Tuesday, January 31, 2017

How to Use a Microphone Like a Pro

If you have the option of using a microphone for your next presentation, use it.  You will be able to speak at your normal volume while also allowing the audience to hear you without difficulty.  Here are five tips on how to use a microphone effectively, without it being distracting:

1. Practice. 
If you've never used a microphone before, using it flawlessly for the first time in front of a live audience will be difficult.   Instead, make the time to practice so you can get used to the sound of your voice coming through the speakers; it may sound strange to you at first.  And be sure to test out the microphone in the actual space to make sure there is no speaker feedback (that awful, high-pitched whistling sound that will have your audience scrambling to cover their ears). 

2.  How to Wear a Clip-On Microphone
Clip it to the center of your shirt or jacket where it can pick up your voice regardless of which way you turn your head.  The rest of the unit can clip to your waistband or slip into your pocket, with the wire coiled so it doesn't get in your way.  Practice wearing the microphone so it doesn't distract you from your presentation.  Once while competing in a Toastmasters Tall Tale speech contest, I jumped across the stage as I was shaken out of my car and taken into an alien space ship (yes, this was a Tall Tale).  The microphone flew out of my pocket and across the stage while the rest of it was still clipped to my jacket lapel. I kept speaking while I walked over and picked it up; thankfully, it kept working!

3. How to Hold a Handheld Microphone
If you're using a handheld microphone, remember to hold it close enough to your mouth so it picks up your voice.  Practice holding your notes or the remote in your other hand without hitting the microphone and producing a resounding "thud."

4. Check the Battery
Before you use a microphone, check the battery.  Nothing is worse than having the battery die in the middle of your presentation and not knowing where to get a replacement.  Ideally, someone in the room should have an extra battery handy and know how to change it.

5. Remember to Turn it Off
Always turn the microphone off when you're finished speaking or at break time.  This sounds obvious, but sometimes people forget to switch it off.  In a class that I attended in graduate school, a teaching assistant who forgot to turn off his clip-on microphone walked down the hall, cursing out the professor who had sent him to the department office to fetch some handouts.  The entire auditorium of students – and the professor – heard him.  That's what we refer to as a "career-limiting move."

If you follow these five tips, you'll be able to use a microphone like a professional.  And it will be easier for your audience to hear you and understand your message. 


Love What You Do - Steve Jobs

Monday, January 30, 2017

FDR's Four Freedoms

In honor of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's birthday today, here is an excerpt from his famous “Four freedoms speech” Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union, delivered on January 6, 1941: 

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

Why Elite Business Perfomers Have Coaches

Somehow, that “elite performers have coaches” mindset hasn’t translated completely from athletics to business, where many people still view coaching as remedial instead of a means to achieve the next level of performance excellence.  In fact, some of my executive presentation skills coaching clients want to meet with me away from their offices, so no one knows they are working with a coach.  

Read post on the Constant Contact community blog to find out the 7 reasons why you should follow the example of Olympic athletes and work with a coach to optimize your presentation skills and executive presence. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Gilda helped our leaders develop presentations with a strategic message

"We asked Gilda to deliver presentation skills training for our managers and leaders.  She customized a program for our specific needs, in which she shared best practices with the group and then provided one-on-one coaching for each executive on their presentation.   She helped each one develop a strategic presentation with a clear and concise message that informed and persuaded the audience and then deliver it in a confident, engaging manner that connected to the audience and got the job done.

We were so impressed with her excellent results that we brought her back to do communication skills training for other employees. Gilda is a great resource and we highly recommend her results-focused, interactive programs."

Patricia Van Tassel, Training Specialist, Barden Corporation 


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Gilda's Radio Interview 1/12

I am excited to announce that I will be interviewed on Empire Radio on Thursday, January 12 at 11:52 am eastern time. 

You can listen to the LIVE 8-minute interview at 

or http://tunein.com/radio/Empire-Radio-USA-s281334/

The interview will also be recorded - I will post the link once available. 


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

ATD Meeting 1/23 Meeting - Norwalk

Think You Know 
360° Feedback?
Think Again!
Assessing leadership health across the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, vocational, and spiritual health dimensions
Presented by Rick Vanasse, 
Executive Coach and Senior Consultant, 
Healthy Companies International

5:45 PM - 8:00 PM - Norwalk Inn, Norwalk, CT
While there are widely shared frameworks and commonly accepted behaviors that help define what great leaders do, these miss what drives leaders from the inside. Healthy Companies International, an executive development and coaching firm, partners with senior leaders in large companies to help execute each CEO's agenda while building healthy, high-performing organizations that create lasting value. Their Healthy Leader Profile synthesizes insights from hundreds of interviews with executives from dozens of countries with the latest research in leadership, management, neuroscience, psychology, and biology. The results show that the person you are naturally impacts the actions you choose to take, which then determine your effectiveness as a leader and the overall performance of your organization.

Rick Vanasse of Healthy Companies and Managing Partner of Rick Vanasse Associates, LLC, has over 30 years' experience in organizational design, leadership/team development and executive coaching. Recent engagements include Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Sutter Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, City of Hope, Bon Secours Health System, Google, Cysco, Kimberly Clark, Proctor and Gamble, and Assurant.
Prior to entering consulting, Rick served for eleven years as VP - Talent Management and Chief Learning Officer for Bon Secours Health System, a $3.5 billion healthcare provider.  Previously, Rick served as a Principal Consultant with Mercer Delta Consulting and executive with International Paper.  Rick received his undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College and his graduate degree from Yale University.
Gauge your leadership health and learn how to apply this research-based framework to your organization.
Date:  Monday, January 23rd, 2017
Time: 5:45 PM Registration and Networking, Cash Bar
6:15 Dinner and Program  

Regular Registration Rates:  
$37 Chapter Members; $50 Guests; 
$25 Members In-Transition; $20 Students
Late REGISTRATION, after midnight the Friday 
before all events:
 $45 Chapter Members; $60 Guests; 
$35 Members In-Transition   
Reservation Deadline: FridayJanuary 20, 2107
Meeting Location: Norwalk Inn and Conference Center99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT