Brenda Viola

President at VICI Communications LLC

Public Speaking/Storytelling

Education: Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ Radio/TV/Film Communications - BA
San Diego, CA, USA

Biography

A former news anchor, Public Information Officer, and QVC Show Host, Brenda Viola's career evolved to include keynotes and workshops to improve communication, effectively handle difficult people, and enhance corporate culture. Her 2020 book, The Public Servants' Survival Guide, is the basis for a session that helps attendees self-assess to restore balance (and avoid burnout). At the core of her work is a desire to lift people up; to encourage and inspire. Her clients coined her trademark phrase: Aha! moments. Guaranteed.

Passion

"Settling Your Worth" is the topic that lights me up more than anything because I know how critical finally knowing my own value was to having a better life. People settle for less in their personal and professional lives when they don't settle, once and for all, that they are worthy of good things. My seven-point message on this topic ends with a life-changing decision: "I will never turn my back on myself again."

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

I always get paid for speaking

Topics

inspiration inspirational selfworth communication skills corporate culture overcoming fear speaking work life balance corporate burnout burnout prevention selfdevelopment self awareness self care author

Best Story

My logo and company name are my favorite story. VICI means "I conquered" and from 2021 - 22 I conquered the loss of my mother, my partner, my job, my dog, and almost my own life. (That's the Reader's Digest version.) Out of the ashes was born a dream, once deferred, to go "all in" on me - and my desire to speak/inspire full-time. The butterfly? Well,it is first a worm that goes through a time of great darkness. It struggles to emerge, pushing against the chrysalis - even violently. A friend of mine had a butterfly farm and when she was starting out, she tried to help a butterfly escape. And it got out. But it didn't have the strength in its wings to fly. So if you are pushing and pushing and thinking you're getting nowhere, know that you are building the strength in your wings...so YOU can fly.

Origin Story

When I was in public service I was surrounded by dedicated people who were overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated. They'd show up to conferences running on empty. I volunteered to offer a message of encouragement and it was soaked up like sponges. People were hungry for something more than just another series of tools to do their jobs better. They wanted better LIVES; happier lives. And the more I observed, the more I realized there was a need to be fulfilled in this space of professional training that focuses on the whole person - body, soul, and spirit.

Example talks

The Three Pillars of Resilience

We all need the ability to bounce back - but where does resilience come from? Why is it that some people face enormous obstacles and yet rise up, often stronger than before?

After interviewing hundreds of people who have made it through dark times, Brenda offers three pillars you can hold on to when facing the storms of life. She also reveals the great enemy of resilience, and through this inspirational keynote, will remind audiences to believe that their best days are ahead of them.

How to be Heard Without Screaming!

Have you ever felt like the teacher in a Peanuts cartoon?

Your lips are moving...but no one's really HEARING you.

It's one thing to put information OUT - but how do you get THROUGH? That's the art of effective communication, and this workshop will reveal tools to help you be heard, including the power of preparation, sound bites (not just for TV interviews!), bridging back to your talking points, and the secret to eloquence.

Whether making a case for budget dollars, speaking at a podium, being interviewed by a reporter, or simply speaking up in a staff meeting, your voice is important. Brenda Viola's "HEARD" method was developed during her years as a news anchor/reporter and also addresses the pitfalls of speaking effectively while underscoring the importance of listening, too. Good communication is a key to success in business and in life. This workshop will empower you to connect the dots to get your message across.
Learn how to:
• Prepare a succinct message and a plan to execute that message. No more "winging" it in important conversations or presentations!
• Expect pushback and anticipate critique, skepticism, and scrutiny. When you are prepared for naysayers, you've got ready answers. This component also addresses how to NOT take questions personally so you can handle a challenge professionally.
• Bridge back to your intended takeaway. When you know what the end goal is, you can head toward it (despite detours or distractions). Methods to ensure your desired message "lands" from a reporter's notebook are revealed!

Brenda Viola's background in TV news, as well as a government Public Information Officer, has well-equipped her to deliver "How to be Heard (without Screaming)."

Tailor-made for audience participation, attendees will use real-life scenarios and synthesize them to empower them at work (and in life.)

The book How to be Heard Without Screaming! launched on Amazon in April 2024 and was the #1 New Release in the category of Running Meetings and Presentations.

The Public Servants' Survival Guide Workshop

Work is often stressful, but recent years have written entirely new chapters in all of our lives. It can be overwhelming and challenging to remain energized about your difficult (but so important) work.

There’s never been a better time for a survival guide! We can’t afford dedicated and talented professionals to surrender to the stress. This interactive workshop walks participants through ten checkpoints that can signal burnout.

Video clips, true-life examples from the municipal world, audience participation, and actionable takeaways make this session powerful as well as personal to attendees.

Content is derived from the 2020 #1 Release in Government Management on Amazon, The Public Servants’ Survival Guide.

Each participant will download a grading sheet prior to the session, which will enable them to self-assess their success (or failure) at ten checkpoints, with the following themes:

· Lone Ranger or Collaborator?
· Body, Soul, and Spirit Alignment
· Can You Step Away from Drama?
· The Power of Honesty
· Learning to Laugh More
· Are Energy Vampires Draining You?
· When Your Love for Work is Lost
· Adding Value to Work and Life
· Celebrating Every Win
· Taking Time for YOU
The workshop is motivational, and inspirational, and offers practical ideas to course-correct trouble spots, read the warning signs of burnout, and how to recharge to face the day.

The Fear Factor: Stand Up to the Bully and Win at Life

Fear is always a factor in life. While we can all aspire to the fearless pursuit of our goals, real life is about feeling fear and acting in SPITE of it, which is the true definition of courage.

Fear is often a great masquerader that can trick you into thinking you're being prudent; that can talk you out of thinking bigger; that can silence you when your voice is crucial - and that can shut down your ability to dream and hope for the future.

If you've ever said, "That'll never change" or "That's just the way it always will be" know that such always and never statements are fueled by fear. This course will teach you to:
1. Recognize the disguises of fear
2. Consider the sources of fear
3. Establish a game plan to combat fear
4. Strengthen the ability to act in the face of fear

Courage is a muscle that is exercised by use, but as author Brene Brown suggests, there is no courage without vulnerability. Those who wish to face their fears head-on and are willing to be vulnerable enough to address these bullies of the heart will find tools in this course to realize their power (and start using it.)
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"I Love My Job!": How to Create an Inspiring Workplace

In challenging times, it's more important than ever to go all in on taking care of your most valuable assets - the people who work with you.

It doesn't have to break the bank to implement changes that can super-size your team members' happiness quotient at work.

An architect of award-winning regional and national workplace cultures, Brenda Viola will share her P-E-O-P-L-E plan that transforms employees into loyal and enthusiastic brand ambassadors that love coming to work. (And you will, too.)

Learn simple actions and programs that can cultivate appreciation and engagement – even in a remote work setting. From fostering two-way communication to establishing easy ways to publicly recognize good work; providing opportunities for personal and professional growth and the importance of core values, this session can be a catalyst to create a workplace that inspires excellence and engagement.

Dealing with Difficult People

They’re unavoidable. They’re EVERYWHERE!

And sometimes...they’re even YOU. (Yes, you.)

Why are people so $%^#& DIFFICULT? There are a variety of reasons. Understanding what’s going on behind the behavior can help you respond effectively (and empathetically.)

THIS CLASS WILL TEACH YOU TO RECOGNIZE AND RESPOND TO:
· The Bully
· The Know-It-All
· The Habitual Complainer
· Mr./Ms “No Boundaries”
· The Waffler (aka: Indecisive)

Chances are you know one (or more) of the above types of difficult people at work or in your personal life.

In addition to learning specific tactics to best handle these challenging personalities, discover the H-E-A-R-T method developed by Brenda Viola to cool heated discussions and win over even the toughest opponent.

Come prepared to laugh AND learn and take away skills to navigate your next nightmarish encounter.

Settle Your Worth and Launch the Life of Your Dreams

"You've been criticizing yourself for years. Why not try approving of yourself and see what happens?" - Louise Hay

Every person faces moments of self-doubt, insecurity, or imposter syndrome. But when these fear-filled feelings are pervasive, they undermine our ability to be and do more in life.

Until we settle our worth, we’ll settle for LESS in our personal and professional lives. And when we settle our worth, we’ve created a launching pad for our best life.

This session walks participants through seven steps to help navigate:
• The tendency to compare, which chips away at our sense of self
• Invasive, negative thoughts that create distress and depression
• How we perceive our own lives and the power of the stories we tell about them

Interaction, video clips, and heartfelt stories filled with candor make this breakout session a potential breakthrough session for Conference attendees. Here’s what a recent group had to say about “Settle Your Worth”: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/787214834

There's one person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with...
…and it's you.

Kick negative, self-defeating beliefs to the curb and settle your worth, once and for all.

From the main stage at the 2023 FDRS National Conference in Atlanta, Brenda Viola's message of empowerment resonated with attendees, leading to the decision: "I will never turn my back on myself again."

https://vimeo.com/822815513?share=copy