062619_MNS_BBA_Bilchik_001 Nadia Bilchik

CNN’s Nadia Bilchik speaks at the Buckhead Business Association’s signature luncheon June 13 at the J.W. Marriott Atlanta Buckhead hotel.

In her efforts to teach others better networking and communication techniques Nadia Bilchik has invented a word and even a brand based on that creation.

“Whether you are in the police force or a financial consultant, what does it mean to you if you ramped up what you were doing and ramped up your impact?” she said. “I love what Emeril (Lagasse) the chef says, ‘Bam! Let’s kick things up!’ “The word I created with my business partners was ‘ramplify,’ which means ramp up and amplify.”

Bilchik spoke on that topic and more at the Buckhead Business Association’s signature luncheon June 13 at the J.W. Marriott Atlanta Buckhead hotel. A native of South Africa, Bilchik is editorial producer for CNN’s “New Day” weekend morning show. She has previously worked as an anchor and show host for CNN International, CNN Airport Network and South Africa’s M-Net Television.

“She has interviewed everyone from George Clooney to Nelson Mandela,” said association member Anne Gower, who introduced Bilchik before her keynote speech.

As president of Greater Impact Communication, she is also a communication and professional development training expert and author. Each year she hosts several Ramplify Workshops, and at the luncheon she gave away two tickets to the one coming in September.

Bilchik has published or co-published three books: “Small Changes: Big Impact – Maximize Your Presence and Leverage the Power of Your Personal Brand” (with Kat Cole), “The Little Book of Big Networking Ideas: A Guide to Expert Networking” and “Own Your Space: The Toolkit for the Working Woman” (with Lori Milner).

Bilchik, who moved to Atlanta from South Africa about 20 years ago, lives in Sandy Springs. She also said self-confidence is a must and one of the three things she learned in the course of her career.

“Feel good about yourself. When I got here I was a news anchor doing overnight shows. Has anyone done overnight (shifts)? It sucks,” she said, drawing laughter from crowd. “I started to build something called my positive emotional memory database. … That is … a series of positive past experiences so that when I (have a bad moment), I can access those memories.

“The next year I got to interview Anthony Hopkins. What do we do when we see someone more famous than us? We focus on them and not on us. I started focusing on what are valid moments in my life. … I became less than. If we’re going to ramplify and own our presence, it starts with ourselves and it starts with that energy that says, ‘I’m capable. I’m competent.’”

She said the second skill she learned was focusing more on listening to others, to “show genuine interest” in them.

“I want you to share with the person next to you what your biggest challenge is right now. Start!” she said, with the crowd reacting with laughter but then following her instructions. “Some of my biggest challenges (are) a good conversation question, the power of someone asking a question and they are just listening.”

“In the next couple of weeks, ask a question and just listen. … How many of you consider yourself fast-paced and outgoing? It’s really tough (to just listen). You really forget about how tough it is. Is this revolutionary? No. But it will help you ramplify. … Are we being strategic? Are we being real? … It’s important to exude confidence but it’s equally important for people to feel good about themselves. … Then, finally, I ask them to relax.”

Relaxation is the third important skill Bilchik said she learned.

“I talked to the guy at Home Depot who sold the most warranties nationwide, and asked him what his secret is,” Bilchik said. “He said. ‘I’m relaxed.’ … (Also), the less you need something, the more power you have.” Second, I’m not doing it to the customer but for the customer. Think about the customers you deal with right now. Are you doing it to me or are you doing it for me?”

During a Q&A after her speech, association member Rick Hamilton asked about the importance of social media in networking and increasing one’s business.

“If you only have one thing on social media, have your LinkedIn profile updated so that if someone Googles you, they’ll find it easily,” Bilchik said. “We have to familiarize ourselves with it and not be afraid of it.”


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