Awards and Speaking Engagements


In the News during 2012:

My work was featured in HLife Magazine. Last spring, my yard was featured in the

Birmingham News. In March, Shelby Living Magazine asked me why I love Shelby County. Shelby Living Magazine also featured the interior and exterior of my home in their September edition.

Many thanks to Vikki Grodner for hosting me at The New Girls Network on Tuesday, Mar. 13,

2012:  Be A Media & Speaking Star!

What does your voice communicate about you?

By Donna Francavilla

When you speak to someone for the first time, what does the sound of that person’s voice cause you to imagine? Your voice communicates so much about who you are: where you are from, your level of education, your profession, your ethnic background, your gender, and a wealth of other information about your personality and disposition. Learning to listen carefully can reveal even more nuanced details. 

You can read a book by its audio cover.

Radio broadcasters are well aware of this secret. Effective, successful broadcasters have learned to control important elements of their voices, such as diction, stress, cadence and modulation.

Tips and techniques to help you sound more credible and engaging:

•Breathe from diaphragm

•Route air through chest and throat instead of head and nose

•Relax jaw muscles

•Enunciate as precisely as possible

•Modulate pitch appropriately

•Stress key words for emphasis

We communicate a great deal about ourselves when we speak. And that’s the point, really. Are we understood when we speak? We communicate all day long. We talk, text, write, email, blog, post, call, and visit. But are we communicating clearly and powerfully? Mastering how you use your voice, in addition to how you dress, use facial expressions, gestures and body language, can all contribute toward communicating your most powerful, confident self!


Scenes from Voice Power: How to use your voice to sound Credible and Incredible 1/23/2012

Celebrating awards won from Alabama Media Professionals, May, 2012, in the following categories:

First Place:


~Prepared Report, "Storm wrap"

~On-the-Scene, Spot Report, "Storm Clean-up"

~Best Presentation, "Volunteer Wrap"

~Audio-Visuals, "Devastation and Faith in Alabama"


3rd place:

~News article Written Specifically for the Web, "Radio,TV Stations Show Unparalleled Commitment while Covering Alabama Tornadoes," published by the RTDNA.

~Radio: "Personal Column On the Air"-Radio "CBS Radio Reporter's Notebook."

We are also proud of the National awards won from the

National Federation of Press Women, June 2012.

~First Place, “On the Scene Report”

~Second Place, “Best Presentation”

~Honorable Mention: Audio/Visuals and Prepared Report

The awards were distributed on September, 2012, in Scottsdale, Arizona

I was honored to speak at the Human Resources Management Conference in October, 2012, at

the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Said the organizer, Lana Thompson: “Honestly, I wasn't sure if HR professionals would go to Donna's "non technical" session or not.  We were taking a chance, not on her, but on her audience.  I am so glad we took that chance!  I, too, heard many people raving about Donna's session and Donna.  I asked them why they chose her session because I wanted to understand for next year the type of things they want.  Several told me they wanted something "different."  They get tired of the same old HR topics and it is refreshing to have a "new" topic for their learning and development. It was a hit!” 

Said colleague Bill Thomas after the presentation: “Many came to me with delightful, uplifting comments after hearing Donna speak. It’s always refreshing and serves as a mirror of her effectiveness.”

Many thanks to Leslie Temples and “Summer Classics, Inc.” for featuring me as their

motivational speaker during their fall sales conference, 9/2012.

Celebrating awards won from Alabama Media Professionals,

May, 2013, in six categories.

Read more at:

2013 AMP Media Winners in Annual Contest

Alabama Media Professionals handed out 2013 Communications Contest Awards at the Arlington House on Thursday May 9, 2013. An impressive total of 18 first-place entries traveled forward to the National Federation of Press Women ( annual contest. AMP is an affiliate of the national organization. 

            Print media categories included news, editorial and feature writing with divisions for daily and non-daily newspapers as well as magazines.  There also were winners in topic-specific categories such as business, sports, food, travel, and arts. Winners in print categories were Donna Francavilla, Verna Gates, Ann Halpern, Jane Newton Henry, Mary Eloise H. Leake, Elaine Hobson Miller, Carolanne Roberts, Dale Short, and Mary Wimberley.

Radio and television categories included on-the-scene spot reports, prepared reports, interview, talk show, best newscast, and best presentation. Donna Francavilla dominated the categories with wins for her radio reporting. Jane Newton Henry was recognized for a non-fiction book.

Web writing categories brought awards to Meredith Cummings, Donna Francavilla, Herb Patterson, Dale Short, and Mary Wimberley.

The Sweepstakes Award of $100  went to Donna Francavilla, while Verna Gates received a certificate as the Sweepstakes Runner-up. The awards are based on a point system ,with more points awarded for higher placement and for winning awards in categories with more entries.

The National Federation of Press Women, Inc. announced that I was a winner in the 2013 NFPW Communications Contest, capturing first, second and third place awards in radio news and for on-line publications. The Award ceremony will be held on August 24th, 2012, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Here are the award-winning stories:

First - 21A On the Scene Report (Radio)                                            

Second- 22A Prepared Report (Radio)

Third - 1C On-line Publication (Print)

Awards and Recognition:



Donna’s next speaking engagement:

8/8/2013  11:30-1:30 Birmingham Public Library, (West End,) 1348 Tuscaloosa Avenue SW
Birmingham, AL 35211-1948

Topic: “Communicating Your Message”

REV Birmingham presents the fourth year of the Entrepreneurial Workshop Series.  The goal is to bring useful topics and tools to business owners to assist them in growing their business more easily and successfully.  Interested candidates will be able to enter the series at any time.

The workshops are being coordinated by Trudy Phillips, a noted small business trainer. Each topic will be presented on the east and west sides of Birmingham.