IAM664- Entrepreneur Talks About Public Speaking for Women

Podcast Interview with Bobbie Carlton

Bobbie Carlton is the founder of Innovation Women, an online self-service speaker bureau for women. Carlton talks about public speaking for women and how it can be the driving force behind career growth and business success. She gives more than 100 presentations a year, including hosting her own monthly event, Innovation Nights; speaking at the United Nations; and being on the main stage for some of the world’s best-known conferences for technical and professional women.

  • CEO Hack: Building the right team
  • CEO Nugget: Get comfortable with public speaking to increase your value
  • CEO Defined: Ability and responsibility to make a difference

Website: https://www.innovationwomen.com/


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Intro 0:02

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 0:29

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast, I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Bobbie Carlton of Innovation Women. Bobbie, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Bobbie Carlton 0:39

Thanks for having me.

Gresham Harkless 0:40

No problem. Super excited to have you on. And before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Bobbie so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Bobbie is the founder of Innovation Women, an online self-service speaker Bureau for women. Bobbie talks about public speaking for women and how it can be the driving force behind career growth and business success. She gives more than 100 presentations a year including hosting her own monthly event, and innovation nights speaking at the United Nations and being on the main stage for some of the world's best-known conferences for technical and professional women. Bobbie, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Bobbie Carlton 1:16

I'm ready.

Gresham Harkless 1:17

Let's do it. So they kick everything off. I wanted to kind of rewind the clock, so to speak and go to what I call your CEO story and hear a little bit more about what led you to get started with your business.

Bobbie Carlton 1:28

Absolutely. So the year was 2008. The market fell off a cliff. I don't know what happened. And all of a sudden, I was out of a job. My husband was the stay-at-home mom with the kids and the kids liked to eat. So I had to figure out really quickly what I could do to make a living. And at the time social media was young. And we're all just figuring it out. So I started an event in the Boston Market called Mass Innovation Nights, which was a monthly new product launch event. We're actually celebrating 11 years now.

And we've launched 1500 new products that have gotten more than 4 billion in collective funding. During that journey with that company, I spent a lot of time sitting in the audience watching what I call the all-male all-pay on all stale panels. You know, it's the same five white guys, not that I don't love me, an old white guy. I'm married to one. But you know, I just wanted to hear some other people on stage. So I started Innovation Women, which is an online self-service, speaker's bureau designed to connect more women with more speaking opportunities.

Gresham Harkless 2:46

Nice. I absolutely love that. And I love that it speaks to me to the heart of entrepreneurship. And I guess innovation as well, too, is I think so many times people see things aren't probably as they should be. And sometimes people write about it. Exactly. Sometimes people complain about it. But I love the true entrepreneur that says hey, I'm going to pull myself up on the bootstraps, and help so many other people and decide to create this myself.

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Bobbie Carlton 3:11

That is pretty much exactly what happened.

Gresham Harkless 3:14

If you did, there you go. And so I wanted to hear a little bit more about innovative women. So can you take us through exactly what you're doing and how exactly you're serving their clients?

Bobbie Carlton 3:22

Sure. So Innovation Women is, as I mentioned, an online self-service, speaker's bureau, but it's a little bit more than that. I actually often call it a visibility bureau. It's designed to help women get more visibility. And we connect event managers and speakers. For us, an event manager is a very broad term, it's anybody who is looking for speakers or expert sources, and giving them an opportunity to get visible whether it's a journalist who's looking for an expert source for a story, or it's a conference or an event who is looking for a speaker, and event managers can go right into our online platform and choose from among the more than it gets more than 1700 speakers now. And they are women from all walks of life, with all kinds of different experiences. If an event manager wants somebody who can talk about blockchain or angel funding, or more general terms like leadership, they can connect with them directly and invite them. And then an event manager can also put up a call for speakers and women can apply for those speaking opportunities right on the platform.

Gresham Harkless 4:36

Nice. I love that because it all comes down to bringing those two worlds together because they're each looking for each other. It's kind of like I don't know, um, visualise like the school dance where everybody stands across from each other and they want to go across and you're being that connector and bringing those two people together so that you get that that visibility, which is what they're open for.

Bobbie Carlton 4:53

Absolutely, and podcasters as well. podcasters come in and look for guests.

Gresham Harkless 4:58

Yeah, absolutely. And I say a lot of times the name of the game is visibility. Because a lot of times we're doing so many great things, we have so much experience and background. But if no one knows about it, then you have to work to make sure that people know about it. So they can see how great you are and what you do.

Bobbie Carlton 5:14

Absolutely. And on the other end, when one of our speakers gets placed and gets one of those opportunities, we promote it. So we're using our social media skills and our weekly newsletter, to promote what our speakers are doing and turn them into that person that immediately gets thought of when those opportunities come around the next time.

Gresham Harkless 5:35

Yeah, absolutely. I love that and love everything you've been able to put together for those 1700. Women. And so now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And it could be for you personally or for your business. But what do you feel kind of sets you apart and makes you unique?

Bobbie Carlton 5:51

I think a lot of times it's figuring out what type of business opportunity comes from visibility, and how to gain that visibility. Often I'm representing companies that that don't have huge budgets, and we have to figure out how to use their budget, in order to get them more visible. So they get business opportunities, I actually have an equation, I call it visibility equals opportunity. Because every time you're on stage, whether that on stage is in a podcast or at an event or in an article, you have a business opportunity to connect with investors, with customers with potential partners, you know, maybe it's even board seats, so you have to look for those opportunities.

Gresham Harkless 6:41

Yeah, it's so important. It's so funny, you said I don't know, if I told you, I have an equation that I use a lot too. And I say visibility plus resources equals success. So visibility plus resources like innovation, and women allow you to be successful and to get those opportunities and, and to really get your name out there. So I love that I love everything that you're setting for you that you're doing. Because I think again, so many times, people are doing really great and phenomenal things, but they're just trying to figure out a way to get their name and their business and whatever they can speak to out there and you make it pretty much an easy button for people to be able to do that on both ends is super awesome.

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Bobbie Carlton 7:16

Yep, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 7:18

Awesome. And I wanted to switch gears a little bit. And I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Bobbie Carlton 7:29

Oh, you know what, I think it really comes down to building the right team. For me, it's having people that you can work with, and do a little bit of the mind meld. And you know, you pick people for the skill sets that, frankly, you don't have, you know, I'm very much a look-at chicken type person, you know, or, you know, looking I was looking to. So, I always need to surround myself with people who are organised and people who have processes while you know, I'm going let's ride bikes.

Gresham Harkless 8:09

Yeah, it's so important to make sure and I think that you have to have both in order to be successful because I think so many times if you get caught up in the processes in the organisation, you lose sight of the bigger picture of the mission that you're trying to do. But you also have to make sure that you have if you are that mission-driven person, that person who can see the big picture. You want to make sure that you're getting the day-to-day things that add up to being that successful step that you're trying to take.

Bobbie Carlton 8:35

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 8:37

Awesome. And so that would have asked you for what I call a CEO nugget. So that could be like a word of wisdom or a piece of advice could be around speaking or community building as you've been able to do. Or it might even be something you would tell your younger business self.

Bobbie Carlton 8:51

Yeah, you know, I often point to a quote that is used in a lot of marketing. It's a quote from Warren Buffett, and he talks about how if you are comfortable with communications and public speaking, you're worth 50% more. And I think a lot of people actually have seen the quote, but they don't know where it comes from. And they don't know the background behind it. And the story that I've heard is that Warren Buffett was speaking to a class at Columbia, he went in to speak and he offered each of the MBA students $100,000 If they would give him a percentage of their future earnings. And I kind of like picture all these MBA students going, Wait a minute, is this a good deal? figuring it out, and he wasn't done with them. He said, You know, I'll give you $150,000 If you consent to take public speaking classes because you are going to be worth far more to me if you do that, and I think that getting comfortable with public speaking, is really such an incredible value add you are worth more.

Gresham Harkless 10:09

Right? Do you think that because as we kind of talked about, that's a way to be visible, and you're able to kind of talk about what you do, and you communicate your message? Whereas if you're great at something, and you're not really as great at communicating that, let alone in front of a lot of people, you are less likely to be found and be contacted and get that opportunity.

Bobbie Carlton 10:29

Yeah, it's absolutely. And it all comes down to the visibility, you know, you think about the people that are working right now on the frontlines with trying to solve COVID-19. And, you know, working on vaccines and tests and all of these work. I mean, what if there's somebody who has already solved this problem, but there's so bad at communicating that nobody knows?

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Gresham Harkless 10:54


Bobbie Carlton 10:55

And we're all sitting here at home waiting for them. And they have yet to figure out how to communicate that news.

Gresham Harkless 11:02

Yeah, absolutely. And I appreciate you for saying that. And I hadn't heard that story with Warren Buffett. But you're absolutely right, the ability to be able to communicate is huge. And it's so valuable because you can talk about the great things that you do or problems that you can solve as we're experiencing now. So definitely appreciate that, that nugget. And so now I want to ask you my absolute favourite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote, CEOs on the show. So, Bobbie, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Bobbie Carlton 11:32

I think it's really the ability to make a difference. You know, it's like you have that ability, and you have the responsibility to make a difference.

Gresham Harkless 11:42

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that I'm a big believer in us, each having gifts, and things that we were kind of known to do, as we were both looking at that chicken that was crossing, we know that this is exactly what we're supposed to be doing. Exactly. So when we start to play somebody else's race, as I like to say or run somebody else's race, that's when we get in trouble. But as we understand that we have the ability to make a difference each individually in our own special ways. When we step into that and do that on a regular basis, that's when it really starts to make that impact we hope for.

Bobbie Carlton 12:12

Yeah, absolutely.

Gresham Harkless 12:14

Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Again, Bobbie, truly appreciate that. And I appreciate your time, even more, what I wanted to do is pass the mic so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional, you want to let our readers and listeners know. And then of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about all the awesome things you guys are working on.

Bobbie Carlton 12:29

Absolutely. So as I mentioned, innovation, women, we're always looking for great speakers and wonderful expert sources. You know, what I always tell people is if an event manager comes in and can't find what they need, I have failed. And so I'm always looking to help the event managers and if they can't find what they need in my database, I will open up my personal network I will take to social media, I will get out there and search for them to help them find what they need. But at the same time, it'd be a hell of a lot easier for me if you came and signed up for Innovation Women and made yourself available to the event manager so I don't have to go chasing you down next time we have a speaking opportunity with your name on it. So innovationwomen.com Thanks.

Gresham Harkless 13:22

Thank you very much again, Bobbie. We will have the links and information in the show notes so that everybody can follow up with you. But as we talked about how important visibility is please make sure that you take that step to broadcast and showcase your greatness and your unique brilliance that you have within you. And thank you so much again, Bobby and I hope you have a phenomenal day.

Bobbie Carlton 13:39

Thanks for having me. Take care.

Outro 13:42

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co. This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

[fusebox transcript]


Mercy - CBNation Team

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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