Carla Howard is a strategic transformation specialist, expert speaker, and dream enabler. Her passion for facilitating personal and professional transformation is the common thread that runs through her work. Whether it’s assisting corporations with change management, giving keynote speeches, teaching emergent speakers how to get paid from the stage, or helping ambitious women dream bigger and reach further. Carla assists individuals in transitioning from their current situation into their desired future. People experience a significant increase in their confidence level as they learn new skills and behaviors to capitalize on their natural strengths, lead with influence and grace, and even navigate office politics.
Carla was a military brat when she was growing up, which meant she traveled around a lot. She was faced with adapting to new communities constantly. Trying to identify who her people are was significantly different from having the same friends and living in the same area your whole life. Her leadership, confidence, and strategy for facing her fears and putting herself out there were all greatly influenced during this time. This taught her that you should lean into the things that make you happy because when we pursue the things that give us life and satisfy us we can create amazing lives and careers.
Carla believes that Public speaking is one of the main keys to amplifying your career development and learning how to be a competent speaker will elevate you in all areas of your life. Learning to command the stage will teach you the power of a pause, collecting your thoughts, and avoiding using filler words that compromise your message. Confidence will follow you throughout your career when you learn to communicate clearly and succinctly which is incredibly attractive and something that organizations desperately want from their leaders.
This single skill is the most important to develop, whether you’re going down a corporate path, an entrepreneurial path, or you have ambitions to become a professional speaker. Build that package that’s going to make your topics compelling and move you into that highly-paid speaking arena.
Often when individuals want to be thought leaders, they don’t want to offend others or see negative comments in their thread. They want everybody to like them but when you’re a thought leader, everybody is not going to like you. Rather lean into your convictions and think about why you feel so strongly about them. If you aren’t turning anybody off, you aren’t turning anyone on, says Carla. If your thought leadership or your platform from the stage is generic, you will end up in a big pool of tens of thousands of speakers that are exactly like you and generalists don’t get paid as much as people with a specific skill set. Carla’s advice for becoming a great and competent speaker is simply miles under your sneakers. You have to get on that stage, stand up in front of people, and do it over and over and over again. Join an organization that’s going to help you hone your speaking skills, like Toastmasters, and start raising your hand every chance you get.
[01:49] Carla shares how she was shaped through her experience as a military brat
[05:59] Making decisions that will help you capitalize on your personality from an early age
[08:37] Learning how to be a competent speaker will help you in every area of your life
[12:39] To be a thought leader, you can not be generic
[18:19] Practice becoming a great speaker with the confidence to speak on larger stages