Creating Influence Through the Art of Public Speaking
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Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: So welcome everybody to this week’s podcast episode for the Financial Freedom for Physicians Podcast. And I’m your host, Dr. Christopher Loo. And as you know, we are expanding our reach for this podcast. It has grown over the last two years. And we are still focused on financial, emotional, time and location freedom. But I’m expanding it to all different types of guests, and guests that are from all around the world, doing fantastic work; thought leaders, innovators. And today we have a guest that has a quite interesting background in public speaking. So we have Brenden Kumarasamy, based out of Montreal, and he’s going to talk to us all about public speaking. He’s a Communication Coach and a YouTuber, founder and CEO of MasterTalk. And I’ll let him introduce himself and we’ll get started. So Brenden, welcome.
Brenden Kumarasamy: Hey, thanks so much, Chris. Good to be here. Yeah, to your point brother, I’m the founder of the MasterTalk YouTube channel, that started to master the art of communication and public speaking. And the way that I started was when I was in university, I used to do these things called case competitions. Think of it like professional sports for nerds. So a lot of the guys my age are playing rugby or basketball, or something I probably wouldn’t do. I did presentations competitively. And that’s what led to the idea for the YouTube channel, because I realized that everything in my head wasn’t available for free online. And then a few years later, it turned to what it is today.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. That’s quite an amazing story. So I’ve always been fascinated with public speakers, and public speaking is a really unique skill, because it’s just communication. And you’re able to sell and present and motivate, inspire, educate, there’s so many different ways you can use public speaking. So tell us about your story, how you got started, and we’ll go from there.
Brenden Kumarasamy: Of course, Chris, thanks so much, I really appreciate it. So yeah, going back to the case competitions, what happened was, I saw a need for communication, because there’s a lot of people that can’t afford a Communication Coach like me out there. So I started the YouTube videos, probably in January of 2019. And then as time went on, I kept posting every week, and I slowly got better. And it was really a side hustle at the time, three years ago. Now I do it full time. But back then, I was a full time Technology Consultant at IBM, I had a pretty good paycheck. So I was mostly doing it as a hobby. And then later on, I ended up meeting my business partner, and he’s the one who really encouraged me to develop a coaching business so that I could do MasterTalk full time and really focused on the mission of what I was doing. So yeah, it’s been a fun, fun journey so far. It’s been three years and everything’s done pretty well. So I’m super grateful.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. So what is MasterTalk? Tell us about the mission and what and what it does. I know a lot of people in the audience are curious about it, and may be interested in joining or following you and signing up.
Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, for sure, brother. So MasterTalk is two things. So the first one is, it’s a YouTube channel that I started to help people with their communication skills. Go to MasterTalk on YouTube, and you can find access to hundreds of free videos on how to communicate ideas to the world.
And the second arm is a coaching business. So I coach a lot of executives, and entrepreneurs, primarily in the technology and sciences area, where I help them with their communication skills. So when they go back into their boardrooms, go back into their hospitals, go back into their working environments, they’re the best communicator in the building. That’s really the outcome that we teach a lot of our executive clients to get.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Yeah. So, talking about public speaking. In a sentence, tell us what is your philosophy around public speaking, how it can be used, what it’s used for, and how to certain steps to be able to start developing it?
Brenden Kumarasamy: So I would say if I had one sentence, the sentence would be this. If you communicate 20% better than your competition, you will stand out 100% of the time. So I’ll repeat that again. If you communicate 20% better than your competition, you will stand out 100% of the time. So what does that mean? That means that you don’t need a lot to stand out from the people in your industry. Remember, we’re not comparing ourselves to other speakers, Christopher, we’re comparing ourselves to people in our industry. So for a physician, we’re not comparing ourselves to other physicians within our industry. If we’re a neurologist, we’re comparing ourselves to other neurologists within our industry. And that’s really the frame that I want to approach this with. So what just to communicate To mean, it means creating an opportunity for us to effectively and succinctly communicate our ideas to a specific audience to achieve a specific outcome. And if we can do that better than anyone else, we will stand out more than anyone else as well.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. It’s all about communication. And it’s really, what I love about it is how you’re coming across. It’s really the techniques and the tools. It’s a really a very valuable skill to have, and it can be used in so many different industries. So, and I know that your YouTube channel got 22,000 subscribers, it’s got some really great videos. So what are some of the common mistakes and communication that you see when working with clients and executives?
Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, for sure, that’s a great question. I would say the three biggest mistakes are number one direction, second one is motivation. And the third one is techniques. So let’s go through each of them.
The first one is motivation. When we don’t have an urgent necessity for what we want to do in life, especially when it comes to a skill, we probably won’t practice it. So I found the biggest difficulties, most people aren’t motivated to work on their communication skills, because they don’t see the link between how communication will greatly impact their careers, their life, and the people around them. You know, Warren Buffett says that the number one investment he ever made himself was a Dale Carnegie course. Right, putting the time to work on his communication. So I think the first piece is a question, Chris.
And the question is, how would your life change if you were an exceptional communicator? Don’t just write that question down, really reflect on it. Because communication is so much more than making more money or getting a promotion at work. It’s every interaction we have with the people that we love. It’s every single conversation, every touchpoint, every presentation, and it helps us lead a more fulfilling life. So I’d say reflect on that, that’s the first one.
Second one is direction. A lot of us have goals with our health. We have goals with our finances, we of course with our relationship, but very few of us have communication goals. So what types of goals do you want? Start writing down two or three communication goals. Is it to speak on tech? Is it to get a higher position in that company? So you want to communicate like that person? Is it to have a better relationship with your family, write down some communication goals for yourself. And that will already put you ahead of most people in your industry.
And then the third piece is technique. So the technique is super simple. It’s really, how consistently are you practicing your communication skills? Is it somewhere in the calendar? Because if it’s not, it’s not going to happen. So I would encourage all of us to take 30 minutes out of our week, not about over a day, but out of a week. To practice exercises like the ones I teach them the channel is like the random word exercise, which is when you pick a word like post it notes, like a pen, like a granola bar, and you create presentations out of thin air. And that will get you not just one step, but three steps closer to being an exceptional top 1% communicator in your industry.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. So we talked about the mistakes, and what are some resources. So I know a lot of people coming from this see communicating as a valuable skill. What are some resources where people can go? And how are some ways that people can get started?
Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, I would say there’s a couple of things that people can do, Chris, the first one is definitely the following sentence, because the best way to speak coincidentally enough is to speak. So I would start the conversation with: how can I practice more consistently? And there’s different ways you can do this, you could have a friend that you practice some of the exercises with on a daily basis, you can meet for 15 minute zoom calls, that’s a great way to get started. There’s the free training that we host as well, we do a free one every few weeks over zoom. And that’s RockstarCommunicator.com, you can go there and get some free coaching and learn from other people in the group as well. There’s also books that you can read. I’d recommend not reading too many books, though, because the best way to speak is really to communicate. But if I had to pick one that you would read, it would probably be thrown by Scott Harrison. So Thirst by Scott Harrison. The reason why Scott’s book is so good is because it is a practical example of how to use communication to truly change the world. He’s the CEO of Charity Water, and he helps people gain access to clean water and sanitation. And I really love his perspective on life and the way he’s used storytelling as a platform to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for his nonprofits. So that’s a good way of thinking about it as well.
Those are a couple of things to get started. But honestly, the easiest thing is to start speaking, right? Start communicating ideas, start doing the random word exercise every day. And if you have children or nieces and nephews in your house, doing it with them is also a practical way to stay accountable.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. So it’s all for the listeners out there. It’s all about skill in practice. And the more you practice, the more you can effectively communicate. So yeah. So this has been a fantastic discussion. I know a lot of people are interested in learning more about you, learning more about MasterTalk, and maybe possibly working with you. So what are some ways people can find out more about you, get in touch with you, and so on?
Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, for sure, Chris, great conversation, really appreciate it. So the two ways are super simple. Number one is go to the YouTube channel. It’s just called MasterTalk. You can learn a bunch of free insights on communication and public speaking. And then the second piece, if you’re interested in coaching, is to come to one of my free trainings over zoom. We do them every few weeks, and you can register for the next one at RockstarCommunicator.com.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Awesome, awesome. Well, thanks so much, Brenden, for this awesome intro, and it’s been highly insightful and educating and we look forward to hearing more about your success in the future.
Brenden Kumarasamy: Likewise brother, thanks for having me.
Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD: Many thanks again for being here. If you’re new, you can find me online at Christopher H. Loo, MD-PhD, where I have links to other episodes or links to online resources that will support you on your financial literacy journey. I’ll see you there in on next week’s show. While I bring you thoroughly vetted information on this show regarding a variety of financial topics, I cannot promise you a one size fits all solution. This is why I caution you to continue to learn. Educate yourself and seek professional advice unique to your situation. If you want to talk to me, I welcome it. Please reach out via my website or email at Chris@drchrisloomdphd.com. I read and personally respond to all of my emails. Talk soon!
Editor’s note: This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity.