Thursday, April 30, 2015

CT NSA meeting May 7 with Joy Baldridge, CSP

The Keys to Keynote Success
CT chapter of the National Speakers Association Meeting

May 07, 2015
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

105 Technology Drive
Trumbull, CT 06611

Speaker: Joy Baldridge, CPC, CSP

Joy’s first official speaking engagement was at the White House, at the age of 19. She got there by cold calling the president and she has been springing down the path to success ever since.  

In this interactive presentation you will hear how Joy:
  • Makes the connections that lead to keynote bookings
  • Blends keynotes with other elements of her business model
  • Makes her keynotes “highly entertaining, extremely informative and completely customized”
  • Designs her keynotes to bring “immediate, positive, and tangible results” for the audience
  • Leverages publications and media appearances for keynote success
  • And much, much more!

In addition to her keynote presentations, Joy is the author of The Fast-Forward MBA in Selling, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. She also speaks, trains and consults with a wide range of corporate talent both domestically and globally. Her clientele consists of 200+ corporations, publishing/media organizations, associations and government agencies including American Express, 3M, GE Capital Corporation, Time Inc., Toshiba America, Inc., United States Surgical Corporation, Time/Warner, Energizer, National Geographic, GQ, Vanity Fair, Oprah, Newsweek and many others.   Her diverse background as a keynote speaker, trainer, sales professional, manager and vice president, enables her to present information across all corporate levels.


6:00 Sign in Informal Meet & Greet
(A light supper of wraps and a salad will be served)
6:30 Updates and Brags
7:00 Keys to Keynote Success with Joy Baldridge
8:15 Big Issue Networking....Come prepared to have your biggest speaking issue addressed with other NSA-CT Members & Guests
9:00 Adjourn

Advance Registration is Appreciated: 
Please visit

Guests (non-members of NSA-CT) may register to attend for a nominal fee of $35

Friday, April 24, 2015

Client Testimonial for Gilda Bonanno

"Gilda provides practical exercises and techniques that empower people to build self-confidence and develop bold communication skills. Gilda cares about her audiences and is able to make a real connection with them. I highly recommend her."

Marian Cicolello, Vice President, Connecticut Women's Business Development Council (WBDC)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

More Murphy's Law of Presenting With Technology

In response to my recent post about how Murphy's Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) definitely applies when presenting with any kind of technology, from a projector to a phone, a few readers sent in comments: 

From LG on the human error side of Murphy's Law: 
"Great examples, and oh so real.  Here are my contributions:
  • Forgetting to plug in the laptop, so it quits during a class, giving a last gasp about a dying battery.
  • Forgetting my power cord back at the home office and having to ask others to scurry around to find one that matches my laptop.
  • Forgetting that I have muted my phone during a web class (while participants are doing a quick exercise), then talking. Participants saw my lips moving on my web cam but couldn’t hear me.
  • Having an earlier, uncorrected version of my presentation on my laptop. This has happened when somehow I saved an open presentation to a flash drive, therefore saving it without the changes. (Can’t quite explain it, but it has happened. I compose on my desktop PC, then use a flash drive to get the presentation to my laptop.)
  • Forgetting my remote, so having to tether myself to my laptop rather than being able to move around as I like to do."

From Michelle: 
"A good follow up would be ways to avoid the Murphy Law effect:
  • I always make printouts of the presentation to avoid any PowerPoint issues. Having two sets of remotes can be handy too.
  • Wirehead set – know how to quickly transition to a regular handset or other means."

Thanks LG and Michelle for your comments!  

What other examples have you seen or experienced of Murphy's Law of Presenting With Technology?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Photos from Women Owned Business Day at the State Capitol

I was honored to serve as Emcee for the Women's Business Development Council's 2nd Annual Women Owned Business Day at the State Capitol in Hartford, CT on April 8.

The event was attended by women entrepreneurs representing nearly 60 towns and cities in Connecticut and more than 30 Connecticut state leaders and elected officials.

WBDC CEO and Founder Fran Pastore with Honorary Co-Chairs: The Honorable Patricia Billie Miller, State Representative and Deputy Speaker and The Honorable Terrie Wood, State Representative and Assistant House Republican Leader

Introducing The Honorable Terrie Wood, State Representative, Assistant House Republican Leader
and Women Owned Business Day Honorary Co-Chair

Keynote Speaker Amanda Brown, Executive Director of the National Women's Business Council (NWBC), spoke about the Council's mission to advise the President, Congress and the Small Business Administration on issues of importance to women entrepreneurs

Special guest Tina Byles Williams, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of FIS Group, shared insights from her trailblazing career in the investment management business

Facilitated breakout sessions included discussions about Access to Capital, Government Contracting, Entrepreneurial Training, & Pay Equity

Other speakers included: 
  • The Honorable Joe Aresimowicz, State Representative and House Majority Leader
  • The Honorable Denise Nappier, Connecticut State Treasurer
  • Catherine Smith, Commissioner, Department of Economic & Community Development 
  • Sharon M. Palmer, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Labor
  • The Honorable Themis Klarides, State Representative and House Republican Leader
  •  Moraima Gutierrez, Assistant District Director for Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration - 

Photos courtesy of WBDC

For more information about the WBDC, please visit

Sunday, April 12, 2015

FDR Anniversary

In honor of the 70th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's death on April 12, 1945: 

From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four freedoms speech” Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union: 01/06/1941 

For more about the life and legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, visit

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Stop Being a Bad Manager

Stop Being a Bad Manager from Gilda Bonanno

Being a manager is not easy.  It requires you to mobilize your team to achieve results while helping each employee maximize his or her potential.  My latest SlideShare PowerPoint presentation explains how to avoid the common pitfalls and mistakes of the bad manager. 

If the presentation doesn't load, click:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Fools' Humor - Getting Glasses: The Comical, the Bad & the Ugly

In honor of April Fools' Day, a day for comedy and laughter, here is a humorous essay on a subject many of you are familiar with, getting new glasses: 

I’ve worn glasses since I was six years old, long before it was cool.  I don’t mind wearing them, but what I really dread is going to the eye doctor’s and getting new glasses.  The experience is rarely successful and hardly comfortable.  But my current glasses had outlived their usefulness and I could no longer see clearly.  So last week, I broke down and went to the eye doctor. 

When I got there, the sign over the front desk read “If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place." Perfect.

I was ushered into the exam room and pretended to read the magazines while secretly checking out the contraptions around me that looked like a cross between medieval torture equipment and James Bond spy gadgets.  Then the eye doctor came in, the house lights went down and we began with the alphabet. 

There was only one problem with the alphabet chart: the letters didn’t seem to be in English.  They were blurry blobs of ink, one in the shape of the Greek letter omega and another like the Chinese character for water. 

I tried to memorize some of the shapes on the top line with what I thought was my good eye, but when I switched to the other eye, what I remembered didn’t match what little I could actually read, so either my eyes are going or my mind is.

After the alphabet game, the doctor put on his miner’s hat, which had a laser light fastened to it which he focused directly on my eyes.  I felt like I was in a police interrogation.  I was supposed to focus on his ear and it was so close that had I scissors, I could have trimmed his ear hairs, though that would probably not have been a smart move given my astigmatism, near-sightedness and far-sightedness. 

Then came what I can only describe as a Star Trek hand-held phaser set on "stun," which was supposed to blow air into my eye so the doctor could check for obscure eye diseases.  The impact left my eyes watering and my nose running.  He gave me a tissue, just one (one of those flimsy, one-ply tissues like you find in public restrooms).  I tried to wipe my eyes and blow my nose with it delicately while he pretended not to notice. 

We then moved on to the multiple-choice test.  Which lens made my vision better, he asked, as he switched lenses rapidly, A or B, first or second, this or that?  I’m usually a good test taker, but here I felt stupid because I really couldn’t tell the difference and he gave no hints as to what the correct answer was.  It worried me that my vision and the safety of pedestrians everywhere depended on those split-second decisions.

When I had survived the multiple-choice test, it was on to the grand finale: pupil dilation.  I had been dreading this moment since I walked in the door.  The concept was for the doctor to put some eye drops in so my pupils would dilate and he could check for more problems.  The eye drops felt like needles shooting glue into my eyes. 

After he looked into my eyes, I was escorted to the waiting room for the mandatory one-hour waiting period.  My eyes were too stuck open to read anything so I tried to focus on the wallpaper and smile at the other patients who politely ignored the fact that I looked stoned.  Anywhere else, they would have called the police. 

Eventually, my eyes began to un-dilate.  Then, the fun really began when I got to pick new frames. I put in my contacts so I could see what I looked like.  The first pair I chose happened to be a designer frame that cost more than a trip to Tahiti. 

I quickly put that one back and tried to figure out the advertised sales, which offered free lenses, but only if I bought the designer frames, or free no-name frames, but only if I bought the lenses with UV protection, anti-reflective glare and no-line bifocals. 

So I gave up on getting the best price and decided to focus only on selecting the right frame. I pulled all the interesting frames off the rack and separated them into piles – “yes,” “no” and “what was I thinking.”

The sales clerk tried to be helpful by pointing out that the shape of the glasses should complement the shape of my face and we tried to figure out what could possibly complement my round face, square hair, oval eyes and triangular nose. After an analysis of my features that would have made my high school geometry teacher proud, she retreated to the sales counter across the room, cursing me under her breath because she would have to put back all the frames when I was done. 

After an hour or so, the qualifying heats were over and we were down to the finals.  But it was too close to call.  I was so confused that they all started to look identical and ugly.  It was near closing time, so I just sighed, closed my eyes and pointed, “this one and take all the others away.”

Of course, what I ended up buying was one of the first three frames I had tried on, which had looked okay, but I couldn't be absolutely sure until I had tried on the other 142 frames in the store. 

A few days later, I had my new glasses and was happily tripping down the stairs in them.  The ordeal was over… at least until the next time I needed new glasses.

© 2002 Gilda Bonanno
Gilda Bonanno's blog