No matter how much I learn about speaking, there’s always room to gain insights and new ways to connect with an audience. This weekend, I get my annual chance by attending Lady and the Champs.
There was a specific panel on Women Professional Speakers, including Patricia Fripp, Janelle Barlow, Judi Moreo, Cathey Armillas, and Jennifer Lier
The most interesting comments (to me) came near the conclusion, when the panelists were asked what they thought were the biggest limitation for women in speaking today, and what could they do about it?
Patricia – self confidence, negative self talk and time management
Janelle – lack of focus (trying to do to many things) – stay in one direction; focus on the core of what you do
Judi – lack of technical skills – the way to get known is the Internet, so you need to be good at promoting yourself with social media and well as traditional media
Cathey – belief in self and not seeing your own possibilities – Pick the amazing things about yourself and make them known – promote yourself
Jennifer – Self confidence, promoting yourself online, keeping up your education – keep moving forward, and focus on results – companies want one thing, ROI
Patricia also spoke about when she started in 1977, there were fewer successful seasoned women in business and fewer women represented in the NSA. She was told by one client that she was “the best woman speaker he had ever heard” – at the time felt like a compliment, now that would be an insult. Many clients would answer “No” to “would you ever consider a woman speaker?”
Jennifer runs a speakers bureau, and commented that if your content is fantastic and your promotional materials are fantastic, then you’ll have no problems competing with male counterparts. She went on tho mention that while she still sees a few clients still insist on having male speakers, there is also a lot more business out there. Those outliers won’t stop you from being successful.
MUST HAVE: Great video and great promotional materials
Judi mentioned how she started out speaking on the women’s program in large events, but not on the main program. That is, she said, until those women told their husbands how good she was. Then she started getting booked on the main program.
Patricia Fripp’s steps to be successful as a speaker
– Good content
– Be as good as a marketer as you are a speaker
– Understand the speaking industry
– Can you deliver your message to 1,5,10,50,100,1000,10000 people? Can you do it in person, virtually and prepackaged?
Cathey mentioned the need to dress appropriate to your content
Judi added to also dress appropriate to your audience
Jennifer reminded us that if your ever on stage and worried that people are judging you, you’re right. They are judging you.
After the panel, it sounded like there were a lot of ah-hah moments that helped everyone, women and men, to see ways to improve their ability to compete in the professional speaker industry and be successful.
More Lady’s and the Champs content to come.