Testimonials

Dynamic, Inspiring & motivating

James P. Cantey, ASA, President, The TPS Group - The Pension Service, Inc.

"Just wanted to thank you for speaking to our management and sales team. You tied in a lot of ideas and made them real and quietly energized our team. One of our team leaders said to me afterwards: ‘Gilda is a very dynamic person and her presentation was not just entertaining, it was inspiring and motivating.’ TPS group looks forward to carrying this into the future and we look forward to working with you and our sales people to refine the presentation skills.”

Practical and hands-on advice

Bobbie Sue Tellitocci, Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship, Marist College

“The Office of Alumni Relations at Marist College was thrilled to work with Gilda Bonanno to offer a ‘How to Schmooze’ workshop for our alumni. She provided practical and hands-on advice for putting your best foot forward and building bigger and stronger networks. We look forward to the opportunity to work with Gilda again in the future!”

Engaging, entertaining and enlightening stories & exercises

Jack A. Grebb, M.D., Vice President, Neuroscience Global Clinical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb Research & Development

“We had asked Gilda to provide an inspirational and motivational talk for our group of over 50 administrative associates on Administrative Associates Appreciation Day. Gilda did an outstanding job of engaging, entertaining, and enlightening the audience with stories and exercises regarding trust, fear, aspirations, and success stories. The audience was very appreciative of her talk and left feeling invigorated and motivated."

I learned how to gracefully exit a conversation

Geeta Ludwiczak, Commercial Real Estate Analyst, Wells Fargo Bank; NY/NJ Chair, Wells Fargo Asian Connection

“It was a pleasure to meet and hear you speak about schmoozing skills. I consider myself a pretty outgoing person that usually doesn’t have trouble talking to strangers.  However, your pointers still helped a lot, especially when I am in situations where I might feel that I have nothing in common with anyone in the room.  I learned about how to gracefully break into a conversation and how to exit one.” 

Excellent workshop - fun and engaging!

Emily Ballance, MEd, LPC, CSP, Keynote Speaker, Motivational Humorist, Licensed Professional Counselor

“It was great to meet you and thanks so much for presenting at the National Speakers Association 2015 Convention!  You workshop and your presentation skills were excellent.  Yours was one of my favorite workshops.  You were fun and engaging and put the audience at ease.  You also demonstrated to us how improv exercises can enhance our presentations.  And the exercises you led enabled me to make great connections with my two partners.  Well done!"

Gilda had her audience riveted

Matt Robertson, Host and Organizer, President's Lecture Series, Dominican College

“It was a tremendous thrill getting to work with and host Gilda Bonanno, who was the featured speaker at Dominican College’s President’s Lecture Series in November 2013. Gilda’s commanding narrative of her experiences had the audience of mostly high school and college students riveted. Additionally, Gilda’s strategies for enhancing communication skills and maximizing opportunities were especially helpful to the adolescents in attendance, particularly in today›s economic climate. Working with Gilda proved to be one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had hosting speakers. She is a consummate professional, generous with her time and someone whose passion for what she does is contagious in the best of ways!”

Her energy, enthusiasm & humor engaged the audience

Lisa Labella, Executive Director, Women's Leadership Council, Bridgeport Regional Business Council Affiliate

“We invited Gilda to present “Bold Presentation Skills for Women in Business” for our Women’s Leadership Council event.  She did a fantastic job! Her energy, enthusiasm and humor engaged the audience and she provided coaching tips that are easy to incorporate into our presentations. The feedback from the attendees was very positive — each woman  walked away with specific ideas to make her presentations more confident, memorable and powerful. We look forward to inviting Gilda back to speak to us again."

Gilda helped me convert prospects into clients

Judith Giangoia, Private Banker, Vice President, Wells Fargo Private Bank, New York

“After just a few sessions together, Gilda pointed me in the right direction. She uncovered some bad habits and replaced them with new and effective ones that today are helping me to convert prospect in to clients. Gilda has helped me to organize my thoughts and plan out my presentations so that I am better prepared and more confident. I am grateful to Gilda and for the help she has given me to become a more effective salesperson.”

Gilda's insights and wisdom helped me close the deal!

Christie Hartnett, Principal Architectural Designer at Arcadis

"I can fully appreciate the insight and professional direction that Gilda presented in her recent workshop…..I have since had a few situations where those pearls of wisdom helped me to confidently convey my message to a room full of peers and actually close the deal! Kudo’s for those seemingly ‘simple’ professional applications that can turn a standard meeting into a dynamic exchange of ideas. Thank you Gilda for your help!"

Incredible ability to speak to, train and motivate a group

Nancy Margiano-Sylvester, Vice Preident, Director of Organizational Development & Recruitment, Schmitt, Sussman Ent., dba PFP

“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.”

Provided a wealth of opportunities for participants to actively learn

Anthony Izzo, Assistant Director, Annual Giving, Marist College

“It was an absolute pleasure having alumna Gilda Bonanno present her workshop on “How to Schmooze” with our institution’s alumni. Her training and coaching credentials and her ability to engage a diverse audience with a wide range of professions provided a wealth of knowledge and opportunities for our participants to actively learn and craft their networking skills.”

Her interactive style & practical advice earns rave reviews

Mary Frances Gorgas, PMP, Board of Directors, SNEC-PMI, Associate Director, Business Integration, Synapse Group, Inc.

“As the closing keynote speaker for the 2011 Conference of the Southern New England Chapter of PMI, Gilda demonstrated her best practices by showing her confidence, influence and successful methodology for her session on “How Will You Spend Your 28,000 Days?” She provided real life experiences of techniques she has used and provided actions that the attendees could use. It was a very inventive and engrossing presentation.”

Gilda challenged us to think outside the box... and laugh!

Monica Zarba, Training Coordinator & Executive Assistant, GE Capital

“I highly recommend the talented Gilda to you! Gilda led a fun team building event for our GE Capital Controllership team. The belly laughs we all had at the event were a great way to let off steam after a challenging business quarter. She employed techniques used in improvisational comedy to engage the team, challenge them to ‘think outside the box’ and most importantly, let their hair down and laugh! Under the umbrella of good-natured fun, the team picked up subtle negotiation skills, as presented in Gilda’s “Yes, and...” improv exercise, and met that important ‘thinking on your feet’ challenge. Thanks, Gilda!”

Inspired by you to let my voice be heard

Maura Newell Juan, AIA, Principal Architect, seventy2architects

“I want to thank you for sharing your insights with me at yesterday’s Women Architects Event. I was especially inspired by the recommendation that we ‘take up more space at the table.’That we speak up, speak with clarity and confidence, and literally put our elbows out. Especially as women in a male-dominated construction industry, we must be proud and strong and make our voices heard! I will be paying attention to how I present myself: am I clear and confident? Or am I asking permission with my tone of voice? I will make an effort to leave out the ‘umms’ and ‘uhhs’ and other filler words that take away from the directness of my intended statement. I appreciate your advice and will put it to work!!” –

Effective and engaging, makes a real connection to the audience

Marian Cicolello, Vice President, Connecticut Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)

“Gilda is an effective and engaging speaker and trainer. She has presented several workshops for the Women’s Business Development Center over the past three years, including Public Speaking: How to Talk to Strangers, Presenting Your Best Self: Communicating & Advocating for Success, and Grow Your Career With Networking Savvy. Gilda is well organized and prepared for every workshop. She does her homework on fine tuning her presentation for her audience. She is easy to work with and very supportive to participants.

 

Whether she is helping aspiring women entrepreneurs learn how to speak effectively about their businesses or teaching Hispanic business owners how to network with their colleagues, Gilda provides practical exercises and techniques that empower people to build self-confidence and develop bold communication skills. Gilda cares about her audiences and is able to make a real connection with them. I highly recommend her.”

Gilda kept everyone engaged

Sharon Pomeroy, Connecticut Chapter President, Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS); Marketing Director, Caldwell & Walsh Building Construction, Inc.

"We kicked off our program year with a Networking Skills Workshop.  Gilda delivered an outstanding presentation to an audience that represented a variety of experience levels.  She kept everyone engaged by interspersing interactive sessions at appropriate intervals, giving us an opportunity to put techniques to the test. 

 

Gilda’s humor was infectious and her sociability makes her especially relatable.  Our post-program survey results revealed that we’d set the bar high and that this was a worthwhile program.  Gilda’s networking advice is easy to apply and will definitely be added to everyone’s professional toolbox."

Educational and entertaining

Dick Kennedy, Director of Corporate Sponsorship, PMI Central Massachusetts

“Congratulations on the excellent presentation given at the SNEC conference. Presentation skills are so basic to what a project manager does it continues to amaze me that there is so little emphasis on such a critical PM tool. Your presentation was very entertaining as well as educational – the best kind!  Thank you for your excellent contribution to the conference attendees.”

Easy-to-implement insights that I will put into use immediately

Jennifer Covello, Virtual Banking Operations Manager, Quorum Federal Credit Union

“I recently attended Gilda’s Bold Presentation Skills and I’m so happy I did! Gilda provided some really great tips on how to utilize story telling within a presentation that I will put into use immediately. I’m looking forward to practicing her “easy-to-implement” insights and guidelines with my next presentation. Thanks Gilda!”

Get Gilda as your coach

Pat Miller, Landscape Designer

“If you want a good presentation and you need to start from zero, get Gilda as your coach. She talks you through it, gets you into the process and helps you see the LIGHT. As I begin my fourth semester of Columbia University›s Master›s program, I still get butterflies, but I know I can get through it by engaging in the process of learning how to do things the right way and getting better at them.  Practice, practice, practice - that was the key that Gilda taught me.”

I learned how to deliver my message powerfully

Breanna Craft, Meriden, CT

“As someone heading off to my first national conference presentation, I began the coaching journey with a lack of confidence that I truthfully thought I would never overcome. With my experience working with Gilda on Skype and the phone for a few months, not only did I overcome my lack of confidence, but I have learned how to deliver my message powerfully. In the end my presentation was organized and powerful and I was confident and clear.  Gilda leaves you with the confidence to expand and leave your comfort zone which is necessary to grow and thrive.”  

Clear, funny and a great listener

Sandy Progano, MediaCom, Inc.

“Thank you for being so clear, open, funny and a wonderful listener. When you made your points on improvement, they were very thought-out and easy to receive."

Great communicator with excellent content

Jean Mann, Director of Marketing and Enrollment Services, Manhattanville College School of Business

“Gilda Bonanno’s webinar on Executive Presence for Leaders: Communicating with Confidence, Competence and Composure for the Manhattanville School of Business Women’s Leadership Institute was truly invaluable. Gilda herself is an example of a great communicator. Her webinar had excellent content and the presentation was organized and enjoyable. I would highly recommend Gilda for any communication training.”

I learned how to use well though out stories when presenting

Anne M. Wilkins, CFP, Investment Adviser Representative, Anderson Wealth Management

"Gilda’s workshop was effective primarily because Gilda modeled what she was talking about.  She had great stories.  She paced the presentation really well.  She modulated the volume, tone, timing of her speech, use of humor, etc.  Among the valuable things I learned, I will definitely work on having stories well thought out before I speak.”

Smooth, professional, enlightening and entertaining

Eugene Kallaur, PE, PMP, Project Director, Transmission and Substation Projects, The United Illuminating Company

“I have attended Gilda’s presentations for the past three years at the annual Southern New England Chapter of the Project Management Institute’s conference. She is a polished speaker who always has an upbeat professional message to deliver. This year’s presentation, “Presenting with Power and Passion,” was of particular importance and timing for me.  We are currently training our newer Project Managers and technical staff to prepare and deliver presentations to Senior Management. I picked up some new tips from her presentation and also confirmed some of the things that I had been doing correctly. I was so impressed by her presentation that we invited her to speak at our company’s next Project Manager’s Forum. I highly recommend Gilda’s presentations.”

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After working with Gilda, I know how to design & deliver a presentation

Angela Whitford, Executive Director, Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County

"As a seasoned executive, I have given many presentations but I knew I needed help in refining my message to make it more strategic and delivering it with confidence. Gilda walked me through a clear, easy-to-follow process for creating and practicing a presentation.

 

After working with Gilda, I know how to design and confidently deliver a presentation that connects with the audience and communicates my message, whether I am speaking at award presentations, soliciting contributions from corporate donors or providing education to my team. I highly recommend her.”

Gilda did a fantastic job

Fred Johnson, Program Manager, United Technologies Climate, Controls & Security (UTC); Board of Directors, Sounthern New England Chapter of PMI

“Gilda spoke at our annual SNEC-PMI Conference this past April. She did a fantastic job at making the audience think about what is important to them, and how life is too short (~28,000 days) to delay goals. I highly recommend that you hire Gilda as a speaker, and/or for your organization’s training needs. She’s a very effective speaker.”

Results are so good we keep bringing her back for more

Linda Doherty, Human Resource Manager, Heidmar

“Gilda is an excellent resource for our employee skill building and development. We first partnered with her to teach our team how to develop and deliver more effective, clear and concise presentations. The results were so good that we brought her back to do more presentation skills training with another group of employees and also our finance team which was preparing to present overseas to International customers and colleagues.

 

Gilda focuses on results and customizes her programs to our specific business needs. We also asked her to help our employees work more effectively with each other both on formal teams and informally. She created and delivered a custom teamwork program where she taught participants how to adapt their behavior to work better with each other and be open to others’ input and ideas to solve problems.

 

We value our long term relationship with Gilda. And her results-focused, impactful training is interactive and engaging, even for a group of skeptical, seasoned chartering and operations managers. I highly recommend her.”

After using Gilda's techniques, I now look forward to networking events

Aleksandr Y. Troyb, Esq., Partner, Benjamin, Gold & Troyb

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you, and to let you know how helpful the “How to Schmooze” workshop was for me. It has completely changed how I approach networking events. Rather than spending most of the time speaking to people I already know, or standing in the corner of the room looking at my phone, I now feel comfortable and confident in approaching people and making new contacts. In fact, after using your techniques at a number of events, I can now honestly say that I look forward to networking events, rather than dreading them. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”

Your insight and coaching made a tremendous difference

Dr. Cynthia Marie Glass, VP, Chief of Staff, Henry Ford College

"I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated the seminar that you gave on Mackinaw Island for the MASA Women's Leadership Retreat. I utilized the skills that I learned and my speech to 180 human resource professionals on June 2nd went extremely well! 

I was able to get my nerves under control and confidence up with my new mantra beforehand and I was prepared (actually practiced, not just studied my deck as I did in the past) and even able to adapt when there was a technical glitch because I was confident and comfortable! Thanks so much for your insight and coaching-it made a tremendous difference!" 

With Gilda, you will see results

Joe Ort, Director of Sales Operations, SiriusDecisions

“Gilda was a great resource in developing my presentation skills.  She simplifies things so that they can easily be remembered and implemented.  Not only that, she is an absolute pleasure to work with.  If you are looking for an organized, honest coach, look no further. You will see results!”

Gilda helped our leaders develop presentations with a strategic message

Patricia Van Tassel, Training Specialist, Barden Corporation

“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.”

Universal message needed by senior corporate audiences

Doug J. Manion, M.D., Vice President, Viral Diseases Global Clinical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb Research & Development

“Gilda did an outstanding job in presenting to our administrative assistant staff. She took on a potentially touchy subject, fear and empowerment in the workplace, with humor, energy and tact. She leveraged her experience as an administrative assistant optimally. I believe her messages are universal and would be welcome, and much needed, by other, more senior, audiences. Gilda is very entertaining and thought provoking.” 

Inventive & engrossing presentation

Laura Frank, Project Manager, Synapse Group; Co-Chair, Stamford Division of SNEC-PMI

“As the closing keynote speaker for the 2011 Conference of the Southern New England Chapter of PMI, Gilda demonstrated her best practices by showing her confidence, influence and successful methodology for her session on “How Will You Spend Your 28,000 Days?” She provided real life experiences of techniques she has used and provided actions that the attendees could use. It was a very inventive and engrossing presentation.”

I learned to create clear, less cluttered presentations

Kenneth Caldwell, Freight Trader, Heidmar

“What did I learn? Good breakdown makes for clearer presentations.  Less is more, Less clutter, more discussion points.  Small class, very relevant, great tool! The perfect amount of subject matter for the class time.  Overall, a very worthwhile class.”

Uncanny ability to tie the entire day together

Michele A. Henry, Vice President, Operations, TPS Group - The Pension Service, Inc.

“On behalf of TPS Group and our entire staff, I want to thank you for your presentation of “How will you spend your 28,000 days.” As the final speaker on an all-day agenda, your uncanny ability to tie the entire day together and inspire our staff to recommit to their lives, their careers and themselves was incredible. We are very excited to continue working with you in many capacities to enhance TPS Group and its staff.”

High level of expertise & tangible strategies

Linda Burhance, Owner, Apparel Development Counsulting

“Gilda Bonanno is a consummate professional willing to share her high level of expertise in networking with any size or type of business group. Her methods appeal to the entrepreneur or the seasoned veteran or mid-career individual, crossing multiple generations. in addition, Gilda provides tangible strategies to implement right away. I highly recommend Gilda to help your business put its best foot forward.”

Passionate, powerful & erudite

Sureh Nadig, Director of Meetings, PMI Central Mass; Sr Engineering Manager, Intel

“’Passionate, convincing, powerful’ are the words that come to mind as you listen to Gilda Bonanno, the erudite speaker, on her recent talk titled “Bold Presentation Skills for Project Managers” given at the PMI Central MA chapter."

I was terrified to stand up and present

Laura Houser, Assistant Controller, Heidmar Inc.

“What did I learn? 1. Refreshed myself on always having an intro, body and conclusion. 2. How to simplify – don’t overuse data. 3. Learning about body language, eye contact, etc. was helpful.  As much as I was terrified to stand up and present, I actually really enjoyed the process and the feedback. I thought Gilda was great and very effective. We accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.” 

Valuable ideas - I walked away with insights I can use

Mafruha Haque, District Manager, Kelly IT Resources at Kelly Services

“I had the pleasure of attending Gilda’s presentation, “Bold Presentation Skills for Project Managers.” She was very engaging and shared valuable ideas on business communication. I walked away with insights that I can use at my professional presentations. I really liked her examples and the fact that she didn’t use slides. She was very precise in sharing her ideas and I am sure the other attendees felt the same. I have a presentation coming up and plan to take her advice about not having verbose slides and instead use more images and graphs/charts that speak to the audience. I would love to have the opportunity to hear her speak again.”

Perfect combination of professionalism & humor

Lisa Lombardo, Associate Director, Alumni & Donor Programs, Marist College

“Gilda did an incredible job engaging our alumni with the perfect combination of professionalism and humor. Our group found her to be refreshing and energetic. I walked away with useful tips that I applied in my working environment the very next day, and will continue to keep her advice in mind in future professional interactions. The alumni office at Marist College is looking forward to continuing our relationship with Gilda with additional events in the future."

Professional manner, calm presence & sense of humor

Ruth Ann DeSantis, Certified Life Coach

“Gilda Bonanno took me from A to Z in the process of preparing and delivering presentations.  Her professional manner, calm presence, sense of humor and encouragement helped me to overcome my fear of the public speaking experience. Gilda supported me through the planning, writing, visual, presenting and follow up segments. She provided a wealth of information and ideas – always keeping in mind not only my needs, but also those of my audience. It has been my pleasure to recommend Gilda to my peers because of the high quality of her service.”

Gilda coached our presenters to be amazing

Samanatha VanSchoick, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Corporation for Independent Living and Nichole Peterson, Director of Marketing, Flow Tech Inc.; Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS) CT Chapter Board of Directors

"Thank you Gilda for your expert coaching of our presenters who delivered their SMPS CT MAX Talks at our TED-style program focused on the Architecture/Engineering/Construction industry. Your presentation skills coaching sessions helped all our presenters develop a strategic message, organize their content and be ready to deliver their talks on a big stage, in front of a large audience and on camera. After working with you, they did an amazing job and were more confident, concise, focused and engaging!"

Gilda gave me confidence

Kristina Lewis, YMCA

“I just want to tell you that my speech last night went well. I felt more confident this year than last year. Last year this event took over my life for two weeks; I couldn’t sleep at night because I was so worried. This year, I was worried, but not out of control. Everybody liked my speech! Your private session helped me a lot and gave me confidence. I never thought that I would get better at speaking in public, but as you said – it doesn’t have to be a nightmare, and it really doesn’t. Thank you.”

Dynamic & very knowledgeable

Kisha Samuels, President, Events of Joy

“I have had the pleasure of working with Gilda on the 6th Annual Women in Business Summit and by all reports she was outstanding! Comments received from workshop attendees included “excellent facilitator”; “dynamic and very knowledgeable”; “would attend another workshop from her”. Gilda made my job easy; she was professional and made great recommendations to improve the effectiveness of her workshop. I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with her again."

Before working with Gilda, I was nervous and unpolished

Jennifer Werner, Owner, Executive Assistance

"As a Virtual Assistant who is relatively new to producing webinars, I was nervous and unpolished in delivering my workshop introduction and lacked a clear purpose for my comments. Gilda helped me isolate what was important to my presentation, while giving me great ideas for transitions and otherwise awkward moments. Gilda has been a pleasure to work with.”

A person with credentials & wisdom who is also funny

Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, Speaker, Author, Motivational Expert, Sales & Martketing Hall of Fame

“Gilda is a remarkable individual.  She’s had some profound experiences and substantial professional education, plus she’s done Comedy! What a treat: a person with credentials and wisdom who is also funny.  I recommend you get to know her and seek her insights into how you can be more successful. Oh, and pronounce her name Jill-da.” 

I recommend Gilda to strengthen your communication skills

Elisabeth M. Tavarez, Assistant Vice President for College Marketing & Communication, Marist College

“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.” 

Gilda's advice leads to good results

Kallie Gordon, Owner, Curtain Call

“Your class, Public Speaking: How to Talk to Strangers, has helped me tremendously. I had a 10 minute presentation to my networking group recently and in advance, practiced the skills and advice you suggested. Keeping my discussion to 10 minutes, I engaged the audience, we had a few laughs and the end result was good. I’m definitely improving my skills. Thanks so much!”

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