Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Presentation Skills for Business Presentations Over the Phone

Presentation skills for business presentations over the phone are a required skillset whether you are an entrepreneur or corporate executive, small business owner or manager. 

Business Presentations Over the Phone
You need to present information to geographically dispersed, remotely located clients, partners and vendors.  but when delivering a presentation over the phone, you can't see your audience and know whether they are paying attention and are understanding you. And the audience can't see your gestures or facial expressions.

Professional speaker and presentation skills coach Gilda Bonanno is offering a group coaching program to help you overcome these challenges. 

Beginning March 2, Virtual Presentations - How to Develop and Deliver an Effective Presentation Over the Phone, will teach you to create and deliver a virtual presentation with confidence and achieve the desired result, whether it's to close a sale, share crucial information with your colleagues or establish priorities with your vendors.


In this customized, high-content group coaching program, you will learn how to:

• Create a focused and interesting presentation using a simple, repeatable process
• Logically structure your material so it makes sense to your audience
• Harness the power of your voice over the phone
• Effectively use body language, even if the audience can't see it
• Overcome potential language and culture barriers
• Demonstrate confidence even when you might not be feeling it
• Engage the audience to keep their attention
• Figure out whether or not to use slides
• Apply these techniques to improve your webinars, phone meetings and in-person presentations, too

• This program is for you if you create and deliver presentations over the phone, with or without slides
• This program is applicable to people from all industries, job titles and departments and to entrepreneurs, small business owners and academics


Three live 1-hour weekly calls: Tuesdays, March 5, 12 & 19, 2013; 2-3 PM Eastern Time US• All sessions will be recorded so you can listen to it at your convenience if you can't attend live or if you would like to listen to it again
• All sessions, practice and feedback are delivered over the phone, without slides so you experience what it's like to present and participate virtually

Class size will be limited to 15, ensuring that the content is customized to your needs, your questions are answered and you have the opportunity to practice your presentation and get feedback from Gilda

To register or find out more information, visit

Gilda Bonanno LLC

Monday, February 25, 2013

Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs: 6 Ways to Make Your Pitch Presentation More Effective

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

One high-stakes presentation that entrepreneurs have to give is in front of potential investors.  While it can be intimidating to present in front of people who can fund your business, service or idea, following these 6 tips will improve your presentation and make it more likely that the investors will understand your proposal and address it on its merits, rather than being distracted by your poor presentation skills:

1. Think about it from the investors' point of view
This presentation is not the time to tell the investors everything you know about your product/service.  Instead focus on what is important to them and follow my Golden Rule of Communications - "communicate unto others as they want to be communicated to."  Remember that you are asking them to invest money and time, so they will be heavily focused on value and the return on their investment.

2. Be prepared but not overly memorized
While it may seem like a good idea to memorize your pitch, the problem is that when you are presenting, you will be in your head worrying about forgetting what you've memorized rather than in the moment having a discussion with the investors.  You can memorize the key parts of your presentation - your introduction and your conclusion - but instead of memorizing every word in the entire presentation, practice by delivering your presentation out loud until you are comfortable enough with the material that you can say it several different ways and still have the same meaning.

3. Anticipate  questions
You can prepare for more than 90% of the questions you will be asked.  For example, you know that potential investors want to know about things like your sales, production costs, cash flow and patents pending.  So have that information ready.  For the other 10% of the questions that you can't anticipate, rely on your background, knowledge and preparation to answer in the moment.  And if you don't have an answer, don't bluff.  Just admit that you don't know and that you will have to get back to them with the answer.

4. Remain calm when answering questions
When the investors start peppering you with questions, it may feel like you are in front of a firing range. Questions show that the audience is interested, which is especially true in this case when they are deciding whether to invest money in your proposal.  So, don't take the questions personally or get hostile when responding. 
5. Be assertive and respectful
As an entrepreneur asking for investment, you have to demonstrate that you are passionate about your product/service,  knowledgeable about your market and committed to working hard.  You have to be assertive when explaining the value of your idea or company and why it's a good investment.  However, you have to balance being assertive with being respectful of your audience.  Avoid personal attacks, sarcasm or disparaging remarks about those who have chosen not to invest.  Remember,  while you may have a large personal stake in your idea or product, to your investors this is business, not personal.

6. Smile
Though it may feel like you are going into the dragon's den or the shark's tank, it is important to smile.  Smiling demonstrates your confidence and helps to relax you and in turn, relax your audience.  A genuine smile (rather than a fake smile) will also help convey your excitement  and passion for your product or service.

The next time you are pitching your product or service in front of potential investors, follow these 6 tips to ensure that the investors understand your product or service, appreciate your passion and knowledge and don't get distracted by your poor presentation skills or lack of confidence.

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Olympian Jeff Galloway: Set Mini Goals

Running and public speaking have a lot in common, including the fact that both become easier over time when you practice them regularly using the correct techniques.  And ideas that work for improving your running can also apply to improving your presentation skills.

Olympian, running coach and speaker Jeff Galloway writes a regular feature in Runner's World magazine, "The Starting Line: Tips for Beginners From an Easygoing Coach."

In the January 2013 issue, Galloway writes about "Mini Goals: Focus on achieveable targets every day, week and month."
"You want to aim high enough to stay motivated but not so high that you stress out if you fall short. The best solution is to set incremental goals - daily, weekly, and monthly targets that allow you to enjoy regular accomplishments and stay focused on your next step."
His suggestions also can be applied to improving your presentation skills.
For example, setting incremental goals can be very helpful.  If you try to remove  all your filler words such as "um," "ah," and "like" overnight, you most likely will be unsuccessful and end up feeling more frustrated. 
Instead, break it down into manageable steps - first, become conscious of yourself saying the filler words during an actual or practice presentation.  Then, try to replace them with a pause during which you breathe and think of what you want to say next.  Finally, do this often enough that it becomes comfortable and routine. 
Likewise, rather than trying to improve everything about your presentation skills because you have a high-stakes presentation tomorrow, give yourself time to make changes.  Schedule a target presentation in the future which will motivate you to work on your skills and then do something every day to move you in the right direction. 
Be specific about what you what to work on - reducing your filler words, making eye contact with more people in the audience, speaking louder, being more succinct - and then create opportunities where you can practice that skill.  For example, give a quick status update at a team meeting, ask questions after someone else's presentation or offer comments during a project review.  In so doing, you will gradually strengthen that skill and build up your public speaking muscle so you can eventually deliver a medal-worthy presentation.


Read the rest of Jeff Galloway's article here:
For more on this subject, read my blog post, Public Speaking is Like Exercising

Gilda Bonanno's blog


Friday, February 15, 2013

Video: 5 Quick Tips to Avoid Rambling When Presenting


When you are presenting, it is important to speak clearly, confidently and succinctly.  Presentation skills coach and professional speaker Gilda Bonanno provides 5 quick tips to keep you from rambling on and on during your presentation.
(3 mins 9 secs)
For help with applying these presentation skills tips to over-the-phone presentations, sign up for Gilda's March 2013 teleseminars: Virtual Presentations - How to Develop and Deliver an Effective Presentation Over the Phone

For more videos, see my blog posts:
Video: How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

Video: How to Network at Holiday Parties

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Boosting Engagement – Helping Leaders Win at Work ASTD-SCC 2/25 Meeting

Boosting Engagement – Helping Leaders Connect to Win at Work

Speaker: Michael Stallard, President – E Pluribus Partners and author, Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Firm’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity

Southern CT chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD-SCC) Meeting
Monday, February 25, 2013
Norwalk, CT

US businesses lose approximately $11 billion annually due to employee turnover, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. The hard reality is that flawed management practices contribute significantly to employee disengagement-and disengaged employees will not devote the additional effort to enable organizations to win in the market.
Michael Stallard, primary author of the book Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity will share specific behaviors effective leaders use to develop “Connection Cultures.” These behaviors can ignite the workforce to boost employee satisfaction and engagement, productivity, innovation and overall organizational performance.

As a result of attending the chapter meeting, attendees will be better able to:

· Identify the leadership behaviors that boost connection, employee satisfaction and engagement
· Apply the three core elements of a Connection Culture

About the Speaker
Michael Lee Stallard is President of E Pluribus Partners, a leadership training and consulting firm that specializes in helping leaders boost productivity, innovation and overall performance. He speaks and teaches at a variety of organizations including Google, the Institute for Management Studies, and Johnson & Johnson.

Prior to founding E Pluribus Partners, Michael was Chief Marketing Officer for businesses at Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab, and CMO for Charles Schwab’s private wealth management business. Michael’s educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Illinois State University, an M.B.A. from University of Texas-Permian Basin, and a J.D. from DePaul University Law School in Chicago, Illinois.

At the end of the meeting, Michael will have his books available for sale for $15, and he will be happy to sign them.


Date: Monday, February 25, 2013
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


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Video: How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

Presentation skills coach and professional speaker Gilda Bonanno provides tips for how to introduce yourself in 10 seconds or less  at networking events and business meetings. (4 mins 20 secs)

For more videos, see my blog posts:
Video: 5 Quick Tips to Avoid Rambling When Presenting

Video: How to Network at Holiday Parties

Gilda Bonanno's blog