Your Speech Needs a Point June 17, 2020 09:00

Your Speech Needs a Point | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe

When I work with a public speaking client, the first thing we talk about is their intended audience. We need to know who exactly they're talking to before we plan what to say.

The next thing we do is get to the point. This means we determine what their takeaway is. Yes, we know their topic, but a takeaway goes further. A takeaway answers this question:

Five years from now, what is the one thing you want this audience to remember from your speech?

The answer to that question is the point of the speech. It's the takeaway. It's the one thing we build their presentation around.

Most speeches are 40-60 minutes. As a speaker, you can only share a certain amount of information in that timeframe effectively. You cannot tell the audience every single thing you know about your topic. You wouldn't be able to cram your lifetime of knowledge into that 40-60 minutes, and the audience wouldn't want you to.

Instead, determine your takeaway based on your overall topic. Ask yourself what one thing from your speech you want your audience to remember five years from now, and that's your takeaway. That's the whole point of your speech.

Your overall topic may be "Instagram," but your takeaway may be "Instagram Stories are easily utilized to build the know-like-trust factor with your customers."

See the difference?

Once you know your takeaway, write it down as a statement. Print it at the top of your paper when you begin brainstorming ideas for the content of your speech. For each point you think should be included in the speech, ask yourself if it supports your overall takeaway. It it does, keep it. If it doesn't it, save it for a future speech or dump it altogether.

Less is more in public speaking. Keep your speech simple by making a point-- one point-- and delivering content that supports it.


We talk about this and other public speaking topics in our Speaking Society. Click here to join our community that accelerates your communication, connection, and confidence!

Your Speech Needs a Point | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call May 12, 2020 09:00

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe

Zoom is a powerful tool to keep us connected when we can't be together in person. We use it for coaching calls, virtual coffee chats and happy hours, online workshops, and team meetings. The possibilities are endless.

The ways to ruin Zoom calls are endless, too. Want to end up the star of a recorded Zoom call that goes viral on social media? You'll guarantee your total humiliation by doing the following:

1. Don't tell your household you'll be on a call.

No really-- I dare you not to warn members of your household in advance. Just kidding. It's important to warn the other people in your house that you'll be on a Zoom call; otherwise, distractions and embarrassment are virtually guaranteed. Your children will scream and run into the room to play, or your spouse will get out of the shower and walk behind you in only a towel. Warn your household first, and fully explain your expectations. We find it helpful to hang a stop sign on our office door before we get on a call so our family knows not to barge in and to be quiet.

2. Avoid muting your microphone.

Go ahead and leave your microphone on while you chew, yell at your kids, and take a leak. If you don't like that idea, then be sure to mute your microphone when you aren't talking. Zoom users who forget to do this will end up with a barking dog, toilet flush, or other background sounds causing distractions. Zoom has easy-to-use controls right on the screen to mute the mic. While we're at it, we'll mention the ability to shut off your camera in case you need to pick your nose, take a bathroom break, or simply eat your lunch. Be sure your camera is shut off when you don't want to be seen. Check and double-check before proceeding with nose-picking and other private activities.

3. Choose not to use headphones or ear buds.

Everyone loves to hear sound feedback, right? Wrong. To cut down on sound feedback, always use headphones. If you don't, the speaker's voice comes out your computer's speakers and goes right back into your microphone as an echo that will annoy everyone on the call. A simple pair of headphones or ear buds does the trick.

4. Avoid checking your lighting and sound equipment ahead of time.

Getting on Zoom in a dark room and making everyone wait while you plug in your microphone is a joy. Um, no it isn't. Make sure you know how to use Zoom before your call. Practice all the features. Test how far away from your camera you should sit. Check your lighting and sound beforehand, too. Good lighting is essential so everyone on the call can see your face properly. The key here is to try it all out before you get on the call so you can make sure everything works properly, sounds great, and looks right.

5. Don't check your background.

Go ahead and get on Zoom in the most chaotic part of your home or office. Show the world your hot mess. Let's be real... Dirty laundry, piles of papers, kid toys, and a cat grooming itself probably is not going to be seen as professional by the people on your Zoom call. Do yourself a favor and take a look at your background before your call. Make sure your background represents you well. When in doubt, utilize a flat wall and a virtual Zoom background. 

A little prep work goes a long way toward ensuring a successful Zoom call. Avoid the mistakes above, and you'll be able to connect with others in a professional and productive way.


To learn more about virtual calls and other forms of speaking, join our Speaking Society. You're invited to learn more about it here

5 Ways to Ruin Your Next Zoom Call | He says, She says | Carrie Sharpe | Carrie Sharpe

How to Create an Online Workshop April 14, 2020 09:00

How to Create an Online Workshop | Carrie Sharpe | Ryan Sharpe | He says, She says

You don't need to be in-person to host a workshop. You also don't need to be a professional speaker or presenter. 

All you need is a skill that others want to learn about.

That thing people are always asking you for advice about is the thing you can teach in an online workshop.

Maybe it's baking beautiful bread. Maybe it's knitting a special scarf. Maybe it's designing a website's landing page. Maybe it's tying fly-fishing knots. Maybe it's planning out a year of social media marketing.

Whatever skill you have can be successfully turned into an online workshop, and there's no better time. You don't have to leave home. Heck, you don't even have to put on pants.

Online workshops are the perfect choice because they:

• don’t take much planning

• are easy to do

• showcase your expertise

• build relationships

• teach something

• can grow your audience (email list or social media following)

• can generate income

Convinced? Awesome.

Now you need to plan your online workshop. Here's how:

1. Decide what your goals are. Are you trying to reach more people with a free online workshop? Are you trying to make money with an online workshop you charge for? Are you just doing it for fun? What do you want your participants to learn from you? Take time to determine your overall goals.

2. Decide on a topic. The easiest way to choose a topic is to think about this question: What do people ask your advice about most often? The questions you answer for people most often make excellent workshop topics.

3. Create an outline. Include your intro, bulletpoints, a conclusion, and a call to action. An outline will keep you on track during your online workshop. 

4. Plan whether you'll include screen shares, demonstrations, or just you talking. There are so many options, so figure out which ones will work best for what you're teaching.

5. Create handouts and worksheets, if applicable. These can be made available before the workshop for participants to work through with you, or after the workshop for additional assistance. Checklists and templates are valuable for online workshops.

6. Create an up-sell offer, if applicable. If you are using an online workshop as an opt-in or introductory offer, you may wish to design a relevant offer to sell to your participants. Think this through before your workshop so you are ready to sell it during the workshop.

7. Create and schedule follow-up emails. Provide a way for your participants to learn more and continue to connect with you. 

8. Practice on Zoom or whichever software platform you choose to use. Familiarize yourself with how it works and all the options. If you've never used it before, enlist a friend or family member to do a practice run-through with you.

Now that you see how easy it is to create an online workshop, get to work on yours. You can take anything you know and teach it in an online workshop either for free or to make money. This is the perfect time to host online workshops, so don't wait another minute... start planning yours now!


We created an online workshops checklist to walk you through the entire process, start to finish, so you don't miss an important step. It's available as an exclusive resource for our Speaking Society members. You're invited to become a member and get your own copy of that checklist here.

How to Create an Online Workshop | Carrie Sharpe | Ryan Sharpe | He says, She says

When It Comes To Public Speaking, Do What's Best For You February 18, 2020 09:00

I lead virtual (online) workshops pretty often. One of my favorites is called Public Speaking for Business: Choosing the Best Format for You to Connect, Teach, and Share Your Message. During that workshop, I explain why public speaking is essential for business growth, what all the speaking format options are, and how to determine which is best for each person.

Every time I lead that workshop, I am reminded of two things:

1. Everyone has unique expertise to share.

2. There is a speaking format for everyone (it's just not the same one for everyone).

Recently I hosted that workshop for a group of professional organizers. Every single one of them knows how to clear clutter. They know how to take a mess and turn it into a simplified system of productivity. They know how best to file, fold, pack, store, and ship.

But each one is unique.

Each one has a different background, upbringing, family life, and job. Each one has her own history and education. Each one has a different reason for organizing. One may clear clutter for cleanliness sake, while another may clear clutter to help someone overcome the loss of a loved one. Some deal with mindset issues while others teach practical skills.

They all are professional organizers, but they are each different and unique. Because of that, each one should choose the speaking format that best showcases her goals, skills, and preferences.

They all should use public speaking (at least to some degree) to build their businesses. Public speaking builds the know-like-trust factor that is necessary for sales faster than almost any other marketing tool. But because each person is different, each choice of speaking format will be different, too.

Types of speaking formats include:

• Keynotes, which are more of a one-way conversation and can be more formal

• In-person workshops, which are more of a 2-way conversation and interactive

• Teaching an in-person class, which is more of a one-way conversation but less formal

• Online workshops/webinars, which are interactive and have the benefit of not needing to leave home (hello, pajama pants!)

• Videos, which come with the added bonus of being editable (good-bye, mistakes!)

• Podcasts/podcast interviews, which are casual and conversational

Each one of those professional organizers will excel in one or more of the speaking formats listed above. They each should consider their overall goals for public speaking, preferences, prior speaking experience, and speaking skills when deciding which one(s) to choose. 

What's best for one may not be what's best for another. Some people shine in podcast interviews, where they don't have to memorize or practice a speech. Some people shine on stage, where the entertainer in them comes out and they inspire the audience. Some are excellent teachers who find their sweet spot teaching a class, creating a video tutorial, or hosting a webinar.

No speaking format is better than another. Each one establishes expertise, builds relationships, teaches skills, and inspires. Just choose the one that's best for you, your business, and your goals.

If you need help determining which one is best for you, or you aren't sure how to get started with public speaking, come join us in the Speaking Society. Our entire community is waiting to help you achieve your goals! Click here to check it out. 

When It Comes To Public Speaking, Do What's Best For You

3 Lessons the Gettysburg Address Teaches Speakers November 19, 2019 09:00

Gettysburg Address | He says, She says | Marin Sharpe

The Gettysburg Address was delivered by Abraham Lincoln on November 19, 1863, to dedicate the battlefield cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Lincoln's powerful words inspired his audience. We remember his speech this many years later, and as speakers we can learn a lot from it. 

Consider these three lessons from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address:

1. You can make an impact even if you aren't the keynote speaker.

Believe it or not, Abe Lincoln wasn't the keynote speaker that day. Edward Everett was. Everett was a popular orator of the day and was called upon to deliver the main speech at the dedication ceremony. Lincoln was simply asked to deliver a "few appropriate remarks" after Everett. But which speech have you heard of? Which speech do we still talk about to this day? Exactly. It's not necessary to be the keynote speaker to inspire an audience.

2. A speech doesn't have to be long to be powerful.

Edward Everett's keynote that day was two hours long. Seriously. Abraham Lincoln's entire Gettysburg Address was under three minutes and influenced the course of history. Everett himself said, "I wish that I could flatter myself that I had come as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes." Enough said.

3. Slides aren't necessary. 

Abraham Lincoln didn't use slides while presenting the Gettysburg Address. Not only had slides not been invented yet, but they weren't necessary. The focus was on Lincoln's message. Lincoln prepared a powerful talk and delivered it without distractions like slides. They simply weren't needed. I'd also point out that most, if not all, famous speeches have been presented without the use of slides to distract from them. If you'll recall, "I Have a Dream" involved zero slides as well.


Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.


Those words still make an impact long after the speech was delivered. Will yours?



Click here to read the full text of the Gettysburg Address.

Want to hit the next level as a speaker? Join the Speaking Society to accelerate your communication, connection, and confidence! Click here for details.

3 Lessons the Gettysburg Address Teaches Speakers | He says, She says

We Went to the TOP of the Mackinac Bridge July 17, 2019 16:09

On top of the Mackinac Bridge | Ryan Sharpe | Carrie Sharpe

By Carrie Sharpe

For any Michigander, the Mackinac Bridge is a 5-mile symbol of our state. It's the massive suspension bridge connecting Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. When someone says simply "The Bridge," we all immediately know what he's referring to. The Mighty Mac is part of who we are, and it's something that means Pure Michigan, through and through.

So when Ryan and I were offered the chance to climb to the top of one of the bridge towers, our answer was YES.

But here's the thing: that tower we'd be standing on is 552' above the Great Lakes (Lake Huron on one side, and Lake Michigan on the other). Friends, it's high. Soooooo high. And there isn't a staircase to get you to the top... there are tight spaces to squeeze through, ladders to climb, and a lot of required shimmying.

Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if the end result of something is worth the journey it takes to get there. In this case, the end result was definitely worth the journey!

When we first stepped out onto that tower 552-feet in the air, we weren't thinking of nerves, anxiety, or fear. We were too stunned by the view. We were, quite literally, speechless (which doesn't happen often for two people who talk as much as we do! haha!).

Fear is a funny thing. Sometimes it's rational and keeps us from doing dangerous things that would harm us, but other times it's irrational and can stop us from doing amazing things. 

I tell you this because the day before we went to the top of that tower, my blood pressure skyrocketed due to fear. Don't laugh when I tell you why. It was because I had a dentist appointment that day. Not even kidding. I was more nervous about the dentist than I was to climb to the top of that tower. I have an irrational fear of doctors and dentists that leads me to sometimes cancel even simple appointments like dental cleanings.

Irrational fear, friends. 

I can't always trust feelings of fear. Sometimes fear is helpful (hello, machete-wielding murderer running straight at me!), but other times I really need to analyze fear before acting on it so I don't miss out on something of value. Like healthy teeth. Or the views from the top of the Mackinac Bridge. 

When it came to the bridge climb, I was too excited to be fearful. And honestly, looking at the photos and videos now makes me more woozy than I felt when we were actually at the top of the bridge. I know heights and tight spaces are fears for many people, but I'm glad I didn't let anything like that stop me from climbing to the top. I would have missed out on so much!

And that's fear. It's kind of like that statement on car mirrors: Objects may be closer than they appear. When it comes to fear, the reality may not be anything like it appears in your head. The image may be totally distorted, when the reality may be absolutely remarkable. 

Take time to analyze whether your fear is rational (so you don't jump out of a plane without a parachute!) or irrational (like me being afraid of a dental appointment). You don't want to miss life-changing opportunities like giving a speech, being interviewed on a podcast, networking, or going Live on Facebook just because of fear. If your fear is irrational, work through it so you don't miss out on something amazing!

Check out this video of our trip to the top of the Mackinac Bridge:


Looking for a supportive community where you can talk about overcoming fear and things like stage fright? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society. Click here to join.

We Went to the Top of the Mackinac Bridge | Ryan Sharpe | Carrie Sharpe

How to Give a Powerful Speech July 16, 2019 09:00

How to Give a Powerful Speech | Carrie Sharpe | He says, She says

It's not hard to give a speech. People do it every day. But if your goal is to connect with your audience and deliver a memorable presentation, you'll need to put in some preparation and practice. Powerful speeches rarely "just happen," so follow these tips to ensure your speech makes an impact.

1. Know your audience.

Knowing who you're talking to is key. Know their basic demographics, but also know their skill level regarding your topic, their interest level in your topic (Do they want to be here, or do they have to?), and what they need to hear from you to move forward. Give them what they need.

2. Write down your overall takeaway, and stick to it.

Ask yourself: If this audience could only remember one thing from my speech, what would I want it to be? Write your answer down as one complete sentence. That's your takeaway. Write it at the top of your paper as you begin developing your speech. As you add things to your speech ask yourself if each thing supports that takeaway. If it does, keep it in your speech. If it doesn't, save it for a different speech.

3. Prepare notes (not a script).

Memorizing a speech is not necessary and may even sound robotic. It's better to sound conversational yet prepared. Create an outline with bulletpoints. As you talk through it, you'll be able to condense your notes further and further. Ultimately you want to become familiar enough with your material that your notes are minimal. Just a skeletal structure is all you need. The only parts of your speech that should be written out verbatim in your notes are quotes, statistics, and anything else that must be shared exactly as written.

4. Share stories that illustrate your points.

Stories are memorable and relatable, so you'll want to include them in your speech. Make sure you choose stories that are relevant to your topic and audience, and then practice telling them until you sound natural. Don't underestimate the power of stories... they are often remembered long after the speech when statistics are forgotten.

5. Have a conversation with your audience.

Move around the stage naturally. Use expressive (yet appropriate) body language. You want to engage the audience and make them feel like they're part of the conversation rather than passive observers, so talk with them rather than at them. While we're on this subject let me just add that it's virtually impossible to have a conversation with your audience if you're reading slides to them. Don't let slides take over your speech and wreck it. For more information about slides, click here.

6. Practice. Practice again. Practice more. Repeat.

Creating your notes is not full preparation for giving a powerful speech. You must practice. That means you must say your speech out loud so many times that it feels like second nature. When you get on stage for the big day, you should feel like giving your speech is "old hat." When you've practiced enough, your speech will feel like a familiar friend. Your audience deserves your best, and that means you must practice, practice again, practice again, and practice again. Get feedback, tweak things, and practice more. 

And then please practice again.

And again.

Once more after that wouldn't hurt, either.

To deliver a powerful speech you must know your audience, prepare properly, and practice until your speech feels so familiar that you could deliver it in your sleep. Your audience will appreciate your effort, and you'll make an impact for years to come.

Need to improve your speech or stage presence? Click here to schedule a call with Carrie to learn more about how she can help you achieve your goals!

 How to Give a Powerful Speech | Carrie Sharpe | He says, She says

Want to be an Amazing Networker? Stop Doing These 3 Things. July 2, 2019 09:00

Networking is a hot topic.

Recently I asked our community members to tell me about the kind of networking behaviors that drive them crazy.

Their responses were overwhelming.

It seems we've all experienced some pretty lousy networking tactics over the years, and it's time to put a stop to it. Networking takes a lot of time and energy, so don't waste yours on ineffective (and totally cringe-worthy!) tactics.

If you want to get good results from your networking efforts, stop these behaviors immediately:

1. Making it all about you.

If you spend the entire networking event talking about yourself and your needs, you've missed an opportunity to develop connections and relationships with others (which, by the way, is the actual point of networking). If the majority of your sentences start with "I" you may be making it all about you.  

Veronica Staudt shared this experience: "It was when I was sold a 'networking' event where someone I wanted to meet/hear speak was the highlight. The person never showed up to the event. In fact, the organizers then said, 'You can still speak/network with her at an after party,' which was all the way across town. Even though I was a bit perturbed, I said fine, I attended the original event and the afterparty. Once at the Afterparty, said speaker networked with people for only 30 minutes because she had to leave for another event to emcee."

Kathryn Young said, "I think the very worst is to always have your hand out for help or sales and leads but do nothing to help others. I tell my group, be of service first. Build a relationship. Networking is a long game. Play it well."


2. Forgoing basic etiquette and social skills, both in-person and online.

Networking should serve to increase your know-like-trust factor with others, but if you are rude, obnoxious, or oblivious to social cues, you'll blow it.

"It's hard when you're trying to network at an event and the person you're speaking with is missing the social cues that you'd like to wrap up the conversation. At that point, you must become much more obvious (and potentially a bit awkward) so that you can have other conversations," said Suzanne Brown

Speaker and Author Sasha Gray said, "When you're at a networking event, and some people never get up out of their seat or off their phone to actually network, you wonder who is sending them to this event, and if they are just there for the food. When I go to an event specifically for networking, I want to meet as many people as I can, make connections with as many as possible, and be able to follow up with them that week. If I never see your face, I can't do that."

"I used to help facilitate the weekly networking group for our local chamber of commerce. The most frustrating thing we ran into was a complete lack of respect for time limitations. Each person was allowed 30 seconds for an elevator pitch. I had a timer set to go off at 30 seconds, then another 10 seconds and then another 5 seconds. I had the volume turned up all the way on my phone so everyone could hear, but there were always a couple people who felt those rules never applied to them. The same thing with the 15 minute presentations. Networking isn’t just about getting your name out there. It’s also about showing due respect to others, including honoring their time," said Susan Whitehead.

Robin Oakes added, "Getting a friend request from someone whose page clearly only markets their products and you don't have any connections to that person or interest in what they are marketing. I currently have one I haven't declined yet."

Use good manners, friends. The Golden Rule is still a thing.

3. Hard-selling your products and services to people you have no relationships with and whose needs you don't know.

Sunit Suchdev shared this example: "Getting a private message in my dm inbox on Instagram when I follow someone new- they instantly send me a robotic automated message thanking me for the follow and asking if I’d like to buy their product, join their group etc etc. It’s clear that they haven’t done any research on who I am or what I do- many times the product or service they sell is the same as me. Even if I politely decline, they’ll follow up a few months later and say 'I’m just checking in to make sure you’re still good,' and they obviously still don’t know what I do. I don’t want to take the time to explain that I already have a health and wellness business or already sell essential oils because if they took a minute and learned about me they would know that.... but at the same time, if I politely say no they follow up again. It gets really annoying. I get several of these a day."

Virtual Assistant Lori Evans added, "Two days ago I was invited to a group for curvy singles. I’m neither single nor particularly curvy. I declined the invite. Today I was invited again. So I had no choice but to unfriend the person who invited me. I’ve also never spoken to this person before."

Jen Snyder gave perhaps the most poignant example of a hard sell gone wrong: "Hi! I haven’t talked to you since first grade but I see you’re fat now. Would you like to try my MLM product?"


Networking is a vital business-building skill that we all need to master. Knowing which behaviors to avoid is essential to success. We've talked a lot here about what not to do when it comes to networking. For details on what to do, click here. Then head over to our Speaking Society to talk more about networking, public speaking, and other communication skills that will grow your business or career.

Want to be an Amazing Networker? Stop Doing These 3 Things.

You Don't Have to be a Hot Mess to Connect with Your Audience June 18, 2019 09:00

You Don't Have to be a Hot Mess to Connect with Your Audience | Carrie Sharpe

I'd really like to know who decided that the only way to be relatable is to be a hot mess. 

Suddenly I see photos in my newsfeed of women who look like they just rolled out of bed trying to sell me their professional products and services. Piles of filthy laundry. Dirty dishes stacked in the sink. Messy hair. Messy house. Messy life.

Um, no, thanks.

I understand the thought process behind it... no one wants to buy from someone who seems perfect. We want people to be genuine and real.

But must "real" equal "hot mess?"

I don't think so.

As a woman in her forties who has a marriage of over twenty years, professional career, and older children, I am not a hot mess most days. I can't be. People rely on me to be professional and get things done thoroughly. My house can't look like a bomb went off, I can't show up at networking events wearing sweats and a tank top, and I need to be on time for meetings. 

Hot mess won't cut it in my life.

I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm not a disaster, either. So when I see women selling themselves as a hot mess, I can't relate. I don't equate "hot mess" with "professional."

I don't need perfection, but I do need professional.

I relate to professional. It connects with me. I look to people who are competent, educated, established, and have their stuff together for the most part.

So allow me to reassure you: If you've seen those "hot mess" posts/ads/videos and felt pressure to do the same in order to connect with your audience, it's not necessary to be a hot mess to connect with your audience. Think it through carefully first. 

Is "hot mess" really you?

Is "hot mess" how you want to be known?

Who's in your audience... do they really relate to "hot mess?"

"Hot mess" marketing may work in some industries, but it doesn't work in all. Don't feel pressure to be someone or something you're not. Be you, and connect with your audience in your own way. No hot mess required.

You Don't Have to be a Hot Mess to Connect with Your Audience | Carrie Sharpe

Looking for a supportive community where you can learn more about connecting and other communication topics? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society! Click here to join.

3 Ways You're Screwing Up as a Public Speaker June 4, 2019 09:00

Almost everyone has to do some form of public speaking at some point. Whether you have to give a presentation to a few coworkers or you're delivering a keynote to a stadium full of people, you need to accomplish your goals of connecting with your audience, teaching something, and inspiring action.

It's easy to screw that up.

If you aren't hitting a home-run with your speeches, it's time to reflect, get feedback, and make the necessary changes. 

Here are 3 ways you may be screwing up as a speaker:

1. You aren't preparing... properly.

Preparation means more than jotting down a few bullet points and going over your notes the night before a speech. To be truly prepared, you need to do the work. That means you need to research your topic, learn what the audience needs from you, figure out which stories and illustrations will enhance your talk, determine how best to start the talk, and decide how best to end it. Then you have to draft the talk, refine it, practice it, record yourself giving it, watch your practice video, make changes, practice again, and repeat. Lack of proper preparation is the biggest mistake I see speakers make. (Need help preparing? Click here.)

2. You don't know your audience.

It's imperative that you know who you're talking to so you can tell them what they need to hear in the way they need to hear it. Do they expect a casual talk or a formal presentation? Do they already know the basics about your topic, or do they need to know all the foundational information? Are they familiar with industry jargon? Think through exactly who your audience is. Think through age, gender, education level, industry, marital status, and any other relevant demographics. If you aren't sure, ask the event planner. (For more about knowing your audience, click here.)

3. You're a diva.

Are you speaking for you or for your audience? Are you making demands? What are your motives for speaking? All too often, I see otherwise talented speakers lose audiences through vanity and narcism. Speaking is serving. Check your pride at the door. Divas don't connect with audiences... they repel them. Audience members can see a diva coming a mile away. (For more on serving your audience, click here.)

It's easy to screw up as a public speaker, but it's also pretty easy to fix your issues. Take the time to really analyze your most recent presentations. Be honest with yourself about each of the three issues I described above, and change accordingly. If you aren't sure how, click here and let's work on it together.

3 Ways You're Screwing Up as a Public Speaker | Carrie Sharpe

Looking for a supportive community where you can learn more about public speaking and other communication topics? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society. Click here to join.

How to Find the Right Networking Events for You May 14, 2019 09:00

How to Choose the Right Networking Events for You | Carrie Sharpe
It's vital that we make connections through networking. Networking leads to relationships that develop into friendships, mentorships, partnerships, collaborations, and referrals. But we can sure waste a lot of time by attending the wrong networking events.

Watch this video to make sure you're attending the right ones for you:

How to Find the Right Networking Events for You | Carrie Sharpe
Looking for a supportive community where you can learn more about networking and other communication topics? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society. Click here to join.

How to Craft a Powerful Valedictory Speech May 1, 2019 09:00

It's an honor to be named valedictorian. Thrilling... Exciting... Right up until the moment you realize you have to give the speech, that is.

Then the panic sets in. 

What should I say?

How long should this be?

Will anyone even remember it?

No problem. With some preparation and practice, you'll be ready to deliver a powerful speech on your graduation day.

To get started, follow these tips:

1. Decide on a theme. Give a speech that has one main point, and stick to it. That theme can be anything that you want the audience to remember overall.

2. Know your audience. Your speech needs to speak to the people in the room. Who are they? What do they need to hear? Is there something specific to your graduating class you want to talk about? 

3. Craft an outline. An outline will keep you on track so you don't go off on tangents or start rambling. This is not a script, however. No one wants you to read to them.

4. Keep it short. Check with your school administrator to find out how long they want you to talk, and don't go any longer. Short and sweet is the way to go when it comes to graduation speeches.

5. Put your most important message at the end. Your audience is most likely to remember what you say last, so make the most of your final minutes behind the podium.

Your stage presence matters, and so does how you practice. Click on this guide for tips (it's free, and you don't have to give us your email address to get it):

Your Valedictory Speech guide

Need additional help? Email me (Carrie Sharpe) at, and let's talk about your speech! 

How to Craft a Powerful Valedictory Speech

This One Thing is Killing Your Credibility as a Speaker April 30, 2019 09:00

This One Thing is Killing Your Credibility as a Speaker

What could that one thing be?

It's vital that a speaker establishes credibility, but this one thing can kill it in an instant. Watch as I describe what that one thing is and what you should do instead to boost your credibility as a speaker:

This One Thing is Killing Your Credibility as a Speaker

Learn more about credibility in our Speaking Society. Click here to join!

Establishing Credibility as a Speaker: Your Word is Your Worth April 16, 2019 09:00

Establishing Credibility as a Speaker: Your Word is Your Worth

Personal credibility.

That's a tough topic, but it's so important. There have been times when I've been asked to refer a speaker for a particular event. You know what's sad? When a speaker would be perfect for that event but I can't recommend him/her because of their personal credibility issues.

If a speaker is known for arriving late to a speaking event, there's a personal credibility issue (please don't misunderstand-- an emergency or one-time issue is NOT what I'm talking about... I'm talking about someone who is habitually late).

If a speaker makes unreasonable demands and becomes known as a diva, there is a personal credibility issue.

If a speaker backs out of a speaking contract/agreement simply because he no longer feels like going to the event, there's a personal credibility issue.

If a speaker shows up to an event wearing inappropriate clothing choices for that event, there's a personal credibility issue (I've truly seen it all).

If a speaker flirts with members of the event committee, there is a personal credibility issue (yes, I've seen this happen, and it's not pretty).

The point here is to be a professional in every sense of the word. Your credibility is at stake. Future speaking opportunities are at stake. Your reputation is at stake. Referrals and recommendations are at stake.

Today make a personal list of things you can improve in regards to your personal credibility. You don't need to share it with anyone, but please reflect and be honest with yourself. Once you've done this, take action on that list!

Establishing Credibility as a Speaker: Your Word is Your Worth

Establishing Speaker Credibility through Testimonials April 2, 2019 09:00

Establishing Speaker Credibility through Testimonials

If you want to be seen as an expert in the field you're speaking about, you need credibility.

That doesn't mean you need to have 500 speaking gigs under your belt. It means that you are seen as credible as an expert in your field. Even a brand new speaker can establish credibility as an expert.

One way to build credibility is through testimonials. You can post them on your website and one-sheet, and you can provide them to event planners. The best testimonials are a few short sentences describing the transformation you inspired in an audience, your integrity as a person and professional, and/or your knowledge of your subject matter.

Testimonials fall into three categories (but you don't necessarily need all three types to establish credibility):

1. Those given by people who have heard you speak (and can attest to your life-changing message)

2. Those given by people who have hired you to speak (and can shout from the rooftops how easy you are to work with and how you delivered more than they ever dreamed), and

3. Those given by people who have worked with you in some capacity and know first-hand how brilliant you are (if you're a brain surgeon, a testimonial from another surgeon who knows how skilled you are may be more important than a testimonial from someone who has heard you speak before).

Do you have testimonials that help establish your credibility? If so, post one on your social media channels today and tag us so we see it (we are "He says, She says" on all social media channels). If you don't have one, today's the day to get one (or more). Reach out to someone and ask for one. If you need help, send us an email at and we'll help you brainstorm.

Establishing Speaker Credibility Through Testimonials

Looking for a supportive community where you can learn more about public speaking and other communication topics? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society. Click here to join.

Networking Does Not Equal Selling March 5, 2019 09:00

Networking does not equal selling

You go to your local networking event. While you're there you pass out 65 business cards, stumble through a few brief conversations about the awful weather, sample the food and wine, and then go home to wait for sales to pour in.

That's networking. Right?


A misunderstanding of networking's purpose causes frustration for so many business owners and professionals. That's because, for whatever reason, we've come to think of networking as selling. Then we're disappointed when it doesn't happen.

But networking does not equal selling.

I repeat: Networking does not equal selling.

Networking may, in fact, lead to sales at some point, but networking itself is not selling. No one goes to networking events with their wallet wide open, ready to throw money at you. That's not networking.

Rather, networking is building relationships. Plain and simple.

The goal of networking is to make connections and cultivate a community that becomes your professional network. Your network becomes your team of people to tap into when you have a question about something, want to refer someone, require a listening ear, or need a collaboration partner. Your network is your community of friends.

With any friendship, you must spend time together. Ask questions. Get to know each other. Care enough to be thoughtful and courteous. Learn more about each other's family members, struggles, and businesses. Follow up and stay in touch.

Be in it for the long haul. Networking is not a one-and-done event. Networking is a courtship.

To network effectively, you must:

1. Use good eye contact. Put your phone down, and look the other person directly in the eyes. Give all of your attention to that person without distraction.

2. Ask questions. Your objective is to learn about the other person, so ask things like "What do you do?" and "How did you get started doing that?"

3. Listen. Listen more than you talk. Listening shows that you care, and you don't want to miss any important details that are being shared!

4. Follow up. Get the other person's contact information so you can continue the conversation later. Send articles that are of interest to the other person, tag them on relevant Facebook posts, and meet up again at a later date.

5. Brainstorm collaborations. Someone whose work complements yours is a perfect collaboration partner. Find ways the two of you can team up on a future project.

Always remember that the goal of networking is to build relationships. Networking does not equal selling. Connect with people, learn more about them, and continue the conversations, and you'll create a community to support you for years to come.

Networking Does Not Equal Selling, by Carrie Sharpe of He says, She says

Looking for a supportive community where you can learn more about networking and other communication topics? You're invited to join us over in our Speaking Society. Click here to join.

Evaluating Your Year as a Speaker December 4, 2018 09:00

At the end of each year (or anytime, really!) it's important to evaluate how you're doing as a speaker. As speakers, we focus so much on speaking that we sometimes forget to pay attention to the business side of things. Knowing your numbers and developing smart strategies are vital to your success as a speaker, especially if you'd like to make money at it.

Have you taken time to evaluate how things are going for you as a speaker and communicator? Are you setting, and achieving, your goals? It's time to evaluate.

Some things to ask yourself:

1. Do I have a speech (keynote or workshop) that I'm proud of and can get hired to deliver? (If not, what needs to happen to get to that point?)

2. Do I have a money-making strategy for my talks in addition to speaker fees? (If not, what can be planned to ensure profits from speaking gigs?)

3. Do I have a plan for getting hired to speak in the next 12-18 months? (If not, the time is now.)

4. Have I done all the behind-the-scenes prep work for pitching myself? (One-sheet, website speaker page, listings with bureaus, networking, researching conferences, etc.)

5. What other types of speaking do I need to plan for the next 12 months? (Facebook Live, podcasts, radio/TV interviews, teaching classes, online workshops/webinars, etc.)

6. When I speak, am I truly connecting?

7. Am I building that know-like-trust factor and long-term relationships with my audience?

Grab some paper and a pen. Spend some time today working through that list so you're all set for the next year or so. It's important to analyze how things are going before making plans for the future.

Need help working through your ideas and plans? Need to improve your speech or stage presence? Click here to schedule a call with Carrie to learn more about how she can help you achieve your goals!

Evaluating Your Year as a Speaker- He says, She says

Our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide is here! November 16, 2018 14:21

holiday gift guide

Tis the season! It's that time of year when we share with you our favorite things to grow your business and assist you as a speaker. If you work from home or your business includes some form of public speaking, this list is for YOU. It's not a list of gifts for your family and friends. You've got that covered (or Santa does). Instead, this is a list of things to get for yourself. You've earned it.

[Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission for purchases made through those links, at no additional cost to you. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Visit our Disclosures page for details.]

Ready to shop? Here are our favorite things:

laptop stand

1. A laptop stand. We use this to raise our laptop to the right height for recording videos and hosting Zoom meetings. This stand raises the laptop so the laptop's camera is at forehead level, which is the perfect level to look like you're giving direct eye contact and to avoid up-the-nose shots. This one's easy to assemble and doesn't cost a fortune. Click here to get yours [affiliate link].

dry nail polish

2. Mara Graff's dry nail polish strips. These nail strips by Color Street are pure genius. I don't have time to get my nails done, and I don't want to wait around for my nail polish to dry. I do, however, need my nails to look good for speaking engagements, networking events, and conferences. I throw a package of these in my purse and apply them in the car or at the airport. Easy-peasy, and done in no time! I get mine through Mara, who never spams me and who provides top-notch customer service. Always. Click here before December 13, 2018, to buy your strips in time for Christmas through our affiliate link, and click here to learn more about Mara and her business.
3. A Zoom subscription. We use Zoom for hosting virtual coffee chats, coaching sessions, and group programs through our computer. It's the most economical and reliable way to meet with other people across the globe without leaving home. Zoom features screen sharing, recordable meetings, and chat. It can be used on a laptop or phone. We love it! Click here to subscribe through our affiliate link.
2019 day planner
4. A 2019 planner by Orange Circle Studio. A new year means you need a new planner to keep track of everything! This is our favorite planner for daily tasks. It features large sections to write in for each day and an attached ribbon to save your spot. No need for complicated instructions to utilize this planner... it's super simple to use. Click here to get yours through our affiliate link.
stop sign
5. A stop sign. Seriously. When you work from home, a stop sign is essential for keeping distractions out of your video recordings, conference calls, and virtual coffee chats. We hang one on the office door whenever we're meeting with a client online, going Live on Facebook, or recording a podcast episode to let our kids know not to disturb. If you don't treat yourself to anything else this holiday season, treat yourself to this gift of NO INTERRUPTIONS! Click here to get yours through our affiliate link.


2018 Holiday Gift Guide for speakers and those who work at home

Speaker Spotlight: Sarah Humes June 4, 2018 15:13

Our Speaker Spotlight series puts the focus on speakers in our community. Iron sharpens iron, and we can all learn from the experiences of others. We asked questions and our speakers answered them. These answers come from Sarah Humes.

Who do you most like to speak to? Tell us about your ideal audience.

I will talk to anyone who will listen! But, truly, I have a heart for Moms! I love inspiring the mom who just needs to hear that they can make it through another day! If that mom has been feeling overwhelmed, overworked, or uninspired, even better! I want a chance to change that!

What are your favorite topics to talk about or teach?

I often reach my audiences at first by talking about decluttering. I thinking getting rid of excess things is incredibly brave, and a huge mindset shift. But, my speaking is so much more than that. I love to speak about anything relational, since I am such a people person! I think hospitality, parenting, marriage, friendships, core values and conflict resolution are some of the bravest things I talk about! And, I love sharing how God has redeemed a very scared and broken woman and transformed her into a brave, inspirational and bold business owner!

What sets you apart from other speakers? What do your audiences love about you?

I am funny and conversational. I deal with a lot of heavy issues in my speaking. Talking about feeling trapped in my home with agoraphobia, losing my sister(s) to death, and being chronically depressed and filled with anxiety is not easy. But---God through it all-- some how gave me this amazing sense of humor. I feel that has been a great tool in recovery, and it's an amazing tool in connecting to my audience. I actually had a couple brief stints in stand up comedy early on. But, I knew that, even though I loved being funny, I wanted my speaking to have a deeper message, too.

What does your dream speaking engagement look like? Describe it here.

I love imagining speaking to a room of 1000+ people. I can envision making them laugh and they are all having to hold their sides. Yet, my message is so powerful that they will remember key points for years after. That is the kind of speaker I dream to be.

Bloopers happen to everyone. Tell us about one that happened to you. How did you handle it?

Not too long ago, I was hired at a local library. It is the tiniest library you have ever seen! (Imagine a tiny house...It's the size of one of those, maybe even smaller! There is not even a bathroom there!) It is in a very rural location. In the middle of my speech (to 8 people!) I suddenly hear a very loud duck quacking. I jumped, and began searching for the duck. I quickly learned that the "duck" was actually the librarian's ringtone, but she had to leave her phone on for her children. The kids then proceeded to text her about 10 more times that night. It proved to be quite comical, and I began to ask the duck to comment on many of my points that evening. Humor is always my friend!

How do you control your nerves during a speaking engagement?

I remind myself that my message is much more important than how nervous I feel.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten regarding public speaking?

To be authentic, have fun, and make a point to interact with my audience.

What do you hope to accomplish with your speaking in the next 10 years?

To speak at the Boss Mom Retreat, to be interviewed on the Today Show, to make enough money to buy a safer house for my family (our house is lovely, but old and has a wet basement) and to inspire people not just locally, but nationally and globally too! I have big dreams, but I am a go-getter! I have already overcome so much, so what is a few more obstacles? 

Sarah Humes

My name is Sarah Rose Humes. For years I have struggled with overcoming anxiety and fear. And, I believed lies about myself. Somewhere along the line, I was fed the line I was weak because I was afraid. The truth-- I was strong because I fought back. Every single day, I used the word of God, prayer, encouragement from friend and family, and personal grit to fight against the (huge) list of things that scared me.

In-Courage Living was born out of the desire to share my experiences with others to help them realize they they too are strong. So many times we let fear hold us back from living our best life. I want everyone to live AMAZING days! I have found that the more I embrace my struggle as a blessing to grow, the richer my life has become.

Over the past 5 years, I have taught small audiences and groups many different life skills to deal with life's little problems. Now, as I branch out, I would like to include you and your group! I specialize in overcoming fear, intentional parenthood, de-cluttering, and using the Bible as a practical everyday tool for living. I have even taught small sessions on meal prepping and goal planning.

Connect with Sarah:



Facebook Group:



Speaker Spotlight: Sarah Humes

Don't Use Slides for Your Speech (But if You Must, Here's How) April 10, 2018 09:00

Slides during a speech are a huge pet peeve of mine. There are almost always misused, unneeded, and/or distracting. Slides should be used to enhance the message of the speech, but they are usually just a crutch for the speaker.

Before using a slide, ask yourself this question:

Does this slide tell my message better than I can?

If it does, use the slide. If it doesn't, get rid of the slide. It's as simple as that. Every single slide should make the speech better in some way. If it doesn't, it should be eliminated.

Slides should not be used as notes for the speaker. That's a crutch, and those slides don't add anything useful to the speech. Tech glitches occasionally occur, and if you're relying on those slides to get you through your speech you will be up a creek without a paddle.

Slides should not be full of text, especially in tiny font. That's annoying and unnecessary. Your audience should not spend all their time reading while you're talking. When slides become overwhelming, and when there are far too many, that's called Death By PowerPoint. Don't do that.

The focus, as a speaker, should be you and your message.

The focus should not be the slides.

If you must use slides, be sure to ask yourself the question above. If you determine you need slides, follow these guidelines:

  1. Less is more. Keep slides to a minimum. Every moment of your speech does not need its own slide. Allow your audience to determine what's important from your speech and take their own notes without the distraction of endless slides.
  2. Consider hand-outs as an alternative. If you have a lot of worksheet-style content that you're tempted to put on slides, hand-outs may be a better option. You can give them out after your talk, which allows your audience to simply listen and learn while you're talking. Audience members can review your information later.
  3. Bigger is better. If you must use text, make it super huge. Everyone in the room needs to see it. Use few words in large font. Don't clog up your slides with book-length paragraphs in tiny font.
  4. Tell a story. Use your slides to help illustrate your message. Images are preferable to text. Use meaningful images rather than stock photos. If an image doesn't have special meaning, don't use it.
  5. Stay on target. Only use slides that don't distract from you and your message. If your audience is looking up at the screen behind you more than they're looking at you, that's a problem. 

The best slides I've ever seen showed important statistics in a huge graph for effect, screenshots that illustrate how to implement what's being taught, or personal photos of the speaker's topic. They told the message better than the speakers could, so they made sense and actually enhanced the speeches. Use your slides in similar ways, and your speeches will be powerful and make an impact as well.

Need to improve your speech or stage presence? Click here to schedule a call with Carrie to learn more about how she can help you achieve your goals!

Speaker Spotlight: Sasha Gray January 30, 2018 09:00


Our Speaker Spotlight series puts the focus on speakers in our community. Iron sharpens iron, and we can all learn from the experiences of others. We asked questions and our speakers answered them. These answers come from Sasha Gray.

Who do you most like to speak to? Tell us about your ideal audience.

I am a motivational humorist that resonates with women who need that confidence boost or online business owners that need to understand how Facebook can help their business.

What are your favorite topics to talk about or teach?

I love seeing eyes light up when I show online business owners how to make a small change on their FB page that will make a difference in the reach of their posts.

I love seeing eyes light up when I talk to women about self confidence, and how to break out of the habits that keep them from living a life they love.

What sets you apart from other speakers? What do your audiences love about you?

I'm 'real'. What on Earth does that mean...are others an illusion? 

I'm down to earth and have 'been there, done that' and speak to the heart of my audience, resonating with those that are struggling to find the journey they're supposed to take.

What does your dream speaking engagement look like? Describe it here.

I would love to be on the stage of a giant conference, speaking to thousands of business owners or women that are looking for the self confidence they've misplaced, with enthusiasm that is tangible in the room, and music encouraging the occasional dance party.

Bloopers happen to everyone. Tell us about one that happened to you. How did you handle it?

I did an entire Scattered Sasha Show (1 hour) with a stink bug snugly stuck in my hair. 

I didn't even NOTICE it so I did NOTHING.....

However, when I've had my daughter interrupt my show, my dog begin barking, or people show up to my door unannounced. I just go with the flow....It's all life and my real life is what my audience seems to love, so it's all good.

How do you control your nerves during a speaking engagement?

Honestly, I LOVE speaking and don't recall ever having a case of the 'nerves'. I feel very fortunate because I know public speaking is one of the top fears people have. I'm almost always ready to jump up on stage (real or imagined) and start talking!

What's the best advice you've ever gotten regarding public speaking?

Be Yourself! 

What do you hope to accomplish with your speaking in the next 10 years?

I want to connect people to each other, I want to connect with them and I want them to feel as if they are a better version of themselves after hearing my speech.

Sasha Gray, Scattered Sasha

I'm Sasha, and I hang out over at Scattered Sasha, where I offer motivational antidotes, laugh-out-loud funny stories, a touch of sarcasm and a whole lotta sass. So when people ask me that elusive question of 'what do you do?', my answer usually runs along these lines:

"I'm a motivational humorist that runs on caffeine, chaos and cuss words and my life has been slapped together by pixie dust and tequila."

But all that makes one heck of a story....and I love to tell that story, along with a lot of other stories, as often as I can.

And my goal is always the same: to make you laugh, encourage your journey, and lift you up so you can fly on glitter covered wings.

Connect with Sasha:




Sasha Gray, Scattered Sasha

Can I Be Real with You? January 23, 2018 09:00

Can I be real with you?

Like, very real?

Our twin daughters will turn 9 next month (how did THAT happen??!). So that means it was almost nine years ago that Ryan and I began looking at ways to bring our speaking and communication business online instead of traveling so much for speaking engagements.

In those nine years, we've both learned a lot. 

I've learned there are more online businesses than I can count at any given time, but there aren't nearly as many that last long-term. Most business owners tend to treat their business like a hobby, and then it falls away when the owner loses interest or doesn't achieve overnight success.

I've learned that following everyone else's miraculous "5 steps to 7-figures" nets you about 7-cents. If that. Because it's their plan, which probably has very little to do with your business, your audience, your personality, your motivation, and your dreams. Can you learn from them? Sure. But you can't become a carbon copy. It just doesn't work that way.

I've learned you have to consistently show up. And consistently plan. And consistently build relationships. And consistently work hard. And consistently learn more. Sensing a theme? (Hint: be consistent).

I've learned that people like to be treated with respect. They will not hire you or buy from you if you spam them, use them, or try sleazy sales tactics on them. For whatever reason, people don't like being treated like doormats. They don't like feeling used.

Imagine that.

But most of all, I've learned that in order to be successful you have to be authentic. You have to build real long-lasting relationships. You have to do things in a way that feels right to you and that honors your customers and clients. You can't shortcut this with someone else's 5-step plan for 7 figures. You can't disappear from social media for weeks on end when you get bored or frustrated. You can't fly by the seat of your pants. You can't post something on social media today and wake up to 3.2 million dollars in your bank account tomorrow.

Success doesn't happen that way.

What I've found is that success is very personal. 

It comes from personal relationships you cultivate over time. It comes from hundreds of virtual coffee chats, networking opportunities, collaborations, partnerships, and confidence in what you have to offer.

It comes from serving people, helping people, and building people up. 

It comes from consistently showing up to encourage others, answer their questions, and help them move forward.

Successful businesses are built one comment on social media at a time. One Facebook Live at a time. One coffee chat at a time. One laugh at a time. One act of thoughtfulness at a time.

All of it done your way, with your own personality and uniqueness shining through in the relationships you build.

So let's get back to basics. Building that kind of communication foundation will support your business for years to come. Your way. In a way that is right for you. 


Ready to learn more about communication? Click here to join our Speaking Society!

How to Choose the Best Speaking Formats for You January 2, 2018 09:00

Each year, I like to create a speaking plan for every month of the year. Speaking is excellent for visibility and establishing expertise, so I like to be consistent with it. But not every type of speaking is perfect for every person.

There are so many speaking options. Podcast interviews, webinars, online and in-person workshops, speaking from stage, videos and courses, and Facebook Live are just a few of the options available.

How do you choose which is best for you?

Start with what you like. Are there certain formats that you enjoy more than others? Some of us like interview-style speaking where we're answering questions asked by someone else. Some of us like the interaction of leading a workshop. Some prefer to stand alone on stage and deliver a speech. Consider each option, and make a list of the ones you'd enjoy most.

Then think about which format would be best for your career or business currently. Are you focusing on getting more visible right now? Are you focused on appearing more of an expert in your field? Do you need to grow your following in the upcoming months? Each speaking format delivers a different result, so think through what you'd like to focus on and make a list of which speaking formats would best achieve your goals.

It's also important to consider your personal speaking skills and experience level. If you're new to speaking, Facebook Live may be a good option for getting started. It will help you gain confidence and hone your speaking skills. If you aren't experienced in crafting an entire speech, interview-style formats may be more your speed. If you're a seasoned speaker, maybe this year speaking from stage would be best for your career or business. Push beyond your current comfort zone, but have a plan for doing so. Begin where you are, and challenge yourself to move beyond your current level. If you're nervous about speaking or aren't sure where to begin, click here for details on how we can work together to get you stage-ready. 

Regardless of which formats you choose, be sure to create a speaking plan for each month of the year. You need the experience and visibility from speaking, so plan it out (flying by the seat of your pants is not a good plan). Don't leave it to chance.

Speaker Spotlight: Robin Walker November 28, 2017 09:00

Our Speaker Spotlight series puts the focus on speakers in our community. Iron sharpens iron, and we can all learn from the experiences of others. We asked questions and our speakers answered them. These answers come from Robin Walker.

Who do you most like to speak to? Tell us about your ideal audience.

I love speaking to business women in smaller groups of 10-25. We can really get to know each other and everyone gets some personal attention. It is perfect for workshops, because we can split into smaller groups or pairs as well.

What are your favorite topics to talk about or teach?

I can talk business all day, everyday! One of my favorites is idea generation and brainstorming. I also talk a lot about goal setting and taking action, as well as being intentional about building our businesses in collaboration with our family life.

What sets you apart from other speakers? What do your audiences love about you?

Three of my strengths (via Strength Finders 2.0) are communication, futuristic, and positivity. I encourage women out of their comfort zones, help them believe in themselves, and focus on bright and possible futures. I also include a lot of worksheets, hands on learning, and interactive groups, so that the audience keeps engaged and gets work done.

What does your dream speaking engagement look like? Describe it here.

I am hoping to launch it Summer of 2018! Stay tuned. If something doesn't exist, create it yourself. :) 

Bloopers happen to everyone. Tell us about one that happened to you. How did you handle it?

I have numerous Facebook Live bloopers (some of which Carrie has been witness to). Phone falling mid-Live is the most common. Usually I laugh, occasionally I delete if it was at the very beginning of the broadcast, then start over. Bloopers show your human side and people love them. 

How do you control your nerves during a speaking engagement?

I try to focus on the audience and not myself. I pray and ask for the words that the women need to hear, and ask to bring them joy and value. I have also been know to play loud music in the car to get out some extra energy.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten regarding public speaking?


What do you hope to accomplish with your speaking in the next 10 years?

I would love to be able to create unique workshop and speaking/training experiences that fit the needs of women in my group. Events that are what WE need, not just what has been done in the past. I have no desire to be in front of millions, just a small group that I can love on and support and watch flourish. 

Robin Walker

I’m Robin Walker, and I’ve used my 15+ years of running my own business and years of public teaching experience and to create The Women’s Business Workshop. I 'retired' from teaching when I had my oldest daughter. The plan was to be a stay at home mom, but business captured my heart, and 4-5 businesses later, here I am.

I help women start, build, and up level their business through online resources, in-person workshops, 1:1 business coaching, and a 2 day annual conference in Lake Geneva, WI. 

Connect with Robin:



Facebook Group: