: "Essential Communications Skills in a Tough Economy - Networking & Interviewing Skills"

Whether you have a job or are looking for a job, networking and interviewing skills are essential to your success. In this interactive workshop, you'll learn how to build your professional relationships when networking and how to project a competent and engaging presence while interviewing. Techniques include how to think on your feet and how to use non-verbal communications.

To register or for more information, please visit http://www.snec-pmi.org/ and click on "Conference." The conference will be held at Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Ave. Hartford, CT.

Gilda's website www.gildabonanno.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 More Ways to Be a Better Listener

by Gilda Bonanno LLC http://www.gildabonanno.com/


Listening is a crucial skill for success in business and in life. If we listen to others, we show them respect, we learn to understand their points of view and we help to build our relationships.

Here are 5 more ways to improve your listening skills:

1. Show empathy. Empathy means that you understand the feelings that the other person has expressed. Understanding the feelings doesn't necessarily mean that you agree with them. And remember the old adage, "you can't fake sincerity." If you're not genuinely concerned about someone, pretending that you care doesn't count as active listening.

2. Beware your filters. In order to manage the information overload that bombards us daily, we all use selective attention, or filters, to decide what is important and what we should pay attention to. Filters help us survive, but we have to be careful about how we develop them because bias and stereotypes can creep in and become barriers to communication. Any time you make an "always" or "never" statement, or automatically agree or disagree with someone because of what you think you know about them, or people like them, you are losing out on a chance to listen and learn. Filters like "IT people never deliver projects on time" or "Engineers always make things too complicated" or "_______________ [fill in the blank with any category or group of people] always/never…" shut down our listening and get in the way of true communication.

3. Paraphrase. In order to ensure that the message you are receiving is the same message that the other person is sending, restate in your own words what you think the person said. For example, "If I understand you correctly, what you're saying is…" or "I want to make sure I understand you – you disagree with the idea because…"

4. Be aware of the time. Active listening takes time in your already crowded schedule. If you only have a few minutes, let the other person know; "I'd like to listen to you, but I have a meeting in 10 minutes. Is 10 minutes enough?" If you consistently hold to the time limit and really spend that limited time listening, most people will condition themselves to get to the point within the time limit. (Yes, there are people who go on and on with no regard to anyone else's time, but those are the exceptions and have to be dealt with separately).

5. Ask open-ended questions. To get more information, ask "how" and "what" questions rather than interrogate the person with questions that only require a "yes" or "no" answer. Questions like "how do you think we should handle it?" and "what is your opinion about it" will open up the conversation and give them the opportunity to share their ideas. Once you ask the question, however, be sure to listen to the answer.

The next time you're in a conversation, focus on listening actively to the other person. The more you practice this skill, the easier it will become. And you'll find that as you listen more effectively, you'll learn more and improve your business and personal relationships.


Gilda's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How To Get Introduced When Speaking

by Gilda Bonanno LLC http://www.gildabonanno.com/


When you have to speak to a crowd, how should you handle getting introduced?


1. Write your own introduction. Think about which of your many credentials or past experience examples will be most relevant to this particular audience. For example, I'm speaking at a Project Management Conference in May and I will include in my intro include the fact that I am a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). However, when I speak to groups of entrepreneurs and small business owners, I don't include that credential in my intro because it doesn't mean that much to that particular audience.


2. It is also helpful if the audience has a longer bio in front of them on your handout or in the invitation they received, so then your actual introduction can be much shorter - just a few sentences.


3. Find out who will introduce you and go over it on the phone or in person when you arrive early to the event. Ideally, have her or him practice reading it, in case there is difficult pronunciation or unusual emphasis required. For example, at a recent meeting I attended, the keynote speaker (legendary speaker Jim Cathcart, http://www.cathcart.com/) was introduced with a long list of all the unusual jobs he has held and the final words, "he may not be able to hold a job [pause] but he can hold an audience." This last line got a laugh as planned and which required practice for that pause to be effective.


4. Bring two copies of the introduction to the event, to use "just in case." It should be printed on one sheet in large font so the person can read it easily without glasses. (I also include the phonetic spelling of my name - as in "Gilda"is pronounced "Jilda" in case a different person introduces than the one I talked with earlier).


5. While you are being introduced, look humble and smile gently. If you're uncomfortable looking at the audience during the intro which is praising you, then look at the introducer or somewhere just off to the side of the introducer (where it will not look like you are deliberately avoiding eye contact).


6. Have a backup plan in the rare case that you have to introduce yourself. This happened to my colleague, Lynn, at one of the first presentations she made to a professional group nearly 20 years ago. Lynn provided a written introduction to the client who agreed to introduce her. But when it was time to start, the client simply said, "Lynn will introduce herself"! Luckily, despite her surprise and relative inexperience, Lynn was able to recover, introduce herself and go on with her talk as planned. You can be sure that since that event, Lynn always brings a self-introduction with her!


Gilda's blog www.gildabonanno.com

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Career Resource Expo - May 9, Stamford CT

Career Resource Expo - Saturday, May 9, 2009 - Stamford, CT

Explore New Employment Opportunities and Exciting Possibilities for The Future!

FREE for Job Seekers - come meet recruiters, employers and vendors who provide useful resources for jobseekers - attend educational sessions

Holiday Inn
700 East Main St
Stamford CT
9 am - 1 pm

http://www.careerresourceexpo.com/



Organized by Melanie Szlucha of http://www.redindinc.biz/, Donna Sweiden of Career Folk and Judi Perkins of Find the Perfect Job

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Recession-Resistant Careers

Career Coach Nancy Collamer has written a blog post about "Recession-Resistant Careers"-

"As this recession chugs along, and fears of layoffs increase, more people are looking for ways to redirect their careers towards "safer" options. While no single career or entrepreneurial venture is one hundred percent recession-proof, certain categories of jobs appear well poised for long term stability..."

Click here to read about these 5 careers.

http://jobsandmoms.typepad.com/jobs_and_moms/2009/03/recessionresistant-careers.html

Gilda's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Gilda to Speak at Project Management Conference in Hartford

For the third year in a row, Gilda Bonanno will speak at the Southern New England Chapter PMI Project Management Conference in Hartford on April 30 and May 1, 2009.

Learn new skills, earn PDUs and network with over 500 professionals and industry leaders!

Thursday, April 30, 4-hour Workshop: "Presentation Skills for Project Managers"

As Project Managers, we often need to present in front of groups, including the project team and the stakeholders. This interactive session will provide you with the techniques you can take away and put to immediate use to make your next presentation more powerful, effective and engaging.

Friday, May 1, Conference Session, 3-4 PM: "Essential Communications Skills in a Tough Economy - Networking & Interviewing Skills"

Whether you have a job or are looking for a job, networking and interviewing skills are essential to your success. In this interactive workshop, you'll learn how to build your professional relationships when networking and how to project a competent and engaging presence while interviewing. Techniques include how to think on your feet and how to use non-verbal communications.

Back by popular demand, Gilda Bonanno is a trainer, speaker and coach, specializing in communication and leadership skills. She designs and delivers high-energy, client-focused training programs and workshops for corporate, academic and community clients, including past SNEC-PMI conferences.

To register or for more information, please visit http://www.snec-pmi.org/ and click on "Conference." The conference will be held at Connecticut Convention Center, 100 Columbus Ave. Hartford, CT.

Gilda's website www.gildabonanno.com