Unlock Your Communication Potential: Practical Tips for Improving Speaking and Listening Skills – Brenden Kumarasamy

Show Notes

Join Brenden Kumarasamy, founder of Master Talk, as he shares his expertise on mastering communication in the online world. In this episode, Brenden discusses the unique challenges of online communication and offers practical tips for overcoming them.

From maintaining eye contact to bringing energy into virtual presentations, Brenden’s strategies will help you confidently connect with others online. Discover how to build rapport, share your ideas effectively on social media, and navigate the digital landscape with ease. Tune in now and take your online communication skills to the next level!

In this episode, you will be able to:

  • Develop Effective Communication Skills: Learn the secrets of effective communication to express yourself confidently and influence others.
  • Unleash Career Opportunities with Case Competitions: Discover how participating in case competitions can open doors to exciting career opportunities.
  • Cultivate Your Passion through Engaging Experiences: Find out how engaging experiences can fuel your passion and lead to personal and professional growth.
  • Improve Communication with Practical Tips: Explore practical tips and techniques to enhance your communication skills in any situation.
  • Navigate the Challenges of Online Communication: Learn strategies to overcome the challenges of communicating effectively online and make a lasting impact.

Brenden’s Links

Website: https://www.mastertalk.ca/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/MasterTalks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/masteryourtalk/

North Arrow Coffee Support Babies and Great Coffee!: https://northarrowcoffee.co/MvL3lH

Podmatch: Want to be a podcast guest? Have your own podcast and want to find guests? Use podmatch! https://www.joinpodmatch.com/faithfullyengaged

Faithfully Engaged Links

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This description contains affiliate links. These links add no cost to you and help support the show.

Transcript

00:00:09 – Johnny Sanders
Welcome back, everyone, to another episode of Faithfully Engaged. Today we are going to be talking with a guest that knows a lot about communication. So if you are a listener and you’re perfect at communicating, you have no issues communicating, then feel free to just get off the episode. But if you did that, then you’re lying because there’s no such thing as a perfect communicator. And I think that you will really enjoy this conversation. But anyways, our guest today, his name is Brenden. So why don’t you tell us a.

00:00:41 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Little bit about yourself, johnny it’s great to be on the show. Thanks so much for having me, man. Really great to be here. So, yeah, my name is Brenden. I’m the founder of Master Talk. But more importantly, I think more interestingly. The journey started when I was in college. Johnny so I went to business school, I studied in accounting, and I thought I was going to be a numbers guy my whole life. But then as I got older, I started doing these things called case competitions. Think of it like professional sports. Johnny but for nerds. So other guys my age were playing like rugby or basketball or soccer. I wasn’t really one of those guys. I did professional sports for nerds, which was presentations competitively. And that’s how I learned how to speak. But then as I got older, I started coaching a bunch of students on how to communicate, how to share ideas, mainly so they could win competitions. And I accidentally got really good at speaking and coaching other people how to speak. So that brought the idea for Master Talks. I was like, no one’s really sharing this information for free on the Internet. So I started making videos in my mom’s basement, and then a few years later turned to what it is today.

00:01:51 – Johnny Sanders
There’s so many questions I have just based off that alone. Let me start with just getting into those competitions. What led you to that kind of in the first place?

00:02:05 – Brenden Kumarasamy
For sure. Johnny and this is where typically a guest would say, my passion, my enthusiasm for communication, I loved it my whole life. Yeah, that wasn’t my story at all, actually. It was quite the opposite. So I’ll paint the picture for you. I’m a 19 year old kid. I’m in my first semester of college. I have a prom suit on from Sears because my parents couldn’t afford anything better because they were factory workers. So for me, the magic, the focus, was, how do I get a good job out of college? I wasn’t looking to be a business owner. That was never the goal. So I put the suit on. I go to these cocktails because people tell me I need a network. And in accounting they say, you need to work for one of the big four accounting firms, which is for those who don’t know. A lot of people know this. I’ll just mention it. Deloitte price waterhouse. Coopers ernest and Young and KPMG. These are like the four companies, kind of like the Googles and the Amazons, but of the accounting world, so to speak. So people tell me I need to work for these companies. So I go to these cocktails and I go up to these 22 year old kids who to me back then were God because they had jobs at KPMG and EY and Price lined up. And I was like, man, these guys are like Jesus Christ to me. So I’m going up to these people and I’m saying, how did you get a job at this company, Johnny? And Johnny? What they said to me really surprised me. They didn’t say, well, some of them said, get a good grade study. Well, but a lot of them were saying, do case competitions. I’m like, what’s a case competition? And they went on to explain it’s these nerd competitions where you go and give presentations, there’s a lot of executives who hang out there, so if you do well, they’ll give you a job. And that’s why I signed up in the first place. I just accidentally fell in love with them.

00:03:47 – Johnny Sanders
I love that because, yeah, this was my passion and I’ve worked on this my whole life. Those are great stories, but I love the accidental ones too. They told me to do it, so I did it. I’m just so intrigued by this. I haven’t heard of these competitions. Walk us through a little bit like you signed up. This is my reason why. But what goes into it? When did you really realize you enjoyed, like just kind of walk us through in that next moment of you getting into these competitions?

00:04:27 – Brenden Kumarasamy
For sure, John, and I love your curiosity because most people don’t have it, so I’m glad you’re interested in it. And you’re right, by the way. Not a lot of people know what a case competition is. And I found that later after I started guesting on podcasts, I was like, oh, I should probably explain this differently. So I started calling them like, presentations for nerds, basically, but to go into more depth. What this is essentially is let’s say we have a company called like Walmart. Let’s do something simple that everybody knows. And Walmart comes up to us. Let’s say we’re on the same team, Johnny. And they say, hey, you know, Johnny Brenden, I’m thinking of opening up a new store. I just don’t know if I should open it in Barcelona, in Spain, or in Berlin in Germany. So I’m going to give you data on both of these stores, how much it’s going to cost, what the population is, what the competition is. And you and Johnny are going to spend 3 hours reading these pages of data and information, and you’re going to tell us where to invest this money. So of course, the case is fictitious. It’s not a real they’re not actually going to say oh, Johnny said to put $5 million. Let’s do it. So the main reason these case competitions exist, Johnny, is because they’re a recruitment tool for these companies. So let’s say walmart. Yeah, sure, they could go on indeed. Or Monster.com or something and post jobs. But if you’re a college student, you’re participating this, you’re probably in the top 5% of the faculty. So pretty much everybody who did case competition got job opportunities. If I really tried, I probably got three or five job offers, but I got like two because those are the two companies I wanted to work for. But I have a lot of friends who had, like, five job offers, and they kind of just picked their favorite. So at this judging panel, it’s literally, in many cases, rather like executives from Walmart will actually come to the competition, sit down and listen to the students. Because remember, we’re like 20 year old kids. So when we’re presenting, the people who are good there’s going to say, wow, this kid presents better than my vice president. We should give this person a job. And that’s basically the gist of it. So me and you spend 3 hours, we go through all the pages, we come up with a bunch of PowerPoint slides, we come up with a bunch of financial risk, and then we go and present straight in front of the judges right away. And out of the ten schools, the best solution wins that’s. What a case competition.

00:06:42 – Johnny Sanders
Wow. I love that further detail because it’s really starting to click in my head of hearing your story. And I’m not sure if you even know this or everyone listening, but my day job is a counselor, so I get paid to ask questions, and that’s why I kind of find these things intriguing on the podcast side of things. So I can see this where, okay, here’s this college version of yourself. I have to present myself really well. That presentation is massive. And that’s not just this competition, but I can get a great job out of this. So that first competition, were you just hooked at that point, or did it take you a little while for you to like, oh, this whole communication part, I really like this.

00:07:36 – Brenden Kumarasamy
I was hooked like cocaine, not to use a better word here. After the first competition, I loved it. I’ll mention the second one because the second one’s more interesting than the first one because the first one I got a little too competitive, which is a story for another day. But the second one was, oddly enough, and this is one of those rare case competitions where it’s actually a real problem in the business by a real company and the real executives show up. So it was basically, in a nutshell, a company called Tetra. So basically, you know those Oasis juice bottles that you have, that you drink? You might be familiar with them, you might not be but it’s like a fruit juice. So the company that packages that juice is called Tetra. So it’s the packaging company that nobody pays attention to. And basically the mandate of the case was we had to sell shelf stable cream to the Canadian and American market. What is shelf stable cream? So let’s say you’re at not Tim Hortons, let’s use the US example, like a Dunkin Donuts or something. You’re at Dunkin and you put cream in your coffee. So normally that cream is in a fridge. Does that make sense so far? Right? So it’s like refrigerator, whereas in Europe, that’s not actually how they consume cream. Johnny so they don’t use fridges for that. They just have shelf stable cream, hence the word shelf stable cream, which is a really hard case. Like, how do I convince you, an American, to use shelf stable cream? So it’s a very complicated case. And I was like three months into school, so obviously we didn’t know. But the reason we got third place was because we had a lot of energy and enthusiasm around our stupid solution. And the other reason is because we actually made a commercial for the company. So we actually went to a grocery store. We filmed a commercial and they ate it up. They were like, oh my, like, these kids are crazy. So that’s basically what happened. But then we made a big mistake of the case. Johnny where we accidentally filmed with a competitor’s packaging, and the managing director was really upset with us. It was hilarious.

00:09:36 – Johnny Sanders
Well, that’s great though. That the enthusiasm there. Well, yeah, you made some mistakes, but it really paid off for you. That made a significant difference. And yeah, I can just kind of imagine 20 year olds or whatever filming in a grocery store. That is fantastic. You’re hooked. You’re like, okay, I love this. But up to this point, you could still just go down the normal job route. And that was kind of doing these competitions were just a fun little side note that I can say later, when did it kind of shift more into, no, forget the jobs, I just want to communicate.

00:10:28 – Brenden Kumarasamy
That happened much, much later, actually. Johnny so what happened was, so at this point of the story, I’m 19 years old, that Tetra competition. So let’s say three years go by. We’ll fast forward a little bit here. So three years later, I got my dream job, right? I worked at IBM as a technology consultant. And it was like life changing money, like 70, 80 grand a year. I was like, oh my God, my parents were making minimum wage. So this is going to change my family’s life. And it did for the years that I worked there. But then my last semester of school, something happened with my life. Johnny that’s hard to describe, which is I kind of lost my Super Bowl. So here’s the analogy that I think makes the most sense to the everyday person. You’re like Tom Brady. You’re in the NFL, everybody’s screaming your name. Except in my case, it wasn’t tens of millions of people, maybe ten people. Right. Because it’s like a nerd competition that nobody really cares about. But then the day after, when you retire, nobody really cares about you. A you can’t recreate that feeling of going back to the Olympics. So after I had gotten my coveted job that I tried so desperately to get, and I did end up working for one of the big four accounting firms before I switched to IBM. Price waterhouse. Cooper So I accomplished what I wanted, but I felt a lack of fulfillment. I was like, oh, my God, I’m doing this job and I’m getting paid. And I can see myself making a bloatload of money if I just work here for 1015 more years. And I could be, like, one of the youngest executives at IBM. But I felt like I wanted to keep running championships. I wanted to do something really meaningful. And that’s how master talk kind of accidentally weaved itself together. Johnny where in my last semester of college, one of the 50 or 60 people I’d coached for free, by the way, I didn’t even know you get paid to be a coach. I just liked doing it because I wanted us to win competitions. And he asked me the question that created a massive pivot in my life. This was five years ago at this point. And the question was, how did you learn how to speak? And I went, what do you mean, Aziz? And he said, well, you’re a great speaker. You coached all of us. But how did you learn? Did you do toastmaster? Did you hire a private coach? Which I didn’t have the money for at the time. Today I hire a bunch of coaches, but it wasn’t the case at the beginning. So I was like, I don’t know what you’re talking about, dude. I got, like, $78 in my bank account. I don’t have a coach. What are you talking about? And then that got me thinking, because I had three months to kill before I started working at IBM. Johnny so I start going on the Internet. I start watching a bunch of different videos on Speaking, and I realized that all of them were really bad at creating videos on communication. And that’s when I realized I had something to give in this space. I went for it.

00:13:03 – Johnny Sanders
Wow. Yeah. So there’s this need, there’s this gap here, and you’re getting that input that no, you’re good at this. You must have had some secret or some coaching or whatever. No, I haven’t. And there’s this gap. All the other things out there are not very good. What about me? Why don’t I do a was it kind of a drawn out process of let me just kind of throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks? How long did it really take for your business and everything to really get off the ground there?

00:13:43 – Brenden Kumarasamy
You nailed it there, Johnny. So, like, a good contrast between both of our careers. You being a counselor, so you’ll follow a systematic approach in school to get really good. They’ll do a lot of hours of training to make sure you get certified so you can deal with different people depending on who you’re counseling. Maybe it’s adults, children in high school, depending on your case. Whereas in communication coaching, there’s not really a certification. That’s why there’s not really a lot of people who are speech coaches. So some people might study communication, but they don’t really coach it, because most people who are talented in this space never actually coach it. They become CEOs of companies. They become politicians. They become really successful podcast or media hosts. They don’t really go into the business of coaching somebody else. So what happened in my case, which you actually nailed it, is I just did a lot of trial and error. The reason I learned the gift of the gab was I coached a bunch of people, and I knew I was a great speaker, but I didn’t know how to translate what took me years to get into them. So I would give them one exercise. It wouldn’t work. I would try something else, it wouldn’t work. Then I try something else, and, oh, this is working. So I just kept creating the knowledge. And that’s actually created a benefit to me. Because when it was time for me to create YouTube videos or pursue this full time, I realized my ideas had legs. Because the ideas were so unique, because I hadn’t really been coached by anyone else that I had a completely different approach than the rest of the industry. And that’s what really propelled me and Master Talk forward pretty rapidly.

00:15:17 – Johnny Sanders
I really like that, and I resonate with what you’re saying there in a kind of a silly example. So I’ve got two little ones, and I’ve got a son that’s actually, as of recording, is due in about a month.

00:15:35 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Oh, wow.

00:15:35 – Johnny Sanders
Congrats.

00:15:36 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Awesome.

00:15:37 – Johnny Sanders
Thank you. So we just got lots of little ones running around right now. And sometimes I’ll play old video games from my childhood, and my daughter and son, they just eat it up. So I’ve been replaying some Mario Kart 64, which was just like my that was my game as a kid. And I remember as a kid playing that, and a friend would ask me like, hey, how did you do that? How did you do this thing? And my answer was, I don’t know. I just did it. Like, there was no Mario Kart coach or whatever. I just naturally knew how to do those things. Now, that’s obviously didn’t become a part of my career there, but same thing with you. You’re kind of self taught, like, well, I don’t know how I do it. I just kind of do it. So that’s why I kind of figured you just threw some things against the wall and see what stuck. And that is a great learning tool of how to figure out what resonates with people, especially going on to YouTube. But you’ve gotten all sorts of great feedback and real live data to know, no, this really does work. And I’m sure the people you work with have really appreciated all the even the failed attempts that you put out there because now you know what works and what doesn’t.

00:16:52 – Brenden Kumarasamy
And I appreciate you saying that, Johnny. Yeah, absolutely. So then, because I stayed focused on the field for so long, I was able to kind of figure out my own secret sauce. And obviously there’s still more that I have to learn in my lifetime because I’m still fairly young based on the relative success I’ve had so far. So I just got to keep that open mind and keep learning from different sources so I can keep growing myself in the field. But, yeah, I never thought my life would be like to kind of take a full circle on the beginning of the pod. I never thought I’d be here today. Like, if somebody told me at 19 that I was going to get my dream job, which I already thought was ridiculous, and then quit it to become a business owner, I would have thought you had lost your marbles. I’d be like, what are you talking about? And that just ended up being my reality and I’m really grateful for the journey. Absolutely.

00:17:40 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, no, absolutely. I just love hearing people’s stories and how they end up. And that was an unexpected turn, but sounds like it really turned out well for you now. Really transition into more of just specifics, really, for the audience of ways that they can conduct themselves in a better way to communicate their concerns more effectively. I’m sure you get comments like this often, probably have lots of videos about it. What would you say? Just your super duper basic tips for people to be able to communicate better that have no idea what they’re doing, no idea where to turn. What would you say just those intro tips for people are to be able to be a better communicator. How do you guide them? How do you direct them to become better?

00:18:33 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Yeah, great frame to start the conversation on that end. Johnny. For me to keep things simple, which I felt was really lacking in the space, simplicity is really the key here. Communication is like juggling 18 balls at the same time. So one of those balls is body language, one of them is storytelling, one of them is vocal tone variety, one of them is pacing, one of them is eye contact, one of them facial expressions. And it can get really confusing really fast. So instead, the better question now is, out of those 18 different balls, what are the three easiest ones that we can work on together, regardless of who we are? Whether we’re a mom, whether we’re an executive, whether we’re a CEO, whether we’re a dad, even whether we’re a seven year old kid that will guarantee us results and progress in the field. Because that’s what’s missing, really, at the end of the day. Because, again, fitness. We already have those steps. Eat the right things, walk a few minutes a day, do it consistently. Right. That’s pretty much what it is. But we don’t have those three simple things in comms, which I hope I’m able to bring. So let’s go into that. So, number one, I’ll take a pause in between if you want to jump in, Johnny.

00:19:37 – Johnny Sanders
So the first one is, no, you’re doing great. Just keep going.

00:19:42 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Sure. Awesome. So number one is the random word exercise. So the random word exercise is really simple, and maybe you can do it when your eldest I know they’re still pretty young now. Maybe when they’re five, six years old, you can start practicing this with them, too. Where you take a word, any word, ideally, something random, like tissue box or Royal or phone or cell phone or electronics. And you create a random 62nd presentation out of thin air. And this serves two main purposes. Number one that people can write down if they want is if you can make sense out of nonsense. Johnny you can make sense out of anything. What does that mean? If you talk about avocado toast for 60 seconds, when you go back into counseling, when you go back into communication, life becomes a joke because you’re presenting the same thing over and over again, or you’re talking and discussing the same thing. The second reason why this is super valid is because it helps you with small talk. What is small talk? At the end of the day, when you meet a stranger for the first time, it’s you’re meeting somebody that you don’t know and you’re being asked or asking questions that you haven’t prepared for in advance. That’s what small talk is. So if you can master the random word exercise and just talk about toast and waffles and just random stuff, it’ll be easier for you to be witty when you’re talking. It’ll be much easier for you to bring your personality out. So that’s really number one. And I would encourage people to do this three to five times a day. And if you do this for like a month, you’ll be so good at this exercise, and it’ll help you speak and think on your feet really quickly. So that’s exercise one.

00:21:20 – Johnny Sanders
I will say that I would never in a million years have thought of that. But just on its surface, the way you explain that makes so much sense. Because if you’re able to take, yeah, avocado toast, like you said, even just that, that’s just kind of a meme in of itself right now. What a wonderful thing just to make a little story about. And I can see that with you talking about my kiddo, my three year old, she’s already able to just do silly things. And you can see her personality come out when she’s dancing silly or whatever. And I can see that flair, that individual flair that can come out when you’re making a story like that and how that helps when you’re talking to somebody new, when you don’t know what to talk about and it’s getting awkward. Let’s share this little small talk. That is a wonderful exercise. And it’s simple, like you said, really something that anybody listening can do. So I love it. I think that’s a wonderful first step.

00:22:22 – Brenden Kumarasamy
That’s awesome, Johnny. Glad you enjoy that. So that’s number one. And the main idea here is, yeah, you can take notes on two and three, but really, for all of you listening, it’s are we booking five minutes in our calendar every day to get to 100? Because if you do that, that’s really where we transition from information to implementation. Because guess what? The best way to speak I know it sounds a little obvious here, but the best way to speak is to speak. You can hear me and Johnny talk all day, but if you want to get better, you actually need to get out there and talk. That’s one. Number two is similar to what we’re practicing right now together, Johnny, which is called the Question Drill. We get asked questions all the time in our life, johnny at school, at work, on a sales call, job interviews, and, of course, a podcast. But a lot of us, unfortunately, Johnny, are not ready for the questions that life has in store for us. Let me give you an example with me. So, obviously, I told you before the show started that I’m really easy going, but there’s a reason, because I’ve done this a lot. But when I got started, like, four or five years ago, I was horrible on podcasts. I remember some guy came up to me and said, hey, Brenden, where does the fear of communication come from? And I looked at him with death in my eyes, and I was, uh, los Angeles, lexington, Kentucky. I have no idea, dude. So it’s an answer. A lot of us now I have a better answer to that question, but back then, I was horrible. I didn’t know. So what did I do differently, Johnny? Every single day for five minutes, I just answered one question that I thought somebody would ask me about my expertise, my products, or my services. So day one was, hey, Brenden, what tips do you have for people who are introverted on speaking? Day two was what’s your vision for Master Talk? Day three was how do you overcome your fear of communication? Day four was what are some ways and how we can improve our listening skills better? And day five was relationship building. How can we build better relationships and have more meaningful convos conversations? But if you do that once a day, johnny just one question for five minutes, once a day for a year, you’ll have answered 365 questions about your industry, and you’ll be absolutely bulletproof. And that’s one of the reasons why I was able to gain a lot of expertise fairly early in my career. I like to say I learned 40 years of experience in four, because I just answered hundreds, if not thousands of questions. Because what, I’ll get asked maybe ten questions on a podcast. So if I’ve been on a few hundred shows, then, yeah, I’ve done the question drill maybe 2000, 3000 times. But my ask for people listening is not to do it that many times. It’s just to give yourself a challenge of saying, how can I do this once a day? What are some questions I get asked a lot at work that I always fumble on. And if you just do that, especially job interviews, you’ll be really strong at speaking concisely and effectively. And that’s number two.

00:25:26 – Johnny Sanders
That really resonates with me on the counseling end. The way that you’re phrasing that I’ll talk often with clients of, yeah, they’re depressed, let’s just say that. And physical exercise is something that’s incredibly important when you’re depressed. They might say, well, it’s hard for me to go to the gym when I’m feeling like this and say, okay, that’s fine. Can you get up and do a jumping jack? Can you do a push up? I’m saying A, can you go out and get the mail one time a day? Doing it in that way, you can do that. If you were to tell yourself back then, you’re going to have to answer 365 questions, well, that’s a lot. But to do one a day, that’s not that hard. So just the way you’re phrasing that, it’s a whole lot more palatable than making it seem extreme of, I’m this expert. You can never reach it. No, you just have to break it down to a small piece there.

00:26:24 – Brenden Kumarasamy
You’re very talented reading between the lines, johnny absolutely. And that’s something I’ve learned, by the way, in my career, because I definitely wasn’t perfect at the beginning, because obviously you can tell I’m a little intense, right? So when I was in case competitions, I learned how to speak competitively. So when I started guesting on shows, at the beginning it was more, if you’re not doing 500, what are you doing with your life? And then I kind of with the people who coached me. They said, Well, Brenden, if you’re talking to the single mother of seven kids and that’s who you want to serve, do you really think it’s healthy for her to do 500 questions right away? And I was like, you know what, you’re right. So I had to tone down over the years, too. So I’m glad that resonates, which. Brings me to my favorite exercise number three. I call it the BVM, the birthday video message. Here’s something I do in my personal life, Johnny, that I hope more people do. So I make a list of the people that I love the most that could be a client, that could be a business partner, that could be a good friend. And on my Google Calendar, for someone listening, it might be I Calendar. It doesn’t matter what system you use. I have a Google Calendar that tells me right here on my screen whose birthday it is. So when it’s their birthday. I don’t overthink this. I look tired. I didn’t even take a shower. I don’t even think I brushed my teeth. Honestly, I don’t remember the morning anyways. I literally take out my phone. I put a stupid $12 birthday hat on that I bought from Amazon like a year ago. I take out my phone and I just go, hey, Julia, guess whose birthday it is today. Is it michelle Obama’s birthday? Is it Barack Obama’s birthday? Oh, no, wait a second. It’s your birthday, and I hope you have a wonderful birthday I’m super grateful for. And I go on like this for, like, 20 seconds, and I do that probably 200 times a year, probably like 150 to 200 times a year, which sounds like a big number. But going back to making this palatable, there’s 365 days in the year. So it’s literally like one video a day, one video every few days. And I’m never retaking the video. It takes 30 seconds. So what’s the message? Message is really simple, Johnny. Make a list of three to five people that you just really not 303 to five people that you really care about in your life, and just make sure the calendar tells you when it’s their birthday and when it’s their birthday or if it was their birthday last week. You’re listening to this. Your aunt’s birthday was last week. Who cares if it was a week later? Put the birthday hat on. Or just send a video without a birthday hat on and just go, hey, guess whose birthday it was last week? They’ll still appreciate it. I actually do that a lot. A lot of my birthday videos are actually late because I’m always traveling and stuff, and people still love it anyways because I’m the only one sending them a video message. And the best part of this is that it allows you indirectly to practice video without any judgment if you just do these three exercises, Johnny. And I’ve yet to meet somebody who has done all three consistently without me yelling at them every day. So I hope somebody on this podcast books 15 minutes in their calendar every day to just do these three exercises. The random word exercise. Pick one word. Tulips. Roses. Cup. Do a presentation. Answer one question every day. You can get those questions from everything that Johnny just asked me today. If he asked you that question and you were the guest, how would you answer it? That’s your questions. If you’re a sales guy, think of all the questions you get asked in sales. Do one a day.

00:29:46 – Johnny Sanders
That’s it.

00:29:47 – Brenden Kumarasamy
And finally the birthday video message. Just send a video message to your mom, tell her how happy you are it’s her birthday and just wish her well. It’ll make your day.

00:29:58 – Johnny Sanders
Again. Another thing that I really like about all of these suggestions, I guess maybe say for the first one, which I think is still a great idea, but they’re super practical, we could take this last one that you did and forget communication. That’s just a nice thing to do. That shows that these are people that you care about and that you really enjoy them. And when’s the last time you’ve gotten a video message for your birthday? I don’t think I’ve ever gotten one quite like that. That shows that you care about them. So it’s combining a skill with showing that you truly care about this person and that makes it again palatable and that makes it useful for people. So wonderful tips. And I know we just touched the iceberg there, but I think that kind of gets a sense of the care and attention that you have on these type of tips for the clients that you work with.

00:31:03 – Brenden Kumarasamy
And I appreciate that Johnny. And one thing I really want to double tap on that you said that is so true is that this has very little to do with communication but making other people’s lives better. And that’s what communication is for and a lot of us have forgotten that. And that’s why I was really passionate about and you can feel it in my face since we’re on video. You can see it as I’m talking to you. It’s like even if I was a 22 year old kid when I started this and I saw a bunch of people PhDs, had master’s degrees and I had a bachelor’s degree in accounting and I have a crooked we didn’t talk about that. But I have a physical disability in my left arm. I spoke my whole life in language I didn’t even know because I’m born and raised in Montreal and in Montreal you need to know how to speak French, which I didn’t know. So what made me the kid who thought I could make a difference in this space? And a big part of that is I felt a lot of the conversations around communication was so negative. Yeah, it’s like a know, the number one fear of life is like public speaking. And the second one is know, Jerry Seinwell says you’d rather be in the casket than give the eulogy. And I’m like, oh my we just if we keep phrasing and framing communication that way, of course no one’s going to want to practice it. Nobody wants to get better at doing the dishes. It’s the same thing. So how do we flip this? And once we realize to your point, frankly, that communication that I refer to as is the accelerant of dreams, you get a lot more excited about working on it. Whether that dream is to be a better business owner, whether that dream is to have a successful career or whether that dream is to be a better friend or a parent to your kids or to the people around you, communication just makes your life better. And I’m glad that these three tips don’t just demonstrate the simplicity of practicing this on a day to day basis but also how it also in turn makes other people’s lives better which I think is the point of this whole conversation and comms in general.

00:33:01 – Johnny Sanders
I love that and that really is yeah, that is kind of silly how we do that and all sorts of things in life turn a good thing. I think the fact that we’re able to communicate right now via this platform is incredible. Throughout human history like that, who would have ever dreamed that we could be talking through a computer screen? That’s crazy. And to turn that ability to talk to each other as a bad thing, yeah, that is disheartening. But again encouraging that somebody’s speaking into that space and kind of on that frame of mind I wanted to get a little more specific into not just communication but on online communication because that does have a little bit of a different flair to it. You kind of COVID that with the birthday message. We can send that over a text or whatever. But what added challenges does an individual have of communicating with somebody in an increasingly online environment? How does one begin to do that a little bit more effectively?

00:34:10 – Brenden Kumarasamy
For sure Johnny, happy to answer that. So of course we have the foundational skills which is do those three exercises we talked about. And now what I’m going to add is just the layer of what is the difference between online and lot of they have a lot of similarities. It’s just a couple of things you got to keep out for keep an eye on rather. So the first one is eye contact. So when you’re in person Johnny, you’re moving your head around to look at the audience and do eye contact with everyone around you. Whereas when you’re in person excuse me, when you’re online, whether you’re speaking to 1000 people, you’re only supposed to look in one direction which is the camera lens and that gives the illusion from the audience’s perspective that I’m looking at everyone directly in their eyes. So you want to try and avoid looking around the place when you’re online. You want to try and keep your eyes on the camera lens which is really difficult at the beginning but you build a knack for it over time. That’s one. The second key difference is energy. Let’s face it, it’s a lot easier to show up with energy, Johnny. When you’re in person, you give people high fives, give them a hug, and there’s also accountability. You actually have to shower. You actually have to get up in the morning or to show up, whereas online you don’t, right? It’s a lot harder to show up with energy because you’re across the screen. So you have to put in a little extra effort to really bring it together, even in this show. One thing we’ve both done well that I’ll give both of us credit for is we’re both talking to each other as if we’ve known each other for five years. So the audience is probably thinking, oh, like, Johnny and Brenden probably went to college together, but this is the first time we’ve ever met, and on a podcast, this is the first minute, and it’s been 38 minutes that we’ve known each other, right? So it’s building that rapport is a lot more challenging. So what’s the advice? The advice is get better in person. Get better in person and bring as much of that energy that ju as possible, as we say in French, just means juice back into your online presentations. That’s number two. The third main difference is accessibility. So accessibility just means if I’m in person and let’s say you’re there, Johnny, and I give a presentation, and at the end of the presentation, I go, I really want Johnny’s feedback on how I did. You’re right in front of me. You’re right there. So I just go out to you and I say, hey, Johnny, what’d you think? You say, hey, let’s get a coffee. I have some thoughts on how you can make this even better. And there’s no friction in that interaction. Or if somebody has a question, there’s no friction. They just come up to you and say, hey, great presentation. I have a question on this, or bad presentation. I’ve thought about how to make it better regardless, but online, there’s a lot more friction than existed prior. Meaning the Zoom call just ends. Like, as soon as the call is ending, boom, the friction is gone. I mean, there’s so much more friction that you can’t interact. So what you have to do is you have to force those interactions. So you either do it through two ways. One, you get on phone calls prior to you speaking, or you find a way to keep in touch with the people in your audience. So you could say something like, hey, guys, add me on LinkedIn, send me an email, and let’s jump on a couple of Zoom calls so I can get to know all of you individual to see what you thought about the presentation. So that’s another way for you to make your online audience more accessible to you as the speaker and get better feedback.

00:37:33 – Johnny Sanders
That makes a lot of sense of I’ll kind of address that last point and then really just all of them. Yeah, there is that natural inclination. Kind of a silly one. My wife told me recently, like I was eating I don’t know if it was basil or something, some type of leaf, and it was stuck in my teeth. And that was a real easy kind of feedback like, hey, honey, you got to get that out of your teeth. But pretty simple. And not that that can’t happen on an online discourse, but you’re right. I shut off that camera. Boy, that was great. They loved me. If I didn’t get that feedback that I had basil in my teeth, then I would have no idea. And I thought it was just awesome. While people are making fun of me behind the scenes there. So it really is important, like you’re saying to make that intentional to get that feedback because you’re not going to naturally get it as much. And really all of what you were saying resonated with me in the sense of one of the podcast when you were talking about the camera. Yeah, that is kind of awkward at first that I’m not actually talking to your face, I’m talking to a lens. And it’s a skill. I’m not saying I’m perfect at it, nor are you perfect at it, but we’ve both done it enough that it’s a lot more natural than if I throw my wife over here and tell her to do it. She doesn’t do podcasting, so I don’t know where to look. I’m so confused. It just takes practice. And yeah, that intentionality of really going out there, trying to bring that energy and everything that you’re saying. It’s just not going to be quite as natural. But I’ve also liked that you’re emphasizing get better at communicating in person and most of that’s going to come your way. We don’t have to overthink it. Just get better in person. And most of those translate over. I really like how you put that.

00:39:38 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Absolutely. Couldn’t agree more.

00:39:41 – Johnny Sanders
I’m kind of curious too. And maybe you don’t delve into this as much, but even a communication piece of online, like through a text version I know that’s not kind of a speech type of communication, but if I text my wife, I love you. And then I hit the wrong auto text thing and it comes out I hate you for some reason. We got a pretty big problem. Do you have any tips for people with just like, text, social media, things like that, of how that can affect communicate a little bit better?

00:40:25 – Brenden Kumarasamy
For sure, Johnny. Nothing super extravagant to share in this area unless you can find a follow up question in there for me. But I think the basics are obviously check before you send the text. That’s probably a big one. Another one is this is more advanced, but to be a little bit more thoughtful about what is the brand that you want to showcase on social media. I’m commenting more specifically here on LinkedIn for people who have more of a professional network, because a lot of people don’t post at all, which I think is also a problem, just sharing your life a little bit. You don’t have to go too personal, but just sharing ideas that I think will help people get to know you. And the third piece around that, that I’ll say around social media and whatnot, but feel free to follow up with anything else is visibility is profitability. One of my coaches taught me this. I thought that was so powerful. And I definitely don’t think that just applies in the context of being a business owner. If you’re somebody who’s just working a job and you’re working for somebody else, that also applies because if people know who you are, you get more job opportunities. You get more opportunities to share your voice. So I think what I would encourage people on the tech side is realize that sharing your thoughts publicly doesn’t mean taking a picture of what you had for breakfast. It’s more in the sense of, is there a thought that you have that you think is really interesting that you don’t even have to share through video? You could just send a quick blog or article that you can share on LinkedIn. So those are kind of like my go to principles.

00:41:55 – Johnny Sanders
Yeah, no, and those are all pretty basic. But again, most of what you’ve said, and I’m sure you have more in some of the more intermediate and advanced things that you teach that get a little bit more technical. But it’s not rocket science. It seems like a lot of it is really one, the presentation that you’re giving it and just the discipline. I loved what you said of going to the gym and things like that. I talk to my clients all the time about most things in life are relatively simple. It’s not like this big mass crazy equation you have to do to figure out to be healthy. It’s discipline. Am I going to the gym? Am I eating healthy? That’s the hard part. It’s not figuring it out. And that’s kind of similar here with the communication. Nothing of what you said was like, oh, my gosh, that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s practical, but it’s discipline. It’s just going out and doing it. And like you said earlier, usually you have to say, hey, you’re not doing it. Go do it. And that’s where the coaching side comes in. But yeah, I just love the practicality of everything that you brought.

00:43:09 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Absolutely. And I appreciate that, John. It really goes back to what you said, right? Simple, but not easy. So it’s simple. Do the random word exercise. Okay. You pick a word alphabet and you go, okay, what did I learn in school? I learned the alphabet and you go, Blah, blah, blah, blah. Do this for a few times a day, but how many people listening to this will get to 100. There’s actually one concept we can end on if you want, which I came up with a few months ago, and I thought that was interesting, which is like, are we running meters, miles, or marathons with the ideas the universe is giving us and the knowledge that the universe is giving us in the world? What I mean by this. So the person who runs meters with other people’s ideas might listen to a podcast like this passively while they’re cooking or while they’re cleaning, which is totally fine, but nothing wrong with that. And then they don’t really take notes. But then after a few hours or a day or two, they kind of forget everything that was on the show. That’s somebody who’s running meters with the ideas that the universes keep bringing to them. Somebody who’s running miles will go a step further. So they might or might not be listening to it passively, probably more actively taking more notes. Oh, okay. Brett mentioned the random word exercise. He mentioned the question drill. He mentioned the birthday video message. You know, I’m not going to try all three, but let me just try the random word exercise. And they’ll do it like, two to three times, their kids, and they’re like, oh, that was fun. And then maybe after a week or two, they’ll forget, and you have the third type of person that I’m still striving to be, by the way. I’m still not there, but I’m trying my best to get there. The person who’s running marathons with the ideas that the universe is sharing with them. So what does the guy who’s running marathon or the gal who’s running marathons doing? They’re booking 30 minutes after this episode is over to reflect on everything they just heard. They take an amazing amounts of notes. They go, you know what? I want to do more random word exercise than Brenden did. I’m going to do in the shower. I’m going to do my niece. I’m going to see my daughter. I’m going to go to a toastmasters. I’m going to hire a coach, perhaps, but it’s okay if you can’t afford one. I’ll find another friend. I’ll do the random question drill. I’m going to go to work. I’m going to listen to all the questions that everybody’s asking each other and go, well, I’m going to be a vice president in two years, so I need to know how to answer those questions. So they’re going to take a bunch of notes, and then every morning, they’re going to answer one of these questions, and then video messages, boom. They’re going to start planting birthdays of everybody on their Google Calendar. They’re not going to overthink it. They’re going to go on Amazon, order any birthday hat. They’re not going to think, which birthday hat did Brenden order? They’re going to say, I don’t care. Just bring a birthday hat. They’re going to start implementing, and that’s really the key. So the point that I’m driving here, Johnny, with anything, not just with today’s podcast, is always think about the universe is giving you ideas. Are you running meters, miles or marathons? Like, there’s so many people who tell everyone else to start a podcast, but very few people do. Like you, right? There’s a lot of people who could have done what I’ve done just in my case, competition program. Maybe 1000 people have been through this program, maybe 2000 in its 30 year history. But I’m the one person who said, I think I can run marathons with this thing and just focus on communication. And that also applies to you listening to this podcast. Be sure you’re doing your best to at least run miles with some of the knowledge you heard today and you’ll be way better off than most people in life.

00:46:23 – Johnny Sanders
Love that. Absolutely love it. And you’re right, it applies to pretty much anything in life. You’re going to have some that yeah, maybe you’re stuck in the meters or miles, but if you want to do something in your life, you got to get to that marathon piece there, or you’re just not going to be who you could be. On that note, speaking to the marathon runners out there, so to speak, that want to be in contact with you after the show. How can they be in touch with you?

00:46:56 – Brenden Kumarasamy
You’re a witty guy, by the way. It was such a pleasure and an honor to be on your show. You’re absolutely fantastic. This is definitely one of my favorite guest appearances. I can see why you’re a counselor. It makes perfect sense. Actually felt like you’re my therapist today. I was like, oh, wow, it’s making me reflect a lot. So thanks for that, Josh. It’s great. So two ways to keep in touch. The first one is just the YouTube channel. Just type Master talk in one word and you’ll have access to hundreds of free videos on how to speak. And the second way to keep in touch, if you’re interested in coaching or if you just want to see me live, come to my free communication workshop. It’s online, it’s over zoom, and I facilitate one twice a month for free. So if you want to go there, just go to Rockstarcommunicator.com and you’ll see me apply a lot of the exercise. So one example is like the random word exercise. You’ll actually see me demonstrate it live on that workshop. So I hope to see you there.

00:47:52 – Johnny Sanders
Awesome. And I’ll have that all linked down in the show notes, so, yeah, I definitely recommend everybody check that out. And yeah, it was wonderful having you on and hearing your story and just some great tips for the audience that they can be practiced to be better communicators, for sure.

00:48:10 – Brenden Kumarasamy
Thanks for having me, John.

00:48:12 – Johnny Sanders
Absolutely. And thanks again to everybody that tuned in and listened to us today. And we’ll catch you on the next.