This is a short excerpt from our interview with Carol Frank. Her entire interview appears in Finding Speaking Success.
Carol Frank failed – and she’ll be the first to tell you all about it. Frank has learned from her business experience, which ranges from being the auditor of a major CPA firm to her current role as a serial entrepreneur, and she has distilled that knowledge into stories about how to avoid the stumbling blocks that others have already tripped over. It’s an approach that has spawned not only a successful speaking career, but her acclaimed book Do As I Say, Not As I Did!, and even an appearance on Oprah.
It helps that Carol is a bit of a rare bird: her passion for animals is manifested not just with her success in the pet industry, but also in Murphy, a pet parrot who also happens to be her speaking partner at many engagements. Working only part-time as a speaker, Carol Frank is living currently in Boulder, Colorado.
A few of the questions and answers from Carol’s interview:
Are you now, or were you ever, involved in NSA or Toastmasters? If so, how have those organizations benefited you? Any other recommended reading, classes, etc?
I was involved in Toastmasters and did that for a couple of years. It’s great when you’re starting out. I have been involved in NSA, as I mentioned before, and am on the board here at the Colorado chapter. What I love about NSA is how supportive everybody is of one another. It’s not a scarcity; we live out of abundance which is really an amazing thing. I think any new speaker that starts out should read Jane Atkinson’s book, The Wealthy Speaker. She also has a great program called The Wealthy Speaker System. Then there’s also Speak and Grow Rich by Dottie Walters.
What are the biggest mistakes you see new speakers make?
New speakers often spend way too much money on marketing materials. They get sucked in focusing on the image, the one-sheets, the business cards, and on the video – when, in reality, they just need to get out there and just speak to whoever will listen to them.
What do you attribute your success to? Did you have a mentor?
I did have a mentor, Vince Posentay. I watched him go from a completely nondescript guy to a speaker making between $15,000 – $25,000 per speech. When I first started being interested, he was three or four years into it, and had started to gain momentum.
He gave me some great advice: “Speak, speak, speak, and speak. Speak for free — just get out there and hone your skills.” I watched his success and it was phenomenal, but it wasn’t an accident. It’s not like he just showed up; he worked very hard and had good material.
Author’s Notes (Carol was interviewed by Brian Schwartz)
Carol has an untypical confidence about her. Recently, she up and moved to Boulder from Texas with no plan. But then again, maybe that is one of the skills of a professional speaker that spills over to real life: Confidence. I think some if it is that Carol truly does love adventure. The interview took place at her home in Boulder where she enjoys a beautiful view of the flatirons.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/carolfbird
Friend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/carolfbird
Connect with her on Linked in here
Read the rest of her interview in Finding Speaking Success: Mentoring Tips From the Masters by Laura Lee Carter & Brian Schwartz.