Tuesday, November 29, 2016

ATD Employee Learning Week Hot Topic Discussions 12/12

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Association for Talent Development - So. CT (ATD SCC)
Employee Learning Week Celebration!
"Hot Topic" Round Table Discussions

5:45 PM - 8:00 PM at the Norwalk Inn, Norwalk, CT
Come engage with learning and development leaders, share your expertise, and learn about the latest trends and best practices.  You will have the opportunity to participate in two different interactive topic discussions listed below.

Tips on Impact Action Learning

What are practical ways to make your meetings more impactful?  Mary Abbazia will share the proven approaches of Impact Action Learning™ that you can immediately apply to your organization during your next learning event.

Facilitator: Mary Abbazia, Managing Director of the Impact Planning Group, coaches executives at Fortune 500 companies such as GE, J&J, United Technologies and Marriott, as well as at Caltech and Columbia University programs.  Her Impact Action Learning™ approach combines real-life stories with practical frameworks and tools that directly benefit the business. 

Gamification of Learning

What is gamification of learning and what are its benefits?  Anna Samorukova will share the do's and don't's of gamification of learning and take you through an exercise of designing gamification elements for a sample learning project.

Facilitator: As founder and CEO of the Edelweiss Group, Anna Samorukova helps people learn business finance and advance their business acumen through such innovative and engaging learning experiences as active learning and gamification.  

Experience the Future Today

Hugh Seaton will talk you through the state of Virtual Reality and training - come experience VR first hand and hear what we've learned after decades of research into Virtual Reality. This is going to be a key platform in the future; don't miss this chance to learn about it early!

Facilitator: As founder and CEO of Aquinas Training, Hugh Seaton creates software that delivers effective learning experiences to managers, employees, and people in transition.They can have learning experiences whenever and wherever they want.

Knowledge Exchange Software

Learn how to leverage knowledge exchange software to build community and continuity, as well as to extend and enrich the learning of your talent development sessions.

Facilitators:  Rich Kuepper and Steve King.  Rich is President of L.E.A.D. USA LLC, which specializes in the design and delivery of innovative, results-focused, and fun experiential learning and development programs. Steve King is a software designer and expert in collaboration, workflow and decision community applications.

Journey from Awareness to Adoption of Change

Kim Goodwin will take you on a journey to identify what it means to be aware of a change ... all the way through to a future state where the new way of working is part 'of how we do things'.  She will describe the four stages of change adoption and how to move to the next stage, as well as the needed behaviors of the change sponsor.

Facilitator:  As an Organizational Development Director at Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company, Kim Goodwin uses her deep expertise in organizational development, change management, talent development and communications to help people effectively perform their roles as they interact across the organization.

Date:  Monday, December 12th, 2016
Time: 5:45 PM Registration - 8:00 PM
Registrations starts at 5:45 PM
5:45 to 6:15 PM "Heavy" Hors d'oeuvres, Pasta Station, Cash Bar followed by Program
6:15 PM Program Begins

Early Bird Registrations through 12/9 midnight:$37 Chapter Members; $50 Guests; $25 Members In-Transition; $20 Students
Regular Registrations and Walk-ins:  
Member $45; Members In-Transition $35; 
Non-member $60

Reservation Deadline: Friday, December 9th, 2016
Meeting Location: Norwalk Inn and Conference Center99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Guerrilla Girls Take On Greenwich @BruceMuseum

After shaking up other famous institutions from Shanghai to London, the famous Guerrilla Girls are taking on Greenwich on December 7!

The Guerrilla Girls are anonymous feminist activists who expose inequality in the art world. Their visit will no doubt open minds and rattle the grounds!

GO FULL GUERRILLA tickets for non-members $95 and $80 for Bruce Museum members 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. include:

  • Delicious Drinks and Dinner-bites in a sophisticated Jungle, mingling with the famous Guerrilla Girls 6-7.30 pm
  • An exciting panel conversation on the state of the Art World 7.30-8-30pm
  • And some more fun at our After-Glow party! 8.30-10:00 p.m.

GUERRILLA TOUGH TALK ONLY tickets $50 ($40 for students +21, with a valid ID) 7:30 p.m. -10:00 p.m. include:
  • Panel discussion
  • After-Glow and Drinks
Don’t miss this exciting and memorable party Night Out in Greenwich!

Look forward to wild, witty and important discussions on the state of the arts!
Guerrilla Girls' Panel Discussion with:
Moderator - Katie Hollander, Creative Time
Curator - Mia Laufer, Co-curator of Her Crowd
Artist - Hilary Harkness
Art Dealer - Cristin Tierney, Cristin Tierney Gallery
Art Collector - Sandra Joys
The Guerrilla Girls’ event ticket sales are providing a free Guerrilla Girls Art Activism workshop to Regional High School students, many of whom qualify for economic support scholarships.
Wednesday December 7, 2016: 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM EST

Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive

Monday, November 21, 2016

Don’t Hand Out Business Cards in the Restroom – and Other Networking Tips for Small Business Owners

A few years ago, I spoke at a conference for small business owners.  During a break, I went to the restroom and while I was washing my hands, a woman entered, said “Here is my card,” and proceeded to hand out business cards to the two women standing by the door.  Since my hands were still wet, she placed a card for me on the sink.  Then she left. 

That was it – no introduction, no handshake, no question about me – so I threw the card in the garbage.  She probably went back to her office and wondered why no one contacted her. 

In addition to not handing out business cards in the restroom, here are five more tips to help you be a successful networker:

Be a Good Listener
Good networkers are good listeners.  If you ask good questions and actively listen to the answers, people will remember you.  Prepare open-ended questions that invite the other person to share something (as much or as little as they choose) about themselves, such as, “How did you get started in x field?” or “What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?”

Be Positive and Energetic
When I was president of a professional association, I often introduced myself to first-time attendees.  Here is one conversation that I had with a newcomer:

Me: “Hi, I’m Gilda Bonanno, president of the association.  I see you’re a first-timer.  Welcome.”
Him: “Hi, I’m Jim” (while shaking my hand limply, looking at the floor and not smiling).
Me: “It’s nice to meet you, Jim.  Tell me a little about yourself.”
Him: “I’m an instructional designer” 
Me: “Oh, that’s interesting. What do you like about the work?”
Him: “It’s actually difficult, especially with the economy.  And the clients sometime don’t get it.”
Me: “Yes, we can all identify with having difficult clients sometimes.”
Him: “Well, this guy today was just not getting it and….” 

And he proceeded to tell me a long sob story about this client and left me with the first impression that I would not want to work with him or recommend him to others. 

If you are trying to attract new customers or build your professional brand, a networking event is not the place to complain about the economy or a bad client.  If something has happened where you’re not in the mood to be positive or demonstrate energy, then stay home.  You’re not doing yourself any favors by showing up with a negative attitude. 

If You Are Uncomfortable Introducing Yourself to Strangers, Volunteer
If you are the person handing out programs, checking people in at the registration desk or validating parking tickets, you have an automatic and official excuse to introduce yourself to people at a networking event.  Even after your official duties are over, you can open a conversation by saying, “I saw you at the desk where I was doing the coat check, but I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself…”  Usually you will have a badge or nametag that identifies you as a volunteer and people may find it easier to approach you because of your “official” status. And other volunteers or board members often will be happy to introduce you to people they know. 

Schedule Time to Follow Up 
If you are attending an event where you expect to meet many people, made sure you plan time after the event to follow up as appropriate, whether it’s with a phone call, email or connection on social media.  It’s not successful networking if you collect business cards which then just sit on your desk collecting dust.  And if you have a team, don’t delegate the follow up unless you’ve specifically explained to the person that someone else will be contacting them. 

Don’t Automatically Add Someone to Your Mailing List
If someone has given you their card, that is not the same as permission to add them to your mailing list.  If they are in your target market, you can certainly send an email and invite them to subscribe to your newsletter, like your Facebook page or visit your blog, but the key word here is invite. Just handing you a card does not constitute an opt-in.  

Imagine what would happen if everyone you gave your card to at a monthly networking event automatically added you to their ezine mailing list.  You could be added to 15 ezine lists a month and if they were sent weekly, that would quickly add up to 60 more emails in your inbox in just one month! 

The next time you have the opportunity to network, follow these tips so you can connect with people, build professional relationships and be remembered for all the right reasons. 

This article first appeared in the how biz grows blog.

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

Friday, November 18, 2016

How to Network at Holiday Parties

'Tis the season for holiday parties! Whether you're looking for a job or looking to make contacts in your field, holiday parties are a great way to build your professional network.  And networking is really just another form of communication - so here are five guidelines for how to communicate/network successfully at holiday parties:

1.     Have a Plan
Before you decide to attend an event, focus on your purpose for attending.  Is there anyone in particular that you'd like to meet, or information that you are looking to gather? Will you share with people that you are in the market for a new job, or are looking for new clients? Having a plan will make it easier for you to focus your attention and make it more likely that you will be successful.

2.     Listen
Good networkers listen more than they talk.  Resist the urge to dominate the conversation with tales of your professional prowess or your favorite (and lengthy) holiday anecdote.  Ask open-ended questions; these questions often begin with "how" or "what" and require more than a "yes/no" answer.  And then actually listen to the answers.  Demonstrate that you are listening by your non-verbal communications, for example, by making eye contact. 

3.     Everything in Moderation   
Whether it's sponsored by your company or the local professional association, a holiday party is not the place to sample all the free booze you can swallow or stuff yourself with the free shrimp.  You are there to meet and greet people and you can do that best when you are sober and focused on people, not the bar or buffet table.  In fact, I recommend that you have a snack before you go to the party so you're not starving (which helps if you're dieting, too).

4.     Be Confident
If you hate networking and are uncomfortable schmoozing with people, recognize that many others feel just as uncomfortable as you do.  Reach out to them and they'll be grateful – and you may just make a great professional connection!  Another way to network confidently is to "tag team" the event with a colleague.  You both attend and each of you talks about the other person's accomplishments.  

For example, I attended an awards event with a colleague who had won an award the previous year – it was far easier for me to introduce her and say, "Have you met Lisa? She won last year's award," than for her to say, "Hi, I'm Lisa and I won last year's award."  If you do tag team, be careful not to spend all your time just talking to your tag team partner or people you already know well, which defeats the purpose of networking.

5.     Follow Up
If you meet someone interesting, make a decision to follow up within a few days with a quick call or email.  It can be as simple as an email that references your conversation, such as, "I enjoyed meeting you at the Chamber of Commerce party yesterday and discussing our children's college search process." Unless you schedule time in your calendar for following up with your contacts, you will have a stack of business cards on your desk that will only collect dust.

If you follow these five holiday networking tips, you'll be able to communicate effectively and build your professional network.  And having a strong network will be useful no matter what the future brings. 

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

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Take the 6-Second Presentation Challenge

It's election season here in the U.S. and one of my clients, the CEO of a nonprofit organization, was invited to film an endorsement for a candidate's television commercial.  Her role was to introduce herself and her organization and explain why she supports the candidate.  She was happy to participate because she is a big supporter.  However, the challenge was that she only had 6 SECONDS to communicate her message!

I've written and spoken frequently about the importance of communicating your message within the time limit. And as means of practicing that skill, I've shared the improv game of Half-Life, where 2 people act out a scene in 64 seconds and then they repeat the scene in half the time - 32 seconds – and then again in 16 seconds and finally down to 8 seconds.  The 8-second scene is usually hysterical and demonstrates that you can communicate a lot in a limited amount of time if you cut out the extra material and focus on the essentials.   (You can read more about Half-Life on my blog http://gildabonanno.blogspot.com/2010/01/using-improv-comedys-half-life.html)

On the other hand, communicating a complete message - especially a coherent and persuasive endorsement message - in 6 seconds is very difficult!

My client was able to do it (and in very few takes) because she prepared and practiced.  Her endorsement was combined with other 6-second endorsements into a powerful short commercial. 

While it's unlikely that you'll ever have only 6 seconds to give your entire presentation, taking the 6-Second Presentation Challenge can help you become a more effective presenter.   The next time you have to give a presentation, challenge yourself to state your message in 6 seconds. 

And "your message" is defined as the one sentence that summarizes the point of your presentation, the one thing that you want your audience to remember. Yes, all the supporting details and data help, but there should only be one core message.  You can also think of it as a newspaper headline or a billboard.

Why is this helpful? Well, if you can say your message to yourself in 6 seconds, then you really understand it and will be able to organize your material around it.  And that means that your audience will find it easier to understand your point because they won't be distracted by unrelated information, extraneous material or confusing organization. 

While you may take a little bit longer than 6 seconds when actually saying the message to the audience during your presentation, it shouldn't take much longer.    

The 6-Second Presentation Challenge can also be applied in a networking situation.  For example, what do you say at a networking event when someone asks, "what do you do?" Rather than rambling on, can you prepare and practice a 6-second statement to introduce yourself clearly, concisely and confidently?

Take the 6-Second Presentation Challenge and let me know what you come up with and how it helps you become a more effective presenter.

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

8 Strategies for Delivering Your Presentation With Confidence

Weak delivery can undermine your presentation and cause your audience to lose interest in what you have to say.  Here are 8 strategies for delivering your presentation with confidence:

1. Use a strong voice
Speak loudly enough to be heard - use a microphone if one is available. Speak clearly, enunciate your words and don’t rush.

Read the rest of my post on the Constant Contact Community Blog: