Public Speaking allows us to form connections, influence decisions, and motivate change. You will agree that together with good communication skills and confidence one cannot progress in a competitive environment. But, public speaking is one of the most important and most feared forms of communication.
Importance of Public Speaking
- Good public speaking skills help not only with career advancement but also showcase creativity, critical thinking skills, leadership abilities, poise, and professionalism
- It is one of the most important qualities considered crucial for value for the job market since it empowers you to persuade, and move people to action through everyday conversation.
- Also, speaking at events and conferences is one of the best ways way of building credibility.
Let us listen to Mr. Joshua Motikya, a passionate public speaking trainer. He is on a mission to help 1 Million people to overcome their stage fear and nervousness and to transform them into Confident speakers. He has 9+ years of working experience with companies like Bank of America in India and HSBC in Brazil, South America. He has helped 1000’s of working professionals and students from “Average Speakers” to “Awesome Speakers”. Despite big opportunities to work with top MNCs in Brazil, he has left his high-paying job to live his dream of helping people to achieve their goals and dreams by transforming them into confident speakers.
Q1. Can you tell us more about your journey and why did you choose this field?
Answer: For 28 years of my life, till 2018, I was a bad speaker. Bad is a very small word, I was the worst speaker. I was a very shy, introverted, low-confident person with a lack of communication skills, social anxiety, stage fear, and nervousness. If there is an award to be given to the worst speaker, my name would have come in the first place. But all these years in my working experience, I have to give lots of presentations, team meetings, and conduct video conference meetings. Whenever I have these presentations, I used to have severe social anxiety. My heart used to beat fast, my hands shivered, straight on my forehead, and my legs shivered. Whatever lines I prepared for the presentation, I used to forget and look at people.
Forget about speaking in front of a group of people or in a live video camera like this, I could not even speak even one on one online. But today I have transformed as confident, public speaking training, helping hundreds and thousands of people to overcome their stage fear and nervousness. What made me overcome my stage fear and nervousness is the art of public speaking. It was in the year 2017, I was living in Brazil, South America, and I was working for _ . I was going through lots of challenges during my meetings and presentations, talking to senior managers. Then one day, I decided, I cannot live this life of failure, a looser, a low confident person, shy, underconfident. Then I decided, I had to upskill myself.
I have been trained by international speakers like Tony Robbins, Tan lobs, and national speakers. I have gone through this process of the art of public speaking and today I am in front of you as a trainer, as a speaker, as a coach. So if I believe in this, if you have the willpower to see yourself as a confident person, you need to take action and be consistent. I can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it.
Q2. Is Public speaking a Skill or Talent? What’s your opinion?
Answer: Research shows that 73% of people have some kind of social anxiety, shyness, nervousness, and stage fear. Research has been conducted in the United States of America, there were 2 scenarios. They have asked 100s of participants, to come and attend this research. They were given 2 options, one of them was going in front of 100s and 1000s of people on a live stage and giving a speech. Option 2 was too beat up by a poisonous scorpion, where the chances of death are less than 5%. 73% of People choose to risk at beaten up by scorpion.
Public speaking is the biggest fear of all fear. People are ready to die but not go on stage and speak in front of the audience. Out of 73% of people, 8% of people take professional help, like me to become professional and transform themselves. I completely believe public speaking is a skill. Anybody can learn this skill. People learn how to swim, drive a car, how to code software, and learn to cook, it is as simple as that. Anyone can master public speaking. The only thing required is the need for action and persistence. In my opinion, public speaking is therefore a skill. You take any of public speaker, be it a politician, or any successful rich person, most of them are not born great speakers, they have developed them.
Q3.What according to you are essential skills to become a good public speaker?
Answer: 3 Main skills that everyone has to master to become confident and a great public speaker. Number 1 is the skill set of public speaking. What is a skillset? If you are a CA, you’ll be working on different balance sheets, software, and calculations, so similarly there are different tools, techniques, and secrets that make a great public speaker. This is thus, the first thing that we need to learn in the art of public speaking, the skillset part.
Secondly, most important for most of us is the mindset. Mindset is the skill everyone has to master. Suppose there is a person, really good with communication skills, great and fancy vocabulary, good command over English language. But this person is low in confidence, shy, and has a stage fear. You think this person can give a great speech? For majority of people it’s not about skills, most of the time we think about it only. But what makes a great public speaker? His skillset along with the right mindset.
The third essential skill is we need to practice public speaking in the right way. Let’s say a software employee is doing the coding. He is using some wrong coding language, he’s doing it the first time, the fifth time, and the tenth time, but getting the same error, because he is doing the same thing. He will not get the desired result until done rightly. So once we practice in the right way, they will get result.
Therefore, these skills must be mastered essentially.
Q4.What is your strategy to engage with a live audience to ensure the session is a success?
Answer: I start by sharing my story, by making myself comfortable to the audience too that i am one among you. I am not different, having super power or super hero. I am just like you, I just have learned this art of public speaking. So i present myself to the audience that i am just like you. In public speaking one important tool is storytelling. So, storytelling is one of the best techniques to get connected to the audience. It has a great impact and people remember it for a very long time. For more engagement with my audience, I do this thing of asking the right questions to my audience, while I am delivering the presentation to increase connection and involvement.
Q5.What is your advice for professionals to overcome a lack of self-confidence in interviews?
Answer: It was in the year 2008, I completed my graduation, Bcom regular education. Many companies were coming to our campus for campus interviews. Many of my friends and colleagues were getting selected. I was clearing the written test. But when it comes to group discussions, and HR interviews, I was literally failing in all the interviews. I was comparing myself to the people who have cracked the interview, the ones with high confidence, and communication skills. I would say we should not compare ourselves to others.
We have to learn. What I did is, I took professional help to get better at interview skills. So seek professional help, this is one basic. Coming to 3 essential skills that one has to master in order to overcome self-confidence or nervousness before giving an interview or presentation is, a person has to talk to himself positively. Before you go interview room, close your eyes and talk to yourself positively “yes, this is going to be the best interview of my life, I am going to get selected and crack it.”
Most of the time people get anxious and talk negatively. Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Replace nervousness with excitement. Secondly, we should not focus on ourselves. We tend to focus on ourselves most of the time, and we miss answers to questions. So forget yourself and focus on the interview. And finally, I would say see the interview, meetings, presentation, anything for that as an opportunity. Most of the time we see it as a threat. See it as an opportunity to share your experience, knowledge. Try to express yourself from your heart, then you won’t have nervousness and would overcome self-confidence.
Q6.What is your suggestion to freshers to handle rejection after an interview?
Answer: I myself had been rejected in many interviews. Clearing the first rounds was easy but GDs I failed a lot. I started comparing myself to others, took rejection so personal. But, from my personal experience, don’t take rejections too personally, never ever that too. If you are unable to crack the first interview, learn from your mistakes, be it with your body language, answers, or anything that didn’t go well. I would highly say that go to you tube.
Back in 2008, when I was looking for jobs, we didn’t have these opportunities, resources like the internet, youtube, and all. But now, people have access. Now you can go on google and ask frequently asked questions and practice and prepare more. Practice and prepare while recording your video. Record your video and then see what is the mistake you are doing. Is it the gesture or the voice modulation that is going wrong, and improve accordingly.
Nowadays, all the interviews are happening virtually. So one important thing they need to do is check their internet connection. Get connected to proper, strong wi-fi, lightning must be good, audio and video must be clear. There should not be any background noises. And have a genuine smile on your face, share your experiences if you know the answer. In case you don’t, be confident, that yes “I am sure at this moment, but if given a chance I can go back and study.”
Q7.What are the benefits of learning public speaking?
Answer: There are many benefits of public speaking. Let’s think about it this way, have you ever in your life stayed without speaking for even one day? So speaking is a very important and essential thing which we do in our daily lives. Even we are sleeping, in our dreams we talk. Like we breathe every single time, we also breathe. I would highly recommend anyone who wants to grow in their career professionally and personally, to grab more opportunities in their life, must master public speaking.
A person with more communication skills, more visibility, and more confidence will grab more opportunities in their career and can grow. For working professionals and businessmen, entrepreneurs, and politicians few, if could get better with public speaking, could become a great leaders. You can stand apart and persuade people. You can motivate and get things done from other people.
Secondly, you will have great negotiation skills. Let’s suppose, you are a manager in your process. There is a conflict between the team. You can convince people, and compromise people if have negotiation skills. Not only that if you are going to crack some deals with clients, but you will also have great negotiation skills. If you are a great speaker you will socialize well. You will know many people, from top to bottom, and have high confidence. The other thing is you can grow in your career multi times. Like a person with low communication skills and confidence compared with a person with high communications skills and confidence but with low technical skills, the second would grab more opportunities.
So career growth will be more if you have good communication skills. You can crack job interviews with high confidence. These are the few benefits of public confidence.
Q8.How to have a powerful body language, voice, and eye connection?
Answer: Research says that 93% of our communication is non-verbal communication. Just 7% is verbal communication. By non-verbal, I mean your body language, voice modulation, and eye connection. To have strong body language, firstly you need to sit straight, hands on your lap. Most people tend to lean forward. So sit straight, hands on your lap and have a genuine smile on your face and speak. Try to do hands movement. You can also put your hands down if you are standing and speaking. Your shoulders must be facing the audience. This is about your body language. Your facial expression also plays a major role.
Coming to voice, there is a myth in public speaking that when a person is speaking very fast, which means he is highly confident and has a good command of the English language. But in public speaking, if a person is speaking very fast, it means that person is very nervous. You have to speak loud and slow than your regular voice.
Finally coming to eye connection, most of the time cannot look into the eyes because they are nervous or lack confidence. People look up, down, here, and there but not where required. So what we have to do is, we need to start looking into the eyes of the interviewer and speaking. It should not include staring or gazing. 70% of the time I would say you look and 30% of the time you _ and it has to be like a natural connection.
Q9.What advice would you like to give to aspirants who wish to make a career in this field?
Answer: In China, there’s something called aa Chinese bamboo tree. This Chinese bamboo tree, a person decides to grow it, they plant the seed into the ground, he is watering, nurturing, fertilizing, doing sunlight and walking around growing the Chinese bamboo tree. One month is gone, and nothing is coming out of the ground. Two months, no result. For 3 months, nothing is coming out of the ground.
There were other people in the neighborhood growing some other crop, and in the next 3 months, they could see the result. They had the crop, harvested it and sold it in the market, and made money. And these people are talking to this person, “man what are you doing, you are growing a Chinese bamboo tree, nothing is coming out of the ground, it is almost 3 months, now 6 months, 1 year, 2 years.” He still kept on nurturing, giving sunlight, and protecting it. Every single day he is doing it.
Similarly, in life when you have a big goal or dream when you want to become a good public speaker, a photographer, software employee, or CA, whatever your dream is. You keep on working on your dream. But there will be some people in your journey pulling you down. People will pull down saying no result is coming out. But what happens, most people give up listening to other people.
People want instant results. But this person kept working on his dreams with a lot of patience. He worked for 5 long years. He kept on his dream for 5 long years. And after 5 years, this Chinese bamboo tree breaks to the ground and it grows 90feet tall in 5 weeks. This person grew this tree, harvested it, sold in the market and he made millions of money.
Many people start their journey, they have big dreams and goals, but they listen to the criticism. Your 10th video will always be better than 1st video. You need to take consistent actions instead of looking for instant results. Consistency is the key. Walk on your dream, no matter what. You will listen to a lot of criticism from your loved ones, friends, and known people, don’t listen to them. Just believe in yourself and never give up.