Back to Blog

How To Use Speaking As A Platform - Stacey Roberts

succeed through speaking tom bailey Feb 20, 2023

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Stacey Roberts.

Stacey Roberts is a board-certified Physician Assistant, award-winning speaker and mentor, and self-care and style strategist. She uses her distinctive blend of scholarship, experience, creativity, and influence to connect emerging leaders with the information and essential skills needed to give them an edge to success.

Driven by a natural curiosity and passion to help others to shine, Stacey is empowering audiences to reach their goals with the understanding that no matter the challenge at hand, they, too, deserve to be motivated and feel good about themselves.

Resources / Links

More from Succeed Through SpeakingSucceed Through Speaking helps Coaches, Consultants, Entrepreneurs and Experts how to amplify their Expert Authority & get their message to market with both confidence and clarity so that they can raise their profile and attract new clients.

Find out more -

Listen to the Podcast -


Tom Bailey  00:07

Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results. Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's speaker stories episode, I'll be getting to know Stacey Roberts, who is an award winning speaker, and mentor, and self care and stole strategist who connects emerging leaders with the information and skills they need to succeed. So Stacey hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Stacey Roberts  00:44

Thank you, Tom. It's a pleasure to be here. Thanks for having me.  Sure. I'm coming from Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, southeastern US.

Tom Bailey  00:47

Also, thank you so much for being here and just have interest whereabouts in the world. Are you right now?  Fantastic. Thank you for sharing. And I know that something that you really excel in is helping and empowering others to shine. So for me, I really want to link this back to the theme for today's conversation. And that question is, how important is public speaking been for you in helping you to get your message out there to the world? Oh, goodness, I think it's been everything, I think it's been the crux of my, my business, certainly the crux ofmy ability to become more morevisible, and the things that I'm doing. So it's really important, and I don't think I really prize speaking for what it truly is, which is a platform that helps you to become more visible, helps you to get in front of the people who are really looking for you and may not exist, but speaking helps to bridge that gap. Yeah, perfect. I've got questions interesting on the back of that. So we talk about visibility. And, you know, a lot of people think that maybe just putting videos out on social media is enough, I guess, what, what extra does it give you being physically onstage in front of a large audience over and above, just getting visible through putting videos out there on online?

Stacey Roberts  02:14

I think the outs, you know, more than being visible, I think speaking, fast tracks that know, like and trust factor that we're always seeking. Yep. Um, you know, the more that people can see you, the more they hear your message, the more they resonate with your message, the more they're able to know you like you and trust you. And that can endear them to you in a way that really nothing else can well aside just from being visible, I mean, you can do that anywhere, virtually YouTube, on your own platforms. But having that face to face interaction and being able to share your message on stages, it really does help to fast track that know, like and trust factor that a lot ofcoaches, consultants, strategists are looking for

Tom Bailey  03:02

perfect. And I guess, you know, credibility is a word that I like to use when it comes to trust as well. So the person stood at the front of the room is normally once seen as the leader in that field. So yeah, great place to visit, position yourself in this industry. And what about your clients? I mean, I saw the word engaging in emerging leaders sorry, that that you tend to work with, do you tend to recommend that they do public speaking as well? And and if so, you know, what route do they? Or do you normally suggest they take?

Stacey Roberts  03:32

Well, because of the nature of my business, I don't necessarily recommend that my clients, it's not one of the things I'm actively doing is recommending that they speak. However, I find myself working mainly with executive level professionals and entrepreneurs who are already established. And one of the missing links a lot of the time is speaking, I don't think we necessarily the beginning, look at speaking as the tool that it is to increase credibility to increase visibility. So I would definitely encourage anybody who is in you know, an entrepreneurial endeavor or seeking that, or in high level executive positions where you do have to know how to present yourself speak to different types of people for collaborative reasons, or pitching a product or service speaking can definitely be a tool in your toolbox. And I think the best way to go about doing that is to just start, just start not really relying on other people's platforms. Luckily, because of the avenues social media, we all have our we have access to our own platform. So just start speaking, and then once you find your community, they will they will come to you and ask you to speak more and more and that's your that's your way in the door.

Tom Bailey  04:46

I love that. And you mentioned it being a tool in the toolbox. And I guess you know, it's not a tool we necessarily have to be born with. We don't have to be a natural speaker. It's something that a tool that we can learn and improve over time. So what about in your tool Will box even natural born speaker? Was it something you've had to really work on over your career?

Stacey Roberts  05:04

No, no, no, no speaking is not something that comes naturally to me. I was a wallflower throughout high school. And when I got to university, I was probably a wallflower, very timid, very shy. For the first half of my matriculation. It wasn't until I got to my junior year that I really began to find my voice and find out what it was that I was going to do. Luckily, I was in a program on a track where I had to become comfortable being on stages, not as a speaker, but as a performer. And that really helped to break the ice for me, so that by the time I got to the point where speaking was going to be beneficial for me, I was already comfortable being on stage, all I had to do really was acquired the skills of speaking, you know, learning the art of oration, learning how to talk, learning how to tell stories. And so I think it's a combination speaking is a combination of art and science where you have to be comfortable being on the stage, you have to feel comfortable telling stories. And you have to be comfortable with vulnerability as well, because I think it could be a good storyteller takes a bit of transparency and a bit of vulnerability, which I don't think many of us are very comfortable with at all. So those are the things that had I had to learn. It wasn't natural for me at all.

Tom Bailey  06:23

Not Not everybody resonate with that, you know, I've always been an introvert has always been the shy one. I've always been the kind of, I used to say I became an expert at avoiding public speaking throughout my early career. But yeah, you mentioned then about, you know, being an art form. So when you think of think of art, you know, there's lots of different techniques, but what are some of the key? What are some of the main techniques that you think that people should learn to really craft this art? And you've already mentioned one, which is storytelling. So what else do you think people really need to craft to improve this art form?

Stacey Roberts  06:56

I think storytelling is bait is mainly the crux of becoming a really good speaker, because that's the way that we can connect with people in a very intimate way. And if you're really good at crafting a story, you can make people laugh, you can make people cry, you can move them to be motivated, when they when they didn't have that motivation for themselves. You know, storytelling is definitely an art. But it's a science too. And it's one of the tools in the speaker toolbox that will help you to convey an idea. And I think another another thing that probably needs to be said is that if you aren't good at speaking, there's nothing wrong with hiring someone that can help you with speaking. So another another tool that I would say, in addition to storytelling is having a coach or a mentor, someone who has hopefully done what it is that you're trying to do for many, many years, they know the ins and outs, they know the ropes, speaking is an art and a science, but it is a business as well. And so there's a work that you have to navigate that business in order to make the most of it and get the most out of it. If you don't really know about the business of speaking, oftentimes mentorship, and coaching can be very, very valuable as well.

Tom Bailey  08:13

Yeah, perfect. And that's been really, really useful so far. I think you mentioned the word comfort and comfort zones a few times. I think we'll talk about that in just a second. But the first thing I want to ask is, for anybody listening, that would like to get better at speaking or would like to become a speaker one day, and I think you mentioned just just get out there and do it, you know, what would your answer be to the question? What do I talk about?

Stacey Roberts  08:39

So the first piece of advice that I would give anyone interested in speaking, if they were to ask me that question, I would say talk about what you know, do not talk about things that you know nothing about speakers. In order for us to tell stories, we have to speak from a very authentic place, and you can't speak from a place of authenticity, if you haven't lived or experienced the things that you're talking about. So I would say first and foremost, make sure that you speaking about things topics that you are very knowledgeable about that you have lived that you have very personal stories about that you can then lend to the to the listener to the to the audience, that will be the first thing I would suggest. That's the most important Yeah, that's

Tom Bailey  09:23

that's really important because I think one of the fears that come up for people is around impostor syndrome and, and being found out and maybe being asked a question by the audience you don't know how to answer. So I guess by speaking on topics that you know a lot about you can start to alleviate some of those concerns for you. And I just want to ask about so on a speaker's journey there's normally that start point when you speaking for free speaking with small audiences, you're trying to find your your I guess your message. And there's a transition point then to go from free speaker to paid speaker. What advice would you give to somebody that's maybe just about to go through that transition? How do you ask for money to speak? Sure. So

Stacey Roberts  10:04

I would, there's a time and place for free speaking, and there's a time in place for paid speaking. And just because someone is not giving you the fee that you're asking for to speak does not mean that that speaking, engagement is free. There are a lot of ways to circumvent that and to say, Okay, I'll waive my fee in lieu of the following XYZ. And there are ways that you may not exchange monies, but you're still exchanging value. And that's, I think, is a very important delineation to make. Just because there's no monies being exchanged doesn't necessarily mean that there's no value being exchanged. I think every speaker because of that will always participate in some type of free when I say free, I mean, like a waving of your feet, you'll always do that. Because if you're smart, you'll know that just getting access to certain rooms, will help your bottom line significantly, just because you're not getting a fee from the from the person that's hiring you doesn't mean that you won't make money from that speaking engagement, especially if you're using speaking like I do, you know, I'm a I'm a, I'm in the coach, consultant strategist category. And so I use speaking in a lot of times to get new clients on board, I don't get paid to speak. But I sign up a $10,000. Client, I'm getting paid to speak, in my mind. So that's the way I look at it. In the beginning, I would I would also say make sure you have mastered your signature talk. Yes. One of the things that free engagements can give you is the experience of delivering your talk, crafting a talk, getting the kinks out of your talk. And so you begin to say, Okay, well, I put that joke in here that didn't really land very well, maybe I'll take that out the next time. Or maybe I'll start the talk with a different story and see how the audience reacts to that. And as you begin to build a pattern of presentation, you get to know how to deliver the talk in a more impactful way. And once you become more comfortable, more confident with that, then I think you're ready to begin asking for your feet

Tom Bailey  12:18

perfect and picks up on the word signature talk there isn't a magic recipe or formula for the perfect signature talk, or does it very much depend on your topic and your audience and what type of presentation is,

Stacey Roberts  12:33

I think it depends, I think there is a general recipe for a signature talking and you have your intro, maybe for a good 10 minute 15 word 510 minutes, you may have the body of your talk for 20 minutes, you may have some bullet points that you want to cover in that body. And then you have your close. And then you have if you have the opportunity to pitch you can pitch towards the end. So within a 45 minute hour Keynote or so, you know you you can create an outline or rubric so to speak, but it depends on the audience in terms of how you're going to deliver that speech. At some point, I just did a program for a youth organization last week. And I could never I mean, these were teenage boys. I could have never spoken to them. And the way that I'm going to be speaking at a woman's conference that I'm going to be speaking at in January, two totally different audiences. I'm still at the base of it giving the same type of meat to the women in January that I'm going to that I was giving to the men last weekend, but I'm having to deliver it in a different way because of the audience. Yeah. And we have to yes, you can craft a signature talk in a very organized fashion. But the delivery of that talk may vary depending on the audience that you're speaking to.

Tom Bailey  13:56

Yeah, I love that. That's a really important distinction. Because I guess a signature talk, let's say you base it around 40 minutes. In theory, if you've got the chunks, you could deliver that in 20 minutes, you could deliver in 60 minutes, in 90 minutes in three hours. You know, because ultimately, you're just adding more stories or more anecdotes, or, Yes, I think that really makes sense to have that really structured format and then be able to flex it to the audience. And so a couple more questions, and then and then I think I've extracted enough value out of this conversation for our listeners. And I think the next question for me is about somebody, as you mentioned, not necessarily getting paid to speak but being able to actually still derive, you know, new clients on the back of that. What's the main difference between delivering a talk that someone's paid us a keynote to deliver and delivering a talk that you hope that people take an action of the back of the White House? How do you make that distinction between the two.

Stacey Roberts  14:54

In terms of the talk, I don't really make much of a distinction. i The value that Given a signature talk or any presentation is the value, the value doesn't change in any way, it mainly is the delivery and the wrap up at the end. So if I'm going to be extending an Invitation to someone, at the end of a talk, I'll tag that on the end of the, you know, at the end of the time on stage. And it just depends if I'm not going to have that, that ability to do that, then of course, I won't do that. And it doesn't really change the format of the signature talk, I'm still given the same amount of value to regardless of the audience, and regardless of the ability to pitch on the stage,

Tom Bailey  15:38

that's really good, because I have have seen speakers in the past with these, you know, sell sell from the stage type presentations, they don't really deliver any value, they will tell you what it is and why you need it. But there's no value, there's no How to there's no, you know, nuggets of key takeaway. So I think, I'm glad that you've tried to stay true to the value you can add to the audience. And the

Stacey Roberts  16:01

most important thing across the board, I mean, as speakers our goal is to, to deliver value to the audience's that we speak to, and there are workarounds for not being able to invite people for the next logical step in terms of working with you, you can always say, you know, you can reach out to me if you have any questions, or if you're on my social media platforms, feel free to reach out to me, we can have a conversation, even if even I'm not, I'm not selling from the stage, I'm still saying, Here I am, I'm available to you, if you want to have a conversation, and nine times out of 10 If someone is intrigued enough about your your speech about your topic about what you have to offer, they're gonna find you and reach out to you to inquire about working with you more, if that's what they want to do. So there's always ways to work around that if you don't have the opportunity to sell from the stage.

Tom Bailey  16:50

What's what's what's been your most successful call to action? Is it download this report? Is it in a text this number is it by now like, what what's been the most successful call to action for you,

Stacey Roberts  17:02

I really love and I'm sure many of your, your listeners and viewers know about this. But Talk about I don't know. I'm not sure if it's if it's an app that is globally accessible. But if it is, I really love it, because it allows you to put a QR code if you're using presentations and screens and things that and especially if you're presenting virtually, which has become I mean, that's, that's what a lot of us are doing now anyway, you're able to put that QR code into your slides. And that way someone can scan that QR code be taken directly to your talk about platform where they can leave real time, or real time review about your speech. And then you can in for lead magnet added to your subscriber list. And now you build relationship with them over time, so that's a really good tool that I'll offer your listeners if you aren't already using talking about I think it's talking Check out the site. It's a really useful tool for engaging after you've delivered your speech. You get testimonials, and you also get to build your email subscriber list.

Tom Bailey  18:13

Yeah, I love I love that. Because, you know, we all we all know and expect download my lead magnet like whereas if you're asking for genuine feedback, and I really want to know what you thought of this talk, I'd love to hear your thoughts and and that then leads to the next step. Yeah, I really liked that way of doing it. Thanks for sharing that. And actually, that leads me on to my very final question for this conversation, which is if somebody wants to either book you as a speaker or find out more about you, where's the best place for them to go?

Stacey Roberts  18:41

Sure for speaking engagements. You can reach me at Stacey My name is Stacy sta CE, y All of my information is there. You can find all of my social platform links there as well. That's probably the best and easiest way to contact me. Okay,

Tom Bailey  18:57

perfect. And I'll put all of those links into the show notes as well, to pick them click them and find out more. So, Stacy, thank you again so much for your time today. I really appreciate come along sharing your story and loads of great value with our audience. 

Stacey Roberts  19:09

Thank you so much, Tom. It's been a pleasure.