Closing the Gender Speaking Gap with Kristin Oakley: Podcast Ep. 261

Closing the Gender Speaking Gap with Kristin Oakley: Podcast Ep. 261 | Speaking Your Brand

Subscribe to the podcast!


You won’t want to miss the story I share in this episode that made me so mad at the time.

About 5 years ago, I was attending an event run by a very prominent women’s organization and I couldn’t believe who they had on stage.

Here’s a hint: It has to do with our topic today, which is the gender speaking gap.

Similar to the gender pay gap, the gender speaking gap represents the disparity between the number of women and men we see speaking at events, from high-profile keynotes to panel discussions (#nomoremanels).

We know how important it is for more women to be visible and have a public voice, so I’m excited to have Kristin Oakley as my guest.

Kristin is a professional speaker, emcee, on-camera presenter and Personal Empowerment Coach™ with over 20 years of public speaking and presenting experience across multiple industries.

She’s passionate about closing the gender speaking gap, which I learned more about during the VIP Day we did to create her new signature talk.

In this episode, Kristin and I talk about: 

  • The gender speaking gap and what we can do about it
  • Lessons she’s learned as a professional speaker for the past 20 years
  • How the pandemic has changed what audiences want from speakers as in-person events are starting to return
  • Why she decided to book a VIP Day and what the experience was like

(This is the audio from one of our LinkedIn Live shows.)

Watch the video of our conversation:

 

About My Guest: Kristin Oakley is a professional speaker, emcee, on-camera presenter and Personal Empowerment Coach™ with over 20 years of public speaking and presenting experience across multiple industries. She spent 12 years as an on-camera host and professional spokesperson, traveling throughout North America as a presenter for top brands within the automotive, technology, and financial services industries – and was even a guest presenter on QVC! She is a professional member of the National Speakers Association, and creator of the Unstoppable Speaker Program and the Unstoppable Speaker Challenge: 10 Days to Master Your Fear of Public Speaking. She was also named the 2020 Unstoppable Influencer of the Year.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/261

Watch the video of our conversation from LinkedIn Live: https://www.linkedin.com/video/event/urn:li:ugcPost:6866024667812032512/ 

Download our FREE workbook on how to position yourself as a thought leader: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/guide/

Schedule a consult call with us to talk about creating your signature talk and thought leadership platform: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/contact

Connect on LinkedIn:

 

Related Podcast Episodes:


261-SYB-Kristin-Oakley.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

261-SYB-Kristin-Oakley.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
You've heard of the gender pay gap. Did you know that there's also a gender speaking gap? This is what I talk about with my guest, Kristen Oakley and how we can start closing it on this episode of the Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker, I interview a coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is Speaking Your Brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi, everyone.

Carol Cox:
Welcome to Back Stage with Speaking Your Brand. I'm Carol Cox, founder and CEO of Speaking Your Brand, and we are talking today about closing the gender speaking gap. And I promised in my tease for today's show that I'm going to share a story from a few years ago where I was at an event hosted by a very prominent women's organization, and I was really mad about who they selected to be on stage. That's a little tease for you to stay tuned because it really has to do with this idea of the gender speaking gap. But I'm really excited to have here with me today on the LinkedIn Live show, Kristen Oakley, who's a professional speaker and emcee, and we got to know each other. She attended our summit that we did a little over a year ago, and I remember in the comments as she came in as a speaking your brand newbie, and she said that she's leaving a fan for life. And I was like, Oh, that just touched me so much. And so then Kristin and I worked together in a VIP day over the summer to help her create her signature talk around this idea of the gender gap. Kristen, welcome.

Kristin Oakley:
Thank you so much for having me, Carol. I'm so honored and excited to be here with you.

Carol Cox:
Yes, likewise. And hi, Diane, thanks for tuning in. And if you are listening live, let us know in the comments. Say hi. And if you're watching the replay, let us know that as well. And if you have questions for Kristen or for myself along the way, definitely post them in the comments because we want to hear from you. Kristen, tell us a little bit more about your background and especially your background as a professional speaker, what does that mean and what does that look like?

Kristin Oakley:
Well, I've had a very unique career path. I would say in that I have been blessed to work across multiple industries over the past 20 years, so I've been in the workforce. But the one common thread in all the jobs I've ever had, it's involved public speaking. And what's so fascinating is a lot of the industries I found myself in were not ones that I had any prior experience in or knowledge of, but the door opened for me to work in those industries because of my public speaking skills. And so it's really fascinating because that has been the common thread that has just allowed me to expand myself and grow myself personally and professionally. And it's just it's a skill that has served me so well. If you had told me over 20 years ago that I would have been a professional speaker, I would not have fully paid you because I was really shy and I was nervous and I was drawn and I enjoyed watching speakers, but particularly women. They inspired me and there was a little bit of this. I wish I could do that, but never in a million years that I dreamed that I would end up doing doing that very thing. So it's been a wild ride. I'm so grateful for it, and it's a skill that I'm very passionate about and especially passionate, empowering other women because I've seen the doors that it's open for me.

Carol Cox:
And Kristen, when you were young elementary school, middle school, high school, did you like to perform in any way?

Kristin Oakley:
I did, actually. So that was the interesting thing. Back when I was younger, if I was a character and I was playing someone else, I felt free to do that. And I'll remember the first time was I was eight years old. I was in third grade and the teacher announced that there was going to be a class musical and it was Hansel and Gretel. And I just knew with every fiber in my being that I wanted to be Gretel, and I auditioned and I got the part, and that was my first time on stage. And so I did some acting here or there throughout my childhood and then kind of just fell away from it. But then later on, I actually received an acting scholarship in New York City. But while I was there and doing that training, I had an important shift and I realized that rather than playing a character, I enjoyed being in front of audiences and I enjoyed that performance element. But I actually was much more comfortable being myself and talking about things that I was passionate about that I knew could make a tangible positive difference in people's lives versus playing a character. Whereas I was surrounded by a lot of actors who felt the complete opposite. They wanted to play a character. They didn't feel as comfortable being themselves. And so once that shift happened, that's when I realized, Oh, OK, I think this is the career path, and this is the direction that I need to head.

Carol Cox:
That is such an interesting insight that you have there, Kristen. And I know I can imagine for a lot of actors, they do prefer to play someone else, but that you realize it was actually the opposite. And for those of you who are either watching us live in the replay, let us know in the comments. If you like to perform when you were young, whether it's acting, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument or recitals, let us know because I think there is definitely a common thread among those of us who enjoy speaking and like to do speaking that we did have this performing aspect of ourselves when we were younger. Kristen, so you know, you've been on lots of stages over the years, lots of events, conferences, seminars that you've spoken at that you've attended. So tell us what this gender speaking gap is, and when did this first come to your awareness, where you were you sitting at an event one day and you thought, Wow, there's something going on here?

Kristin Oakley:
So funnily enough, I was late to the party on this whole gender speaking gap thing because I was so fortunate that in even though I was predominantly working in male dominated industries, looking back, I realize now how good I had it. And what I mean by that is each team. I was a part of the companies I worked for actually really esteemed women. And in those environments, it was actually normal, more normal to have a female presenter. So I didn't start to pick up on this until I was actually working in the financial services industry, and I was a full time presenter for the nation's largest independent investment advisory firm at the time. And I would travel and go to these work sites and these different corporations and be presenting content, and I was just greeted with this. Oh gosh, we're so excited to have a woman here today. And so that began to just kind of spark some curiosity of, Oh, this is really not the norm. And so I was starting to pay attention to that. But what really opened my eyes was about a year ago, I was asked to give a virtual keynote. And Carol, I wish I could remember what I Google searched to stumble upon what I found.

Kristin Oakley:
I was asked to speak on my area of expertise, so I was putting together a presentation about and it was a female audience about speaking. And I came across the Gender Diversity and Inclusion report that was put out by Biyombo, which is one of the world's largest event software companies. And the data that I found was from twenty nineteen. So it was pre, obviously pandemic, but it was so fascinating because they're clear as day in the data. It illustrated that there was a gender speaking gap and that it had been existing for a long time. So in this report, they actually went through and they researched from 2013 through the end of twenty nineteen over sixty thousand event speakers worldwide worldwide. And they found that women were actually really underrepresented at professional gatherings and events. And I was looking at this and that's when it hit me in. The pieces kind of started coming into place that I had, I wouldn't say sheltered, but I had been in an environment that supported women and encouraged women's voices. So I just wasn't aware of what those stats were outside of my realm of where I had been working. And that just really opened my eyes because it broke it down by country.

Kristin Oakley:
It broke it down by industry. It broke it down by type of events. And that's when you really start to see, Oh my gosh, there there is a gender speaking gap. And then I kind of went down this rabbit hole and started to do as much research as I possibly could because it just really fascinated me. And that's when I learned that there had been trending hashtags of no more mantle's meaning. We need panels that have women on them and not just men. And it was almost like I felt part of me was like, Do I want to stick my finger in this hornet's nest? Because all the articles and everything I was finding, you could just tell there was a lot of anger and a lot of frustration about the lack of women's voices and representation, but it lit this fire in me of I need to learn more and I need to figure this out and I'll pause with that. But that was kind of what really opened my eyes just a year ago to what had been going on for many years, but I just wasn't as aware of it.

Carol Cox:
Well, first, I'm grateful for that organization for having analyzed sixty thousand events and their speakers and panelists to come up with this data set to begin with. That's extraordinary, and one of my favorite resources is called Gender Avenger. They have a great Twitter account and website where they will look at the lineups of conferences, panels and so on across all industries. Whether it's a panel about science and covet. If it's a finance cryptocurrency, conferences about marketing doesn't matter what the industry, what type of event, and they will call out the organization if they don't have a diverse mix of speakers and panelists, whether women, diversity of color. All of that because in this day and age, and for any conference or event to say, Oh, we just kind of find x y z to fit, or we couldn't find an expert who was a woman or a black woman or a person of color is honestly just being lazy nowadays.

Kristin Oakley:
Yeah, you know, and it's interesting because what I found is I felt like there were two sides to this conversation. And of course, you've been following this even longer than I have, but it seemed like there was that that camp that was almost pointing fingers, passing blame and event organisers and saying, you know, they need to do a better job. And and I understand I was like, OK, there are systemic things that probably definitely need to change. And then you had the camp that was kind of whining and complaining. We just can't find enough female speakers, and I'm like, Well, that can't be totally right, either. Because we exist and I know we do. And so my my mind began churning of, OK, I don't want to join the complain train, right? Like obviously there's there's an issue, there's a gap in my mind always goes to if there's a problem. Ok, well, what can I do to help be part of the solution? And what I found that there wasn't really a lot of conversation around that that I could find yet. What were people really talking about? Ok, well, how do we empower more women to own their expertise, to own their voice and to step up into the skill set so that we can kind of merge these two worlds and no longer will there be a gap? So that was kind of what really started motivating me is, OK, well, what can we do to be part of that solution?

Carol Cox:
Yeah, that's an excellent point, Chris. And it reminds me that this was about five years ago. Now I was reading or listening to a podcast that was hosted by HubSpot, and they have their inbound marketing conference that they host every year. It's huge. I mean, like, I don't even know thousands and thousands of attendees, hundreds of speakers because they have multiple tracks going on at the same time. So lots and lots of speakers. And again, this is about five years ago. So hoping the numbers have changed. But the two host said that they wanted to have a like a 50 50 balance of male and female speakers, but they don't get enough submissions from women to speak at the event in order to hit those numbers. And so yes, to your point, there are things that we have to do on both sides, and that's why I appreciate the work that you do. And of course, what we do here are speaking your brand is to help women put together those speaking proposals, find their best topics, put themselves out there, optimize their LinkedIn profiles so that they can be selected as speakers and put out their speaking submissions. So, Kristen, so this gender speaking gap is this idea that when we go to events and conferences, we tend to see more men on stages than we tend to see women. And of course, like we talked about, there's myriad reasons for that. So I'll share a story and one that I had teased. So this was back in November of twenty sixteen.

Carol Cox:
So it's actually right after a week or two after the November 2016 election, which of course didn't go the way that many of us had hoped. And so actually, Diane, who's at least speaking coach, I know she she was here watching us. She and I went to this event together, and it was hosted by a very well known prominent women's organization. So this was our local chapter. It's a national organization. If I said the name, everyone would know who it was. It's enough of a hint. And so we had been members of this organization for the past year or two, so we were excited. This was an annual event that they were hosting. So all basically all women attend attendees there, and they were celebrating some women who had won some awards that they were giving away. So we get to this nice country club, you know, for the luncheon and get ready for the keynote speaker and you'll never guess the keynote speaker was it was not a woman. It was a man. And I was floored. Seriously, I can still remember to this day. Why would a prominent women's organization pay? And he was he was a known name, so I'm sure he charged a hefty fee speaking fee. But why would a woman's organization select a man as the keynote speaker when there there are so many women they could have chosen instead? And I was like, Wow, like, you know, even even if you're a woman, you're not necessarily conscious of making these choices, either.

Kristin Oakley:
You're like of all places to expect where there would not, right? And yeah, that was probably a lot of the shock, right? Right.

Carol Cox:
And also then what his message was was so out of touch with the audience, the audience being women professionals and entrepreneurs. It just was not a good fit all the way around. So for multiple reasons, I and I ended up not renewing our membership at that organization because it didn't didn't feel like aligned with our values. And so, you know, this is why I enjoy having this conversation with you, Kristen, is to raise our awareness for, you know, the choices that we're making and who we're listening to, who were selecting for whatever the events happen to be. Ok, so then, Kristen, so we have a good idea of what the gender speaking gap and it is about being conscious of when we are hosting our own events, making sure that we're having a diversity of women speakers if it is all women. But obviously if it's a co-ed audience making sure that we have a good balance and then also making sure that as women we are submitting to speak, we are pitching for our speaking engagements. We are building those relationships with event organizers so that we can get selected as as speakers. Hi, Radhika, so nice to see you here. She was one of our speakers at our April will be on Live Virtual Summit. Yeah, she's done a lot of speaking, mostly in corporate settings. All right. So Kristen, you recently did, I believe, an in-person speaking engagement?

Kristin Oakley:
I did. Well, it was a hybrid, which was so fun because that's really becoming the new normal. So yes. But go ahead and I'll feel free to tell you about it.

Carol Cox:
So, yeah, I did my my first in-person speaking engagement in September. You know, the first since COVID had started, so had been well over a year and a half, and it was great to be back in person. It was also exhausting. Like, I think I've forgotten how much energy it takes to be in-person with a group of people. It's totally different than being on Zoom. And so we just love to hear from you. Like, how did it feel to be back in person? What do you think the audience felt about having this experience in person and as a speaker? What were some things? Did you do anything differently to prepare or differently regarding your your delivery and content?

Kristin Oakley:
Oh my goodness, such great questions and so much to unpack here. So what's interesting is the event that I recently did was done out of a studio, valiant productions. They are amazing. And when the pandemic hit, they really had to pivot and they took one of their warehouses and turned it into this amazing virtual stage that now allows groups to have hybrid events. So when we were saying hybrid event events, now that means a mix of you have in-person attendees and you also have people tuning in virtually. This one was very unique because it was international, and we only had about 12 people in the studio, but we had over a hundred people tuning in worldwide. So here I am on a stage in Boise, Idaho, and I'm looking out and there's a giant Zoom wall and I've got people tuning in from New Zealand, Australia, Italy, the U.K., all across North America, the U.S. and Canada. And so really, I mean, it's it's amazing what this new hybrid situation has looked like and that I think as we go back to a more normal, yes, we're going to see the continuation and hopefully the increase of in-person events. And I agree with you, Carol. I've thought a lot about the energy. That's a whole nother topic I'd love to dive into with you because I definitely felt that as well. But moving forward, companies are realizing what a cost savings it is to do this hybrid model because now they can reach people on a global scale tuning in.

Kristin Oakley:
And there's not the cost of the hotel in the airfares and the putting people up and all that comes with it. And so what I am finding is that what event organizers are looking for are speakers who can not only engage the room and can not only engage on camera because being on camera is a different skill set, but someone who can do both. That's where the future is really going. So I'll give you an example. Recently, I was working with a client who was making her first presentation, and it was a hybrid situation. And as I was asking her questions to help her prepare, she hadn't even thought, Oh gosh, I need to pay attention to the virtual audience. I need to make sure I engage them. And so we threw and I gave her some creative ideas. I said, How can you turn your attention to that virtual screen at a couple of different key points and get them to engage, get them to raise their hand? Ask them a question. You're going to need to pause because there's a lag through Zoom. You know all these different things to really help. Virtual attendees feel like they're there in person. One of the fun little things, which I think is a great idea. I have them here at my desk, but we create what we call zoom paddles. So we have these different emojis, right? You have the heart emoji, you have the laughing emoji, you have the oh, that's a great new idea.

Kristin Oakley:
And so all the attendees have these paddles. So as speakers were on the stage projecting out, they could see a whole wall of hearts or see a whole wall of laughing emojis. And we had so many attendees say I felt like I was there. And that was the biggest compliment because that's the goal. You don't want people to feel like they're away on an island, you know, and zoom land. You want them to feel like they're immersed so that they too can have that transformative experience. So I think moving forward for professional speakers, it's really important to embrace this, not just wait for it to go back to the way that it was, because I think things have forever changed, but I think it's opening new doors of opportunity. And so just like we have to learn to master that skill set of standing on stage in front of a room with people in person, it's equally as important to understand on camera work and how to up your energy. Because we all know the camera sucks away at least 10 percent of our energy. It's not fair, adds 10 pounds, and it sucks 10 percent of the energy way, right? But we've got to figure out how to deliver that transformative, engaging experience for attendees, whether they are in person or tuning in virtually.

Carol Cox:
Kristen Firth. I love the zoom paddles. Are those like somewhere like can people buy them or did you? Did you all make them? Oh my

Kristin Oakley:
God. No. So this was the event organizer created them. So she just took I mean, they're the emojis from our phones, right? And we have a whole bunch of I mean, they're just it's a really fun idea. So yeah,

Carol Cox:
That is brilliant. And then just mailed them to all of it, to attendees. Exactly.

Kristin Oakley:
And then for the ones who are overseas or whatever, they sent them, the PDFs, and they could print them out and make their own,

Carol Cox:
Oh my gosh, I am totally going to borrow that and recommend it. I think she should have admitted that if that was possible, right? That was a great idea. And then and to your point about the hybrid events, I agree that they're going to stay for because so many conferences realize that a lot of the attendees are not going to fly either because of health concerns. But a lot of people, even who are vaccinated, like I'm vaccinated, I'm still not eager to get on an airplane and fly, you know, across the country and

Kristin Oakley:
Travel was changed. It's not. Yeah, I'm with you on that.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, like, it's not like I'm jumping up and down. Like, if I have like a really nice vacation to go on for two weeks, I will probably get on an airplane. But to go for three days to a conference,

Kristin Oakley:
I used to fly four times a week. And looking back, I don't even know how I did it. There's there's no way I'm grateful that those days are not here anymore.

Carol Cox:
Exactly. And then also like for so many women who have to take care of their children, either they're still schooling them at home full time or part time, or they just have, you know, intermittent childcare and this existed before the pandemic. But now I feel like so many more people will be able to access conference in the event that they weren't able to get to live before. So I'm actually glad that the hybrids will continue. But to your point, Christine, it's one thing to focus totally online like we're doing now on video on Zoom and totally different to do only in person, but to have to do both at the same time. That is an entirely different skill set.

Kristin Oakley:
It is, and one of the things that I love that the woman who put on this conference is an annual conference. She is a firm believer. That movement can change your state of mind. So I was not only keynote speaking at this event, I was also emceeing the whole thing and it was a three day virtual event. And so she had me lead six different line dances throughout the three days. Oh my God. And what was so fun? It was like this global Zoom dance party. And so I'm up on stage leading the wobble or whatever it might be. It was so fun, and I'm looking out and seeing women all over the world joining in and having these moments together. It was just it was really, really powerful. And so anything that we can do like that to help really draw people in. I've also started to pay attention to and I tried to do this before, but I think my awareness of it is a lot more heightened. When I'm delivering a keynote is how can I engage all the senses as much as possible and doing things that not only unify the audience, but can also tap into different learning styles and how people absorb information? So one quick story I'll share with you if you'd like to hear yes, please. This was last May, so I was out at the same studio that I just mentioned, and this was for another global event, a two day event.

Kristin Oakley:
And I delivered the final keynote on the first day. And as I was preparing the content, I felt led to include a song that I felt really kind of summed up the message of my talk. And so I shared a little bit of the story of the song, and then I allowed it to play and I had the lyric video on the screen. And I asked the attendees that during the course of the song, they were to have a blank sheet of paper and they were to write out something that they were committed to doing using one of the phrases of the song. And then at the end and I get chills thinking about it. Everyone held up what they had promised to themselves to kind of anchor in what they had just learned and what they were going to do moving forward. I was not prepared for just the wealth of emotion. I mean, to see the tears and see these women holding up their signs in unison together. And we got some beautiful screenshots of all these zoom squares here. I'm the only one in the studio on the stage, but I've got women tuning in from all over that are committing and making a promise to themselves. It was just a beautiful moment and so doing things like that as speakers where we can just really involve multiple senses and engagement, I think is really helpful too.

Carol Cox:
Oh Chris, those are excellent ideas and I love I love the senses and just getting the audience to interact more. And really, I can imagine they feel so much more part of the event rather than just passively consuming the content.

Kristin Oakley:
Yeah, and we welcome the chat. You know, we had two monitors up front so I could see people chatting. And so again, you have to kind of pause for that lag time. But, you know, blow up the chat, tell me what you're asking questions and asking for. Their feedback in real time is really powerful, so I would encourage speakers to don't be afraid of that, right? Because I think some people are like, Oh, if I look at the chat, it's going to throw me off. No, just like we would do with a real audience and looking for that feedback. You build it in and you find strategic ways to do that throughout your material.

Carol Cox:
I love that. Oh my gosh, I why I was taking notes of what you were recommending. These are such great ideas, Christine. Any other lessons that you would like to share as as, you know, being a public speaker for the past 20 years, whether it was back in the pre-pandemic days or more recently? Anything that comes to mind that you think would be helpful for our audience?

Kristin Oakley:
Oh gosh, it's so hard to boil it down to one. Can I share two? Oh, you can share. Yeah, for sure. So I think the biggest thing that has helped mitigate nerves for me is focusing on the fact that it's not about me as speakers, it's not about us, it's about the audience. And I think the more that we can focus on that and realize, OK, if you have a message to share, that message matters because it's not about you and somebody else needs to hear it. And I use that mantra, if you will, before I step on stage. Just kind of this re acknowledging of, OK, this is not about me. This is about the audience, it's about what they need and how this message can help change their lives. Now, all of a sudden, it takes the focus off myself. It takes the pressure off me. It mitigates the nerves. It actually gets me excited to deliver the message. And there I'm in service of the message and my job is to to deliver it the best way that I can. So that shift alone, just taking the focus because I think a lot of people get wrapped up in, you know, Oh, I'm so nervous to stand up there and people are going to be judging me and thinking about me. And it's like, it's not about you, it's not about us, the speakers, it's about the audience and how we can serve them and how we can help bring positive transformation to their lives. So that is that's one thing that's been super helpful. And I remember I wish I could remember who it is off the top of my head.

Kristin Oakley:
But a well-known speaker said that in his early speaking days, he used to run on the stage and think to himself, Here I am. But all that did was come across as cocky and unapproachable. And the day he had the shift of of running on stage and looking out at the audience and saying, Oh, there you are and making it about them, that was the massive shift that for sure has been a huge help to me. I would say the other piece that has been really helpful, especially since we're talking about closing the gender speaking gap is yes, as we've talked about their systemic things that can change. But going back to what can we as women do to be part of the solution to the problem? It really comes down to this concept, I believe, of giving ourselves permission, giving ourselves permission to be willing to become experts in our field to own our expertise, to be willing to learn these skills. Because speaking is a learnable skill. No one comes out of the womb born a speaker. Nobody comes out of the womb knowing how to be an on camera presenter. Those are learned skills, and if you want to learn them, you absolutely can. And I know we talked about this during our VIP day, carol, but there's there's research that shows that the way men and women look at job descriptions are very different, and I think this is so fascinating. So apparently, you know, men look at a job description, and if they check like 50 percent of it, they're like, Oh yeah, I'm totally qualified, I'm going to apply for this job.

Kristin Oakley:
Whereas typically and we're making gross generalizations here, but typically a woman will read the same job description and feel like she has to check at least 90 percent or more of the boxes in order to even apply. And I think that translates to something like speaking part of this issue and part of why I'm passionate of closing this gap is one I do believe that there's a correlation. Between the gender pay gap and the gender speaking gap, because we do know that higher paying positions typically involve some sort of speaking and presenting, so there's got to be a correlation there. But also we tend to gravitate towards what we can see. And if we're looking for more role models, we need more women to model what it looks like to raise their hand and say, I can speak, I'll speak on this topic. I'm owning my expertise. I'm going to position myself as a speaker, as a presenter. I'll volunteer to speak at this event or whatever the case might be. And the more of us that do that, the more women are seen, the more other women, especially the younger generation, are going to say, Oh gosh, I could do that too. So I think it's something that in motion has the potential to really have a vast effect and kind of far reaching, you know, kind of that that ripple effect, if you will, that can really branch out and change a lot of people's lives for the better.

Carol Cox:
Oh yes, I love that, Kristen. You know that I'm just like, yes, Richard Seymour and Diane saying, Amen.

Kristin Oakley:
I have. I have a preach paddle right here.

Carol Cox:
There you go. That's I'm so going to make those paddles. I need those. All right. So, Kristin, you mentioned our VIP day together, and obviously you've been a speaker for a long time and you have a very clear idea of your message. I always tell women who book console calls with us and we chat with that. We know you are fully competent and capable of creating your own presentations and making them outstanding. We know that, but we also know the value of working with someone else right to bounce ideas off of to like pull on the threads of what makes it really interesting idea for the audience. So Kristen, why did you decide to book a VIP day with me and what was the process like for you?

Kristin Oakley:
Oh gosh, it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. So as you mentioned, I first got introduced to you. I think I had stalked you a little bit prior to the Brave, Bold and Beyond Summit last fall. And I can't remember. I think I was just typing in, you know, women and speaking, and I don't remember what the search was, but it led me to you. And as I followed you and followed what you were about, I was like, Wow, this woman is passionate about the same things I'm passionate about. She's championing other women's voices and helping them get their message out there. That's what I'm passionate about. So I felt like there was a lot of synergy, and then attending the summit, I was like, Oh, this is awesome, you know, this is all what I'm about, and I had looked into some of your other programs and different reasons. Health wise, what not, the timing just wasn't right for me. But when you offer that VIP day, a couple of things stood out to me. No one. I knew that I had a new keynote that was matriculating and hadn't been for several months, but there were some key pieces, and I just wasn't sure how to tie it all together. Now, as you mentioned, I've been writing talks for 20 years. I've been hired to help other people write talks, and I'm I'm a I'm a student at heart and I know the value of working with someone else because I think sometimes we are so close to our own stuff. It's hard for us to to see it right. And I really was like, OK, well, if I'm going to work with anyone, Carol is someone who is passionate about the same things I'm passionate about.

Kristin Oakley:
You know, success leaves clues, and you've had success in the exact arenas where I'm trying to grow my own speaking business. And so I was like, Well, there's no one better. This feels like a match made in heaven. And what was so cool is I felt like it was one of the most efficient and productive times that I've ever had. I mean, quite honestly, and I I remember our first meeting was three hours and we took a break, of course, but we got so much done and you allowed me the space. I mean, you asked such great questions and just allowed me to share. And at the end, when you when I could see how you would taken everything that had been up here for months that I had been kind of juggling around and just wondering, OK, how is this going to fit and how do I tie this in? And you did it and you wove it together so beautifully? It was a co-creative process, right? But at the end, when you were kind of reading it back to me, what we had created, I was full of emotion. I mean, I welled up with tears because it was like, There it is. That's what I've been trying to come up with for the past couple of months and just had not felt stuck, but just didn't see how it was all going to come together. And through our work together that day alone, it came together more beautifully than I could have imagined. So I'm so grateful for that time. It was such a great investment.

Carol Cox:
Oh, Krista, I love to hear that. And you know, it is a magical process. I'm still amazed at the end of every three hour VIP day that it all comes together like I know it will, but I'm still, like, amazed that it does. And to you and to our clients credit to because you come with these amazing ideas with to us and you're so open and willing to answer all of our questions that we have that Diane and I ask during the VIP

Kristin Oakley:
Days, which is a necessary part of that process, right?

Carol Cox:
I know sometimes people are like, I'm just like babbling and rambling. I'm like, No, no, no, no. It all makes sense.

Kristin Oakley:
You're like people coming to becoming This is good, right? Exactly.

Carol Cox:
Yeah. So Kristen, what's next for you?

Kristin Oakley:
Oh, God. So I've had some exciting opportunities as of late, I I unfortunately, the position that I held as a full time presenter was eliminated during COVID. And so when I lost my job in July of twenty twenty, I kind of found myself at a crossroads. Do I go and look for another traditional job at the stage when the world is the way that it is? And you know all that? Or is it time to really focus my passion and start doing what I can to to to help other women present their messages? And that's kind of how I found you. And, you know, these keynotes that have opened up for me in these doors and speaking at mic gigs. So I'm super passionate about that. But I'm also excited that there might be another opportunity for me to go back into the corporate space as a full time presenter. And so I'm exploring that as well because I'm I'm passionate about women's voices being represented. And so what I think is so cool is after kind of a step away from that now the opportunity to kind of go back, but also continue doing what I can on my own to to help close this gender speaking gap. Part of me doing that might be very well stepping into this role and being a voice in that space, so I'm excited we'll see what happens, but I'm just excited to continue building my own speaking business as well. And I'm seeing events and I'm working on my brand new website, so I can't wait for that to come out, but just any way that I can to help further this work that I'm really passionate about.

Carol Cox:
Oh, I love that, Kristen. And for those of you who are watching, make sure to connect with Kristen here on LinkedIn. She is in the event, like listen as a speaker so you can probably click there to go to her profile or put her name in and make sure to connect with Kristen there. And then Kristen, what is your website address?

Kristin Oakley:
So it will be book Kristen. Okay, so Kristen with a K and then two eyes, that's always important.

Carol Cox:
Yes. Ok, good. Good to know, Kristen. Thank you so much for coming on backstage with speaking your brand. I have so enjoy getting to know you and I am so grateful that you are out there standing on stages and inspiring more women to do the same. It was such a pleasure talking with you.

Kristin Oakley:
Likewise, thank you so much for having me, Carol, and thank you for everything that you're doing to help close the gender speaking gap and just to empower more women. It's just a beautiful thing.

Carol Cox:
As you probably figured out, this episode was the audio from our LinkedIn Live show. We do our LinkedIn Live show every other Monday, right on LinkedIn. The best way to get notified when our next LinkedIn Live is and what the topic is, is to join our email list. You can do that by going to speaking your brand guide. That's also going to get you our thought leadership workbook. That's it. Speaking your brand guide G UI D, you're going to definitely want to stay tuned for the episodes that we have coming up in February. We're doing a series all about storytelling. Next week, I'm going to talk about what makes a compelling keynote speaker. So what are those essential ingredients that make some speakers stand out from others? That's what I'll be talking about next week. And then the following week, I'm going to be talking about how to find the emotional heart of your message. This is so important, especially for keynote speaking. And then we're going to talk about the role of symbols and metaphors in our stories. And then we're going to finish up the month on storytelling with my own journey of how I have

Carol Cox:
Found and use my voice. I guess I should say how I found lost and found again and use my voice because this will be that

Carol Cox:
Episode will be the five year anniversary of this podcast, so definitely stay tuned. Don't miss these future episodes. Click Follow in your podcast app and share this episode with a friend or colleague who you think would benefit from it until next time. Thanks for listening!

Sonix is the world’s most advanced automated transcription, translation, and subtitling platform. Fast, accurate, and affordable.

Automatically convert your mp3 files to text (txt file), Microsoft Word (docx file), and SubRip Subtitle (srt file) in minutes.

Sonix has many features that you’d love including world-class support, enterprise-grade admin tools, collaboration tools, upload many different filetypes, and easily transcribe your Zoom meetings. Try Sonix for free today.

Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast!

Get the #1 Proven Lead Generation Tool for Speakers

Leave a Comment





Other podcast episodes you may like...

Co-Creating with Your Audiences with Shannon Hughes: Podcast Ep. 278 | Speaking Your Brand

Co-Creating with Your Audiences with Shannon Hughes: Podcast Ep. 278

The Authority Gap Women Face and What to Do About It with Mary Ann Sieghart | Speaking Your Brand

The Authority Gap Women Face and What to Do About It with Mary Ann Sieghart: Podcast Ep. 277

Money Has a Story Too: Understanding Your Business Finances with Melissa Houston | Speaking Your Brand

Money Has a Story Too: Understanding Your Business Finances with Melissa Houston: Podcast Ep. 276

Public Speaking Has Changed: The 3 Skills You Need Now to Get Selected, Stand Out, and Make Money as a Speaker | Speaking Your Brand

Public Speaking Has Changed: The 3 Skills You Need Now to Get Selected, Stand Out, and Make Money as a Speaker: Podcast Ep. 275