Thursday, March 31, 2016

Joint ATD/ICF Networking 4/7 in Westport

Join us on April 7th for a
Joint ATD SCC and ICF-CT 
Spring Evening 
Networking Event   
(on the Saugatuck River)
299 Riverside Ave
Westport, CT  06880

Thursday, April 7, from 5:45 – 8:30 pm
 $30 Members of ATD SCC & ICF-CT 
 $40 Non-members

We invite you to a unique evening dedicated to networking and the opportunity to mingle with members and associates of our ICF Connecticut Coach Community and ATD Southern CT Chapter whose combined expertise include coaching, training, education, learning and development, performance improvement, and human resource development.
Throughout this evening, this French bistro, with views of the Saugatuck River, will be serving:

Hot and Cold Hors d'oeuvres (gluten free available)
Penne Vodka & Chicken/Mushroom Risotto
Cheese Platter
Cash bar
Connect, network, build alliances and referrals, learn from one another and share stories about the impact coaching & training has on our clients and organizations - whether that be as an internal or external change agent.
  • Gain personal insights into and connect with educational, programming, and development opportunities that will enhance your professional skills and advance your personal and professional goals as an entrepreneur, external or internal coach, training professional and leader.     
  • Keep current with the behavioral research that drives our understanding of human behavior and how we connect the science to our practice. 
  • Connect to our training and coaching communities and engage in the exchange of ideas and resources.
As with all chapter meetings, the event is open to members and non-members.

For more information or to register, visit

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Engaging & interactive - Gilda was one of the best presenters we've had

"I had the pleasure of working with Gilda when she presented to Marist's women's mentoring group on communicating with confidence.  I thought she did a terrific job.  Gilda's style was engaging and interactive, and her session was full of practical tips the audience members could put into practice immediately.  

I found Gilda to be prepared, professional, dynamic, and knowledgeable, and she made sure to customize the workshop to our group's needs and interests. Participant feedback was excellent, and she was definitely one of the best presenters we've had.  If you are looking to strengthen your communication or other "soft" skills, I highly recommend Gilda."
-Elisabeth M. Tavarez, Special Assistant to the President, Marist College

To see more testimonials about Gilda's work, visit

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cut Out Your Sloppy Language When Presenting

Language is a tool that helps you communicate your message to your audience.  Sloppy and imprecise language, however, can interfere with your communication.   Check out my latest post on the Constant Contact Community blog for six tips for eliminating sloppy language:

  1. Get rid of the weak, minimizing words
Words like "sorta," "just," or "kinda" minimize the impact of your message.  And stringing a few of them together, as in, "I'm just gonna discuss" or "it's just kinda like" makes it worse.  Instead, use definitive, strong, precise phrases like, "I will discuss" or "it is."

Read the rest of the post here:

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Using Simulations to Develop Business Acumen ATD-SCC 3/21 Meeting

Association for Talent Development- CT
A Case Study: Using Customized Experiential Simulations to Develop Business Acumen at CA Technologies
Speakers: Lynne Iati, Director, 
Talent Development at CA Technologies
Carlo Peratoner, CEO, TRI Corporation
Monday, March 21, 2016
5:45 PM - 8:00 PM at the Norwalk Inn, Norwalk, CT

Learn how a customized business simulation is helping develop leaders at CA Technologies. CA Technologies enhanced its Leadership Development program with a business simulation designed to increase participants’ business and finance acumen, help them articulate corporate strategy, and explain how their role impacts financials. The result? It raised awareness of each participant’s role in the company’s success, instilled financial acumen, and deepened participants’ understanding of CA’s performance and market presence.
TRI Corporation consultants and the CA Technologies team partnered to craft a simulation customized to the content, language, and culture of a high-tech software company. The result radically transformed the impact of an existing leadership development curriculum. Key to the success of this effort was the application to CA’s real-world issues and the linkage to its balanced scorecard.

A recent graduate of the course commented, “Most relevant was the business simulation - the ‘aha’ moment - and realizing that everything I do has an impact and cost. Everything should be aligned with corporate goals and my department’s goals.”

During the March 21 program you will experience components of the CA business simulation and participate in a discussion of the critical success factors necessary for an effective partnership.

About the Presenters
     Lynne Iati, Director, Talent Development, at CA Technologies has more than 29 years of experience in HR Talent Development, Education, Customer Service, and Sales. Lynne has had a long and diverse learning and development career in financial services, healthcare, and technology industries with a consistent focus on program management, design, implementation, facilitation, and measurement.

    Carlo Peratoner has over 16 years of experience in building and delivering experiential exercises at some of the most prestigious companies in the world. Since 2009, Carlo has been the CEO of TRI Corporation. TRI Corporation has designed business simulations, finance programs and leadership programs for 14 of the Dow 30, as well as a host of other public and private companies. The company currently counts leading global software, industrial products, and device manufacturers among its client roster. These include world-class brands such as Microsoft, General Electric, Stanley Black & Decker, CA Technologies, Hubbell, and Stryker.

For more information or to register, visit

Friday, March 11, 2016

Gilda to Present at SNEC-PMI Stamford 3/22

Fairfield County (Stamford) Breakfast Meeting

Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 07:30am - 08:45am
SNEC PMI is pleased to offer a Fairfield County Regional Breakfast meeting in Stamford this March!  Gilda Bonanno, PMP will be leading and facilitating a discussion on “Effective Communication for Project Managers: How to Communicate With Confidence, Competence and Composure”.
Date and Time: Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 07:30am - 8:45am

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (** Please note New Location for this breakfast event**)
333 Ludlow Street (One Star Point)
Stamford, CT 06902
Cost: Free for SNEC Members (note: must LOGIN to website prior to registering to obtain $10 discount). Non-SNEC members are $10.
Note: You may buy coffee or breakfast at the onsite cafeteria.
PDU Info:
1.0 PDU: You will need to record and self-report your PDU's for this activity. Following the guidelines of the new CCR program, the PDU's for this course will be applied as follows:
PMI Talent Triangle1-Leadership

7:30 - 7:45am  Networking, Opening Remarks
7:45 - 8:45am  Presentation and Discussion

In Conjunction with:

Starwood Hotels and Resorts

The PM for this event is: Laura Frank, PMP
Tele: (203) 912-8645
Registration deadline is midnight Monday, March 21st

Main Presentation

Effective Communication for Project Managers: How to Communicate With Confidence, Competence and Composure
In order to be successful as a project manager and a leader (regardless of your title), you have to know what you're talking about and come across as credible, demonstrate confidence without being perceived as cocky and maintain your self-control, especially under pressure. Whether you are managing change, inspiring your team or reporting on a behind-schedule project, you have a greater chance of achieving your goals if you can calmly and confidently tap into your knowledge and expertise.
  • Prevent your body language (voice, gestures, movement, eye contact, etc.) from undermining your authority and credibility
  • Express your message clearly and concisely
  • Tailor your emotions so you can communicate with success

Friday, March 4, 2016

Use Project Management Skills to Manage Your Life

by Gilda Bonanno LLC

If you’re a successful project manager, you have crucial skills that not every else has: time, cost and scope management, planning, scheduling, risk identification and mitigation, etc.  These skills are not just useful for managing projects at work - you can apply the same skills and techniques to manage your own life and career.

Before starting my own business as a speaker, trainer and coach, I worked as a project manager and I earned my PMP (Project Manager Practitioner) certification. I managed many re-engineering projects, and there were two things that I used as my not-so-secret weapons: Gantt charts and asking “dumb” questions. 

Using a Gantt chart
A Gantt chart is simply a graphical illustration that shows a schedule of specific project tasks, their dependencies and timelines.  The power of a Gantt chart is simply that all the tasks are in one place.  When managing a project, I took the information out of people’s heads and put it in some kind of order -- who’s supposed to do what, for how long, what has to happen first – so I could manage against it.

That same technique can be applied life and career development.  Any time you want to do something, whether it’s renovating the kitchen, planning for a child’s college education or looking for a new job, you can put together a Gantt chart.  (You can just draw it on paper, use Excel or get fancy and use Microsoft Project).  What is the first task that has to get done? Who can do it? What comes next? What or who is each task dependent on? How long should each task date? What is the deadline for completion?

Asking “dumb” questions
I used to facilitate meetings with all the people involved in a process that we were trying to re-engineer to make it more efficient (faster, cheaper, less labor intensive, etc.).  People processes were often more difficult to deal with than purely technical processes because of the emotions and egos involved. 

I would say, “My job in this meeting is to ask the dumb questions that nobody else in the room is going to ask, because you think you’re supposed to know the answer.”  I would ask, “Why do we have to do this report? Why do we need 10 signoffs to spend $10,000? Why is step in the process here?”  And I truly wanted to know so I would ask them in a nonjudgmental way.

The answers to those “dumb” questions very often would help diagnose the root cause of the problems and identify what to change as we designed the future state.

The willingness to ask dumb questions still allows me now to be creative, because I can look at my own life or my client’s situation and ask the questions that seem to be obvious, but that no one’s willing to ask, “Is there another way we could do this? What do other people do? How could we do this completely differently? What if we didn’t do this at all?”

As a project manager, you can borrow these same techniques or use some of your own to apply to your life and career.  They can help you manage elements such as schedule, budget, scope, communication and risk that can impact your plans to build a happy life and a successful career. 

Gilda Bonanno's blog