Blog

Public Speaking Fear? Drown Out That Negative Voice in Your Head

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)!

Think about what's going through your head right at that moment when you're getting ready to open your mouth, whether it's at a staff meeting at work or in front of the local YMCA parents' group.  Yes, I admit that I hear voices in my head - and I bet you do, too.

Take a moment, close your eyes and really listen for that voice - what is it saying?

When I ask clients to share what that voice in their head is telling them right before they speak, they invariably come out with a whiny, annoying voice spewing negatives like "you're going to make a fool of yourself" or "who do you think you are?"

That voice goes by many names.  Creativity expert Julia Cameron calls it "The Censor." I call it the "Joy-Sucker" because it sucks the joy out of your work and your life.  The Joy-Sucker undermines your confidence and makes you less able to convey your knowledge and experience to your audience.  In its worst manifestations, it may even cause you to forget your own name! The Joy-Sucker may come from old beliefs about ourselves or perhaps a comment made by an unhelpful friend, teacher or ex.

Instead of allowing the Joy-Sucker to sap your confidence, I recommend replacing it with a positive affirmation or mantra, a term borrowed from meditation and yoga that means a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself to focus your mind and energy.  Your mantra should be personally meaningful to you and should be a phrase that you can believe.  You can use a song title (Aretha Franklin's "RESPECT" comes to mind), a line from a poem or anything that makes you feel powerful and confident.  "You go, girl" is my favorite (accompanied by a mental fist in the air).

Once you have created a mantra, try it out in real-life situations. When you're getting ready to speak, listen for the Joy-Sucker and replace it with your mantra. Remember that the Joy-Sucker has had years of practice, so it's okay to try several mantras before you find one that is powerful enough to drown it out.

You'll know the mantra is working when you feel your anxiety decreasing and your confidence increasing (a little bit at a time).  As you build your confidence, you'll be able to tap into your knowledge and experience related to the topic at hand - and you'll be on your way to becoming a more polished public speaker!

 © 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  

Read More

Best Five

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the best marketing articles December had to offer: 

1. 4 Professional Resolutions to Kick-start Your New Year

2. AEC Marketing Trends: 2018 Edition

3. Leave it to Them: the Power of User Generated Content

4. Marketers: Here's Your 2018 To-Do List

5. Where - and How - Are Marketers Spending Their Money?

 

Read More

How a Mentor/Protégé Relationship Can Work for You 

By: Kathy Nanowski, CPSM - Director of Marketing & BD, Fuss & O'Neill

Have you thought about finding a mentor to help you navigate through the AEC market? The five key ingredients necessary for a successful mentoring relationship are: exchange of knowledge, mutual respect, clear expectations, personal connections, and shared values.

Protégés join a mentoring program for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for long-term career guidance, while others may just need support with one-time needs. Maybe you just need a connector.  Ideal protégés are enthusiastic, energetic, organized, and focused. People being mentored should be open to feedback and be active listeners. Knowing what you need is the first step; finding the right person is the second.

Good mentors are successful for a reason. They manage their time wisely, often doing multiple things at any given time in order to ensure success. They give protégés insight about setting goals and priorities. Mentors use their personal experience to help their protégés avoid mistakes and learn from good decisions. Most mentors have a network of colleagues and collaborators that could open doors for their protégés, help jump-start their careers, or just explain how the system works.

Mentoring really goes both ways.  When different perspectives come together, this combination of skills can be mutually beneficial. The Mentor Program of SMPS Connecticut is designed to offer members an opportunity to participate in a truly meaningful relationship focused on personal growth and professional development. Please email me if you’re interested in participating as either a Mentor or Protégé. I am confident that you won’t regret it.

Kathy Nanowski, CPSM is the immediate past president of the SMPS Connecticut chapter and the Leadership Committee Chairperson.  If you’re interested in participating as either a Mentor or Protégé, or have any questions abour our program, please reach out to Kathy at knanowski@fando.com.

 

Read More

Fireside Chat with Carolyn Bligh

At our latest Fireside Chat program, members of SMPS Connecticut spent the afternoon with Carolyn Bligh and gained insight on her career and the opportunities that have helped her to achieve success.

Carolyn is a past president of SMPS CT whose desire for living her life with the purpose to inspire others has guided her in making career and personal decisions over her 25+ year career in the A/E/C industry. Carolyn shared influences and defining moments that shaped her career journey - including following her mother's advice and applying for her first job as a graphic designer at Russell Gibson von Dohlen. She has transcended from Director of Graphic Design for one of the largest A/E/C firms in the Northeast, to owning her own consulting business for 24 years, and is currently the Director of Facilities Design for ESPN, a global leader in sports entertainment and events.

Carolyn shared some invaluable advice with our members:

  • It's all about being surrounded by people who believe in you, people you trust - it's all about surrounding yourself with people who will help you rise to the next level.
  • No one’s going to remember how much time you spent on a project, they’re going to remember how much they like it.
  • No excuses, it shows weakness.
  • Believe in yourself and your ability. You have to have strong principles and beliefs - always stick up for your beliefs and never let anyone compromise them.
  • Treat the person standing in front of you as the most important person at that time.
  • Push back, challenge. Know you're worth it, be confident in yourself.

Read More

How to Network at Holiday Parties

It's that time of the year again! Learn five tips from Gilda Bonanno on how to be an effective networker at holiday parties. Gain insight on how to put your best foot forward at any industry party.

© Gilda Bonanno

 

About 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 http://www.gildabonanno.com to receive her twice-monthly newsletter for practical tips you can use to improve your communication, networking and presentation skills. 

 

 

 

Read More

New Member Spotlight

Meet some of SMPS Connecticut's newest members:

 

Luke Glendening
Marketing Manager, Turner Construction Company

Luke Glendening serves as the Marketing Manager for Turner Construction Company’s Shelton Business Unit. Luke joined Turner in 2001 and has served in the marketing and sales capacities for Turner for over 16 years. Luke manages the marketing and communications efforts for the company and supports the business development, VDC Group and estimating departments.

David C. Brownell
Northeast Director of Marketing and Business Development, PES Structural Engineers

David C. Brownell is Northeast Director of Marketing and Business Development or PES Structural Engineers, a nationally acclaimed structural engineering firm, headquartered in Atlanta, GA with a New England regional office in West Hartford, CT.

David concentrates on introducing PES’s notable engineering abilities to the New England AEC/O marketplace while cultivating partnerships with designers and uncovering opportunities with developers and owners.

David is a 30 + year AEC/O industry veteran, who’s business intelligence and passion focuses on emerging technologies, building information modeling (BIM), building informatics & data collection/exchange and digital media which includes social media utilization, analytics and content creation/management.

David is co-chair & a founding member of the Construction Institute’s BIM Council, Professional Women in Construction (PWC), Boston Society of Architects (BSA) BIM Roundtable, Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Emerging Technology Committee, National Institute Building Sciences (NIBS), BIM Forum, buildingSMART International US chapter (bSa) and the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS).

Amy Graver
Principal & Creative Director, Elements

Amy Graver is the Principal and Creative Director of Elements, an integrated strategic marketing and design agency. Amy works closely with clients to identify their strategic marketing, digital and design needs and develops effective strategies with her team to meet and exceed clients' goals. Her work has been recognized and awarded both nationally and internationally by leading industry publications such as Print, Package Design Magazine, HOW, Communication Arts, Graphic Design USA, and more.

Her penchant for details was honed while working as a photojournalist for The Boston Globe, where she began her career combing her love of writing and learning to see beyond the photo. She honed those skills as a creative director to embrace communication and design challenges and look for unexpected solutions for her clients.

Amy is a contributing writer to several publications and regularly gives seminars to various organizations on the topics of integrating emerging technology into marketing strategy, SEO/SEM, marketing and creative communications.

A fierce proponent of design, Amy is a co-founder and past vice president of the AIGA Connecticut chapter and served on the board of the Connecticut Art Directors Club for eleven years, two as president. She was awarded a “40 under 40” Award from Business New Haven and as a “Designer to Watch” by Graphic Design USA Magazine. She frequently lectures to students, is featured in print or has articles published in such industry leading publications as HOW Magazine, Print Magazine, Package Design Magazine and Communication Arts and is frequently asked to judge national design competitions. In 2012, her best selling book Best Practices for Graphic Designers, Grids & Page Layouts was published by Rockport Publishers and she is currently writing a second book on marketing and design. Amy also currently serves on the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and serves on the board of Package Design Magazine.

 

Read More

The Future I Never Knew

People all have stories. I am honored to be invited to share my story with SMPS CT on December 13th. I hope all of you will be able to share your story in a formal or informal way during your career. Sharing your story will make you stop and think, and reflect on your life’s decisions. We are so busy living our story that we rarely get a chance to read or reflect on our finished “chapters.” Sharing your story with others forces you to do this, you always learn from it, and can apply the insight to your future chapters.

My professional career started back in 1987, when I was hired as a graphic designer in the marketing department of the largest Northeast multidisciplinary design firm Russell Gibson von Dohlen (RGvD), in Farmington, CT (now known as SLAM). That is how I entered into the design and building industry, and to this day the roots that were started in the 80’s continue to expand and replant. My LinkedIn profile shows the timing of these career changes. Truth be told, I never thought I was going to work for an architectural firm. I wonder how many marketers out there thought the same thing? I also never thought I would own my own design practice for 24 years, or even more so now, work full time for ESPN as their Director of Facilities Design. Notice a pattern here: a lot of “nevers.” Things I didn’t think of or plan for. The things I did think of were staying true to my passion, inspiring others, and making sure I never forgot the people who helped me throughout the years. I’ll dive into more detail on all during the fireside chat.

I’d like to leave you with a few of my favorite commencement speeches that have a lot of passion and insight to offer those that are starting out in their careers, as well as to those that have a lot of chapters completed. The advice is timeless, as we are all life-long learners and marketers.

U.S. Rep. Mia Love's Commencement Speech 2017
Mia Love’s speech this past May included - Get ready to rise. Am I prepared to rise? Rise with, not over others. Get comfortable with having uncomfortable conversations. There is also a fun story about a hot air balloon ride and her son. I was fortunate to be on the stage as University of Hartford’s Alumni President, and hearing her speech live was truly invigorating.

Steve Jobs' Stanford Commencement Address 2005
Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, had a point in his speech that is so true… “you can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect the dots looking backwards, and you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. Follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that would make all the difference.”

The Wisdom of a Third Grade Dropout Will Change Your Life - Rick Rigsby
Rick Rigsby’s speech is very entertaining, and so moving. There are many nuggets, it is a gold mine. There is even a book made from the speech.

Looking forward to meeting everyone soon, and having warm, inspiring conversations on December 13!

Read More

Best Five

We've scoured the web so that you don't have to - check out the best marketing articles November had to offer: 

1. Architectural Photography: Cheapest Price Doesn't Always Win & Why

2. 14 Examples of Bad Bid Decisions and How They are Killing Your Win Rate

3. 18 Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

4. An Eight-Step Guide to Building Your Marketing Budget 

5. Seven Ways to get the Most out of a Client Satisfaction Survey

Read More

Event Management and Birthday Bash Program

There was an atmosphere of celebration at our November 15th program - SMPS Connecticut members and guests not only learned the latest event management tips and tricks but also celebrated SMPS Connecticut’s 35th birthday. The event took place at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. Real Art Ways is an alternative multidisciplinary arts organization that presents and supports contemporary artists. The venue provided the perfect space for our attendees and panelists to mingle and discuss the ins-and-outs of event management.

SMPS Connecticut President, Sharon Pomeroy, kicked-off the event sharing the chapter’s history, including its origins as the Southern New England chapter, and its journey to becoming the SMPS Connecticut chapter we know today.  Sharon took the time to recognize the contributions of past presidents to our chapter's success. Past presidents in attendance included (left to right) Theresa Casey, Maria Loitz, Jim Bancroft, Cathy DeFrances, and Geryl Rose. 

Our panel included three event management experts: Amanda Mueller, Senior Vice President, Cashman + Katz Integrated Communications; Danielle Casey, Director of Corporate Sales & Catering, Present Company; and Lindsey Burke, Marketing Specialist, SystemOne. The panelists shared horror stories of missing equipment and late vendors. The panelists agreed that it's important to always have a plan b - whether that's an emergency kit you always keep in your car or an extra tradeshow banner you keep in your suitcase. Danielle Casey stressed the importance of keeping a checklist and assigning responsibilities to keep your team focused and on track. Our attendees questioned the value of new technologies and electronic media. Lindsey Burke shared her experience that the latest technologies, such as SnapChat filters, don't always provide the best return on investment and that sometimes going back to the basics is the best way to go.

After the panel, the birthday celebrations began. Everyone was treated to birthday cupcakes and t-shirts as our guests mingled and explored the venue.  As part of our celebrations we raffled off a free annual membership - this awesome prize went to Cathie Reese of Geomatrix Productions, Inc. - congratulations Cathie!

 

 

Read More

2018 Call for MAX Talk Speakers Open

SMPS Connecticut is excited to announce our Call for Submissions for the 2018 SMPS CT MAX Talks! Download the Call here. The deadline to submit your presentation idea is January 19, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.

If you missed last year’s SMPS CT MAX Talks, you missed out! But luckily, thanks to our in-kind sponsor Geomatrix Productions, we have beautifully produced video of each of our three MAX presenters on our Vimeo channel.

Having a professionally edited video to add to your portfolio is just one of the benefits to being selected as a MAX presenter: MAX speakers will also have the benefit of professional presentation coaching provided by Gilda Bonnano LLC, as well as have the opportunity to be seen as a thought leader in the industry and bring more awareness to a cause or idea.

What is MAX?

MAX events are creative programs, centered on short-form sessions meant to be a showcase for speakers exchanging great, well-formed, marketing-led ideas and inspiration, through storytelling, presentations, and media.

Why 15 minutes?

The MAX model of short storytelling sessions works in part because it captures an audience for a short period of time and inherently encourages focus and concentration. We place an approximate time of 15 minutes on MAX sessions, so that we can keep a tight, predictable schedule in the line-up of MAX sessions.

What is a great, well-formed story or idea?

A great story is more than a report and a great idea is more than a list of facts. Great stories and ideas take specific evidence or observations and present a larger conclusion for the audience. We are looking for great stories and ideas that challenge our thought process, that make us reimagine norms, provoke us to make changes, ignite our creative engines, and inspire us to think differently.

Questions? Email maxtalks@smpsct.org

Read More