Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gilda's photos from the National Speakers Association Convention - Influence 15

I just returned from a fantastic National Speakers Association Convention: Influence 15 in Washington, D.C.!  Inspiring speakers and excellent educational content plus a chance to catch up with my speaker friends. 

And I had a great time presenting a concurrent session, "Using Improv Comedy Principles to Make Your Presentations Powerful & Engaging." (more photos of my session to follow in a later blog post)

An enthusiastic group of audience volunteers playing along with the improv game, "Freeze Frame"

Immaculee Ilibagiza sharing her powerful story of forgiveness during the Rwandan genocide

Social activist George Takei (yes, of Star Trek fame) telling the story of his Japanese-American family's internment during World War II. 

Las Vegas headliner and philanthropist Jeff Civillico entertaining at the NSA Foundation Benefit - combining juggling, comedy and even balancing a ladder on his chin!

Chef Jeff Henderson sharing his journey from drug dealer to celebrity chef and nationally acclaimed speaker

American Idol Top 10 Finalist Joey Cook performing for the audience - sincere, sassy and so talented!

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scott McKain: Don't Speak From the Heart

Organizational distinction and customer experience expert Scott McKain has written an interesting post, "Why a speaker shouldn’t “speak from the heart” — and a professional shouldn’t focus on passion…"

He shares advice from speaking coach Ron Arden and challenges the commonly-held notion that speakers should "speak from the heart."  Here are some excerpts from Scott's post: 

  • When speakers (or just about any other professional) fail, it is very seldom because they didn’t put enough “heart” into their presentation. 
  • It’s because they failed to develop the skill required to do their job in an extraordinary manner.
The hard – and critical – lesson I learned is that most people fail NOT because they aren’t passionate enough about what they do…it’s because they haven’t become skillful enough to create distinction in the marketplace.

Write (or choose, or plan, or createfrom the heart…
speak (or paint, or make a sales call, or prescribe medical advice, or whatever you dofrom skill. 

Read the rest of Scott's post here:

Gilda Bonanno's blog 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Client Testimonial for Gilda Bonanno

Gilda did a fantastic job
"Gilda spoke at our annual SNEC-PMI Conference this past April. She did a fantastic job at making the audience think about what is important to them,and how life is too short (~28,000 days) to delay goals. I highly recommend that you hire Gilda as a speaker, and/or for your organization’s training needs. She’s a very effective speaker."
Fred Johnson, Southern New England Chapter of PMI, Board of Directors

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Gilda Presenting at National Speakers Association This Weekend

I'm looking forward to presenting at the National Speakers Association (NSA) Annual Convention - Influence 2015, the premier event for professional speaking, this weekend in Washington, D.C.

If you'll be at the Convention, please stop by and say hi!

My concurrent session is: Using Improv Comedy Principles to Make Your Presentations Powerful and Engaging and scheduled for July 19, 2015, 4:30-5:30 pm. 

Using Improv Comedy Principles to Make Your Presentations Powerful and Engaging 
Improv comedy success is all about being present, trusting yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone.  In this interactive session from professional speaker and improv comedian Gilda Bonanno, you learn how to apply the principles of improv comedy to be fully present to your audience and make your presentations more compelling.    Have fun as you participate in improv exercises which will foster your creativity and teach you to trust yourself. This session is not about learning to be funny – though that is a happy byproduct! – it’s about stepping out of your comfort zone to revitalize your content and your delivery.

By attending this session, participants will:
1. Learn how to stay in the moment when presenting, to create a shared experience with your audience rather than being stuck in your head or delivering a canned speech
2. Boost your confidence to become more comfortable thinking on your feet and dealing with the unexpected
3. Learn 3 interactive exercises that you can use with your audience

To find out more about the Convention or to register, please visi t

Founded in 1973, NSA is the leading organization for professional speakers.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Why Shy People Can Make Excellent Communicators

Professional speaker and executive presentation skills coach Gilda Bonanno explains why and how shy people can become excellent communicators.

If the video doesn't play, 
click this link:

Gilda Bonanno's blog

Monday, July 6, 2015

Answering Questions Without Losing Control of Your Time

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?

To find out how to make sure this doesn't happen to you, check out  my recent post on the Constant Contact Community blog, Answering Questions Without Losing Control of Your Time