Public Speaking Skills Every Entrepreneurs Needs

Public Speaking Skills Every Entrepreneurs Needs

In this episode of Startup Hustle, Lauren Conaway and Bobbie Carlton, Founder of Innovation Women talk about specific public speaking skills every entrepreneur needs to have up their sleeve.

Covered In This Episode

It likely comes with no shock to hear that speakers at summits, conferences, and conventions are still predominantly male. The disparity between genders is especially clear when it comes to sectors such as finance and information technology. This is what Innovation Women works to bridge. Enjoy meeting Bobbie Carlton as she shares her expertise in public speaking and the pursuit of Innovation Women on promoting a gender-balanced stage and spotlight for women speakers.

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Highlights

  • Helping Boston area startups (2:42)
  • Public speaking journey (8:10)
  • Diversity in all sectors of entrepreneurship (12:02)
  • Promote gender-balanced panels and equal visibility opportunities for women as speakers (16:18)
  • Gender balance panels and equal visibility (27:34)

Key Quotes

Public speaking, I feel like it’s like a muscle. You have to exercise it and practice it, and the first few times it’s going to hurt like hell or be awkward as hell or however that manifests for you. But if you do it and you keep doing it, you will become proficient in it. You will become an expert at it. It will become more comfortable.

If you really want to put on a great event, the goal is not always to have the most well-attended event. The the goal is to always have the best event, the most engaging event. The one that inspires.

You asked me earlier like what my secret sauce is, and I think part of what it is I don’t give you always what you expect. I have things that I can pull out.

Be sure to tune in to this episode to hear all the tips and techniques to achieve excellent public speaking skills.

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Rough Transcript

The following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode.

00:00.10

Lauren Conaway

And we are back. Thank you for joining us for yet another episode of the Startup Hustle podcast. I’m your host, Lauren Conaway, founder and CEO of InnovateHer KC. And I got to tell you we are so grateful to today’s episode sponsor. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle, sponsored by Full Scale.io, can help you build a software team quickly and affordably, and they do it very, very well. Now today, we have with us, I’m very excited about this guest, and I was telling her as we were doing our show prep I’ve been really excited to use her informal title for a couple of weeks now. But we have with us today Bobbie Carlton. Bobbie is the founder of Innovation Women. She is an expert on startups and events in public relations, and she has so many different skills in her wheelhouse. But I have to tell you, friends, she has this informal title, and it is. Boston startup fairy godmother and I cannot express to you? How cool I think that is, Bobbie. Thank you so much for joining us today and bibbity bobbity boo, as I feel like bibbity bobbity Bobbie Boo.

01:05.20

Bobbie Carlton

But and thank you for the invitation.

01:13.11

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s been made, that’s made, and actually, that particular ah nickname is only 1 of 2, So there’s also the Boston’s startup den mother and.

01:16.32

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, you get that all right.

01:30.55

Lauren Conaway

What I like about Fairy Godmother better personally.

01:32.11

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, I know, I know I do too, but I have to admit, you know there was a point in time when I was like I was the hot Mama, and now I’m the den mother and oh so sad.

01:42.11

Lauren Conaway

Ah, I can see. But if you’re a fairy godmother. You’re making dreams come true, Bobbie. I mean, how cool is that, but well. So, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about how you.

01:49.19

Bobbie Carlton

I try, I try.

01:58.80

Lauren Conaway

How do you help Boston area startups? How do you make dreams come true? Tell us about your journey.

02:02.10

Bobbie Carlton

All right? So I’m going to take one quick sidestep back, and I’m going to say that Innovation Women is only one of my companies, so I have a day job where I run a PR and marketing firm. My night job is where the fairy godmother status.

02:05.66

Lauren Conaway

All right? Let’s do it.

02:21.86

Bobbie Carlton

Comes in, so I run a Boston area event called Innovation Nights. The night job, and that is where I have helped to launch more than 1500

02:28.22

Lauren Conaway

Statue it.

02:36.53

Bobbie Carlton

New products that have gotten more than $4000000000 in funding.

02:38.72

Lauren Conaway

Holy shit Bobbie that’s I lay honors. That’s all I have to say to that. Ah, that well, that’s incredible. Can you talk to us a little bit more about that? How did you get started? How did you get here?

02:53.75

Bobbie Carlton

Sure. Okay, so the background was in 2008, the economy fell off a cliff, and the startup that I was working with ran out of money, so that’s when I hung out my shingle and started the PR and marketing firm. But.

03:01.96

Lauren Conaway

Oh sure.

03:13.42

Bobbie Carlton

Social media was young and exciting and just oh so enticing, and I said, you know, I want to play with this, I want to figure this out. I wanted to do this social media marketing thing, and so I did. I started an event that would be entirely powered. And driven by social networking and called Innovation Nights, the idea was to basically fill up a room full of people and point them in the direction of a startup and say see that cool thing over there. Let’s all tweet about it. Let’s. Post pictures and videos and blog, and if you’re in it, not into social media. That’s okay, you can just tell somebody about the cool products we see, and so we started doing those events and. Every single month we did those events up until the pandemic turned us virtual, and we did so many tweets and blog posts and everything else that, you know, we were really driving quite literally millions of views every month with this little crowd that went around and helped to promote local startups, and that got me invited to other people’s events. You know they would say, Bobbie, bring your little tweeting finger and your. 50000 followers and come to our event and live tweet about our event, and I did, and I went to all of these cool events, and I would sit in the audience and look at what I call the mail pale and stale panels and go wait a minute. Where are the women at these events, and oh yeah, they’re sitting next to me in the audience? So hence, that’s when I started Innovation Women.

05:05.60

Lauren Conaway

Right.

05:12.40

Lauren Conaway

Oh my gosh, that is such a journey, and I have to tell you, Bobbie. So, folks listening at home, just so you know, Bobbie and I, we’ve actually known each other for a minute. We’ve appeared on at least 1 panel together. I think I’ve maybe been in the audience, a virtual audience, and a couple of panels that you’ve been on and certainly aware of you, and I knew there would be like I always felt like we had an affinity, and I got to tell you the reason. I’m feeling that right now because like my social media days as they harken back. Do you remember Za and Livejournal like before the advent of Twitter? I remember being in St Louis and going to events that were legit called tweetups where you would meet people that you met on Twitter, and Twitter was like this sexy new thing.

05:48.15

Bobbie Carlton

Oh gosh. Yes.

06:03.80

Lauren Conaway

And we would all get together and be like luic. We’re in the same room that I’m tweeting you right now, and so so I just find it lovely that we have a little bit of the same origin story, and we certainly have some of that same focus on supporting women in entrepreneurship, and that is. Wicked cool, Bobbie; I just love it.

06:22.74

Bobbie Carlton

I Got to say that we talked about mass Innovation Nights as being a product-oriented tweetup. So I’m right here with you.

06:31.76

Lauren Conaway

Yes, oh my gosh, that is awesome. Well, so so you’ve been playing the game for a while, I’ve been playing the game for a while, you have some wisdom to share, and so I’m gonna kick right into this because Bobbie, you are your practice public speaker and I’ve seen you always you are always interesting and informative and so um, authentic yet polished, and I don’t really know like sometimes that’s really hard to do. Like how can you be real but still sound like you know what? the fuck you’re talking about, and I love that you’re able to do that so well and I’m gonna hop right into it because I personally want to I want to pick your brain, and I am very, very fortunate that I have a microphone and I get to do that. So talk to us about this public speaking piece, Bobbie a how to do What’s your special sauce. What’s your magic.

07:30.94

Bobbie Carlton

You know it’s funny. I came to it not from a comfortable place when I started Innovation Nights that first night in April 2009. Oh god, I never really thought about the fact that I would have to. To be the host of this event, I was thinking I would just get all these people together, and they would all run around and tweet about each other, and people are like, great. You know we’re going to do presentations, and you’re going to be the host and everything, and I’m like, oh please, dear God, no, that first night I sweated through my blouse. Thank.

07:55.62

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

08:10.11

Bobbie Carlton

God, I was wearing a jacket over it. Ah, you know it is a social media-powered event. There is plenty of photographic and video evidence of my very, very public discomfort with the whole thought of public speaking.

08:10.48

Lauren Conaway

Oh my god.

08:23.30

Lauren Conaway

Oh man, and I want to give Bobbie a big hug right now. I feel your pain.

08:29.36

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, it was bad. It was bad, and you know like the next month I’m like okay, you know don’t be as bad as you were last time be better, and you know over the years I got better and better and like after I don’t know all hundred something events. You’re like, oh ah.

08:38.28

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

08:48.62

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

08:48.95

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, I haven’t died yet. That’s a plus, and no giant terradactyl swooped down and plucked me off the stage and ate me for dinner. Okay, I will survive, but you know you do something. Often enough, the practice kind of catches up with you almost unawares, and you suddenly are like, oh, I’ve been here before. I knew what to do, and I did. I got better and better and better, and then I started to realize people were asking me to do this at their events.

09:21.39

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

09:23.16

Bobbie Carlton

And they’re asking me to be on a panel, and I’m suddenly a public speaker, and I don’t know where this came from, but it happened, and that happening led me to understand the impact.

09:32.52

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

09:42.56

Bobbie Carlton

I think I’d always espoused that part of my job early on when I was the head of global PR for these big enterprise software companies like that was my job to get executives on stage.

09:52.11

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

09:55.24

Bobbie Carlton

And I told them, you know like this is important. You know you have to do this. So Our customers see you, and they feel comforted by the fact that you’re on stage telling them about things. They don’t know, and you’re guiding them, and you’re being seen as a thought leader, and it wasn’t, I think, until I was on stage. My. Self that I internalized Oh my God, This makes a difference in my business every time I’m up here. It makes a difference, and so then I did what I feel like my secret sauce is what I do best is I go to school.

10:19.79

Lauren Conaway

Right.

10:33.60

Bobbie Carlton

Look around like who’s doing this Well, what can I learn from them. You know, let me go read books. Let me watch videos. Let me think about it, think about it deeply, and then, you know, kind of Innovation Women.

10:43.73

Lauren Conaway

Right.

10:50.65

Bobbie Carlton

It started to become a little gem of an idea, and it really was a few events where there were just no women on stage that like smacked me upside the head and said you have got to do something so.

10:52.46

Lauren Conaway

And.

11:03.19

Lauren Conaway

What what’s it called the dreaded Manel is what we talk to or what we call it around innovator Channel like yeah yeah, they’re not. They’re not the most flattering, I would imagine well because you know me in let’s talk.

11:10.88

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, we got some names for it too. That’s one of them.

11:22.60

Lauren Conaway

But that a little bit. You know the fact is we There is this push for diversity in all sectors of entrepreneurship I would say whether it’s technology or main street retail-like whatever it is a fun day. Oh, for God’s sake. Don’t get me started on funding.

11:33.75

Bobbie Carlton

Funding Oh god.

11:40.26

Lauren Conaway

Ah, yeah, we’re who hu, all right? I’m beside stepping that landvin, but you know there is this. I feel like there was a newfound understanding of the diversity of opinion, diversity of backgrounds, and diversity of race and gender. Religion is like whatever it is. It’s its crucial economic status. You know it is crucial as we move forward as a society we have to make sure that all voices are represented so that we’re getting the best form of the argument and we’re having the best form of the Conversation at hand, right? So so talk.

11:59.43

Bobbie Carlton

Economic status.

12:18.61

Lauren Conaway

To us about some of the challenges that you’re seeing so, so one of the things that we talk about a lot around ihcasey and as you were talking Bobbie like I was laughing in my head because I had much the same journey. As you did. You know, the first time we did an innovator event, and they put me up on stage, I had made a career of being second in command, the tactician to someone else’s visionary, and so I was never out in front, and I was so uncomfortable at the idea of being the quote-unquote face. Of innovator and having to go up and talk in front of people and passionately share my beliefs and our foundational ethics and all of these things about this organization that I believed in so much, but it was really difficult. And I don’t know why that is. I think that there are a lot of contributing factors. You know we can take we can say that you know women have societal pressures. They have, you know, they’re told from early ages like being seen and not heard, and it’s better for you to be demure and polite rather than a loud, outspoken bitch.

13:22.62

Bobbie Carlton

Good girls. Don’t.

13:26.18

Lauren Conaway

You know? Yeah, but talk to us a little bit about that, like what are you seeing? It is your job to encourage individuals I E women, and I’m sure sometimes not women but encourage people who are not comfortable in being out front and being in the spotlight and putting themselves out there. Um, it’s your job to make them comfortable with that and help them understand how impactful that can be for their business and their brand, So talk to us about that experience. What has it been like to usher these individuals to greater success?

14:02.46

Bobbie Carlton

Ah, so much there, I mean, like ah yeah, so I’m gonna start with the last part of it is like what does it feel like to help other people realize their dream and.

14:05.51

Lauren Conaway

I know that was like 5 different questions buried in 1 question. I have a gift for that.

14:21.23

Bobbie Carlton

That is what public speaking often delivers for people. It’s the visibility that drives business opportunity that drives careers that gets people to book deals and gets them a raise, and it gets them on boards. And it connects them to investors. Yeah, don’t get me started either on funding Funding. There’s an issue that needs a who? Yeah, Absolutely just about that. But I think a lot of it is people don’t realize the.

14:46.71

Lauren Conaway

Clearly, we’re gonna have to have a second. We’re gonna have to have a second episode just about that.

14:59.30

Bobbie Carlton

Absolute direct line from being on stage telling their story and being seen as a passionate advocate for an issue or being a passionate advocate for themselves. They are seen as leaders. They are seen as experts they are. They are seen as credible when nobody else does that, and nothing else does that for them. So yeah, it feels damn good, and it feels like something that I can accomplish, and it feels like something where I can actually make a.

15:24.64

Lauren Conaway

Right.

15:38.41

Bobbie Carlton

Difference because if you look at the number 2, thirds of all conference speakers are men, all right? So you know you’ve got a big big big gap there visible did some research on that.

15:43.85

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, and think it bears, I think it bears mentioning that if 2 thirds of you know speakers or men. 50% 51% actually of the population is comprised of women. So. There is a disparity there.

16:04.40

Bobbie Carlton

And we’re not even talking about all the other kinds of diversity. We’re just talking about male-female diversity. So a few years ago, bizibo did a bunch of research on this. They had like a 5-year study, and then they had a follow-up the following year.

16:11.36

Lauren Conaway

Right.

16:23.48

Bobbie Carlton

Where they looked at I, don’t know something like 60000 speakers and this is where the two-the third number comes from that everybody quotes like nobody else has done that level of a study. Yay, bizobo, and the reality is you know if you start.

16:26.15

Lauren Conaway

Yes.

16:42.23

Bobbie Carlton

Breaking that down into numbers and divided up over a year, I actually sat down and went, wait a minute, if we’re looking at 60000 different speakers 2 thirds are men, so in other words, if I put. 2500 women on stages every month boom, we have equity, and I was like, hey, that number actually feels doable. I mean, yeah, big job. But oh my god, I feel like that’s attainable.

17:16.52

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well, and do me a favor, and just I want you to repeat that number because it bears repeating that is ah, an impressive number say it again.

17:19.42

Bobbie Carlton

And if I can get 10000 women like we could do this.

17:29.93

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, 2500 additional women on stages every month. We can do this. We can do this. Come with me. We can do this.

17:34.56

Lauren Conaway

Holy shit. Okay, we can do this. We can do this and and and those twenty I and I do feel like those 2500 women that there’s an exponential effect to that there has to be. You get them up on stage. They succeed up on stage event organizers ask those women hey, who do you recommend? If you’re not able to do the next speaking engagement and so we have created a self-fulfilling ah network of growth. For a whole new community that previously didn’t have access, right? Oh yes.

18:10.60

Bobbie Carlton

And they get funded, and they get new jobs, and they get on boards, and they get asked to be a co-founder of an executive in a c-suite, and it’s like all these things kind of flow outwards from it buoyed. Buy these speaking engagements. So. It’s like, oh, getting on stage. It’s nice to have no, it’s not… It’s like so important.

18:37.78

Lauren Conaway

It’s crucial. Absolutely I well, I love that so much your and your passion just it shows through so so much. So so talk to us about. I’m one of the things that I love to do on the show is I love to talk about actionable things that our listeners can take home and implement today in order to be stronger business owners. Be stronger personally professionally, um you know and and and I feel like what you’re saying you have so much value to offer. So so the first. The thing I feel like we’ve kind of covered this a little bit tacitly or, you know, quietly in the background. But the fact that like just do it. You know, public speaking, I and I hope you’ll agree with this but feel free to come back at me. I feel like it’s like a muscle; you know you have to exercise it and practice it, and the first few times, it’s going to hurt like hell. Or be awkward as hell or however that manifests for you. But if you do it and you keep doing it. You will become proficient in it. You will become an expert at it. It will become more comfortable. You know, I’m still to a point where I’m still just kind of like I don’t love it. But because it’s just not my nature. Inclination. But that being said, I’m comfortable doing it, and I realize that I have achieved great benefit from doing it both as an innovator and for myself. So so talk to us about some very tactical things. Beyond just do it. That listeners at home can introduce into their professional lives.

20:12.73

Bobbie Carlton

Absolutely and you know, it’s like not being a commercial for Innovation Women. All right, Innovation Women who like our job is to get event managers together with speakers make it easy for the event managers to find somebody beyond the mail pail and stale Folks. So I’m going to actually take a slightly different route this, and I’m going to say one of the things that we have to understand is some of the reasons that women aren’t on stage. Okay, women are more likely to work for smaller companies. They’re more likely to work part-time.

20:34.67

Lauren Conaway

Okay.

20:41.91

Lauren Conaway

No.

20:51.60

Bobbie Carlton

And they’re still more likely to be responsible for kids at home. This means that they have a bit of a reputation for saying no more often than men. According to the event managers that we work with, women say no 50% of the time when they are invited.

21:09.61

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

21:10.77

Bobbie Carlton

Speak whereas men say yes, 90% of the time. So the first thing is to say yes if someone invites you to speak, say yes and then figure out how you’re going to make it happen to feel comfortable going to ask your boss can I go to this conference.

21:28.23

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

21:30.39

Bobbie Carlton

Feel comfortable saying, I have to take this time and go to this conference and speak this is good for me, my business, my career, so saying yes is kind of the first step, then figure out how you’re going to make it work feel that you have the value.

21:44.51

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

21:49.31

Bobbie Carlton

That you have something to share and say yes, so that’s kind of like the first big step, say yes to public speaking number 2 understand kind of the mechanisms that people get on stage.

21:53.96

Lauren Conaway

Yes.

22:08.20

Bobbie Carlton

The basic currency of public speaking at most conferences and events is what’s called the call for speakers. All right, Innovation women, I’ve got a research team that goes out and finds them and.

22:16.94

Lauren Conaway

Spur.

22:22.91

Bobbie Carlton

Bring them to the website either the event managers load them up themselves or our research team, or sometimes we get, you know, flags were thrown by somebody who goes these people need more women, please go and approach them. So. You yourself, you can actually go and search on the words call for speakers and put in whatever your area of expertise is and come up with probably dozens of opportunities. Yeah, maybe you missed the? Um. Deadline on that one. It’ll come around next year but go and look for calls for speakers, respond to them, look at what they are looking for understand the categories of all of this different stuff. You know, like look at last year’s program. Do you know what last year’s program is the winners? The people who applied and got accepted to speak, if you go to a conference or an event regularly find out who the conference organizer finds out who the event manager is asking them.

23:17.46

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah.

23:34.70

Bobbie Carlton

You know I’ve been coming to this event for 16 years, and I would like to speak at it. What kinds of things are you looking for? These are the things that you need to do to get yourself out there.

23:46.27

Lauren Conaway

And I love it, I love it, and that is certainly the crux of the issue I see time and time again. Um, you know we often have calls for speakers with innovators, and it’s like pulling teeth sometimes like I reach out to, and I’m like I encourage people to apply like you have something valuable to say. There there is there are very, very few people out there who have been operating professionally for the number of years that some of these folks have been out with where they haven’t picked up something of value to share with an audience, and so so I love that you are so intentional. About facilitating that, it’s really empowering empowerment is what it comes down to so, so I love that really quickly. I got so excited, and we talked. I need a break-in, and I do need to tell you that if you want to be empowered to build a tech product. Today’s episode of starting a puzzle is sponsored by fullscale io. They can help you build a software team quickly and affordably, and I know that’s their tagline that I will tell you that, and I’ve mentioned this before like I’ve actually talked to full-scale clients. You know, when we do the sweet and greets at the t-mogle center, I get to meet a lot of them. And I often ask them because I love knowing what I’m touting when what I’m talking about when I’m talking about Full Scale sponsorship and 1 of the things that I hear time and time again are how easy full scale makes it to build a tech product. Ah, to build a team to have that support of a team without all of the infrastructure red tapes and having to do that yourself. You’re saving time. Um, I love talking to Full Scale customers because they are all very, very happy. Um, so so definitely check out fullscale io. We thank them for sponsoring this episode and all of the episodes. We thank them and Matt Decor for being such huge amazing proponents, supporters, and leaders of Startup Hustle. Definitely check them out. We are folks just to remind you we are with Bobbie Carlton, founder of Innovation Women. As I and I am gonna say this as many times as I can because I just love it. But Boston’s ah the startup fairy godmother and I oh and yall can’t see this, but she did just definitely make wing movements with her hands, and that makes me really happy.

26:17.13

Lauren Conaway

But Bobbie. Thank you so much for chatting with us today. Let’s talk a little bit more about gender balance panels and equal visibility. What kind of opportunities have you seen? Are you seeing? Are you hoping to see as we come to gender parody or honest? Let’s take it beyond gender parody like we’re talking about all kinds of diversity. We’re talking about socioeconomic diversity and racial diversity, and you know, thought leadership diversity what kind of opportunities. Do you see coming as we continue to make these intentional shifts?

26:54.31

Bobbie Carlton

In the past. Obviously, the stages were filled with CEOs and board members, and venture capitalists who, you know, kind of all looked the same. Ah, there is the Boston market; there is one Vc firm where all of the partners were members of the same hockey team. Talk about a group that looks the same and acts the same and probably thinks the same, right? So. You know what we are doing moving forward is trying to get what I think of as better conversations and more diverse perspectives by getting different people on stage, and as you mentioned, it’s not just gender equity. I usually tell people that we’ve got. Something like sixteen hundred Really awesome speakers who just happen to be women on our Innovation Women platform, but we also have a handful of really secure male allies, and you know it’s all about the diversity of perspective. The.

27:59.95

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

28:07.30

Bobbie Carlton

Interesting ideas that come from not being one of the usual suspects, and so I think a lot of event managers number 1 realize the danger that they are in when they put up a mail pale and stale panel.

28:24.94

Lauren Conaway

No.

28:26.27

Bobbie Carlton

You know they are everybody can whip out a phone and take a picture and tweet or post somewhere that picture and go, oh they obviously didn’t look for any diversity because we have the same people on stage again.

28:43.65

Lauren Conaway

Right.

28:46.23

Bobbie Carlton

So this is something that gets sponsors to turn away from you. This is something that invites public ridicule, you know, the social media avalanches um I remember seeing an article a few years ago about the annual J P Morgan event for health care in San Francisco in January the title of the newspaper had was the article was something like there are more Michaels onstage.

29:08.41

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

29:22.56

Bobbie Carlton

At this event, then there were female CEOs, so more CEOs named Michael at this event than there were women like that’s the kind of thing as an event organizer you’re like.

29:24.76

Lauren Conaway

Oh my gosh.

29:38.75

Bobbie Carlton

Oh, I have a problem. Ah.

29:38.98

Lauren Conaway

Well, and when you, I mean I think I think it’s really important to note that when we’re talking about something as unilaterally important to all as health care, I mean the fact is marginalized communities there they were they. Experience So many more disparities related to Health care and so many worse outcomes because of those disparities and so the fact that like if you have women. Deal with health issues every day that deeply impact their health, and so if you’re not representative of the individuals that you need to serve or that you’re trying to Serve. You’re not having the best form of Conversation. You’re not introducing. The best ideas. You’re not talking about the real issues that that matter, and so it’s things like that where it’s like I just kind of wonder at event organizers. I’m like, were you really thinking that through when you did that, you went for the sexy name but were you really thinking of having the. The most impactful Conversation, I think, is the question that I would want to ask.

30:52.89

Bobbie Carlton

You know, I think a lot of event managers. You know they’re responsible for a great event. They’re responsible for selling tickets. They are responsible for people wanting to come to their event, so they take the easy way out.

30:57.90

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

31:10.99

Bobbie Carlton

They bring in what they think of as the recognizable names, and the recognizable names are often the names that they’ve put on stage before they’re up there again because they’re recognizable names, and so the same people get perpetuated.

31:13.10

Lauren Conaway

Ah, right.

31:29.10

Bobbie Carlton

Over and over and over again, and by the way, the same thing happens to some women. You know I am the one woman who keeps getting invited to be on every pannable panel about robotics because I got up there once, and I did a decent job, and I got invited again.

31:32.94

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

31:44.27

Lauren Conaway

Yeah. Yeah.

31:48.94

Bobbie Carlton

And again and again and again, event managers will go and look at other conferences and events and say, oh, here’s somebody who fulfills this requirement, here’s somebody who fulfills this requirement. I’m going to put them on stage. So the same programs.

31:57.82

Lauren Conaway

Right.

32:07.70

Lauren Conaway

Right.

32:07.10

Bobbie Carlton

Kind of rerun, and you know ah fed managers are busy people you know I am not blaming them for being busy people and looking to previous events for good speakers. You know you have the evidence. This person did a good job. You sold all your tickets. Well, I’m going to do it again. So that’s where that comes from. It’s just I, as an audience member, have a slightly different perspective. Oh, I have seen John every single year here. Can we have somebody else, please?

32:26.30

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, well.

32:38.26

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, yeah, could we inject a little bit of new life and new blood into this Conversation that we’re having? I mean, you’re right, like it? It makes sense, but it doesn’t; you know people tend to. Engage with people who look, think and act like them, and so if you are relying on your current networks or the current things that you see the current state of things you’re gonna you’re gonna see that again. It’s like a self-perpetuating thing, and I get it. I do, but I do. I think one of the things that I want to say is, hey, event organizers. You know, if you don’t happen to have those people in your network. The kinds of people who offer new insight and have new things to say then hey reach out to people like Bobbie and reach out. People like me say, hey, we’re looking for speakers who do you recommend, and then once you engage those people talk to them and say who do you recommend, and then you have a constant almost revolving door of new content, new ideas new presentations and you’ve you’re fulfilling. Your obligation to your attendees and put on the most exciting events, the most interesting events, the most informative events while you know doing it the right way. Um, so so yeah, we get that you’re busy. Allow us to help you. Allow us and people like us to help you.

34:10.12

Bobbie Carlton

And absolutely and I do ah.

34:10.69

Lauren Conaway

Right? Bobbie, are you raising your head. You’re raising your hand for that so high I think if you had 10 hands, you would raise all 10 hands.

34:19.18

Bobbie Carlton

It’s like come to talk to me. I will also say that a lot of the speakers are, you know, just just like you said, you know they are asking their friends, and they hang out with people who look like them and so often as a speaker. You get the opportunity to tell an event manager. Oh, you know, I recommend this person to also be on this panel with me, and there are some men who will look at a panel and say, you know what? We need somebody different. So If you’re a guy.

34:42.94

Lauren Conaway

You know.

34:49.11

Lauren Conaway

Right.

34:53.33

Bobbie Carlton

You also have a responsibility to help that event manager get more diversity on that stage look around you. Do you see the same people that you always see, or is there an opportunity to bring in somebody new?

35:01.83

Lauren Conaway

Yep.

35:10.56

Lauren Conaway

For sure, like and I’ve actually like full disclosure I’ve actually had that moment myself like I feel like in the Kansas City area at least um I don’t think like I’ve tried to look at at it impassionately and impassively and say that. Have I reached saturation in this market? Why do I get asked to speak on enough panels, and I don’t think I’m quite there yet. There are certain circles where that’s definitely happened, but then it becomes incumbent upon me to say, hey, I don’t really have much new to offer. But here are 3 women who are awesome, who will do a great job, and who will thoroughly entertain and form educate like whatever the goal is for the speaking engagement, they’re going to do a great job. So let me step aside and say hey. If you really want to put on a great event, and that’s always the goal, The goal is not too well from my point of view. The goal is not always to have the most well-attended event. The goal is to always have the best event, the most engaging event, the one that inspires the one that. Ah, you know, gives people that tactical advice or gives them that learning that they need to take it to the next level. So if you’re thinking about the content, you know, focus on content rather than butts and seeds if the content is there. Will the people come, do you agree? What do you think?

36:38.80

Bobbie Carlton

You know? Yes, absolutely, and you asked me earlier what my secret sauce is, and I think part of what it is I do as a speaker is I don’t give you always what you expect? You know I have things that I can pull out.

36:43.55

Lauren Conaway

Scan.

36:51.84

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

36:58.34

Bobbie Carlton

That I have specifically developed answers to things that are slightly counterintuitive, and when a speaker does that, you get the whole audience kind of whipping their heads around going wait. What did she just say? I think that’s important for a speaker to develop.

37:02.71

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

37:17.49

Bobbie Carlton

Things that are your own secret sauce, your own slightly different perspective, your own different ways of looking at things. I’m sorry, but you know so many people every speaker out there is.

37:27.53

Lauren Conaway

Right.

37:35.23

Bobbie Carlton

Sees themselves as an expert in public speaking because they do it all the time. So you know what I can offer about public speaking. That’s slightly different than what Joe and Jane also offer, like they are talking about public speaking.

37:47.69

Lauren Conaway

So yeah.

37:53.36

Bobbie Carlton

I’ll talk about the act of actually getting on stage; not as many people talk about that. It’s a little bit different.

37:57.00

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, the physicality of it sure well, and I and I think that that is ah that’s another yet another gem of wisdom from Bobbie but a piece of tactical advice like think about what is your differentiator. Um, you know there is any number of people who can go up and speak about topics. But what is the thing that is going to set you apart from the pack? I love that? Um, what is that secret thing that nobody is talking about? What can you bring to light? So so that that is super cool. Now now, Bobbie, I do want to ask you. I’m going to switch gears just a little bit here, and I’m going to ask you because I’m just very curious. What is the future? For Bobbie Carlton Innovation Women Innovation Nights, you know all of these irons that you have in the fire like what? What do you see coming down the pipeline for yourself?

38:48.11

Bobbie Carlton

Ah, well, I mean, just to actually go backward 2 steps, I actually did acquire 2 more companies over the pandemic group. Ah, I call it my pandemic retail therapy, you know.

38:56.79

Lauren Conaway

Oh my gosh, get out of here. All right? Some people buy purses and shoes. Bobbie’s like I buy businesses.

39:05.74

Bobbie Carlton

Like you may have gone off and bought new curtains. Yes, so I bought 2 more companies and you know, kind of the future is, and the present is actually integrating them, so I bought a company called my speaker leads which is a research service for speakers.

39:16.21

Lauren Conaway

Yeah, okay, so nice.

39:24.78

Bobbie Carlton

And I also bought lioness magazine, which is a digital magazine specifically for female entrepreneurs. So what we’re doing is kind of bringing these things all together and integrating them. So, for example, an Innovation Women member is a speaker. Can contribute an article to Lioness Magazine and be seen as a thought leader. She can also be interviewed in lioness magazine, oh and she’s an author too. Well, you know we have a book of the week feature in Lioness Magazine, so you know part of it is the layering on top of additional services and making sure that what we have is not just a traditional speakers bureau. I mean, we’re not a traditional speakers bureau by any stretch. The imagination is a platform that manages.

40:15.88

Lauren Conaway

Sure.

40:21.00

Bobbie Carlton

Subject matter experts and event managers are looking for speakers and presenters. But what we’re doing is creating a community a community that helps one another, a community that is really eyes on the prize looking for.

40:33.80

Lauren Conaway

Yeah.

40:40.81

Bobbie Carlton

Bigger things than just speaking. It’s the visibility that drives you to business success and career growth.

40:49.42

Lauren Conaway

I cannot tell you how excited I am for you and how much I love that I it now. I’m very excited to have this Conversation, but here it comes with the human question Bobbie and. We have already just seen you folks at home. Know we have already started this discussion, and it’s about to get passionate up in here. So, Bobbie, I’m gonna ask you what your favorite toppings are on your pizza. But then I’m gonna ask you to defend yourself in your hatred of pineapple. On pizza which I feel is bullshit, and I want to ask you to defend yourself tappings on pizza first. Ah, oh my god, even i.

41:30.91

Bobbie Carlton

All right? So mushrooms, green peppers, and all the veggies bring on the veggies like the veggies. Okay, but.

41:43.63

Lauren Conaway

Like the exact opposite of pizza soulmates like I’m all about pineapple on pizza and mushrooms can go somewhere and die.

41:49.94

Bobbie Carlton

Yeah, well, I once broke up with a guy because he would not allow the mushrooms on my half of the pizza because they contaminated his pizza like it’s on my pizza.

42:00.58

Lauren Conaway

All right, I got to tell you I’m with you. It’s your half of the pizza, I get it, but I do sympathize with the guy a little bit because it’s fungus, Bobbie, it’s fungus, but all right? 

42:12.80

Bobbie Carlton

Ah, it’s the delicious yes, and meanwhile, fruit is just wrong on your pizza. It’s wrong. You and my husband, by the way, you and my husband, you’re

42:17.91

Lauren Conaway

Ah, it adds such a nice little tang especially paired with spices. Ah, get out of here, all right? So, Bobbie, I’ll pay you what I’ll tell you what.

42:30.30

Bobbie Carlton

Absolutely on the same page with the man I married, and I married him anyway, even though he likes pineapple on his pizza through. Love.

42:36.39

Lauren Conaway

All right? Well, I will tell you what. I will come and visit you, or you will come and visit me, and we will get pizza, and we will get separate pies, and we will maintain a lot of airspace between them. How about that? I can respect your people.

42:48.87

Bobbie Carlton

Yes, keep them, keep them apart. No contamination.

42:54.41

Lauren Conaway

I’m choosing to respect your pizza choices even though I do not agree with them in the slightest. Ah, no, not going to have all right? all right? all right? Well, Bobbie, I cannot tell you how invigorating it has been to have you here on Startup Hustle.

42:58.36

Bobbie Carlton

And I will attempt to change your mind.

43:14.40

Lauren Conaway

Um, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and sharing your experience so authentically. This has been really, really great. Thank you for joining us. Thank you.

43:21.81

Bobbie Carlton

Thank you for having me, and thank you for bringing out the whole controversy of pineapple and pizza.

43:29.90

Lauren Conaway

I mean, I swear I’m going to have a whole episode devoted to it. It’s just gonna I did it so passionately, all right anyway. I also want to think about the amount. Okay, I can’t talk about it anymore. I would also like to thank today’s episode sponsor at fullscale.io. They are our friends and our partners, and our producers, and they do so much for Startup Hustle. They do so much for their customers and clients, and they can help you build a software team quickly and affordably, and I ask that you get to check them out. You know if you are struggling to bring a tech product to fruition. They’re gonna make it so easy on you. It’s gonna be like breathing; ah, friends, I would also like to remind you that you should definitely check out the 52-episode series. How to start a tech business hosted by Matt Square Matt and Matt actually just wrapped that not too long ago, so you can catch all 52 episodes, but they’re going to take you step by step through the process, and they are definitely experts that you want to avail yourselves of their expertise. So check those out and friends as always. We are so grateful to you for taking the time to join us week after week. You listen to us when you have a lot of other stuff clamoring for your attention, and we are so very grateful. Thanks so much, and we will catch you on the flip side.

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