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  • 02 Jul 2020

    I attended my first "Kick Start Your Day" with APIW meeting today.  I was surprised at how good it felt to join up with a large group of women and just say hi from the comfort of my own home!  I have been to a few APIW gatherings and enjoyed talking to other women but sometimes it was hard to find common ground as strangers.  This zoom venue worked very well and made me feel more comfortable in speaking up.

    I really appreciated that we heard from Angela Cecchinato, SVP Latin America, Operations, Chubb!  Her enthusiasm and positive personality was infectious.  Her key point was about resilience which resonated with the women who attended.  As an immigrant to the US I am always interested in women's success stories and hiccups along the way.  Her advice to me was that as a woman you need to speak up in meetings and get your questions or point across quickly.   There are still challenges we face as women whether it be from backgrounds that were not encouraging and sowed doubts in our minds or atmospheres that do not seem to lift up women enough.  As we have heard from others, many of us "fell" into insurance.  We didn't all have a plan or start off with confidence in the decisions we made but we have all learned and grown along the way and it is our responsibility to keep growing and bring along new women.  The resilience that Angela talked about has brought us all to APIW as we seek out other like-minded women.  We can lean on each other to expand our knowledge, our confidence and accept that it is ok to juggle, switch gears, occasionally fall but get right back up and forge ahead.   Thank you Angela for reminding me and others of the resilience we all have!

  • 17 Jun 2020 by Susan Zdroik

    Making presentations remotely, when you don’t have visual cues from an audience, is a part of our new collective reality.  APIW recently featured a webinar with John Rahmlow who gave us some tips and tricks when delivering content virtually.   He started off by asking the group if they could think of a great studio musician who gave poor live performances (or the opposite – sluggish record sales but an incredible concert – think bands like The Grateful Dead).  Speaking is like music; the virtual event is very different from in-person or written delivery.


    It’s important to make your presentation as interactive as possible, using polls or asking participants to make use of a Q&A or chat feature.  In this way, people are less likely to be checking their emails or otherwise distracted during your talk.  Along these lines, don’t put weblinks or other resources for participants to check out at the beginning of your presentation – if you do, there’s a good chance you’ll lose some of your audience to those other resources immediately rather than after the presentation!


    Stand up when speaking to project from your diaphragm and to have a more natural cadence.  Standing also gives a speaker the ability to talk with more energy and passion!  Oprah Winfrey is a shining example of using energy while speaking.


    There were a lot of great questions for John, including what to do if there’s a technical glitch.  John suggested that you can acknowledge the issue, and even ask your audience how they’d prefer to proceed, such as by postponing the presentation, or going on without slides (audio only), etc.  In this way, the audience can be empathetic to the situation and a part of the solution.

  • 21 May 2020 by Pamela Gorajek

    Shout out to Liz - SVP and Head of Underwriting, Alternative Markets for Zurich North America - what a wonderful way to kick-off this series of bi-monthly conversations with our members!  The 30 minutes flew by, complete with 10 minutes of networking, 10 minutes of an interview with Liz, and 10 minutes of Q&A.  Anything goes as we had a continuous stream of conversation in the group chat. 

    A bit of our candid and refreshing conversations:  The balance of working hard and working smart.  Tips for better video conferencing... the best of what we are experiencing in these times of remote working....interesting podcasts....favorite hobbies

    It was wonderful to "see" everyone and provide a platform to engage from our homes.