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Gilda's Featured Articles

by Gilda Bonanno

Confident communicators are not afraid to take up their space at the table and let their voices be heard.  They know their subject well and project a strong belief in what they're saying without being conceited or arrogant.  And as a result, the audience is more likely to listen to them and trust what they're saying.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

When you give a presentation, how does the audience know you're done? If you're half-heartedly saying, "any questions?" as a means to signal that you're done speaking, then you're missing the opportunity to finish strong.   Here are techniques for ending your presentation strongly so the audience knows you're done:   Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

When you're preparing and practicing a presentation, your word choice matters. If your words are weak or unclear, they can interfere with your ability to communicate your message effectively to your audience. To be an effective presenter, you should choose what I call "million-dollar words" - strong, evocative, precise and sensible words.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

Question: 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.  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?  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

If your stomach churns just at the thought of speaking in front of a group of people, you're not alone. In fact, Americans rate public speaking as their number one fear - even ahead of death (hence the old joke that you would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy).  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Brainstorming should not be a free-for-all where people shout out ideas and are disrespectful to each other.   In order for true creativity and innovation to flourish, brainstorming should follow a process: 

 

1.    Explain the process.  The meeting facilitator should clearly outline the process and guidelines.   Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Here in the New England region of the United States, autumn has arrived and winter is not too far behind.  How do I know?  The leaves have turned from green to gold and red, there is frost on the grass in the morning and the days are getting shorter.  When you present, you can be like Nature – and give your audience signs as to what's coming next.  When you set your audience's expectations, it allows them to follow your message more easily.  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Question: If I'm giving a presentation using slides, should I face the audience or the screen onto which my slides are being projected? 

Answer: If your goal is to communicate effectively to the audience, resist the urge to face the screen and instead, turn your body to face the people in the room and speak directly to them.  Don’t make the common mistake of presenting to the screen rather than the audience. Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

IA few days before a play or musical opens, the entire cast and crew conduct a dress rehearsal.  They do a complete run-through of the script on stage, dressed in their costumes, with the full scenery and lighting in place and the pit orchestra playing.  The purpose of the dress rehearsal is to make sure everything goes smoothly on opening night.  Here are some things for you to think about in the dress rehearsal for your presentation. 

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by Gilda Bonanno

Recently, I was scheduled to speak about to a group of 50 administrative professionals, in honor of Administrative Professionals Day.  I was well- prepared; I had interviewed several people from the audience over the phone and I had my notes, timer and driving directions ready.  I arrived more than an hour early in order to have lunch with the participants.  But then the unexpected happened.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will.  And when you’re giving a presentation using any kind of technology, from a projector to a phone, Murphy’s Law definitely applies.  I’ve seen or experienced all of these examples, and while some can be prevented or prepared for, they are all nerve-wracking when they occur! 

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by Gilda Bonanno

"Gilda, how do I introduce myself at the start of my presentation to warm up the audience and establish credibility?"  Here are 6 tips for introducing yourself at the start of your presentation, so you engage the audience and establish your credibility.

1) Have a short introduction.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

Your voice is a key component of non-verbal communications and has the ability to convey meaning and emotion. Yet most of us use only a small part of that vocal range.  Use the following guidelines to unleash the power of your voice so you can deliver your message effectively and connect to the audience. 

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by Gilda Bonanno

Exercising and public speaking have a lot in common.  Both become easier over time when you practice them regularly using the correct techniques.  Everyone is capable of exercising and public speaking, although initially they may be a cause of pain for some people.  Here are 5 suggestions about exercising that can help you improve your public speaking.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

​Have you ever seen a speaker go over the allotted time limit? Or rush through the material when they realized they were running out of time? If you are given a time limit, as a speaker it is your responsibility to cover your material within that time limit. In order to do that, you need to focus on your message and practice delivering your presentation within the time limit.   Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Following these 6 tips will improve your presentation and make it more likely that the investors will understand your proposal and address it on its merits, rather than being distracted by your poor presentation skills. 1) Think about it from the investors' point of view  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Filler words include "um," "ah," and words such as "like," "so," and "ok," which are used as a verbal bridge to the next word. These words just fill in space while you remember or think of something to say next. Rather than being effective bridges, they are roadblocks, distracting the audience and interrupting the flow of your message.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

With the rise of global teams and telecommuting, many people now have to present over the phone to audience members who are not in the same room with them, and in fact, may be in different countries or time zones.  While the essential rules of presentations still apply, there are some specific things to do to ensure that your presentation via teleconference is effective and that you can convey your message within the time limit. Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Management by walking around (MBWA) is a common management practice that can be very helpful in managing and engaging employees, setting a good example, and staying in touch with what's really happening with employees. 

Here are 8 tips that will help you and your employees benefit from MBWA without it turning into "prowl, growl and scowl."  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

​Sometimes you have to introduce yourself in 60 seconds or less. This type of introduction is not your "elevator speech" but a brief introduction only long enough to outline the basics.  People often stumble over it by forgetting to include something, not making eye contact with the audience, mumbling, speaking too softly or fidgeting while speaking.  Here are guidelines to remember when doing a quick introduction.  

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by Gilda Bonanno

If you are a subject matter expert, you may be called on to conduct training and share what you know about your area of expertise.  However, it’s not as simple as putting everything you know on slides and presenting them to the audience. Here is a checklist of elements and skills you need to be familiar with to help ensure that your training is successful and “sticks” with the participants.  Read the article

by Gilda Bonanno

Frequent international travel is part of my work as a speaker, trainer and coach.  Travel has allowed me to work with clients all over the world and to see many amazing sights, including the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum in Rome, Corcovado in Rio de Janiero and temples in India.  However, it’s not always as glamorous as it sounds. 

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