Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alan Fine to Present "InsideOut Coaching" in Norwalk, CT Dec. 6

Alan Fine, Author of You Already Know How To Be Great, will present for the Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD-SCC) on December 6 in Norwalk, CT:

InsideOut Coaching: Unlocking the Core Drivers to Consistent Breakthrough Performance
Alan Fine will explore the notion that breakthrough performance comes most often, not from acquiring additional knowledge, but from removing internal interference that allows people to act on what they already know. Alan will also introduce the GROW Model; a coaching process which enables leaders to tap into the knowledge and skills that already exist within their performers to improve individual, team and organizational performance.

At the session, Alan will cover how to:
•Identify four critical factors that lead to high-performance.
•Eliminate interference that gets in the way of results.
•Explore a process for unlocking an individual’s potential and breakthrough performance.

Sissy McKee, Associate Director of Learning and Development at Boehringer Ingelheim will join Alan to share how InsideOut Coaching's tools and processes have benefited Boehringer Ingelheim's employee performances.

5:45 – 6:30 pm Networking & Dinner
6:15 pm Welcome
6:30 - 8:15 pm Program
Location: Norwalk Inn and Conference Center

Price: $35 Chapter members/$50 Non-chapter members and walk-ins/Students $20

Reservation Deadline: 12/3/2010
For more info or to register, visit http://www.astdscc.org/

"If knowledge were all it took, we’d all be incredible managers, teachers, parents and performers. But obviously we’re not. The biggest obstacle in performance isn’t not knowing what to do; it’s not doing what we know.” - Alan Fine (see affiliate link to Alan's book)

About Alan Fine
Alan is the president of InsideOut Development, which offers training programs, executive coaching and organizational consulting. His unique approach to performance improvement has been adopted by some of the world’s most respected organizations, including IBM, NASA, Honeywell, Procter & Gamble, Gap, and Coca-Cola. In addition to being a popular trainer and speaker, Alan is also the bestselling author (NY Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal) of the recently released book, You Already Know How To Be Great. Alan is the co-author of the GROW model and has spent most of his career as a performance coach to top professional tennis players and golfers, musicians, and corporate executives worldwide.

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

Friday, November 26, 2010

Suzanne Bates on Award Acceptance Speeches

Check out the following blog post, "You Like Me, Right Now, You Like Me," by Suzanne Bates, communications expert and author of Speak Like a CEO.

She outlines a winning formula for giving an acceptance speech when receiving an award.  As a former TV anchor, she often had to emcee awards banquets and she shares some horror stories about speakers who went over their time limit:

"More often than I care to remember I had to move toward the podium, and give a loquacious recipient a less than subtle nod. My next intervention would be the hairy eyeball. When all else failed, more desperate measures were required. Once I actually walked up to a woman who had gone 20 minutes on a five minute speech and touched her on the elbow. She kept going. I interrupted and apologized that it was a great story but we were over time. She ignored me and went five more minutes. I kid you not. You cannot make this stuff up."

Read the rest of her post at http://www.thepowerspeakerblog.com/?p=232

And for more on this topic, check out "Patricia Fripp on Award Acceptance Speeches"

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

Saturday, November 20, 2010

6 Tips for Introducing Yourself at the Start of Your Presentation

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

In a presentation skills program a few weeks ago, someone asked me, "Gilda, how do I introduce myself at the start of my presentation to warm up the audience and establish credibility?" Contrary to what you might think, the answers do not include a lengthy recital of all your achievements or a five-minute soliloquy on why you were chosen to present.

Here are 6 tips for introducing yourself at the start of your presentation, so you engage the audience and establish your credibility:

1. Have a Short Introduction
If you're speaking at an event or a conference, usually someone introduces you using whatever written material you've provided them. Use an introduction that is short (just a few sentences) rather than one that catalogues all the wonderful things you've accomplished since the 6th grade. While it's important to establish your credibility, having a laundry list of your every credential, client and project will bore the audience before you even start speaking.

2. Include Only Relevant Details in Your Intro
Your introduction is not the same as your biography, but rather it includes only the specific information from your bio that is relevant for this audience. For example, when I speak to project managers, my introduction includes my credential as a Project Management Practitioner (PMP); however, I omit it when I speak to small business owners since it is not relevant and instead, include the fact that I run my own business.

3. Include the Extra Details in the Invite or Handout
It's okay to include extra details about yourself in the meeting invitation or in the handout, as long as they are relevant to the group or particularly interesting. Then it's the audience's choice if they want to read it and you don't force them to sit through it before you begin.

4. Jump Right Into Your Content
Don't waste the precious few seconds that you have to capture the audience's attention by talking about yourself. You establish your credibility by being master of your content  - so jump right into it with a startling statistic, an interesting fact or a relevant story. Then provide an overview of your presentation and begin your first point. If you feel compelled to talk about yourself, then 1 or 2 short and well-delivered sentences will suffice; be sure to practice saying them so you don't have a lot of "ums" and "ahs." 

5. Reveal More During the Presentation
It's best to start off directly with your topic and then reveal information about yourself as an organic part of the presentation. For example, you could say "last week when I was working with [insert famous person or company name here]…" or "when we showed the new product to a group of engineers last month, they were very happy with it."

6. Limit the Thank-Yous
While it's fine to start out by thanking your hosts and affirming how excited you are to be presenting for this audience, make sure this is not long and drawn out. This is not the time to thank everyone in the room by name – just give the highlights and quickly move into your content. Incorporate the extra thank-yous into your presentation or save them for later. 

If you follow these 6 tips for introducing yourself at the beginning of your presentation, you'll be off to a good start - and more likely to engage the audience and establish your credibility.

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

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Women Making a Difference in Afghanistan

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

A few weeks ago, I met a businesswoman who provides training and support to companies in topics ranging from accounting to leadership. That's not unusual - except that she is from Afghanistan and that is where she lives and works.

Her visit to the U.S. was arranged by Business Council for Peace, which is a partner of UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She was here to learn how to be more effective at marketing and running a business.  Then she would take that knowledge back home to Afghanistan and share it with the colleagues at her company.

We had a great conversation, which touched on everything from politics to entrepreneurship to family life.

She is the first woman in her extended family to work outside the home and some of her relatives were skeptical and resistant. But she persisted, with the support and understanding of her husband and her father.

As she describes it, working outside the home allowed her to broaden her thinking and contribute to the family economy, enabling her and her husband to buy land and build a home. She obviously set a positive example, because now a few years later, more than 20 women in her extended family work outside the home. And her young son considers it "normal" to have a mother who works.

When she moved to the new neighborhood where they were building a home, the neighbors began to notice that she left in the morning to go to work and did not return until evening. So one day after prayers at the mosque, she gathered all the neighborhood women, introduced herself and explained her business. She gave out business cards and answered questions about what it was like to work and how her company could help them.

It's an inspiring example of how educating and empowering one person can have a positive ripple effect throughout an entire community. I wish her and her colleagues success – and safety - in their business endeavors and in life.

For a related post, see my October 23, 2008 Entrepreneurial Women in Afghanistan
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Friday, November 12, 2010

Boardroom Inc. President Marjory Abrams & "Obbligato" Images

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

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting Marjory Abrams, President of Boardroom, Inc., publisher of popular newsletters such as Bottom Line/Personal, Bottom Line/Health and Bottom Line/Wealth(http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com/).

She shared an interesting lesson - a word learned from her father, Boardroom's founder, Marty Edelston: "obbligato." It's a musical term referring to musical lines, which in Margie's words, "dance around the main melody and enhance it."

As part of her lifelong career in publishing, Margie uses "obbligato" to describe the power of images in written stories. And I think her description also can apply to the power of images in presentations.

The next time you have to give a PowerPoint presentation, try to use images and pictures that add to the story of your presentation, rather than detracting from it or even just duplicating your words. You can use high-quality photos that you've taken yourself or you can find them online – I like http://www.istockphoto.com/ – instead of slides with too many words crammed onto them.

The images should be a "persistent but subordinate motif" (another technical definition of "obbligato"), meaning that although they are important, they should never replace you. Remember, that YOU are the presentation and PowerPoint is just the visual aid.

How much more effective could our business communications be if our slides included images that danced around the main message and made it easier for the audience to understand it?

Read Margie's blog posts at http://margiesblog.bottomlinesecrets.com/

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

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NewAlliance CEO Peyton Patterson & Public Speaking Skills

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

Recently, I heard Peyton Patterson, CEO of NewAlliance Bank, speak at an event for the Women's Business Development Council (http://www.ctwbdc.org/).  WBDC is an organization devoted to entrepreneurial training, financial literacy and professional development for women and men throughout Connecticut  (and I volunteer for them as an instructor in public speaking and networking skills). 

At the WBDC event, News Channel 12 anchor Rebecca Surran (http://www.news12.com/) interviewed Peyton, who suggested that potential entrepreneurs first ask themselves "is there a need in the marketplace?" and then partner with organizations like WBDC and local banks to further develop the idea. According to Peyton, "you should be able to say 'I like me and I have something to contribute and I have a well-vetted plan.'"

In a 2008 article in the New York Times, Peyton mentioned how she was inspired by her mom, a single mother who worked at the State Department, and the importance she placed on public speaking skills: "When I was 16, my mother said the biggest thing that had helped her in life was when her mother and father asked her to take a public speaking class. So she enrolled me in one, and I found myself getting up in front of people and talking on all kinds of topics. That gave me the underpinnings of liking and feeling comfortable with communication and influencing people." (for the full article, see  "The Boss - Inspired by Mom," New York Times, November 21, 2008) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/jobs/23boss.html

Peyton's public speaking training has proved valuable in her career, as she has communicated with shareholders, stakeholders, employees, regulatory authorities and the media. 

And her mother's insistence on public speaking classes is rare – most of us don't receive public speaking training when we're young.  It's never too late to take training for the first time or to refresh your skills. Public Speaking is a skill, which means that it can be practiced and learned.

If you're interested in individual coaching in public speaking, contact me http://gildabonanno.com/contactus.aspx  And don't worry about location – I'm now offering coaching via Skype for those outside of my local region.

(And if you're dreaming about starting your own business, conctact the WBDC in Connecticut or in your state.)

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

Friday, November 5, 2010

Give a Better Elevator Speech - Brian Walter at NSA-CT

Networking is an important part of your success in business. If you'd like to learn how to give a better elevator speech, sign up now for Brian Walter's session, Verbal Ping Pong: How to Give an Elevator Speech So People Actually Want You to Keep Talking.

Brian is presenting this session for the CT chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA-CT) on Monday, November 15, 2010, 3-5 pm, in Shelton, CT. Guests are welcome to attend - see below for more details.

I've seen Brian speak and he is informative and funny! And as President-elect of the NSA-CT chapter, I look forward to welcoming you to the session.

And for more great content, you can also sign up for Brian's 6 pm session - Extreme Platform, Sales and Research Techniques You Can Use Right Away For Impact & Cha-Ching.

Verbal Ping Pong: How to Give an Elevator Speech So People Actually Want You to Keep Talking

Brian Walter
"What do you do?" Every week, you and every other speaker, consultant, coach and trainer are repeatedly asked "the question"...the single most opportunity-laden and awkward open-ended question you ever receive in your professional life: "What do you do?"

Are you interesting? What comes out of your mouth next will determine if you'll be perceived as an interesting expert worthy of follow-up or referral ("Hey, give me your card")...or as one step above a rabid Amway salesperson ("Oh...look at the time, gotta go").

In Brian Walter's Verbal Ping Pong program and insta-coaching session you'll discover a new way to describe what you do in a powerful way. His powerful three-part formula will show you how to make your elevator speech compelling, memorable and truly conversational. You'll soon be so prepared that you'll never stress about how to answer the question again. Don't miss this chance to experience Brian doing a program that has already been featured at two NSA Conventions. (Oh, and he's reaaaally funny!)

Fee: $25 Guests ($15 Members/Associates)

Monday, November 15, 2010, 3-5 PM
Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484

To register, please visit the NSA-CT website http://nsact.org/meetinginfo.php?id=16&ts=1288882811

And for more great content, Brian will also be presenting Extreme Platform, Sales and Research Techniques You Can Use Right Away For Impact & Cha-Ching at 6 PM at the NSA-CT chapter meeting (separate registration required). The content of these 2 sessions will be completely different, so you can sign up for both!

Brian is a unique blend of internal and external communication expertise. Over a 25+ year career, he's been an advertising director, marketing & sales director, radio & TV commercial producer, copywriter, communications manager, presentation coach, video producer, management trainer, consultant and professional speaker. He's even a Guinness Book of World Records holder for producing the world's shortest TV commercial. Brian has earned the elite Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), and is a member of Meeting Professionals International.

Brian's business is called Extreme Meetings. He provides customized infotainment to make meetings memorable. Brian has presented to audiences ranging from 7 to 7,000. His clients have included Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco, Pepsico, AAA, Payless, Verizon Wireless, several banks that are no longer in existence, the Social Security Administration, a regional office of the IRS...and a dairy company best known for awesome chocolate milk.

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

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Exercise Your Right to Vote

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

The exercise of the right to vote is a hallmark of a democracy. The fact that we can go to the polls and pull the lever or fill in the circle (or whatever the voting technology requires) without being threatened, attacked or targeted, means that democracy is working.

Yes, the democratic process may be messy and loud at times, and the debates heated and the ads too negative… but we can still exercise our right to vote without fear of losing our jobs or having our families targeted.

It was not that long ago in our national history that pioneers like Fanny Lou Hamer (and countless, nameless others) were brutally beaten just for registering African-Americans to vote in the 1960s.

And it was only in our grandmothers' lifetimes that women were given the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920.

We remember and honor all those who sacrificed, and suffered, and struggled, so we can have this right and this privilege… let us not take it for granted.

When you're running around with a million things to do, wondering if you should bother voting, and if it really matters -- yes, you should, and yes, it does matter. Voting honors our past and lays the groundwork for our future.

(And vist http://www.archives.gov/ to read the charter documents of our democracy - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.)

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