NewAlliance CEO Peyton Patterson & Public Speaking Skills

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

Recently, I heard Peyton Patterson, CEO of NewAlliance Bank, speak at an event for the Women's Business Development Council (  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 ( 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)

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  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