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Brenden is the founder of MasterTalk, he coaches ambitious executives & entrepreneurs to become top 1% communicators in their industry. He also has a popular YouTube channel called MasterTalk, with the goal of providing free access to communication tools for everyone in the world.
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Scott: Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast. I'm Scott Fulton, international speaker consultant and trainer. Work sucks for far too many people in business and corporate life. And my goal is to fix that. My guests each week include authors, millionaires, entrepreneurs, thought leaders and inspiring people who share their stories, insights, and tips to help you transform your work and life for the better. They are the rebels because they challenge the status quo and help others to do the same.
Scott: You are listening to the Rebel Diaries show. Stick with me and work will never be the same again.
[00:00:00] Brenden: A lot of us are scared of speaking and the way that I see it is that the reason we're all scared of communication is because of the way we've learned the skill in the first place. Like when we're in school, we're taught to believe that communication is a chore. Why? Because all the presentations we give are mandatory in school.
[00:00:56] Brenden: We don't wake up one morning and say, Hey Scott, you wanna get breakfast and present all day?
[00:01:02] Brenden: And he said, this "there's two types of people in the world. There's people who make an excuse to do something. And there's people who make an excuse not to do something".
[00:01:11] Scott: Welcome to episode 20. Did you know, there is a simple way to improve your communication skills in just five minutes each day? Are you terrified of public speaking? Brenden will help you understand how to unlock your inner communicator rockstar.
[00:01:25] Scott: Hi, Brenden. Welcome to the Rebel Diaries podcast.
[00:01:29] Brenden: Scott the pleasure's absolutely mine. Thanks for having me.
[00:01:31] Scott: Thanks for joining. For people who don't know who you are would you mind just giving us a bit of a rundown of who you are, what you do.
[00:01:36] Brenden: Absolutely Scott. So my name's Brendan Kumarasamy. I'm the founder of Master Talk. Master Talk is a YouTube channel that I started to help the world master, the art of communication and public speaking. And it's also a coaching practice where I train a lot of business owners and executives to become top communicators in their industry.
[00:01:54] Brenden: But how I got started was when I was in university and college, I went to business school, Scott, and my goal was never to be an entrepreneur. The goal was to be an executive, get a good job. So I did these called case competitions. Think of it like professional sports, but for nerds. So while other guys, my age were like playing rugby or footy or cricket, I wasn't one of those guys.
[00:02:15] Brenden: I did presentations competitively and that's how I learned how to speak. So then as I got older, I started coaching a lot of the students who were in those programs. And that's what gave me the idea to start making YouTube videos, which then turned into something crazy.
[00:02:29] Scott: Great what does crazy look like then for you in terms of, you must be in demand cuz public speaking's one of people's biggest fears, isn't it? They're like they'd rather, I can't remember. There's a phrase they'd rather do something like die than stand up in front of an audience.
[00:02:41] Scott: Sounds extreme, but some people are absolutely terrified aren't they.
[00:02:44] Brenden: Absolutely Scott and, for me, crazy just looks like I never thought I would ever do this full time. It was never the intention. So that's what crazy means to me in terms of the fear of communication. Yeah, absolutely. Man, a lot of us are scared of speaking and the way that I see it is that the reason we're all scared of communication is because of the way we've learned the skill in the first place. Like when we're in school, whether it's in the UK or Canada, or really anywhere we're taught to believe that communication is a chore. Why? Because all the presentations we give are mandatory in high school, elementary school.
[00:03:17] Brenden: We don't wake up one morning and say, "Hey Scott, you wanna get breakfast and present all day?" Nobody really says that. And then the second piece of all them are different. You don't really have a choice in the topic that you get to pick. It's not really. "Hey, Scott, what are you passionate about now, as you get just, you gotta talk about history of Missouri" and you're like, "I don't even live in Missouri."
[00:03:34] Brenden: And then you have to give these presentations. And then the third piece is all of them are tied to a punishment. So we grew up believing that communication is a chore. Nobody wants to get better at doing the dishes.
[00:03:45] Scott: That's fascinating. I've done a few talks in my career. I found if you know your subject and you're passionate about it is what you said there, you can talk about it and people fall into trap of feeling that they don't and coming prepared with loads of notes.
[00:04:01] Scott: The worst presentations where, someone's just literally reading bullet points off a slide. You could like, " just send me the slide, all you're doing is reading out the bullet points". Very different. Isn't it?
[00:04:09] Brenden: Yeah, I think the way I see that is at least you can only go up from there. That's the key, you start low and then you build up momentum and that's why I always say Scott, for me, it's all about excitement a lot of us, when we think of communication, we bring up the fear or bring up the stress or bring up the anxiety.
[00:04:22] Brenden: What about this question? How would your life change if you were an exceptional communicator? A lot of us think about the negative, but we don't even dream about the positive. We dream about the six-pack abs we wanna have the dream relationship, the car, the house, and it's those visions of how our life could be better.
[00:04:40] Brenden: That gets us excited to work harder, but we never do that with our communication skills. And that's what we don't really get better at it.
[00:04:46] Scott: And those communication skills can actually unlock some of those things can't they? You potentially meet a different partner based on your communication skills. So there's a lot linked in together. Isn't there?
[00:04:56] Brenden: Absolutely. The way I see it is communication is an accelerator of dreams. So ask yourself what you want. And it could be anything who has already achieved that goal, who already has what you want, but then ask yourself the third question that a lot of people don't think about, which is what type of communicator is the person that has what we want. If we wanna be the president, we wanna be the CEO of a company, or we wanna be a thought leader. We might look at that person's bank account. We might look at their house, but we don't look at their communication skills. How is that person actually coming up? Huh? What's the Delta between them and me?
[00:05:28] Brenden: And it's a new way of looking at it.
[00:05:30] Scott: Great. So it sounds like a lot of your approach. Isn't just the practical, here's how you prepare for a talk. Here's how you, and I'm sure that's part of it but a lot more about the mindset side of it. What kind of journey would you take your clients on then? Where would you start?
[00:05:43] Scott: Or is everyone a bit different based on, how good they are at communicating or their levels of confidence?
[00:05:47] Brenden: Yeah. Great nuanced question, Scott here. Here's the way that I would see this. So definitely at the beginning, it starts with that question. That's how I start every single process. How would your life change if you're an exceptional communicator over some of my more advanced people, the question shifts a little bit, it's more in the sense of how would the world change if you became an exceptional communicator so that those types of questions help us be more expansive.
[00:06:13] Brenden: With communication and public speaking, they allow us to grow rather than shrink. And that's really the piece that I want to drive around, around speaking. So that's the first part. And then the other part is what I call my easy threes. Why are they easy? Because communication is like juggling 18 balls at the same time.
[00:06:31] Brenden: One of them is smiling. One of them is body language, one of those vocal variety, and it gets really confusing Scott. So what I like to think. And I won't say all three right away, cause they're also monologue for 10 minutes, but I think the goal is what are the three easiest balls that we can juggle. So let's start with ball number one, the random word exercise, pick a random word, like hairstyle, like hair like headset and create random presentations out of thin air and always tell people is if you can make sense out of nonsense, Scott you can make sense out of anything. And that's what drives the first piece of the exercise.
[00:07:06] Scott: Great. And how do people find that then? Because obviously, you said, people need to be passionate about their subject so I can see how just talk about this random object of people must struggle with that, but I can see what the, I get the idea behind it.
[00:07:17] Brenden: So there's two parts to that, Scott. Great. Follow up by the way. So you're right. When it comes to the random word exercise, it's mostly a game. That's why it's not a long game. It's 60 seconds. You just get a word like turnip and you just create random presentations or like carrots.
[00:07:31] Brenden: And then what happens is your resiliency. You start to be able to make sense out of nonsense. In other ways you get really good. At thinking on your feet. So then the other piece to that process is what I call your best presentation ever your best five minute. So essentially what you do is in that presentation, you present a topic that you really care about that you're really excited about, but the technique you learn from the random word exercise, cuz if you didn't do the random word exercise, you could easily format and create a five-minute presentation that you can spend an unlimited time preparing for.
[00:08:05] Scott: And I can see how that would be tied into not having to stick to a script cuz I've given plenty of presentations where something will happen out of left field. There'll be a technical problem or somebody asks a question you're just not expecting and you have to roll with that and not be thrown off by that.
[00:08:20] Scott: I'm, I wanna make sure I share it and don't forget I have, you'll be probably mortified by this, but I was watching a presentation at a conference once. Gentleman was given a perfectly good presentation. I won't name him. I can't remember his name to be fair or the conference. But he was getting asked lots of questions by the audience cuz they were engaged and they were listening and he got frustrated by the number of questions.
[00:08:38] Scott: And he actually said to the audience, "this is about me not you".
[00:08:43] Scott: And I thought, "no, you got that wrong you're meant to give value to your audience that's why you're there". But yeah, he was just like, "stop asking me questions. This is about me not you", which just, I thought, oh dear. You've just lost me there.
[00:08:55] Brenden: Hey, you never know may, maybe he was just trying to be sarcastic, which in
[00:08:58] Scott: No, he was genuine. I could see the look of his face. He was genuinely agitated. I wish he was being sarcastic.
[00:09:05] Brenden: wish that's so funny, which brings the next question. How did that person even get get on a stage?
[00:09:10] Scott: I know. It was a conference where everyone was asked for feedback of the speakers, so yeah, it'd be interesting to see what feedback he got. He didn't get particularly great feedback from me. Shall we say.
[00:09:18] Brenden: Interesting.
[00:09:19] Scott: So tell us a bit more about the journey then. It sounds like the first bit is a bit of improv, isn't it? Cuz they say that, go and do improv classes. If you want to, get confidence and think on your feet and that kind of stuff.
[00:09:28] Brenden: You got it, Scott, except this case is it's a lot easier than improv. Improv is usually in front of a crowd. You have to enact to see and all that stuff. My exercise is like level one of that, which is you're in a car with your kids. If you have any. And instead of listening to music, you just go "Sunday. iguana, dolphin". And what's nice about kids. Whether you have 'em or not nieces, nephews, it could be anyone younger is that they don't actually overthink the exercise. They just go, "okay. dolphin is a creature" and they just go into it. And instead of overthinking and what this does that improves a reaction speed.
[00:10:03] Brenden: So that's number one, five minutes a day, five times a day. Most people in industry aren't willing to do it even 10 times. What if you did it a hundred? That's one edge and then we stack edges. So that's number one. Number two, the second ball out of three is the question drill. We get asked questions all the time in our life Scott all the time on a podcast, on a show at school at work, every situation.
[00:10:30] Brenden: And a few years ago, when I started guessing on podcast, I was terrible. I remember some guy asked me once. He said, "where does the fear of communication come from?" And I look at the guy and I." I don't know, man San Diego, Los Angeles, you tell me", I was obviously completely lost. I didn't really know how to answer it because I was being reactive like most of us, we wait for the question to appear. We wait for the question to arrive and then we answer it instead of being proactive about how we can answer the question. So what's the exercise. The exercise is simple five minutes a day, every single day. Answer one question about your expertise and write down the answer.
[00:11:10] Brenden: That's it. And if you do that every day for five minutes for a year, you'll have answered 365 questions about your industry and you'll be bullet proof.
[00:11:21] Scott: Great. And that sounds like a great trigger to get some blog material. If you are sharing stuff on social media, etc were to capture that ask yourself the questions. Interesting. Yeah, I like that.
[00:11:31] Brenden: And just to build it, cuz you, you mentioned that, so I'll give you the next level to that ball.
[00:11:34] Brenden: Which is get the questions from your audience. I usually don't say that right away. Cuz then it gives people an excuse, not to even do the extra thing, oh I'll wait for my audience to gimme questions and then they don't do it.
[00:11:44] Brenden: But the smart way to actually do this is to get your audience, to ask you their most commonly asked questions and you write answers on 'em every day and then they become blog posts. Absolutely.
[00:11:53] Scott: I was watching a video the other day and someone was talking about they were impressed by a public speaker who didn't know the answer to a question. Someone had asked and was genuine and said, "I don't know. I'll look into it. Give me your email". Whereas he's seen a lot of other speakers think" I've got to have the answer" and try and then blag it.
[00:12:10] Scott: Have you come across that?
[00:12:12] Brenden: I have, I think there's two sides to that. There's one side, which is, try your best. We're all gonna make mistakes, but try your best, not to lie to your audience or be dis integrous. But I think the other piece, which is way more important is what are you doing to prepare for that moment?
[00:12:27] Brenden: Like in situations now on a podcast. It's very rare where I get asked a question that I don't know the answer to, and it's not because I'm special or unique it's cuz I've done the question drills like hundreds and hundreds of times, probably thousands at this point. I just wanna say thousands or something.
[00:12:43] Brenden: I get caught if there if I don't, if I haven't done it thousands of times, but
[00:12:47] Brenden: it's.
[00:12:47] Scott: to think of a really difficult question now.
[00:12:49] Brenden: So it's a lot, it's hard. But I think the point I wanna drive, but feel free to try more than happy but I think the key is there's also a bigger lesson here, which is, look, it's not hard to prepare, especially the five minute piece every day for a year.
[00:13:02] Brenden: If your goal is to really be an exceptional podcast guest or have an exceptional personal brand or to really good leader. Guess what most people aren't putting that time in, and it's not even a lot. So if you're spending five minutes a day, just doing the question drill, you're going to be ahead of 95% of your industry.
[00:13:18] Brenden: Cuz most people have never even heard of this exercise.
[00:13:20] Scott: And that compounds then doesn't it. Cuz you're just building. Building up content, building up material, training your brain. Yeah. Like that. So that was the second ball.
[00:13:29] Brenden: That's correct.
[00:13:30] Scott: What's what's the third one?
[00:13:31] Brenden: So the third ball is so simple that nobody does it make a list of the top 10 people. The five people that you love the most in your life could be your mom could be your brother, nephew, clients, colleagues at work. And ask yourself a simple question. When was the last time you sent them a 20 second, not a 20 minute, not a 20 hour, a 20 second video message to just say, "Hey, I really appreciate having you in my life. Thanks for all the work that you're doing. I hope you're having a beautiful day, wish you a beautiful week". Nobody does it, Scott. And that's what I recommend people do. Especially if you're business owners and this to existing clients, it makes their day because nobody receives it.
[00:14:14] Brenden: And I would argue it's more impactful. And easier to do than a handwritten card. Cuz a handwritten card. You gotta write it. You gotta think about it and then you gotta send it on a post and you gotta spend money on the stampage. Whereas the video message literally takes 30 seconds
[00:14:29] Scott: I'm probably better for the environment.
[00:14:31] Brenden: probably. Yeah.
[00:14:33] Scott: I really like that. I can see how some family members might go, "what do you want? You're after something, you never do this!" But yeah, I like that. That's really good. Great. So that's so that, that's how you start people off
[00:14:44] Brenden: That's
[00:14:44] Scott: drills and exercises. And then what, what generally comes after that then?
[00:14:47] Scott: What's the next
[00:14:48] Scott: step for people?
[00:14:49] Brenden: Absolutely Scott. So a couple of things I wanna bring up the first one is let's assume your situation is correct where, okay. What if my family member is a bit weird in that case, don't rank the list by people that love you the most rank the list by the people who are the most open minded in your network.
[00:15:05] Scott: Okay. Yeah.
[00:15:06] Brenden: So you, so that's an easy swap. So like I said, I have an answer for everything. Cause I've heard every objection and I'm sure there might be one I'm not prepared for and I'll just learn and I'll use it in the next one. That's okay.
[00:15:16] Scott: I'm honestly not trying to catch you out.
[00:15:18] Brenden: I know. I know. I know you aren't, The other piece before I give more tips, which I'm happy to do of course is let me add the fourth ball, which is honestly the most important ball. What are you doing with the information? Everyone who's listening, because most people, when they're listening to me on a podcast or you on a podcast or guest that you bring on, they're usually really good at taking notes.
[00:15:39] Brenden: They're going, "oh, wow. Scott, you brought this Brenden guy and he's talking about dreaming. Like how would your life change from an exceptional communicator? I've never heard of this before the random word exercise. The question drill only five minutes a day. Oh my God. The video messages is mind blowing!"
[00:15:52] Brenden: Except one problem. The best way to speak. Scott is to speak and they don't do it. They just write it down and they forget about they, they move on to the next podcast. That's the wrong way of approaching this episode team for everyone is listening. It's not for Scott this's for people who are listening to the show right now.
[00:16:10] Brenden: So if you want the value from this episode, I'll tell you what to do. It's book 15 minutes in your calendar tomorrow to do all of this. Sure you can get all the other tips and I'm happy to share all the rest when Scott keeps asking me questions, but the most important thing today is are you investing 15 minutes into you?
[00:16:27] Brenden: Are you spending five minutes tomorrow to do the random word exercise? Are you spending five minutes to answer one bloody question about your expertise? Because if you're not willing to do that, don't tell me you got big aspirations, cuz they're gonna stay dreams, not goals. And the third one is, are you really sending video messages?
[00:16:42] Brenden: Because every time people come up to me, Scott and they say. "I wanna post on social media". I go, "let's stop social media for a sec. Have you just sent a video message to your colleagues at work or people around" they go, "no". And I say, "then you haven't learned the lesson" and then they ask me "what lesson am I supposed to learn?"
[00:16:57] Brenden: And I say "if you send video messages, you learn what communication is for, which is creating impact". I guarantee you, everyone who is listening to this. If you send 10 video messages today, five minutes, you just drill 'em out. Even if they're shit and you wake up the next morning, guaranteed. One of them, at least one at the 10 will say, "wow, this really made my day".
[00:17:18] Brenden: And you'll realize that your voice actually matters and you'll implement the rest.
[00:17:22] Scott: That's really powerful stuff.
[00:17:25] Scott: I'm gonna do some videos tomorrow, or I on holiday, but yeah, I'm gonna, I'm definitely gonna do it.
[00:17:30] Scott: I just made the excuse then didn't I could do it on holiday.
[00:17:32] Brenden: Let's build on that. Scott. I usually don't say this one. It's a bit too intense. I usually just say this to my clients, but I will, because you're asking me the great questions here. There, there's a great lesson. I paid a thousand dollars for. Okay. I sat in a conference room for eight hours and for seven and a half hours, I was like, "my god, what am I doing in this room?"
[00:17:51] Brenden: And this one, he said one question and that one question was worth it for being there for literally eight hours, I just sat there for eight hours. And the question was this, he comes up and he says, and he, it was in the topic of social media. He said, "how many people are posting on social?"
[00:18:07] Brenden: I think it was like one of three out of a group of 30 executives who raised their hand that day. And he looked at all the other 27 who weren't posting on social media. And he said, this "there's two types of people in the world. There's people who make an excuse to do something. And there's people who make an excuse not to do something. So the question, all of you in this room need to ask yourselves today, is, are you making an excuse to do the thing or not do the thing?" Because some people they'll say, you know what I got, ah, I worked all day.
[00:18:39] Scott: I'll do it
[00:18:39] Brenden: there's like 50. I'll do it tomorrow. Trust me a lot of people like that. Most people like that.
[00:18:44] Brenden: So I have to keep repeating it. And then there's the second type of person who goes, "you know what? So I have 17 minutes here in my schedule, so I'm just gonna do the random word exercise for five of those 17 minutes. At least I'll done something today".
[00:18:56] Brenden: So there's two types of people. So always ask yourself as you're listening to podcasts, not just in communication, but more importantly in life, which type of person are you.
[00:19:03] Scott: Yeah. I've had other guests talking about mindset and the whole, we stay in our safety zone. Don't we? And I think I, we might come onto it, but confidence of speaking that's about fear of being judged is one of the big problems. " What if I make a mistake? What if they don't like what I'm wearing? What if", , we lean towards the negative don't we? And whereas all those things, people probably don't notice and generally your audience is rooting for you.
[00:19:25] Brenden: Absolutely Scott. I definitely agree. I think the big piece to all of this is a couple of things. One it's realizing that the fear will never go away. And I'm a great example of this. I was a 22 year old kid when I started Master Talk. Just to paint the picture my whole life. I grew up in a language I didn't even know because I grew up in Montreal in Canada and you need to know how to speak French, which I didn't know.
[00:19:49] Brenden: So my whole life I was presenting in French. So when I was in first and second grade, I would look at the classroom and go, "oh, bonjour", and that was my life. The second one is I have a crooked left arm because of a surgery I had when I was younger. So I had a big cast on, and it was really hard for me to make friends, cuz nobody wants to be friends with the guy with a crooked left arm and who doesn't speak French.
[00:20:12] Brenden: And you would think that a communication expert has a Bachelor's at least in communication. Yeah. I graduated in accounting. So what's the lesson. The lesson is a few things. One, if I could do it, anyone can do it. But the other piece is why did I take action? I took action when I was 22 and I started Master, I co I started coaching CEOs and I was around that age too.
[00:20:35] Brenden: Why did I have the confidence to do this? And the reason I did was because of why I started it.. I didn't start Master Talk for the executive who could afford my services. I didn't even know you could do that. I didn't even know you could charge money for coaching genuinely. I had no clue. It was really for the 15 year old girl who couldn't afford me.
[00:20:55] Brenden: That's really why I started Master Talk. I said that 15 year old girl, isn't going to relate to a 60 year old white dude who is posting YouTube videos and who has seven PhDs. She's going to relate to me. So it's either I post the videos or nobody does. And then the last point on this is around the fear.
[00:21:13] Brenden: Why do I say it will always exist? Because if me and you, Scott were having fish and chips in the UK somewhere and enjoying our life. And Elon Musk called me while we were having lunch. And he said, "Hey, Brenden, I need you to coach me tomorrow. I'll pay you a million dollars". Would I shit my pants? Absolutely. And that's really the key.
[00:21:31] Brenden: So here's an analogy I teach people around fear versus message. Think of it like a boxing match. So one side of the ring is the fear. The other side of the ring is the message. So the goal is not for the fear to leave the ring.
[00:21:44] Brenden: The goal is to make sure that when your fear and your message meet in the middle of that boxing match, that your message wins the match. That your message gets the knockout punch. That's the reason or rather the relationship and how we should see the correlation between fear and message.
[00:22:02] Brenden: It's never about removing the fear, but rather making sure that your message is a little bit more important every time than the fear that it's associated with. And that correlation, that dance is still true even to this day. For me.
[00:22:15] Scott: But that certainly in my experience, that fear is always still there to some degree, but it's much, much smaller after having lots of experience. So, you know, I did hear someone say that, if you don't get the odd bit of butterflies when you step on stage, something's wrong.
[00:22:29] Scott: I have it a couple of times where that hasn't happened and I'm not blowing my own trumpet. I think I was just in a good place and confident in my subject and vibing off the audience cuz that's key as well. I've given presentations over video call. And it's not the same, especially if people turn their cameras off, it's just, you're just talking into nothing.
[00:22:45] Brenden: It does Scott, the only thing I would change from what you said, but I agreed with 99.9, 9% of what you said there is just the idea around a lot of experience. I actually don't think it takes a lot of experience cuz people might internalize that as " oh many months or many years".
[00:22:59] Brenden: So for me, a lot of experience just means do the random word exercise a hundred times but the a hundred times is not a few years here. It's literally a hundred minutes. And that's what I tell people I push people to do is I'm not asking for a hundred minutes out of somebody's day. Cause that's an hour and 40 minutes.
[00:23:16] Brenden: That's a lot, maybe two hours. I'm not even asking for two hours out of the week or even out of the month or even out of the year. Can you give me two hours out of your life? That's really my call to action today. Because if you do that, you'll realize you're a lot better than where you started and your case in point.
[00:23:33] Brenden: And I'm sure you can speak about this when you started your podcast and you compare yourself to interviewing someone in episode one to episode X, regardless of what episode this is, I'm sure you can comment on the fact that, Hey, I was, I didn't know how to interview people the beginning, but I'm definitely a lot better now because I just chose to put myself into move.
[00:23:53] Scott: And it's, we're always learning aren't we it's also, we can always do better and can always improve. I'm interested in your comment early on about, it's almost like when people start out about communication, there's the fear, there's the, it's not something they want to do.
[00:24:05] Scott: They're told to do it. And there's things at stake reputation and other things. Fast forward to people's presentations they give now whether it's a business case presentation there's a lot at stake. If you get that wrong, you don't convince your audience. You couldn't get the business case approved.
[00:24:22] Scott: If you're stood on a stage, giving a sales talk or a talk, that's linked to you getting some business there's stuff at stake there. So that's surely gonna have a bearing on people's fear. Isn't it? It's almost like how much is at stake. That fear level's gonna be stronger when you get like your analogy of getting into the boxing ring.
[00:24:40] Scott: It feels if there's a lot of stake, like a really big business case, you'd be working on for six months, that fight is gonna be tougher. Isn't it? versus actually, if I cock up this it's alright. It's just a small piece of work. Does that make sense?
[00:24:53] Brenden: I completely agree, Scott. That's why for me and the way that I coach this, so people can see the logic behind this is extreme to the means. What does that mean? That means you need to practice being wacky outside of the boardroom, not inside the worst place to practice communication is in the boardroom because that's where it counts.
[00:25:13] Brenden: That's where you get graded. That's where if you mess up, it's gonna cost you a lot. So instead, what you wanna do is practice outside of the boardroom. So that could be through a different variety of means. Toastmasters is really cheap. It's like 150, 200 bucks a year or something build an accountability group.
[00:25:30] Brenden: It could be just you finding accountability parties. It can be investing in a coach regardless of what those levels are. The point of the matter is you need to learn how to have fun and get excited about it outside of work . So that way, when you go back into work, communication becomes a joke. That's the way that I want people to see it.
[00:25:49] Brenden: Similar to me, the way that I got really good at communication was long before I had a corporate career. I worked at IBM for three and a half years two and a half years, excuse me. And at Price Waterhouse Coopers for around a year the accounting firm. So when I started. That's not where I learned how to speak.
[00:26:04] Brenden: That's where all my expertise came, like where I used, I leveraged what I had. I learned in case competitions where I was having fun with my friends who were my age. And we were doing these competitions in suits and competing against other students. That's where I learned how to speak, how to become exceptional at my craft.
[00:26:20] Brenden: And then I brought that exceptionalism into the boardroom. I didn't wait for the boardroom to happen and say "shit I don't know how to speak now what?" I was prepared long before that situation occurred. So I recommend the same logic for people listening.
[00:26:34] Scott: And you did, it sounds like you're helping some very senior people in organizations. How have they got to those kind of positions without being good communicators? I'm interested in that. Cuz you'd have thought they'd have given dozens of presentations in their career if they're at board level?
[00:26:50] Brenden: You would, think Scott. You do think, it's first, first of all, there's two parts to that conversation. The first part is that there's some industries that only require communication. It's only a bottleneck for their career. Because if you master everything else except communication in some industries, I'll give you an example of financial services.
[00:27:12] Brenden: You don't actually need to be that great of a communicator if you're on the accounting side, not the sales side with insurance, but on the accounting side. So when you become like a senior vice president of financial reporting, and you're just under CFO, it's a Chief Financial Officer. Like the only time where it becomes like a bottleneck is at the last level.
[00:27:31] Brenden: So I work with people at the last level, cause they don't feel the pain of not having communication until they're later in their career. Other pieces actually a lot more rapid technology is a big one where I get a lot of my clients from where they start their career as software engineers.
[00:27:44] Brenden: And then they get upgraded really quick. It's a really fast moving industry. You can move up really fast in tech. So you could find yourself in a leadership position, not have the communication skills necessary to be successful in that leadership role. So when you're in that situation, you need to work fast and hire somebody like me, which usually I work with that specific community a lot so that they keep working up, cuz that's a really competitive field cuz there's a lot of money in that industry..
[00:28:08] Brenden: So that's just a few examples for you, Scott, but you're, but then there's the other part of the conversation, which is, don't forget. There's also the market of people who are much though. It is smaller of people who are already great, but want to be world class, where it's yeah, I'm great at it, but I don't wanna settle for great.
[00:28:25] Brenden: I wanna be the best in the world. Like even I'm investing in communication coaches. But I'm a coach, right? So it's all about how big of a game do you wanna play? And that's why the people who are the best in the world in sports have coaches?
[00:28:38] Brenden: How is a 26 year old coaching somebody who's two decades older than him, right? Cause my average client is 46.
[00:28:44] Brenden: But I'm 26. And I think it, it ties really well into the idea of confidence in where it comes from. So here's what I. Scott always what does expertise actually mean? And for me, expertise is simply being one chapter ahead of the next person in that skillset. So when I started my career, I had a lot of anxiety around coaching people older than me ton.
[00:29:07] Brenden: And I'm sure a lot of people are listening to this. Might have leadership positions that they feel they don't deserve whereas for me, it's always been about. Let's say I came to let's. Let's assume you lived in London. Maybe you don't live in London, but let's say I did live. Okay. Let's just, cuz it's easy for people to remember.
[00:29:23] Brenden: So let's say I came to London, I said and let's assume you're a native. And I said, " Scott, I'm coming to your city. What should I do here?" You'll probably tell me, I say, "go here, do this thing, go to this attraction" and the same way that if you came to Montreal and you said, "Hey, I'm in the city.
[00:29:36] Brenden: What should I do?" I'll. I'll say, "okay. If I came to your local city, I'll give you instructions". Does that make sense so far? Just direction, but don't you find that bizarre Scott? Cause we're not tour guides. We're not experts of our own local cities. Yet, we run our mouth and we tell you everything about it.
[00:29:52] Brenden: Even if we're not, we don't even question the credibility of what we're saying. Whereas when it comes to our expertise, we're constantly questioning it. We always go " should I share this?" hesitation and that's the key what does expertise, even mean? For me, it's not about having a master's degree or a PhD.
[00:30:08] Brenden: It's about being one chapter ahead. So a lot of my executives know a lot more than I do about many areas of life ton, right? Financial services, technology that are a lot more deeper. But they don't do the question drills 500 times. They don't know what a random word exercise is. They have never sent video messages once to anyone in their career.
[00:30:27] Brenden: They never received one. So for me, it was always about coach them in my lane and only sell the person who wants to be sold. And that's the advice that I'd love for all of you to take to the bank as well, which. Ali Gades quote, "if you help one person, the world will give you permission to help everyone else, but you need to start with that one person."
[00:30:47] Brenden: And for me, it wasn't an executive. Sure. I coach a lot of the big ones today, but it didn't start there. It started with 15 year old kids. That's who I was comfortable serving. Then those people, my own age. And then it was executives, but how did I jump to executives? I jumped really quickly because a lot of my friends were my age and they were technology CEOs who are starting startups.
[00:31:07] Brenden: And I just started coaching them for free. So I learned executive coaching when I was probably 20 or 21, and I just applied the same principles to the person who was double my age, cuz it's the same logic. And that's the game. You gotta start somewhere..
[00:31:19] Scott: That's brilliant. And do those more senior people come with, are they more challenging? Do they have more baggage or a bit more ego that you've gotta overcome? I'm guessing not if I presume they're coming to you for help. So they're not like being forced into it by their boss saying "go and get Brenden to sort your communication out cuz it's rubbish". It's probably very different but yeah. Is there some BA some baggage there with the older people don't wanna be stereotypical?
[00:31:46] Brenden: Of course, Scott, I'm happy to go into that. So couple of things, one, there are coaches who do that where it's like their B2B coaches and people just send people their way and they don't get to pick their clients. I didn't wanna build a business like that. It's just not energy or else.
[00:31:58] Brenden: I wouldn't be able to show up like this, trust me. I would be like, oh, I gotta do another podcast. So I'm fortunate now in my career, cuz remember I've been doing this for seven years. I started when I was 19. So I definitely have a street cred, even if I'm still early in the game. Yes, thankfully coaching is high margin.
[00:32:13] Brenden: I don't have to work with people who have egos, but the other piece, absolutely baggage is a big one and baggage is something we all have including me. And I have coaches who coached me through it. We all have our own baggage, but I would say are people who are much older it's a lot tougher for them because they've struggled with communication for a very large percentage of their. And what I did as a trial and I still do this today. I probably spend 5% of my time doing this mostly for impact, cuz it helps me understand psychology behind human beings is I coach a lot of kids, mostly my clients as kids 5, 7, 9, 13 years old, because it just gives me psychological insights on where does the fear of communication begin?
[00:32:55] Brenden: And the kids are much easier to coach cuz they don't question the random word exercise. They just go. "Yeah. I'll just do it" whereas the adult is always, "what's the framework. Why is this important? Why should I", and I have to break them out of that. I have to go. "Did you just do it? Forget about my framework.
[00:33:10] Brenden: Did you do it a hundred times?" And they go "no". And I say, then let's turn that into a yes. And then after you do it a hundred times, they start to fall in love with it. We build the momentum, but it's a very slow and fragile process. Even if they're super successful. I'm actually very touchy on how I coach them in the first few weeks, cuz I don't wanna break them cuz it's really easy to do that cuz they're not comfortable in that area.
[00:33:34] Brenden: So I really treat them like people who are much younger.
[00:33:38] Scott: Great. And you coach people all around the world. Do you do is mostly in person or you're doing like video calls?
[00:33:44] Brenden: Yeah, it's I would say 95% of it today is virtual. So all my clients are pretty international, mostly in the us. I would say I have a couple in Australia, couple in the UK, Belgium, but I would say 90, 95% is online. And then the other five is corporate workshops in person.
[00:34:00] Scott: okay. Brilliant. It's been fascinating. So one of the questions I ask all my guests is if you had one book you could take with you to a desert island, what would it be?
[00:34:08] Brenden: Thirst by Scott Harrison for a few reasons. So number one the story is about water. So obviously being on a deserted island, at least it'll give you the some visualization, I never got the chance to tell that joke. So I'm glad I had the opportunity. I hope that got a few laughs, but the other piece on a more serious note. So for those who don't know, Scott, Harrison's the CEO of Charity Water is the largest watered charity in America. And the goal of the charity is to help every human being who doesn't have access to clean water to have it. But the reason why I love recommending this book is because Scott Harrison is a fantastic example of someone who hasn't just learned all the stuff we talked about today, but has applied communication and storytelling to raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help tens of millions of people gain access to water. And what's great about the book is the guy was literally a nightclub promoter in his twenties, in New York city. And that guy went on to be the founder and CEO of this charity, which is mind blowing. And there's a great quote in the book that I'd love to share.
[00:35:08] Brenden: And the quote is by Pope Francis, "all it takes in the world to have hope is one person and why can't that person be you?" So when I read that quote, I just asked myself the same question around Master Talk.
[00:35:24] Scott: Absolutely inspiring stuff. Thank you. If anyone wants to work with you, how do they get hold of you?
[00:35:28] Brenden: For sure. Scott, it was such a pleasure being on your show by the way thanks for having me. So two ways to keep in touch. Number one is the YouTube channel. Just go to MasterTalk in one word, you'll have access to hundreds of free videos on how to communicate ideas effectively. And then number two, come to one of my free trainings over Zoom..
[00:35:46] Brenden: So I do a free live workshop. These are not recorded webinars, 90 minute calls. They're live they're fun, and I facilitate them. So if you wanna join them, all you have to do is register at rockstarcommunicator.com
[00:36:02] Scott: Brilliant. And I'll put those links in the show notes. Brenden, thank you so much for being on the show. It's been great to chat to you,
[00:36:07] Brenden: Likewise, Scott. Thanks for having me.
[00:36:09] Scott: Cheers.
[00:36:10] Scott: A big thank you for listening to the Rebel Diaries show, your time is precious. So thank you. It is appreciated.
[00:36:17] Scott: The show has a new Facebook group for you to engage with others, discuss topics, and let me know what you think of the show.
[00:36:23] Scott: There's a link to the group in the show notes or search Facebook for Rebel Diaries community.
[00:36:27] Scott: It'd be great to see you there .
[00:36:29] Scott: Until next week take care, be a rebel and deliver work with impact.