Blog

Thank Goodness It's Summer - TGIS Membership Drive

In celebration of the warm weather, SMPS CT is offering a Thank Goodness It's Summer (TGIS) Membership Drive with discounts for new and returning members. Take advantage of all the benefits TGIS has to offer before August 31st!

Discounts include:

  • $100 discount available to any enrolling New Member (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • $100 discount available to any re-enrolling Encore Member whose membership expired prior to December 2015 (total fees of $340 versus standard $440)
  • 3 webinar programs scheduled for July and August, at no charge to enrolling New Members or re-enrolling Encore Members
  • 3-month membership extension award available to any Current Member recommending a New Member who joins before August 31, 2018

 

For more information contact Ruth Millward, Cathy DeFrances, or Ron Paolillo.

 

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Lending Library Summertime Reading List

By: Jessica Osborne, CPSM - Marketing Manager, BL Companies

Summertime to me means longer days, sunny skies, and (hopefully!) time spent traveling or relaxing – which allows for some extra time to catch up on some reading, personal or professional. Whether you’re listening to an audiobook while on a road trip, or getting lost in a book while lounging on a beach, books are a great way to pass the time! No matter how you like to get your reading in, I’d love to suggest some materials from the SMPS CT Lending Library. Below are a few of my recommendations:

  • Quiet – The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Susan Cain)
  • TED Talks Storytelling – 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks (Akash Karia)
  • Tips, Tricks, & Tidbits – for marketing executives forced, against their will, to be graphic designers (Clockwork Design Group)
  • Knowing Your Value – Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth (Mika Brzezinski)

 

Do you have any you’d like to add to this list? Better yet, feel free to contribute some of your favorites to the Lending Library and give our members the opportunity to get lost in a great book (to me, there really isn’t a better feeling!).

For more information on check out procedures and donations, visit our lending library page.

 

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How to Introduce Yourself Quickly

By Gilda Bonanno

 

 

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

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Murphy's Law of Presenting With Technology

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!

1.    If you are hosting a conference call on your cell phone, the call will drop at the most crucial moment of the discussion.

2.    The battery on your lavaliere microphone will die out slowly, causing your voice to break in and out - before finally quitting completely at the high point of your presentation (and just as the A/V tech has left the room).

3.    The battery on your PowerPoint remote control will suddenly go haywire, causing your presentation to jump forward and back like it’s possessed.

4.    The wireless network in your meeting room will kick you off during a live presentation, moments after you’ve been ensured that the network is stable and told your audience that there will be no problem accessing it live during your presentation.

5.    In the middle of your slide presentation, your laptop will begin downloading automatic updates and then shut down and restart slowly to fully install those updates. 

6.    The webinar software you’re using will stop working for no reason at all, but only once everyone has joined the webinar and only if your most important client or partner is participating.

7.    If you are using a wired headset to connect to a conference call, the wire will inexplicably stop working (perhaps due to yanking it one too many times, when you forgot you were tethered) and it will take you 6 minutes to realize that people can’t hear you.

8.    The mute button will malfunction on the speaker phone that you’re using for your conference call, which you’ll only realize after you’ve made a negative comment about someone on the call.

9.    The microphone will emit eardrum-piercing feedback in the first few seconds of your presentation, even after you’re done a sound check.

10.   The bulb on the slide projector will blow out during your slide presentation - and there will be no replacement bulb within a 4 mile radius.

 

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

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Marketing and Human Resources: Breaking Through Traditional Roles

Allison Puzycki, Director of Marketing at CES
SMPS CT Job Bank Chair

A carefully crafted job posting that puts a company’s purpose at the forefront can have a profound effect on attracting the right candidates for your team. When we think of where job postings come from, human resources is typically the first department to come to mind. Until recently, I thought the same. SMPS issued a report highlighting The Pinnacle Experience conference and that’s when I read about Nicole La’s presentation entitled Unconventional Marketing Leadership. The report describes how Nicole moved from a marketing position at TEECOM to a hybrid marketing / human resource role, which TEECOM defines as an Experience Director. This role was created to address the company’s core business initiatives: improving the employee experience, the talent experience (recruitment) and the client experience.  As Nicole puts it, “Recruiting is marketing for people”. When these two disparate functions, Marketing and HR, join forces much more is possible. Culture serves the purpose – simple things like a job description explain why a team gets up every day to work together and it makes you want to rise with them. Nicole’s article on Maintaining Culture and Engagement in a High-Growth Company is an insightful example of effective, unconventional leadership.

So, what else is possible when we break through traditional roles? Accounting and Marketing? I’ll leave that one to someone else!

Check out Nicole La's full post on Maintaining Culture and Engagement at a High-Growth Company

A short blurb is included below:


 

Maintaining Culture and Engagement at a High-Growth Company

By: Nicole La, TEECOM

In October, TEECOM was named to the 2017 San Francisco Business Times’ “Fast100,” the annual list of Fastest Growing Private Companies in the Bay Area. In an environment full of high-powered Silicon Valley venture-funded startups, we took particular pride in making the list.

As those Silicon Valley startups know, however, growing fast comes with challenges. One in particular that TEECOM has focused on successfully is how to maintain culture and engagement during periods of high growth. In the process, we’ve discovered a lot of tools and techniques that may help other high-growth firms. Here are some of the things we’ve learned about how to maintain culture and engagement....read more here

About TEECOM

TEECOM offers strategic consulting, technology project management, and engineering services for building IT infrastructure, wired and wireless networks, immersive environments, acoustics, audiovisual, safety and security systems. Our services prepare clients for emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, machine learning, and conversational interfaces. We work with public institutions, tech giants, the Fortune 500, architects, developers, and contractors. 

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Dress Rehearsal for Your Presentation

By Gilda Bonanno

A 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.

The dress rehearsal is a great idea to borrow when you have to give a presentation. If you haven't presented in a while (or ever) or you've never presented to this particular audience (for example, the budget committee) or in that space (for example, the Boardroom), a dress rehearsal can make the difference between success and failure. Even if you don't get in costume or practice in the actual space, the point is to prepare for all aspects of the environment so nothing trips up your presentation.

Here are some things for you to think about in the dress rehearsal for your presentation:

ROOM LAYOUT
Where will you present? The room should be arranged so you can see everyone easily and so you won't trip over any computer cables or have to cross frequently in front of the projector lamp.

ROOM ENVIRONMENT
How are the lights and heating/cooling system controlled? If you're using a projector and screen, does the lighting allow the audience to see the screen and also have enough light to stay awake? What is going on in the room next door or outside the window? If you have to compete with a jackhammer, frequent sirens or cute kids on the playground outside the window, you should be prepared for it.

COMPUTER (if applicable)
How will you advance the slides? If you will be standing to deliver your presentation, I recommend using a remote control (inexpensive and easily available at office supply or electronics stores) so you are not tied to your computer.

Do you have a long-enough power cable or enough battery power? Have you disabled your computer's automatic updates so your computer is not automatically shut down and restarted during the presentation? (This actually happened to me a few minutes before I began a training session).

WHAT TO WEAR
Wear something comfortable AND powerful. To take an extreme example, pajamas are comfortable but they are not powerful. Clothes can help you communicate the professional image that you want to convey. And your shoes must be comfortable even if you're only presenting for a few minutes. Your clothing should have nothing you have to tug at, pull at, fix, etc., that will distract you or your audience.

PERSONAL PREP
Get enough sleep the night before you have to present. Make sure you have time to eat whatever food you need to present effectively - you don't want to be overfull, but you also want to avoid a growling stomach or light-headedness.

WHAT'S IN YOUR KIT BAG?
Do you have everything you might need with you - things like cough drops, antacids, other medicines, glasses if you get something in your contacts, etc? This is the time to think like a Boy Scout and be prepared. If you're speaking in front of the entire department, including management, at an offsite retreat, wouldn't you prefer to have your glasses with you in case you lost your left contact?

If you're not in your regular office building, who is your onsite go-to person in case you need something? When I was stung by a wasp for the first time in my life shortly before I had to present a workshop, I needed my on-site contact to get me medical attention quickly to ensure I wasn't having an allergic reaction (she was great and no, I didn't have a reaction).

Yes, thinking about these environmental factors and preparing for them takes time. But like a dress rehearsal, it's time well spent. As a result, you'll be comfortable enough with your environment so you can avoid preventable glitches and deliver your presentation effectively - and handle any unexpected obstacles with ease.

© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

Sign up at www.gildabonanno to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills  

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