Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Leveraging LinkedIn - NSA-CT Meeting Sept 19

Shawn Doyle: Leveraging LinkedIn
National Speakers Association - CT Chapter (NSA-CT) Meeting  
Monday, Sept 19, 2011, 6-9 pm

How to sell more, make more, and do more with LinkedIn

In this program Shawn Doyle will teach you how to use social media’s most powerful tool- LinkedIn in amazing ways.  In this program you will learn:

  • The secret that 100 million plus people know
  • Why LinkedIn is the choice for business
  • The demographic sweet spot of LinkedIn
  • The 6 ways to be involved in LinkedIn
  • Building a Linked In Strategy
  • Your LinkedIn profile
  • LIPO your profile
  • How to build your network
  • Who do you connect to?
  • What is an open networker?
  • Linked In ground rules
  • Maximizing the LinkedIn process
  • Why groups matter
  • Looking for groups
  • Knowing what groups to join and why
  • Belonging to groups
  • Posting in groups
  • Starting your own group
  • What is a L.I.O.N.?
  • LION groups
  • Researching people
  • Researching companies
  • Finding prospects
  • Using InMail
  • LinkedIn applications

About Shawn Doyle
Shawn has over 12,000 connections on LinkedIn and it is growing daily. He is the founder of Motivation Nation the #1 largest motivation group on LinkedIn in the world.

Sept 19, 2011
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Free to Members/Associates
$30.00 for Guests

For more details or to register, please visit

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Suzanne Bates & the Theatre of the Absurd

I'm a fan of The Power Speaker blog, from Suzanne Bates - check out her hysterical (but sadly true) post about what NOT to do when you're calling someone for advice:

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Dr. Beverly Kaye - ASTD-SCC Sept 26 Meeting

A Career Development Shift: From Maps to Apps
Dr. Beverly Kaye
American Society for Training & Development - Southern CT chapter meeting (ASTD-SCC)
Monday, Sept. 26, 2011, 5:45-8:00 PM

Today employees across the board need to be fast, flexible and fluid in managing their development. You can GPS just about anything these days – except your career. Why? Because work, workplaces and careers are in a constant state of flux. Maps are great for known destinations. Employees need apps to create their own destinations.

Headlines and surveys tell organizations worldwide that employees are disengaged, see very limited career opportunities where they are, and feel they have to leave to grow.

During difficult economic times, companies that fail to engage an anxious workforce see productivity, quality, customer service and employee commitment fall away fast. More than ever, as organizations move toward recovery, they must maximize the contribution of all employees. One of the best ways to do this is by providing them with skills, pathways for growth and learning, and the resources to increase their opportunities within the organization. Never before has career development been so critical.

Dr. Kaye will share research and trends that support development and introduce a practical model that demystifies the development process. Participants will:

  • Recognize the critical link of development to creating and sustaining an engaged workforce.
  • Learn to apply a five stage model to “self power careers” and create meaningful and action-based career dialogue.
  • Consider the application of the model to one's career.

About Dr. Beverly Kaye
Dr. Beverly Kaye, Founder and CEO of Career Systems International, was named the 2010 recipient of the Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance Award by ASTD. In her book Up Is Not the Only Way, Bev foresaw the effects of leaner and flatter organizations on individual careers. With this publication, Bev truly became a game changer in the field and her company, an authority in the industry. With Sharon Jordan-Evans, she wrote Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay and Love It Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work, both WSJ best sellers, on the hot topics of retention and engagement. Her firm, Career Systems International, has worked with most of the Fortune 500™ and continues to invent, create and design systems and strategies in development, engagement & retention.
Date: Monday, Sept 26, 2011
Networking: 5:45 PM
Dinner Served: 6:30 PM
Program: 6:45-8 PM

Hosted by the Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD-SCC) at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk CT 203-838-2000

Members: $35
Non-Members: $50
Students: $20

To register or for more information, visit

 Gilda Bonanno's blog

Thursday, August 18, 2011

10 Questions to Ask Before You Present

When you're invited to speak at a meeting or conference, you want to do everything possible before you present to ensure that you will be successful when you present.

Whether it's an hour-long concurrent session at a multi-day conference or a 30-minute overview at a department meeting, here are 10 questions to ask the meeting organizer before you present:

1. Why did you ask me to speak?

2. What is the goal of my presentation – what results do you expect?

3. What/who comes before and after I speak?

4. What other information/presentations will there be on my topic?

5. What are the room logistics? (microphone, lights, computer, projector, room set-up)

6. Slides/handouts – who is responsible for creating, duplicating and distributing?

7. How long do I have to present?

8. Who is in the audience – what is their background, knowledge and interest regarding the topic?

9. Is there anything else that I should be aware of, such as a company reorganization or recent success? Anything that I should definitely mention or avoid mentioning?

10. When can I get in the meeting room and practice my presentation?

(And if you're the meeting or conference organizer, make it easier for your guest speakers by telling them what they need to know, before they show up in the room.)

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quick Fixes for Hard-to-Read PowerPoint Slides

Here are quick fixes for two common problems with PowerPoint slides:

Problem: Text is Not Legible
The font size may look legible on your laptop and computer screen, but not when it's projected onto a large screen at the front of the room.

Quick Fixes:
• Make the font larger than you think you need to
• Use less text on each slide
• Split the text onto multiple slides
• Test the slides in the room before you present, when you still have time to fix them

Problem: Bottom Half of the Screen Can't Be Seen
When the floor is flat (as opposed to inclined) and the screen is not mounted up on the wall or on a stage, the bottom part of the screen can get blocked by the people/chairs in the audience, so the people behind them can't see it.

Quick Fixes:
• Elevate the screen
• Put the most important information on the top half of the slide
• Don't cram the slide so full of information and words that you need the bottom part of the slide

And the ultimate fix? Ditch the slides. Do you really need them for a 20-minute presentation? The slides are just there to help you and they are not required. Instead, you are the presentation and what you say is required.

Gilda Bonanno's blog


Friday, August 12, 2011

Actions vs. Words: Are You Authentic?

Just as your non-verbals should match your words when you are presenting, your words should match your actions and vice versa. Before the words come out of your mouth, make sure they really represent who you are and what you want to say.

There is no point in presenting your viewpoint to the audience and then acting a different way when you leave the stage or the front of the room. The audience will sense that you are insincere and when they observe your behavior, you will lose credibility.

Here are five examples that I've observed or that my clients have shared with me of the disconcerting disconnect between words and actions:

• The speaker who announces from the stage, "I'd love to meet you when you buy my book after the session," and then doesn't even make eye contact or smile when you do buy the book from him.

• The manager who claims, "I want this to be an interactive dialogue," then proceeds to talk nonstop for an hour, with no time or space for questions (capped off with only rhetorical questions that she proceeds to answer herself).

• The leader who declares at the year-end company-wide meeting, "Our employees are our most important resource," and then doesn't bother to ever meet or talk with employees other than the Board of Directors and Senior Vice Presidents (in contrast to a CEO I knew who worked out in the company gym alongside his employees and often ate in the cafeteria rather than the executive dining room).

• The presenter who answers, "I don't know but I'll check on it and get back to you," and then never does.

• The presenter who says, "Your time is important and valuable," but then exceeds the time limit for his presentation, with no clear reason or apology (this example is also found in the customer service world, where the electronic system announces "Your call is very important to us, we will be with you shortly," every 3 minutes while you wait on hold for 30 minutes).

Whether it's by accident, ignorance or lack of concern, when your actions don't match your words, you undercut your credibility, weaken your message and sour your relationship with the audience.

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Monday, August 8, 2011

Eye Contact: Stop Ignoring Half the Room When Presenting

When you're presenting, it's important to make eye contact with the people in your audience. Eye contact is an important element of non-verbal communication and allows you to connect with the audience, helps you keep their attention and demonstrates your confidence and sincerity.

But sometimes, you're so focused on what you're saying or your slides that you forget to make eye contact with the entire audience. Instead, you face only the center or one side of the room and ignore the other sections of the room  - which doesn't make the people in that section of the audience feel connected to you or help them understand your presentation.

Here are 5 reasons why you might be ignoring half the room:

1. You are facing your computer or the large screen onto which your slides are projected. (And in the "worst case scenario" version, you forget to make eye contact with anyone in the audience).

2. You know someone in the section of the room that you are focusing on. 

3. You are getting positive feedback (nodding, smiling) from someone in that section of the room.

4. You believe, whether accurately or not, that someone in that section of the room is the most important person (such as the CEO or the decision maker).

5. You're just not aware where you are looking.

Instead of falling prey to these 5 reasons for ignoring half the room, make a conscious effort to make eye contact with everyone in the audience. You can practice by asking people for feedback, especially those who sat on the extreme sides of the room or in the front row.

And if there are too many people in the audience to make eye contact with every individual, be sure to make eye contact at least with every section of the audience.

For more information on how to avoid facing the screen when presenting, see my blog post, Don't Present to the Screen.

Gilda Bonanno's blog