Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Have a Message When You Present

Anytime you give a presentation, it is important to have a message

While this sounds like such a basic and obvious concept, how many times have you sat through a presentation or meeting and walked out, wondering, “What was the point of that?
A message can be defined as the one sentence that sums up your presentation.  Think of it as the headline or a billboard.  What is the one message, the main point, that you want people to take away from your presentation?

The audience can't remember everything from your presentation.  They are not going to remember all of the details. They will remember the core message if you make it easy for them to understand.

Connect All Your Content to Your Message
Once you have the message planned, it is important that all of your content, every story, example and data point, is relevant to it. If it isn’t, don’t use it.

If you are preparing your material and you think, “I really should show them this graph,” or “I really should share with them that example from one of our clients,” or “I really should tell them about our sales numbers last quarter,” make sure it passes the message test.

Does it relate to your message? Does it support your message? If it doesn’t, don’t use it.

You can have the extra material with you if someone has a question or asks for more data.  You can hand it out later or send it as pre-work, but you don’t want to spend your precious presentation time talking about things that are tangential or that might distract your audience from your message.

When you finish your presentation, everyone in the audience should be able to give approximately the same answer, in their own words, to the question, “what was the point of that presentation?” For example, “The point of that was to convince us this company has good management and good financials, and we should invest in it,” or “The point was to convince us that unless we change the way we are handling our processes, we are not going to make our numbers this quarter.”

The next time you have to present, make sure you have a clear message and that everything in your presentation connects to it.
by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Friday, January 24, 2014

How to Use Notes When Presenting

I am often asked, “Is it okay to use notes when I’m giving a presentation? And if so, how?”

I think it’s fine to use notes in most situations (depending on the organizational culture), but you need to make sure you can use notes effectively.  
Here are 7 strategies for using notes while presenting, without getting confused and distracted by them: 

1.    Your notes are not a full script where you write out your entire presentation. Just outline your presentation in your notes, with particular focus on your opening, your closing and your key points.

2.    Limit your notes to one or two pages.

3.    Print your notes in large font, so you can easily read them without having to hold them too close.

4.    Print or staple your notes onto cardstock (heavy, thick paper), two-sided if necessary, so they don’t blow away and so you can easily hold them in one hand.  

5.    Include some comments on your notes, such as reminders to breathe, smile or pause. 

6.    Practice using the notes - actually hold the notes and say the words out loud so you get comfortable.  If the notes don’t work in your practice session, they’re not going to work during your live presentation, so modify them in some way. 

7.    Your goal is not to memorize your presentation or your notes – just get comfortable enough so you can say it a few different ways and still deliver your message clearly and within your time limit.

Yes, using notes can be helpful during a presentation, as long as they’re clear and succinct and you practice with them.
by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Monday, January 20, 2014

Be Yourself When You Present

In order to be a powerful, engaging and effective presenter, you have to be yourself.

First of all, you have been asked to give this presentation for a reason, maybe because of your subject matter expertise or because the audience already knows you and trusts you. Maybe it is because nobody else would do it; you were the person who wasn’t there at the meeting, so you got volunteered (that’s okay – it happens.  Take advantage of the opportunity).

Whatever the reason you’ve been asked to present, take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with the audience

Be confident in who you are.  You have to believe that you have something worth saying that is worth listening to. Unless you believe that, the audience will never believe you.

Get over your fear and get comfortable with yourself.  That confidence will help you connect with the audience and be a more powerful speaker.
And while it is fine to watch and learn from other speakers, be careful not to imitate anyone completely.  It is like wearing somebody else’s clothes. The outfit may look great on the other person, but once you put it on, you find it ill-fitting and uncomfortable.  Tailor anything you learn from others to fit your distinctive style and personality.

Tap into your own unique skills and abilities when you are presenting. Leverage your knowledge and experience.  Use any examples that you think might be meaningful, particularly examples that are “uniquely you.”

The audience will appreciate you being your best, most sincere self, when you give your presentation.
by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com


Thursday, January 16, 2014

When Presenting, Know the Audience

In order to give an effective presentation, you need to know your audience.  What does that mean?
Who is the audience?
The first step is to analyze the audience by asking yourself the following questions:
Who is in the audience? How does your message relate to them?
Are they experts in the field? Are they novices and know nothing about your topic, so you have to educate them from A to B?
Is this an audience that is receptive to what you are saying? Or is this an audience that might be a little hostile? Are you recommending something that might challenge their mindset or the way they work?
What is the level of people in the audience? Are they your senior managers or the board of directors? Are they your peers or your staff?
How do they like information presented? How much detail? How much focus on the problem vs. the solution?
Why should the audience care?
The second part of knowing the audience is answering the question, “Why should they care about what you have to say?”
Your audience is trying to manage the massive amount of information that gets thrown at them every day.  So you need to make it clear why they should pay attention to your presentation.  Be sure to answer the audience’s unspoken question, “WIIFM – what’s in it for me?”
Why is it important for them to understand your message? Is this something that is going to help them do their jobs better? Is it going to make their life easier? Is it going to entertain them and make them forget about stress for a while? Is it information that they are required to know? What is important about what you are saying in relation to their real situation?
Before you get up in front of an audience to present, make sure you understand as much as you can about them.  Doing so will help ensure that the audience understands your message and is able to act on it. 
by Gilda Bonanno www.gildabonanno.com
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Conversational Intelligence: ASTD-SCC 1/27/14 Meeting

American Society for Training & Development - Southern CT chapter meeting (ASTD-SCC)
Monday, January 27, 2014
Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results
Speaker: Judith Glaser, CEO, Benchmark Communications and Chair, Creating WE Institute
Join us for a very cutting edge presentation around the advancement of neuroscience and the connection to our conversations, and the hidden codes for trust. Conversational Intelligence is not about how smart you are, but how open you are to learn new and effective powerful conversational rituals that prime the brain for trust, partnership, and mutual success. Conversational Intelligence translates the wealth of new insights coming out of neuroscience from across the globe, and brings the science down to earth so people can understand and apply it in their everyday lives.

Judith Glaser will present a framework for knowing what kind of conversations trigger the lower, more primitive brain; and what activates higher-level intelligences such as trust, integrity, empathy, and good judgment. Conversational Intelligence makes complex scientific material simple to understand and apply through a wealth of easy to use tools, examples, conversational rituals, and practices for all levels of an organization. This book is especially targeted for HR Professionals, OD Professionals, and Coaches who are seeking new and innovative ways to create transformational change in relationships, teams and organizations.

Monday, January 27, 2014
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 http://www.astdscc.org/
About Judith
Judith is the founder and CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc., and the Chairman of the Creating WE Institute. Her transformational approaches using neuroscience and anthropology enable leaders to raise their Conversational Intelligence™ and build agile and higher performing individuals and teams poised to impact the bottom line and top line results in their organizations. A best-selling business author, Judith is the world’s leading authority on WE-centric Leadership, Neuro-Innovation and Conversational Intelligence®.
Through the application of neuroscience to business challenges, Judith shows CEOs and their teams how to elevate levels of engagement, collaboration and innovation to positively impact the bottom line. Judith is a founding member of the Harvard Coaching Institute and she has appeared on CBS Morning News, NBC’s Today Show, ABC World News, and The Fox News Channel, talking about We-Centric Leadership and Cultural Transformation.
Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shep Hyken - Get More Bookings, Sell More Product- NSA-CT 1/28/14 Meeting

National Speakers Association - CT Chapter (NSA-CT) Meeting

January 28, 2014
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Hilton Garden Inn
25 Old Stratford Road
Shelton, CT 06484

Building Your Business

In this fast paced presentation, Shep Hyken will share with you the strategies he has used over the past 30 years to create and sustain a successful speaking business. This is not theory. It is all from personal experience. Shep will share what worked and what didn’t. He encourages questions throughout the program and no questions are off limits. Regardless of how long or short you have been in this business, you will find strategies and techniques that will be valuable to your bottom line.

Shep has a solid track record of success for 30 years. He will cover how he works with bureaus, uses the phone, uses email and has embraced social media. Shep will also discuss his books, both main stream and self-published. The bottom line, Shep will hold nothing back.

All participants will receive an extensive handout/workbook – and dozens of ideas to build your business and develop and sell product.

In Shep’s program you discover/take away:
•Passive Marketing/Sales Strategies
•(At least five) Active methods for selling to clients
•Two concepts to help identify and target your “ideal” clients
•Seven reasons to have product
•And, once you have that product, ideas on how to sell it
•An open forum to ask any question about how Shep gets and keeps clients

Shep’s “hold nothing back” approach to sharing what has worked – and not worked – for him and his business – No theory, this is all from Shep’s personal experience!

Free to NSA-CT Members/Associates
$35 Guests
For more details or to register, visit www.nsact.org

About ShepShep Hyken has been a member of the National Speakers Association since 1988. Within a year of joining, he became involved in his local chapter and held several board positions including program chair and president. In 2006 he joined the national board of NSA, and in 2012 was elected to serve as the 2014-2015 NSA President. Since joining in 1988, Shep has never missed an annual convention.

In his non-NSA life….
Shep Hyken is a customer experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession. Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer and The Amazement Revolution. He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™program, which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

In 1983 Shep founded Shepard Presentations and since then has worked with hundreds of clients ranging from Fortune 100 size organizations to companies with less than 50 employees. Some of his clients include American Airlines, AAA, Anheuser-Busch, AT&T, AETNA, Abbott Laboratories, American Express – and that’s just a few of the A’s!

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions in Semi-Retirement

I would like to share a great book with you: Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions in Semi-Retirement (Ten Speed Press, 2013) by Nancy Collamer.    

Second-Act Careers by Nancy CollamerThe author, Nancy Collamer, is the career coach that I worked with when I quit my corporate job and started my own business several years ago. She is smart, supportive and committed to her clients - and I cannot envision having made my career journey without her.

Forbes.com called Second-Act Careers "A terrific resource to lead you right into a realm of possibilities for what you might like to do when you 'retire' but still want, or need, to work."

The first section of the book is a "smorgasbord" of  50 different job ideas where age, experience and maturity are assets.  These include virtual, work-from-home jobs and flexible jobs such as tour director, temporary innkeeper, interfaith minister and food blogger.

Nancy includes pragmatic advice and interviews with people who have developed successful second-act careers, including a former Microsoft executive who now teaches marketing to magicians and a retired cop turned comedian.  And I am honored that she included my advice about how to become a professional speaker.

The second section includes a variety of exercises to help you understand your skills, interests and goals and plan for your second act.

Nancy has been in business since 1996 and has a master's in career development. She speaks to audiences around the country about career reinvention and also writes a weekly column about careers and volunteering for NextAvenue.org (PBS) and Forbes.com.

Second-Act Careers has been mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, NPR, US News & World Report, USA Today and the NY Post.

I don't receive any compensation if you buy the book - I am recommending it because I think you will find it valuable.

You can order the book on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/lk9y7wq

To find out more about Nancy Collamer, check out her website: http://www.mylifestylecareer.com/

Gilda Bonanno's blog www.gildabonanno.blogspot.com