Monday, November 30, 2015

Don’t Start Your Presentation by Scolding the Audience

Recently, I saw a speaker start a presentation by saying, “Good evening!” When only a few of the two hundred people in the room responded with a feeble “Good evening,” he said loudly, “Come on – you can do better than that.  Let’s try that again.  GOOD EVENING!”

This time the audience responded with the obligatory “Good evening,” in the sing-song cadence of children in a schoolroom.

It felt like we were children being scolded.  And it left me and many other audience members predisposed not to listen. (For the record, I was one of the few people who had responded the first time.)  One audience member later confided in me that it felt like the speaker was berating us. 

Scolding and berating the audience is not a good way to connect with people in the audience and get them to listen to you.

Yes, as a speaker, you may want the audience to respond to you, but you have to earn their respect and trust first.  You have to build up to this kind of group “call and response” (especially as in this case, when it was an evening event where everyone was full of food and alcohol).

While you can start a presentation with “Good evening,” don’t worry if you don’t receive a response.  An even better opening would be to jump right into your content with a startling statistic, a relevant story or even a simple statement of your overall message.

Under no circumstances should you start your presentation by scolding the audience for not being loudly and immediately responsive to you.  If you do, you run a great risk that you will alienate people and cause them not to listen to your presentation.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Gilda has an incredible ability to speak to, train and motivate a group

"The exercises were fun and interactive while still delivering a very important message. Thank you for your time and energy in, once again, delivering a top notch presentation. If there ever is a time I can recommend you and your incredible ability to speak to, train and motivate a group, please feel free to have your client contact me.
- Nancy Margiano-Sylvester, Vice President of Training, Development and Recruiting at Family Security Plan

To see more testimonials about Gilda's work, visit

Friday, November 20, 2015

7 Steps to Confident Public Speaking

Get Gilda's FREE Special Report, 
"7 Steps to Confident Public Speaking" 

This 13-page report gives you the steps to follow in order to become a confident speaker, from replacing that negative voice in your head to managing your body language to how to practice.   

Saturday, November 14, 2015

6 Tips for Introducing Yourself at the Start of Your Presentation

Check out a recent post on the Constant Contact Community Blog: 

In a presentation skills program a few weeks ago, someone asked me, "Gilda, how do I introduce myself at the start of my presentation to warm up the audience and establish credibility?" Contrary to what you might think, the answers do not include a lengthy recital of all your achievements or a five-minute soliloquy on why you were chosen to present.

Read the rest of it:

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Why Are You Presenting?

As you prepare your presentation and formulate your message (the point of your presentation), think about the following 2 questions:

Why you?
Why you are the one being asked to give this presentation (hopefully, not because you're the only one who didn't say "no" when asked!) What unique information, qualifications, background, etc. do you have that will contribute to the audience's understanding of this topic?

Why now? 
Why is this topic important now? How will knowing about this topic now help your audience?

Gilda Bonanno's blog

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Phone Pres Skills for Fin Advisors: 4 Strategies for Building Trust Over the Phone

Here’s a question I was asked in a recent teleseminar by a financial advisor about delivering and soliciting information over the phone:

 j0433973.jpgQuestion: I’m a financial advisor. Most of the first phone calls I have are about building trust with the client.  The more they talk, the better for me because I’m able to gather a lot of information from them.  But in a 30-minute call, at some point I need to jump in with my “pitch” or to just give my message to them and I don’t want to cut them off in the middle of a conversation. 

How do you manage that when you want them to feel comfortable, but time is kicking in and you need to be sure that there are certain points you’ve made before the call is over? What do I say?

This is a common problem for financial advisors and others who need to deliver as well as solicit information during a phone call. 

Read my 4 strategies for handling the call - here on my Constant Contact Community Blog Post:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Exercise Your Right to Vote

The exercise of the right to vote is a hallmark of a democracy. The fact that we can go to the polls and pull the lever or fill in the circle (or whatever the voting technology requires) without being threatened, attacked or targeted, means that democracy is working. 

Yes, the democratic process may be messy and loud at times, and the debates heated and the ads too negative… but we can still exercise our right to vote without fear of losing our jobs or having our families targeted. 

It was not that long ago in our national history that pioneers like Fanny Lou Hamer (and countless, nameless others) were brutally beaten just for registering African-Americans to vote in the 1960s. 

And it was only in our grandmothers' lifetimes that women were given the right to vote with the 19th Amendment in 1920. 

We remember and honor all those who sacrificed, and suffered, and struggled, so we can have this right and this privilege… let us not take it for granted. 

When you're running around with a million things to do, wondering if you should bother voting, and if it really matters -- yes, you should, and yes, it does matter. Voting honors our past and lays the groundwork for our future. 

(And vist to read the charter documents of our democracy - the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.)

Gilda Bonanno's blog