Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bold Presentation Skills: How to Deliver Bad News About a Failed Project - Video

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

Professional speaker and executive presentation skills coach Gilda Bonanno answers a question about how to deliver bad news about a failed project to the stakeholders:


If the video does not play, click here:

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gilda's post featured in how biz grows blog

My post, "Don’t Hand Out Business Cards in the Restroom – and Other Networking Tips for Small Business Owners," was featured in management and marketing expert Joey Sargent's blog, how biz grows.

Read it here:

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Conquer the Fear of Public Speaking

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

If you’re afraid of giving a presentation, that fear tends to take on a larger-than-life quality.

You may fear that everything, from your job to your family, is going to go wrong if you do a poor job with this one presentation.

©Kitty -
That fear really starts in your head and your heart, with what you are telling yourself about your skills.

Hear It
First of all, you want to get inside your head and think about what you’re telling yourself. 

What do you hear in your head before you go to present? Probably something negative like “don’t make a fool of yourself” or “no one wants to listen to me.”  Think about it – you are speaking to yourself in a negative voice that you would never use with a friend or family member.

Name It
I call this loud, critical (and lying) voice the Joy-Sucker because it sucks the joy and the life out of your presentation and undermines your confidence.  Others have called it the “gremlin” and creativity expert Julia Cameron calls it the “censor.” You should give it a name that resonates with you and captures the negativity of the voice. 

Replace It
Once you acknowledge the Joy-Sucker, you have to replace it with a positive mantra – a positive phrase or affirmation that you can repeat.  Something positive, like “you can do it” or “I have something worth sharing with this audience” will go a long way towards boosting your confidence and helping you access your knowledge and experience.  Practice saying this to yourself just before you present. 

Remember, These Are Just Skills
The good news is that presentation skills are just skills, which means that you can practice and improve them.  I have never met anyone – even someone who started out afraid - who could not become a competent presenter with the right practice and preparation.

So if you have a great fear of public speaking, practice hearing and naming that Joy-Sucker Voice and then replacing it with something more positive.  Combined with practice in content and delivery, you’ll be on your way to being a more confident and competent presenter.

Photo © Kitty -
Gilda Bonanno's blog  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Sun Products Case Study - ASTD-SCC 10/28 Meeting

American Society for Training & Development - Southern CT chapter meeting (ASTD-SCC)
Monday, October 28, 2013, 5:45-8:00 PM
Simulation-Based Training: A Sun Products Case Study
Bill Bubbico, Senior Manager, Business Process Improvement, Sun Products
Kathy Sherwood, Senior Partner, Sherwood Learning Solutions
In today's learning and development environments, training professionals strive to find ways to bring to life the complex human factors that make up our professionals' day-to-day operational worlds.

Sun Products, featuring Bill Bubbico, Senior Manager - Business Process Improvement and Kathy Sherwood, Senior Partner of Sherwood Learning Solutions, will present an actual demonstration of their computer based simulation addressing such common situations as:
  • Changing requirements
  • Department heads refusing to supply necessary resources
  • Conflict in the workplace
  • Technical difficulties
Learning Leaders can use these insights to improve not only performance, but employee satisfaction and engagement!!
Monday, October 28, 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

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Marist Alumni Networking Workshop 11/14 in Stamford, CT

You are cordially invited to participate in an interactive workshop featuring Marist alumna and communication skills expert and professional speaker Gilda Bonanno '93.

Thursday, November 14
6:30 to 8:30 PM
General Electric: Global Learning Center
777 Long Ridge Road
Building C, First Floor
Stamford, CT 06902

Topic: How to Schmooze
Do you hate networking events because you never know what to say? Do you get stuck talking to the one person in the room that you know? Whether you're a recent grad looking for a job, a mid-career professional seeking to earn a promotion or get new clients, or a senior professional transitioning to new opportunities, networking is a key ingredient of your success!

In this interactive and fun session, you will learn the techniques of successful networking so you can schmooze with ease.

Learn the secrets of being a master schmoozer, including:
  • How to listen and think on your feet
  • How to harness the power of non-verbal communications
  • How to deal with difficult people, like the obnoxious egotist and the boring timehog
  • And, you'll get a chance to practice your networking with the other Marist grads in attendance
There is no fee to attend and guests/colleagues are welcome to join you. Light refreshments will be available.

Please register online by Friday, November 8 -

For questions, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 845-575-3283 or

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Public Speaking Coaching Tip: Don't Hide Behind the Podium in a Dark Room

by Gilda Bonanno LLC
One of my clients comes out of the equity research in finance and is now an author on a book tour. He posted a video on a private YouTube channel of him giving a talk and asked for my feedback.

One of the things that I immediately noticed was that the lights were dim and he stood hunched behind the podium making eye contact with the big screen rather than the audience

I suggested that instead of focusing on the screen, the focus should be on him as the speaker.    So he needs to set up the room, lighting and slides so that everyone can see him clearly.  And if possible, he should step out from behind the podium or at the very least, make eye contact with people in the audience.   Once he made those changes, his presentation improved dramatically.   (This is why video is so powerful because it gives you that opportunity to see how you might come across to your audience.)

These are mistake that I see frequently.  Speakers tend to hide behind a desk or podium with the focus is on the screen.  This is really the opposite of what should occur. The focus should be on you as the speaker. You are the presentation; the slides are just the visual aids. The lighting should be set up so he focus is on you rather than everybody sitting in a dark room looking at slides.

While it is possible to speak effectively using a podium, for example, to put your notes on, you have to be aware of how the setup looks to the audience.  Think about it from their point of view.  If you use the podium, don’t let it become an obstacle to your connecting with audience.



Gilda Bonanno offers presentation skills coaching in person or virtually over the phone or using Skype.  She will help you prepare an upcoming presentation or review a past presentation that you have on video.
Gilda Bonanno's blog


Friday, October 4, 2013

Build Your Audience- NSA-CT Meeting October 8

Steven Iwersen: Build Your Audience - Creating a 3-D Speaking Business That Generates Results
National Speakers Association - CT Chapter (NSA-CT) Meeting  
Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 6-9 pm
Consistently successful speakers have learned that speaking to one audience at a time is a slow way to build a business. What if you could speak to three audiences at the same time? Well, you actually do every time you engage an audience. Steven Iwersen will help you see your business model from a different perspective. In this session you will:
  • Discover your three audiences
  • Define a 3-D Strategy that fits your business model
  • Learn how to leverage your content from the platform and through social media
  • Offer a package to meeting planners that gets you in front of all 3 audiences.
  • Develop product strategy that appeals to the different audiences
About Steven Iwersen
Steven is a keynote speaker and keeps a busy schedule speaking at conventions around the country and providing leadership training for companies. He is an NSA Member, the Past-Chairperson for the NSA Chapter Leadership Committee (2012-13), and a Past-President of the NSA-KC chapter. Steven is the author of “Chasing Porcupines: How to Lead Prickly People.”
October 8, 2013
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484
Free to Members/Associates
$35 for Guests
For more details or to register, please visit
Gilda Bonanno's blog