Thursday, September 26, 2013

Women With Impact - 12th Annual WBDC Business Breakfast 10/24/13

7:30 am - 9:30 am

The Honorable Nancy Wyman, Lieutenant Governor, State of Connecticut, Honorary Chairwoman
Diana Sousa, VP of Corporate Communications, Cigna Corporation, Mistress of Ceremonies 

The Honorable Denise L. Nappier, State Treasurer of Connecticut,Guest Speaker
Teresa C. Younger, Executive Director, CT Permanent Commission on the Status of Women
Sarah Fisher, CEO, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing
Susan Duffy, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College
Laurie Tucker, Senior Vice President of Corporate Marketing, FedEx Services
2013 Event Sponsors:

The Vince & Linda McMahon Family Foundation
Fairfield County Business Journal
Hearst Media Services
American Express OPEN
Gilda Bonanno LLC
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank
WAG Magazine
W2W Magazine

The Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich
Bourgeon Capital Management, LLC
Building and Land Technology
The Cue Ball Group
FedEx Corporation
Independent Outdoor, Inc.Jim Thompson, Friend of WBDC (Temple University)
McCarter & English, LLP
P3 Global Management, Inc.
Pitney Bowes, Inc.
Prudential Annuities
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
Stamford Hospital
TFI Envision, Inc.
Table Hosts
The Ayers Group
Bank of America
BNY Mellon
Charlotte T. Suhler
Citizens Bank
Cohen and Wolf, P.C.
Gen Re Corporation
Harman International
The Human Resource Consulting Group
Impact Personnel, Inc.
Kiss-U Corps, LLC
Law Offices of Dori B. Hightower, LLC
Mitchell & Sheahan, P.C.
People's United Bank
PCI Creative Group LLC
Ring's End
Sacred Heart University
Sullivan & LeShane, Inc.
Tauck World Discovery
Thomson Reuters
Towers Watson
UBS Financial Services
Vintage & Vines
Wells Fargo Private Bank
The WorkPlace
Gilda Bonanno's blog

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Power of Storytelling in Presentations

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

When we were children, we loved stories.   If somebody said, “Once upon a time…,” you snuggled into your bed or into a comfy chair with your blanket or your teddy bear and got ready to listen. 

As we got older, many of us stopped liking stories because “stories are just for kids.” We don’t realize (or admit) that we spend time watching soap operas, medical dramas or reality shows because they are interesting stories and we feel connected to them in some way.

And in business, we definitely forget about stories. We think, “well, this is business. I have to be serious” and so that’s what we become – we put on serious clothes, wear a serious face and use serious body language (and sometimes seriously bad slides with lots of serious bullet points!). 

But somewhere, deep down inside, the child with the blanket and the teddy bear still likes to hear stories.

Stories are not childish. Yes, they work for children, but they also work for adults, even in business. 

Many cultures around the world transfer knowledge through stories. In our families, we share family history through the stories we tell about Great Aunt Betty or Uncle Sam in the old county or Mom before she got married. 

Stories help us connect and remember information and I encourage you to try out storytelling in your business presentations.

Outline Your Presentation Like a Story
You do not have to start out with “Once upon a time” -  just think about your presentation as a story. If we take the elements of storytelling and make the language business appropriate, we can tell the story of our project or of our company and why it is important or useful and how it is going to make life better.

Your presentation should follow the standard story outline:

·         Introduction: give the audience a preview of what’s coming, introduce your message and let them know how long you are going to speak

·         Body: your supporting points, which may include some characters

·         Conclusion: wrap it all up neatly with a bow: “Here is what I told you. Here is a reminder of my points. Here is one last restatement of my message” (or in other words, “and they lived happily ever after…”)

Tell Real Stories
And in addition to thinking of your presentation as a story, tell real stories, no matter what your field.  Craft a story using a real example of how you solved a problem, or how a customer used your product.  If you make sure the story is relevant and practice telling it clearly and concisely, people will remember it and the message you are communicating. 

Effective presenters know the power of stories.  So the next time you have to give a presentation, think of it like a story and also include real stories.

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Monday, September 16, 2013

Communicating with Confidence When Presenting over the Phone - 9/27 Teleseminar

Communicating with Confidence When Presenting over the Phone
Teleseminar presented by Gilda Bonanno
September 27, 2013, 12 noon-1 pm
Sponsored by C3 Workplace

Knowing how to use a phone to have a conversation is not enough. In order to give a powerful presentation over the phone, you need to know how to prepare and practice so you can communicate your information effectively and connect to people that you can't see.

In this teleseminar, you learn:
*How to organize your content to make it easier for the audience to pay attention and follow along
*Why a dress rehearsal (especially if it's new content or a high-stakes presentation) is crucial to your success
*How to avoid common voice mistakes that undermine your credibility and authority
*How, when (and if) you should handle questions

Facilitator: Gilda Bonanno
Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people improve their presentation and communication skills so they can be more successful. She achieves these results by combining her business background with her improv comedy performance experience and a conviction that with the right training and practice, anyone can become a more effective communicator. She has worked with executives throughout North America and in South America, Europe, China and India.

As a small business owner herself and past Board member for the CT Women's Business Development Council, Gilda understands the challenges that entrepreneurs and business owners face.


No charge. Open to C3 Members and Non-Members
For more information or to register, visit
About C3 Workplace
For nearly 20 years, C3 Workplace has been been helping professionals, small business owners & entrepreneurs to focus on driving revenue by providing flexible office space and back office support (  Their coworking, office space and administrative support and staffing is available at a fraction of what it would cost you to do it on your own.

They build business community and help that community to connect and collaborate – they harness the power and energy that happens when you connect like-minded professional to help you grow.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Data-Driven Talent Insight - ASTD-SCC 9/23 Meeting

American Society for Training & Development - Southern CT chapter meeting (ASTD-SCC)

Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 5:45-8:00 PM

Dick Rogers, SVP Human Resources, ConnectiCare Inc. & Affiliates

Amy Armitage, Director - Member Research Programs, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp)

One key Human Capital trend is turning HR data into information that is useful and valuable to business leaders. The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) focuses on the people practices that make high performance organizations unique. High-performance organizations consistently outperform competitors and realize bottom-line impact from their human capital functions.

Recent research, from i4cp’s evidence based Human Resources working group, will show through case studies how analytics and data are driving decisions around talent management. Connecticut Care, as a member of i4cp’s evidence based human resource working group, will share with us how they use data and metrics to drive their talent decisions.

Join us for a presentation on this timely topic that is heavily requested by i4cp’s member organizations, and bring back to your organization best practices.

Monday, Sept. 23, 2013
Norwalk Inn and Conference Center
99 East Avenue, Norwalk CT

Chapter member (at the door) - $40.00
Chapter Member (pre-registered) - $37.00
Chapter Member In-Transition - $25.00
Guest - $50.00
Student - $20.00

Networking: 5:45 PM
Dinner Served: 6:30 PM
Program: 6:45-8 PM

To register or for more information, visit

Gilda Bonanno's blog


Friday, September 6, 2013

The Coolest & "Fun-est" Marketing Seminar - NSA-CT Meeting Sept 9

The Coolest & "Fun-est" Marketing Seminar About Leveraging & Profiting from What's In Your Head - NSA-CT Sept. 9 Meeting
Presented by Sameer Kumar
National Speakers Association - CT chapter (NSA-CT) Meeting
Monday, Sept. 9, 2013, 6-9 pm

Here’s the Deal . . .
If you get paid for your expertise . . . you know, the stuff that's in your head . . . and want to learn how to make more money, have more fun & simplify your business & your life you'll love this event!

However, this event is NOT about making $10,000, $100,000 or a million bucks by next week. If that's what you are looking for, this isn't for you.

But if you're looking to create a stream of passive income that leads to true financial freedom, then keep reading!

What to Expect?
You will learn, step-by-step, exactly how to multiply & leverage what's in your head by creating and marketing information products.

Here's the quick & dirty of what you'll know before you leave . . .
  • How to Leverage & Multiply Your Expertise (the stuff in your head)
  • How to Create a Lifestyle Business (Freedom of Time & Location)
  • The Truth About How Passive Income Works
  • A New Approach to Financial Freedom
  • How to STOP Trading Dollars for Hours
  • The Key Components of an Information Marketing Business &
  • How to Create Them
  • PLUS, you’ll hear my “Free Sushi” story J

Who Am I and Why Should You Listen to This Crazy-Haired Indian Dude?
I've always believed that you should only listen to someone who you know, like & trust and whose life you want to emulate in some way. So to get a little taste of what makes me tick, check out . . . and yes, that’s a self-proclaimed title!

Sept. 9, 2013
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Free to Members/Associates
$35.00 for Guests

For more details or to register, please visit

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Answering Questions Without Losing Control of Your Time

by Gilda Bonanno LLC
Have you ever seen a speaker run out of time because he or she spent too much time answering very basic or very advanced questions that were irrelevant to most of the audience?

For example, a few years ago, I attended a presentation on using LinkedIn.  The program description promised an overview plus a few specific steps to improve success using LinkedIn.  The speaker got about ten minutes into her presentation to an audience of more than one hundred, when she was interrupted by a few people who asked very specific questions.

She answered each question thoroughly, but the problem was that most of the questions were either irrelevant to the rest of the audience (for example, "what do I do when I get this error when I try to log into my account?") or too advanced ("can you walk us through the specific steps to create and moderate groups?") or took up too much time. 

With less than ten minutes to go before the end of her time limit, she had only made it through one third of her presentation and handouts. I spoke with many people afterwards who were frustrated and disappointed by how she had let the presentation get out of control without delivering on what she had promised. 

While questions usually signal that the questioner is interested in what you have to say, you also have an obligation to cover the material that the audience expected, based on the description of your presentation or how it was advertised.  And especially with a large audience, not all questions are relevant enough to everyone else to make it worthwhile for you to spend time away from your planned presentation.

Here are five strategies to ensure that those very specific or largely irrelevant questions don't take up all of your presentation time: 

1.  In the description about your presentation, set the expectations as to the level that you will focus on – beginner, intermediate, advanced – and then stick to it.  Remember that you are in control of the presentation and timing and it usually can't get out of control without your involvement.
2. At the start of the presentation, let the audience know if, how and when you will handle questions.  
3.  If the situation allows, ask people to write their questions on index cards or sticky notes during your presentation, then collect and review them and choose some that are most relevant to answer. 
4.  When someone asks a question, request that they save it to ask again near the end of your presentation, if you haven't answered it in the course of your regular material. 
5.  Don't be afraid to NOT answer the question – explain that your answer might be too specific or not applicable to enough other people in the audience and request that the person take the question "off-line," by asking you one-on-one during a break or after your presentation. 

While it's good to be responsive to questions, you also have to avoid letting them derail you from covering your message within the time limit.

Gilda Bonanno's blog