FIRST THOUGHT: So the Story Goes
Have you ever been fired up after seeing someone speak, say at a conference or event? That’s the power of saying something well. In the centuries-old tale Arabian Nights, storyteller Scheherazade avoids execution at the hands of her psycho husband, the king, by spinning engaging tales that end in cliffhangers, thereby enrapturing the king and securing her safety night after night. Talk about an empowered lady! But you don’t have to be Scheherazade or even a TED Talk speaker to impress. The power of storytelling can come in simpler forms. For instance, the next time you’re out with some colleagues, tell a story from your childhood, explain how you landed your job or even how you ended up with that salacious tattoo. They’ll surely be hooked by your storytelling prowess!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 5 Times as Likely
Bothered by the fact that all-male speaker lineups at conferences and events are remarkably commonplace, mathematician Greg Martin dug deep and applied a statistical formula to the phenomenon. He looked particularly at one math-focused conference where the speakers list included 19 men and one woman. Noting that about a quarter of all Ph.D.s in mathematics granted in the past 25 years were earned by women, he claimed this so-called coincidental male-dominated programming was flat-out nonsense. In fact, given the Ph.D. numbers, he found it would be five times as likely that female speakers would be overrepresented.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Bobbie Carlton, Founder of Innovation Women
It can be intimidating to be the only woman in a lineup of speakers, but today’s Woman to Watch, Bobbie Carlton, is working to flip the script on that. Through her company, Innovation Women, a speakers bureau for entrepreneurial ladies, Bobbie helps women secure a spot in front of the mic.
Through Innovation Women, event coordinators are connected with some 3,000 experienced female speakers using the platform. That means there are zero excuses for why speaker lists are so gender-imbalanced.
Speaking of imbalanced, in the world of conferences, women often feel the sting of that ever-present pay gap. When Bobbie started her organization, she surveyed event managers and conference organizers about their speaker budgets. About half of those surveyed said they had no budget for speakers. Only 8 percent had a standard of paying most or all speakers. Most commonly, the speakers who don’t get paid are those who don’t ask to be paid, and women are disproportionately among this group.
There are plenty of other benefits to speaking at events besides compensation. Increased visibility for yourself and your company, and gaining an opportunity to sell your product or service add up to an advantageous outcome. As Bobbie notes, speaking engagements lead to more visibility, and more visibility brings opportunity.
Bobbie, a gifted promoter, also founded Innovation Nights, a monthly series of events focused on how to get more visibility for entrepreneurs and their products.
Before Bobbie was championing for speaker equality and entrepreneurship, she was an award-winning PR, marketing and social-media guru, so it’s fair to say she knows how to get her clients the most bang for their buck.
This advocate for more women in the speaking industry offers up a few tips for how to secure paid speaking gigs. First, refine your pitch and presentation. Support your expertise with a good story or unique perspective. Stay on brand across your social-media platforms and, most importantly, say yes to as many speaking engagements as you can, even if they’re unpaid, because you never know who may be in the audience and be dazzled by your fantastic presentation!
Have you been asked to speak at an event? Today’s Woman to Watch, Bobbie Carlton, shares everything you need to know about public speaking. Click the link here or head to www.OnTheDotWoman.com to learn all about it.
Also, be sure to check out our exclusive video interview with Bobbie Carlton by clicking here or going to www.onthedotwoman.com/videos/bobbie-carlton. She’s also giving 25 percent off of an annual membership to Innovation Women to all On The Dot subscribers when you use the code ONTHEDOT.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, no stranger to public speaking, said:
“It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.
To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.