Triple Bottom Line

Speaking Confidently with MasterTalk

February 22, 2023 Taylor Martin / Brenden Kumarasamy
Triple Bottom Line
Speaking Confidently with MasterTalk
Show Notes Transcript

Brenden Kumarasamy is the next Tony Robbins of speech coaching. He has a free online YouTube channel called MasterTalk that has hundreds of speech learning content. He is truly passionate about helping as many people as possible. In today's show we breakdown what it takes to be a better communicator, by speaking better, presenting better, and communicating our ideas effectively. Yes, this means you! Give Brenden 5 minutes of your time and you'll be hooked.  https://www.youtube.com/@MasterTalks  https://www.rockstarcommunicator.com  

Triple Bottom Line | Episode 55 | Brenden Kumarasamy

[Upbeat theme music plays] 
Female Voice Over 
[00:02] Welcome to the Triple Bottom Line, where we reveal how today’s business leaders are reaching a new level of success with a people-planet-profit approach. Here is your host, Taylor Martin!

Taylor Martin 
[00:17] Hello, everyone! I’m really excited about today’s guest because he can help every single one of us become a better communicator, by speaking better, presenting better, communicating our ideas better. His name is Brenden Kumarasamy. After I did a deep dive into researching him, I’d like to introduce him as the next Tony Robbins of Speech Coaching. Why? Because he is truly passionate about helping as many people as possible. In fact, he has a massive YouTube channel of free content to help millions of people become better at speaking. This could be you! You, listener, I’m talking to you directly. This could be you. 

Brenden, welcome to the show. Can you tell the listeners a little bit about your background and what got you into public speaking.

Brenden Kumarasamy 
[01:02] Absolutely, Taylor. It’s a very overly generous introduction. Hopefully, I’ll achieve that goal, so I appreciate it and thanks for having me. How I got started, Taylor, was when I was in college. I went to business school, and I did these things call case competitions. Think of it like professional sports but for nerds. While other guys my age were playing rugby or baseball or football, I wasn’t one of those guys. I did presentations competitively and that’s how I learned how to speak. Then as I got older, I started coaching all of the students in those programs, not because I was a coach or anything but because I felt they needed the information to win competitions. I was figuring it our on the spot and I accidentally got really good at the skill. Then a few years into that, I had the idea for MasterTalk because I realized that all of the information that I was sharing with them wasn’t really available for free on the internet. I just started making YouTube videos and then a few years later, here we are today.

Taylor Martin
[02:03] Let’s talk about those YouTube videos. How many do you have on there because I kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. It’s ridiculous, man!

Brenden Kumarasamy
[02:12] Yeah, for sure. I think we have 250 videos now, but I think what you’ll find interesting, Taylor, was when I started the channel, the mindset I had, I called it the 520 Rule. If I posted one video a week for the next 10 years, which is 520 videos, 52 weeks x 10 years, I would have the full library. When I started, I didn’t know what the content was going to be about because what are you supposed to talk about speaking, ums and ahs and then what? I would get all these questions from students and people, and I would just write out the content. We still write it out years in advance that’s why I’m never stressed about the next week on YouTube.

Taylor Martin 
[02:51] Well, let’s talk about those ahs and ums. I want to get into the basics first. I figure we just start off with baby steps and then move into some of the really juicy stuff that you and I have spoken about prior to this conversation. Let’s talk about silence. Silence seems to be a wonderful tool that you keeping speaking to over and over again. Can you enlighten our listeners as to how you see silence as tool.

Brenden Kumarasamy 
[03:13] For sure, Taylor. For me, pausing or silences is to emphasize key points of our message. We see this all the time whenever we hear somebody speak or when we’re having a casual conversation with friends. Somebody tells us a story and you’re just thinking to yourself, when is this story going to end. What’s the point. What’s going on. They just go, oh, Taylor, this happened last day and it was going this and this and this and you’re like, I’m getting lost here in the message, versus what great communicators do in any setting, Taylor, is they’re able to take a deep pause to emphasize the key point of a message, like I’m doing now, indirectly. When I slow down, people go, oh, he’s about to say something important, I should probably pay attention to this.

Taylor Martin
[04:00] Yeah, it’s like a mechanism of speaking. It’s like a language within a language. 

Brenden Kumarasamy 
[04:04] Absolutely. Then it serves a secondary purpose as well, which is removing the ums and ahs. We say filler words all the time, right. The er, er, you know, like, so and the reason– let’s add some context here, which is why do we say filler words in the first place. The reason, Taylor, is to buy time. Say you ask me a question and I don’t know the answer, I go, er, yeah, so and then I answer. That’s what most of us do. The great speakers still have to buy time, they’re not smarter than we are. The only difference, though, is that they’ll buy time by saying nothing. If you ask me a question, I’ll look at you and then I’ll answer the question and that’s what pausing does, it also replaces our filler words too.

Taylor Martin 
[04:50] Yeah, I would also submit that sometimes it’s a wonderful tool to use regardless. Even if you know the answer and you can respond immediately, it’s good to use the pause. Keep the pause there because it holds their attention to be like, is he going to say something and then you deliver.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[05:05] One thousand percent.

Taylor Martin
[05:06] You talk about mastering your audience. What do you mean by that?  

Brenden Kumarasamy
[05:10] For me, mastering your audience, there’s the beginner version and there’s the most advanced version. I would encourage us to push towards the more advance version because the audience today is really– to your point, like we talked about, people really want to make a meaningful difference in the world. People want to showcase their ideas, their innovations to the world at large. What does that mean? The beginner version is just saying, Taylor, are we asking questions to our audience full stop When I stared MasterTalk, what that looked like, just to set the context, I was a 22-year-old kid and I’m still a kid but back then, I was much younger. I have a crooked left arm because of a physical disability I had as a kid. I spoke in a language I didn’t even know. I have a bachelor's degree in accounting, the opposite of what you’d think a communication expert should even be studying. I literally just had an idea for a YouTube channel. What did I do next? I said to all my friends, we went for dumplings for 10, 15 bucks and I said, guys, I have this idea and I’ve coached all of your for three years, I know how to do this, but I don’t know how to explain this to the world, so what questions do you have for me around speaking. They would just start listing off, with their mouth full of dumplings, all the questions that they would– oh, how do you present in a second language? How do you–? I was just taking notes on all of those questions.

Mastering your audience simply means, are we creating something that people want. If we’re talking and solving a problem that doesn’t exist, then we’re not helping anybody. As [inaudible] says so well, Taylor, if you help one person, the world will give you permission to help everyone else. That’s the beginner version, just help one person. The more advanced version that I’ll touch a little bit on is the following. The best speakers in any industry, I believe, at a fundamental level understand their audiences in ways that sometimes they don’t even understand themselves. That they ask them so many questions, they understand at such a deep level that the audience goes, how did you even know that about me. So from 19 to 22, I didn’t know coaching was a profession. I probably coached 60 people on how to speak because I just wanted them to win competitions, I was really competitive and there was nobody else to help them. Literally, most of those three years was just me throwing crappy things at a wall and everything was falling apart. Then when I was 22 and I landed a job at IBM’s consulting division, I never thought I was going to be a communication coach. That’s why I like to say communication chose me.

The reason I started doing MasterTalk wasn’t because I think, executives are going to pay me money to do this. I didn’t think that all. The main intention was actually and still is, the 15-year-old girl who can’t afford a coach who lives in Cambodia. That’s my audience because that person needs me. When Elon Musk was 12 years old, 13– regardless of what people think of Elon, I think he’s done incredible work, despite his criticisms. When the guy was 12 years old, 13 years old, living in South Africa, being abused by his dad, people don’t know that part of the story, nobody sat him down and said, you’re going to be a superstar someday, you need to learn how to speak. I thought to myself, nobody’s sharing this information and that frustrated me. Then I accidentally started getting clients and I realized this was a business, not a stupid YouTube channel in my basement.

Taylor Martin
[10:17] You talked about mastering your audience but when you say, “mastering the unknown,” how does that work?

Brenden Kumarasamy 
[10:25] Mastering the unknown for me, Taylor, just means an understanding of recognition that there’s going to be a lot of aspects of our audience that we will not understand at the beginning of the inception of the idea. For example, what I know now about communication isn’t even close to what I started with. For me, mastering the unknown simply means, are we willing to embrace uncertainty, to get to that place in our life. I call this audience obsessiveness, where it’s just an energy to say, I’m going to figure this out. That’s the key. For example, at the beginning of my journey when somebody asked me, how do you present in a second language, I didn’t know the answer to that. I was like, I don’t know. I would start looking on YouTube and nobody had created a video on that, so I had to literally sit down with myself and go, how do I master the unknown that I don’t even know. Then the other piece to mastering the unknown is being willing to do things in the prep of a message so that when you go into an audience and you don’t know what’s going to happen, you’re able to project and articulate ideas in a way that you’re confident. Let me give you an example of this. Oh, no, I don’t know what questions my audience is going to ask me. Instead of mastering the unknown and jumping into it full throttle, you prep beforehand. You go, what are the questions that I think they’re going to ask me, and you guess them in advance so that when you get to the main podium, you crush.

Taylor Martin
[11:55] You know the audience, you anticipate their moves, anticipate their question and then build up a reservoir of answers and information accordingly.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[12:04] Exactly! I call this the question drill. It’s one of the reasons why I was able to quickly gain expertise in my field where when I was starting, say as a guest on a podcast, I sucked, for want of a better word. I remember some guy asked me, where does the fear of communication come from, Taylor and I looked at him and I was like, I don’t know, man. Los Angeles? London? New York? I was clueless, but what I did differently was every single day, I just answered a question that somebody was asking about communication. If you just do this for five minutes a day for a year, I’ve been doing it for four now, but if you do it for a year, you’ll have answered 365 questions about your expertise. If you apply that same logic to the innovation, the idea, the change that you want to create in the world, there’s going to be no question that somebody is going to ask you that you won’t be able to answer so you can enroll them into the change you want to see in the world.

Taylor Martin
[13:00] Question drills, I love that. Can you walk us through how that would work. Do you just have a notepad and you just take questions, or do you just search the internet? How do you find the questions to then address?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[13:13] Loved that nuanced follow-up question, Taylor. There’s different ways of approaching this, so what I’ll do is present a restaurant menu and, in a restaurant, you just pick what you want to eat. It’s the same idea here. There’s a version where you don’t even need anybody’s help, which is you think of the questions on your own, or you go on a YouTube channel, you see what similar people are doing. If you’re the CEO of a startup company working on a specific technology in climate change, go listen to pitches of startups of companies who are similar to yours and just listen to the Q&Q panels. That’s one way of approaching it. Another way of approaching it is to just get your audience to give you those questions, which is what I prefer. I just like talking to people and I talk a lot, that’s why I’m a guest on shows, so that they give me questions and then I just write those questions down and then I’ll answer them on my own. That’s the second approach.

The third approach is a little bit more extreme, is exactly what we’re doing now, where I just go free for all, ask me anything you want, Taylor. The reason I do this is to actually practice the question drill because there’s one question in your set of 25 questions on this show that I actually haven’t thought of. It’s the learning for me and that’s the ROI for me to be on the show. That’s more of an extreme version. The last part of this is how do you practice. If you’re really nervous about communicating, you can literally just write out the answer on a Word document and call it a day. Another way to do this, there’s two other ways, is you can write it down and then record it on a voice recorder. You’ve got a lot a free apps on the phone, you can just download your favorite one and just record your answer and just start with a new question. Then the final way to do this is more what we’re practicing together, which is more impromptu, which is, Brenden, I’m actually not going to tell you the questions in the exact order I’m going to present them. It’s going to be up to you to just field that, which is more realistic to real life when you’re presenting to investors.

Taylor Martin
[15:08] Yeah, I think on one of your previous videos, you talked about video messages. Doing the answer on a video so you could show yourself presenting in the way that you want that answer to be received.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[15:20] Correct. Then another version of the video, I love that, you’re absolutely right, Taylor, is an exercise I teach called the thought experiment. This is for those of you who want to not just create the change but also create educational content around that change because education is a key part of enrolling people into your vision. I call this the thought experience. Every day, all you do, and I did this for the first year of my content journey, where I would just have a thought– I’d literally walk around going, oh, yeah, and have a thought around something around my field. I would just sit down, open my stories on Instagram or something and just explain the thought. Hey, everyone, I have this thought, just off the cusp, proximity is power. You should hang around people you really love spending time with. I just did that every day and I would find really cool gems of ideas I hadn’t thought of before.

Taylor Martin
[16:05] Not only are you addressing something but if might spawn other ideas and other things to tackle.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[16:10] Yeah and the best part is those stories disappear after 24 hours so nobody remembers them anyway, so you might as well just practice out there.

Taylor Martin
[16:17] Yeah, I love that. I love that you’re really having, literally, biofeedback, recording and seeing and listening and seeing yourself. You’ve also talked about how to handle spontaneous speeches. I feel like we’ve touched on that, but can we dive into that.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[16:30] Absolutely, Taylor. There’s different ways of approaching spontaneous speeches but the one for me that’s the easiest and let me set the context first. I always believe that communication is like juggling 18 balls at the same time. That’s why a lot of us don’t have that sense of direction when we’re working on this skill. For example, there’s eye contact to work on, there’s facial expressions, there’s body language, storytelling, all these different components and my first thought is, oh, my goodness, this is confusing. The next part of that assignment is saying, what are the three easiest balls to juggle because if we just juggle those three, we’ll build up, what I believe, is the most important term today and the key word of today’s conversation, momentum. If you build up momentum in speaking, like you do in any other skill, you’ll just feel that you’re getting better. Ball number one ties into your question around spontaneous speeches, which is simply the random word exercise. Pick a random word, any word, triple, bottom, line, up down, side, it doesn’t matter, frame, picture. Create random presentations out of thin air, Taylor.

This serves two main purposes and I’ll throw it back to you. The first piece is it helps you deal with uncertainty. Guess what? Life is filled with uncertainty. You’re at a party, you’re at an investor meeting, you’re at a dinner, you say it to the person next to you and you go, hey, I don’t know you, let’s talk. You don’t come to that conversation with prewritten questions and answers. You’ve just got to go with the flow. The second piece is, if you can make sense out of nonsense, you could make sense out of anything and that’s really the magic of the random word exercise. If you can do this for 30 seconds and talk about avocados, you can talk about anything for 30 seconds. Do this in the shower. I’m hoping everyone listening to this showers every day, you’ve got 15 minutes there. Then it’s people around you. If you’re a parent, do this with your children. Have them give you a word, then give them a word and if you do this five times a day for a year, you’ll have done it 1800 times. It’s just people aren’t willing to do just a little bit every day.

Taylor Martin
[18:33] Yeah, if you build it into a habit, habits can be transformational.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[18:44] Exactly! James Clear talks about that, too. The two-minute rule, just do a little bit every day, that’s it.

Taylor Martin
[18:48] Yeah, just do a little bit every day. I am a huge believer in building great habits. If you can build a great habit, you can change your life.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[18:56] Absolutely!

Taylor Martin
[18:57] One thing that I always think about when I think about presentations and we’ve talked about this on a previous podcast, when you come into a meeting or you’re speaking at an event or in front of people and you have X amount of time, I always want to underscore that you have to think about, okay, I only have 10 minutes of times, as opposed to a full hour of time and I’m talking on X subject. You have to realize you can only get certain key ideas across in a certain amount of time. What is your position on that?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[19:27] Love that question, Taylor. Let’s start with the first piece, which is the principle. The principle is this, as a change-maker, you need to be willing, or enable, you need to have the skill set of being able to share the same idea across a different time format. Meaning, the only constraint I’ll add to your point there is you’re right. Sometimes, you’ll be given 10 minutes but there’s another situation which is equally important, which is you’ll get to the presentation and then guy or gal looks at you and says, oh, by the way, Taylor, I told forgot we’re running on time. You don’t have 10 minutes anymore, you got 5.

Taylor Martin
[20:00] Yep, that happens.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[20:01] That happens a lot more than people think So this is an exercise I teach, which is more of a principle, not necessarily a number, which is called 3-5-10. Three to five time means can you communicate your ideas succinctly in three minutes, in five minutes, and in ten minutes, but that also applies across the board. If you only had 60 seconds, how would you answer your ideas? For me, if I only had 60 seconds, there isn't much to say, so I have to focus on what I do, what's the change I'm trying to create. If I had three minutes, I could add a little bit more story to it. If I have 30 minutes, I can give you the full context behind what I'm trying to do and give some practical insights. The punchline is that you got to be proficient in all cases. Your moment could simply be you're in an elevator and you need to raise $2 million for the change to happen, and the guy or gal sitting next to you or standing next to you in the elevator is that person. You have 60 seconds. Go. What do you do? If you're not prepared for that situation, you're not going to get optimal results.

[21:02] That's why for me, the principle is always do the harder thing, Taylor. If we practice the questions hundreds of times – that's why I'm really open on shows, because I know I've done the legwork that even if you ask me a hard question, I can still say I don't know and figure out some nuance because I've done the legwork, and all of us should do.

Taylor Martin
[21:22] Yeah, now talking about the key ideas, sometimes I worry that if you only have so much time, you shouldn't put too many key ideas into your talk or presentation.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[21:33] Absolutely. With key ideas, Taylor, here's what I would say – and the founder of Ted talks a lot about this as well. Regardless of the length of time you have in any presentation, you still need to be clear on what is the main outcome that you want people to take away. If people can only take away one thing from the entire presentation, what do you want that to be? For me, I'll share you my intention today. I only have one, to inspire and convince people that they can master communication in the first place.

Notice through the information I'm sharing, it's very intentional through the way that I'm speaking that it feels overly simplistic because that's how I want it to sound. You listen to this and you go oh, this is not hard. This is telling me to do the random word exercise in the shower. This isn't some complex – and I got all of those, but I intentionally don't share that on the pod, not because I'm hiding the information but because I know that if I share my seven-step framework on how to master every keynote, people won't implement it and they'll be intimidated  by that framework. That's really the key. Think about that in the context of your own ideas and in the changes you want to create with the world

[22:44] Here's a couple of ways to go about this, because I know key ideas can be intimidating. The question I get all the time, Taylor, is how do I know this is the right key idea? How do I know if this is the right outcome? There's no easy way to find this out. Here are three questions you can ask your key customers, your key audiences, the people who I describe, or rather, Kevin Kelly describes, as your thousand true fans, the people who already love you, the people who want you to win, those people. These are just three questions; just start asking them. Number one, present the idea to them and just go hey, if you were in my shoes, how would you communicate it differently? Very simple question. Question number two, hey, from my idea, Taylor, what did you hear? What did you get? I just listen to you and I go, did he get what I wanted him to get? For example, when I started guesting and doing all this speaking, I would speak and then I would ask them hey, what did you get out of this? They'd go oh, you're a really good speaker. I was like well, did you get any of the other tips? They go no, so I realized my ego was there. Okay, I need to change this. How do I change my ego in a way people actually take away the tips or else they won't get any better.

The third one is a question I got from the founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, and it's absolutely brilliant. The question is if you had to remove one thing about my speech, what would you remove and why? The reason I love this question, Taylor, is because it forces criticism. Most of the time when we ask for feedback, somebody just goes yeah, you know, yeah, it's good, man. I like it, versus hey, if you had to change something, Taylor, in the way I answered my questions today, if there's one thing you had to change, what would you change and why? Because I asked that question so many times, I got the truth, which is hey, Brenden, by the way, when you talk about glassophobia, it doesn't matter because the medical term of communication is not going to help anyone get better at speaking. Kill that from your speeches. Done, and I just did that iteration so many times that now when I communicate a message, I try and get as near to the bullseye as possible.

Taylor Martin
[24:48] I so align with that. In my industry when we're designing something, seems like there's a lot of egos at play, not myself. I am pretty much ego less when it comes to design. To get feedback from people, I say something like that. I always say what is the one thing I can take away or fix on this to make it that much better? What's that one thing? I always just focus on that one thing, just like you did. It's brilliant because it really does focus them to – because otherwise, you're just going to get oh, no, it looks great; it looks fine; this is great; I love it. No, you need something beneficial to make it better.

You mentioned change-makers. There's a lot of change-makers here listening to this podcast. You had an exercise where how would your life change if you were able to do X? Can you go into that? I find that really interesting. 

Brenden Kumarasamy
[25:35] Absolutely, Taylor. Happy to do that. There's so many introverted change-makers that I've met in my life who have revolutionary technologies, Taylor, who have amazing innovations, absolutely game-changers. They're PhDs in molecular biology. They're PhDs in AI and ML, artificial intelligence, machine learning. Notice what I just did right there, by the way, side note, is that I caught myself. I know in the second episode I did when I aid ML, somebody asked what is that. I just fixed my own speech. It's getting to the point here is they have the tech. They have the stack. They have the idea. It works. They're getting results, but they're too afraid to speak on a panel. They're too afraid to share it on a podcast. They don't go out to the demo days and pitch their ideas in front of a hundred investors who can move the ball on that idea ten times faster. Instead of waiting ten years in your lab, you can get the same results, because the research is already done. The science is already there. The tech works – and get it done in two years. 

Why does that happen? The reason it happens, Taylor, is because a lot of these incredible change-makers are focused on the fear. They're not focused on the opportunity to help other people, not the opportunity for themselves, not to exit this and make a big multiple but more in the sense of going oh, my God, this technology – if this was in the hands of millions of people, it would be insane. It would transform industries and the way people live their lives. There's two parts to this. One part I told you, but the second part I just thought of.

[27:13] The first part is how would your life change if you became an exceptional communicator? In this context, I'll change that question even further. How would the world change if you became an exceptional communicator? Start to think about every single person's lives that could be changed. I had every excuse in the book not to start MasterTalk. I was a kid who had a broken left arm, who had an accounting degree, who didn't really have that much executive experience. Most of my C-level experience came from people my own age who were starting tech companies. That's how I built the exec – no 40-year-old was trusting me at the beginning, definitely not. I had every excuse not to do it, so why did I do it?

I thought to myself wait a second. Even if I'm scared of posting videos and everyone is creating content right now in my space is a PhD in communication, who are all incredibly nice people, by the way, the challenge was wait a second. All of these people can create content all day, but what about the 15-year-old girl who can't afford me? What is that person doing? Is there somebody in the younger generation that that 15-year-old girl can relate to? It's that push of how the world will change that pushed me to even try MasterTalk or attempt it without knowing whether it was going to work or not, which brings me to the other question. We talked about how the world would change if you became a great communicator, but there's another one, which is more of a scenario I want to draw.

[28:37] I call this the vision state close. The vision state close is for all of you who are change-makers. I just want you to, unless you're driving, close your eyes for a second and just imagine every human being on earth using your ideas or your technology. For example, if you have this revolutionary way of getting clean water access to every human being on earth, imagine every human being using that technology every single day when they wake up, every time they're going to their village to pick up water. I want you to describe that world out loud. What does it look like? What does it look like if everybody had an iPhone? What does the world look like if everybody was connected to the internet? What does that world look like? When you start to describe that in layman terms, that's how you get people excited about your vision and what you're doing.

Taylor Martin
[29:29] What I'm hearing is it's about visualization, obviously, you just said, but it's also about practicing, that repetition of continually trying to say whatever it is you're trying to say in these different time lengths or different audience bases. It's all back to practicing, and practicing, and practicing and thinking of the unknown, like you mentioned earlier. I mean, all these things are, from my point of view, if you wrap them all up in a nice bow, it's just really digging down and feeling comfortable with your content. The visualization part, I feel like that just takes it to a whole 'bother level because it goes outside of you and it gets into the world from their point of view that you can then describe to move people’s minds.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[30:11] And that’s why after that [inaudible] that I didn’t have on day one but I have now, is really to empower every genius in our society to become an exceptional communicator. But that wasn’t the key at the beginning. I didn’t know that. So what I did at the beginning is, I would just help one person and then help another one. And then I would just ask myself, “Why is that person resonating more strongly to that message?” And then I would dig in a little deeper. And then I’d find that. But the key here is that it’s a journey, not a destination. Even today I’m still working on it. Even today I’m still trying to tweak it. And the person I’ll be in 10 years will be very different than the Brenden that’s speaking today.

Taylor Martin
[30:51] You’re talking about the future Tony Robbins of speech [inaudible].  Is that what you’re talking about?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[30:54] [Laughs] I guess so.

Taylor Martin
[30:55] [Laughs]

Brenden Kumarasamy
[30:56] But yeah, that’s really the key. Is you need to embrace that and just be willing to figure it out. Like even at the beginning, I didn’t know how to coach [inaudible] or do any of that stuff. But you figure it out because it matters to figure it out. And that’s where that question comes in really well.

Taylor Martin
[30:10] Yeah, and I know you are teaching a lot of people that are much older than you. And they come to you with a lot of interesting questions that I can only imagine are expanding your knowledge base on so many subjects. But let’s circle back to one thing that’s kind of underpinning all of this, and that’s motivation. What kind of tips or tricks can you give them to help them to get motivated and feel like they can start making a difference and being the change-maker that they want to be?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[31:36] So I have this idea I kind of thought about the other day that I’m happy to share. Let’s say we try and impact a million lives, right? So for me, it’s all about doubling. So it’s 20 doubles from 1 to 1,000,000. What does that mean? So if you’re just getting started, just focus on helping one person. That’s it. So when I started MasterTalk it was just 1 person, then 2, then 4, then 8, then 16, then 32 and then keep doubling. What you’ll find is that over time, in 20 doubles later, you’ll have impacted a million lives. So for me, the motivation doesn’t just come from the end state of the change. Because for some of us it can be intimidating, right? Oh my God, like a billion people need to use this? So that prospect, that thought, excites a lot of people. But it also creates a lot of nerves for some, too. 
[32:27] So for me, the compromise is live in both of those worlds. Every day, think about the future version of who you can be and the change you’re going to create in the world. But also focus on today, which is how many people have I impacted so far with the work that I’ve done? And it’s okay if that number is one, just focus on getting to two. And if that number is 1,000, focus on getting to 2,000. Don’t focus on the million just yet. That would be the big message I would say changed me. Because eventually, that snowball will get really, really big over time. And I found that to be true. 

Taylor Martin
[32:58] And I would circle back to the idea of, well, you’re practicing. You’re practicing your repetition, your type of storytelling, the type of audience in which you’re speaking to. You’re learning and [inaudible] more and more fine-tuned with, you know, your presentation in speaking communications. So that just aligns everything with what you said earlier. But one thing I love about what you just said was, it’s about the journey. That can be said on so many different things. But I believe the journey is the goal, not the goal at the end of the tunnel. The journey is the goal. And chunking it down like you mentioned, you know, one person, two person, four person, eight person, so on, it’s like breaking a goal down into like a bullet list of things. Okay, to achieve this goal I’m going to do these 10 things. I check them off. I achieve the goal. And then you do the next goal and the next. You just do them as in like, you know, stepping stones. I love how you talk about diffusing it with it being a journey.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[33:54] I love that piece as well. Like for me, the journey is everything. That’s why it’s so important. And I’m sure you say this all the time, Taylor, it’s great to just focus on one problem. I'm sure you’ve seen at this point like how much I enjoy nerding out over communication, like finding those little nuances. Oh, I don’t know the answer to that question but boy, am I going to figure it out, too. But I don’t feel that way about baking. I don’t feel that way about golfing. I definitely don’t feel that way about running. But, you know, we all have that problem that we’re just so interested in. And that’s the key, is once you find that goal then problem you want to solve, you put all your focus in, you can go 10 miles deep in the way I have with communication or just, really, any change maker. 

Taylor Martin
[34:39] Let’s talk about how your business has grown over the years, the MasterTalk. On your website I see the main services as speaking engagements, presentation workshops and personal coaching. Can you dive into those services and just kind lay the land?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[34:55] Yeah for sure, Taylor, happy to do that. So to keep it really simple, you know, there’s two ways to engage with me. The first one is definitely the YouTube channel, right? So you can check that out, just MasterTalk in one word. And the second one is for those of you who are interested in coaching, I always like to mention that you can just come into one of my free workshops. I do a free one every two weeks. Kids come to that call, big CEOs of companies come to that call. Literally everyone just comes to that call every two weeks. And it’s just a 90-minute live Zoom where I talk about tips and you see me present a workshop for 90. And it’s live and it’s free. So you can go to rockstarcommunicator.com for that.  

Taylor Martin
[35:30] Lovely, you know, speaking about your YouTube channel, one of the things I love what you do in some of your videos is you critique other speakers or other presenters. Who are your favorites that you really enjoyed commenting on and researching?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[35:46] So I'll mention as a principal that I’m happy to dive into mine. Of course, my answer will be subjective. I just like speakers that are going to be vastly different from others. And the way that I think about this that people can take as an insight, I call this communication goal setting. We have goals for health or relationships or money or finances, but very few of us have communication goals. So I created a framework on how to do that. But basically, what you want to do is you want to ask yourself three questions. What do I want in life in general? Or rather, who has already impacted or created the change that I want to create in the world or has done something similar? That’s question two, who has what I want? 

[36:25] But the third question that a lot of people don’t think about, Taylor, is the person who has what we want, what kind of communicator are they? How do they articulate their ideas? Steve Jobs is a good example of this, right, for those of you who are tech founders. Maybe not in the way that he leads his teams or used to anyways, but definitely the way that he conveys ideas at Apple Keynotes. That’s the gap. How do I speak like him? How do I bridge that gap in a way that’s authentic to me? So for me, the three speakers that I choose and I follow are people I eventually want to become, but in my own industry. And Tony Robbins is close, but since I study so many, he’s unfortunately not in my top three. So I’m sorry, Tony.  

Taylor Martin
[37:03] Alright, let’s get into it. I want to know who these three are.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[37:06] Yeah, so for me, the three are Alex Hormozi, the CEO of acquisition.com. I think the guy’s absolutely brilliant. We have a very similar storyline, minus all the success that he has that I don’t [laughs]. That’s one. Two is Gary Vaynerchuck. Even if he’s a bit aggressive, I just like his mentality of serving people. And his level of audience obsessiveness is world class. I don’t think there’s a human being who has the audience obsessiveness that he does [inaudible] another level that I replicate. And the third person is Lewis Howes. I’ve been listening to Lewis’s podcast since I was 20 years old, The School of Greatness, when podcasting wasn’t really a thing. He’s the reason why I became the person I am today. So I model a lot of his communication, the way he that speaks and interviews other guests. And I bring that into the way that I communicate as well.  

Taylor Martin
[37:52] I would tell our listeners to seek out your MasterTalk YouTube channel and watch some of these videos. There’s just so many of them, as we mentioned before. But I really love them. I love the one that you just did last week of the videographer. 

Brenden Kumarasamy
[38:07] Oh, Casey Neistat, yeah.

Taylor Martin
[38:09] Casey Neistat, man, I stumbled across him. I don’t know, it was years ago. And I just couldn’t stop watching him. I mean, he was jumping all over the place. He was running around. But you could just see how much passion he had. And then when you go into his studio and you’re like, oh my God. There is stuff in every nook and cranny. Every inch of space is being utilized by something that he knows exactly where it is and will pull upon it when he needs it at that specific moment. I mean, the guy’s amazing.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[38:35] Yeah, the guy is pretty insane. I love him. 

Taylor Martin
[38:37] So let’s wrap up here. What can we give our listeners as we leave them today? What are the top three things that people need to overcome when they’re public speaking? 

Brenden Kumarasamy
[38:49] So I'm going to start with the first one, just more of a mindset piece. I always like to say the best way to speak, Taylor, is to speak. What does that mean? So the mistake that a lot of audiences make whenever they’re listening to us on a podcast is they write down the random word exercise. They go wow, this is so cool. They write down the questions. Oh, I never thought about that, a question ever day? [Inaudible]. Or video messages, oh, sending a video message to a family member, sending a video message to people who actually already believe in the change I’m trying to create just to build that relationship, that report with them. These are so brilliant. But the problem is not in the ideas. The problem is in the execution. Book 15 minutes in your calendar every single day, everyone, to just do all three of these exercises. Because if we don’t do these three, going back to that 18 ball analogy, there’s no point of going through the other 15 balls. 

[39:42] So just ask yourself, are you doing these three things consistently every day? Because if you do, you will see results. Whether that’s with the video messages, you’ll make people’s day and you’ll also get more business. When you’re sending video messages, people remember. They’ll go, oh, yeah, I forgot about you, Brenden. You know, my buddy actually needs some coaching. Why don’t you talk to him? Or if you’re selling like a soap, like organic soap. Somebody goes, oh, you know, my family member could use some soap. Nobody sends video messages so you’ll stand out. Question [inaudible] too. Every day, five minutes, just take a question, answer it. Same deal with the random word exercise. You’ll be so good at speaking. That’s the first thing I’ll say, is that the best way to speak is to speak. That’s tip number one. 
[40:23] Tip number two is really around visionary communication. I know we haven’t talked enough about this today, Taylor, but I’ll just end with this point. And that point is around, how do you perfectly communicate an idea that doesn’t exist yet? The challenge with visionary, Taylor, is you kind of live in two worlds where you see a vision that doesn’t necessarily exist yet, but you also have to convince people today that hey, by the way, what I have makes sense. And they don’t want to embrace the change. Because human beings, as you know very well, don't like changing. So how do we bridge that gap? The best template that I’ve come up with in my career, and I’m sure I'll get better over time. But right now what I would say is the best way to explain the future is to talk about the present and tell us why the present doesn’t work anymore. That’s the best way to do it.

[41:09] So there’s two ways of pitching Netflix, as an example. You could say Netflix is a revolutionary new streaming technology that allows you to stream an unlimited amount of movies and TVs. But when you hear that the first time you go, oh, yeah, that sounds too good to be true. I mean, I’m watching commercials all the time. I don’t really know if that’s a thing. It sounds like it’s $1,000 a month. Versus going, are you tired of going to Blockbuster? Every single time that you want to rent out a movie, you get out of your couch, you take a car for 20 minutes, you get to Blockbuster. You get there, you find out that, wait a second, my favorite movie isn’t there because everybody wants to rent out the best movies so I have to get a second rate movie. I go back home to my family, I put it on. And then I forget to return it so I get late fees, too. And then I have to go back and bring it. Are you tired of that? Well, let me present to you Netflix. Netflix is a brand new service we’re introducing where you have unlimited movies and TV shows. You don’t have to leave your house. You’ll never get any late fees because all of it is digital and it’s 9.99 a month. What do you think? I think that’s a great idea. And you could do this all day of the week. With Google, are you tired of going to the library? Amazon, yeah, sure, I know you’re afraid of giving me your credit card number because it’s the [inaudible] of the internet, but all of those niche books that you want, they’re not available at the bookstore because Barnes and Noble will not shelve them. So if you want those niche books, you’ve got to use amazon.com. So notice what I’m doing here? Blasting the past, use the present as a weapon to explain why the future is more compelling than today. That’s number two. 

[42:43] And finally, number three, the last tip is the puzzle. Communication is like a jigsaw puzzle, Taylor. All of us used to play puzzles as kids. You know, those little pieces you kind of put together. I’ll ask you the question because I need a break from monologuing for seven minutes. 

Taylor Martin
[43:00] [Laughs]

Brenden Kumarasamy
[43:00] [Laughs] If you’re working on a jigsaw puzzle, which pieces would you start with first and why?

Taylor Martin
[43:06] The frame, the outside because they’re all flat and it’s easy to put them together and easy to figure out where they are, you know. In so doing, you’re minimizing the amount of pieces on the table.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[43:16] That’s probably the most perfect answer I’ve gotten from that question. It’s absolutely right. [Laughs]

Taylor Martin
[43:19] [Laughs]

Brenden Kumarasamy
[43:19] My answer to that is just, you know, you find the corners [inaudible] the box and put it together. But yes, your answer is infinitely better than mine. Which drives the point, why am I bringing this up? The reason I’m bringing this up, Taylor, is because the opposite is what we unfortunately do with our presentations. We start with the middle first. We shove a bunch of content. Then we get to the presentation, we [inaudible] throughout the whole thing. And then the last slides sound something like this, uh, yeah, so thanks. 

Taylor Martin
[43:51] [Laughs]

Brenden Kumarasamy
[43:51] [Inaudible] resonates with.  So what’s the solution? The solution is present your presentation like a jigsaw puzzle. Start with the edges first because, to your point, that’s where the outline comes from. Start the beginning 20 times, just the intro. Just present the intro 20 times. Twenty seems like a lot of work, Taylor. But one, it shouldn’t be. If you’re creating change in the world, you’ll be in the same problem for the next decade. So give me 45 minutes of your life and do the intro 20 times. Because once it’s mastered, it’s pretty much mastered for as long as you work on the problem you want to solve. Same thing for the conclusion. What’s a great movie with a terrible ending? Last time I checked, terrible movie. Do the same thing with the conclusion. And I encourage you to use the [inaudible] close. Don’t close with the summary of all the points. Close with how the world would be different if every human being in this room listened to what you did and implemented, whether they bought the product, bought the service or implemented your ideas and paint that picture for the world. Do that 20 times. It only takes you 45 minutes, and then tackle the middle. And that will be the last step. 

Taylor Martin
[45:00] Lovely, man, that was a great top three. I just want to underscore with that is, some people are morning people and some people are, you know, night owls. Find that time in your calendar to do these exercises and just put them literally in your calendar. I live by my calendar. My calendar dictates what I’m going to do throughout the day. And that is a great way of managing myself to make sure I’m as productive as I possibly can. I count minutes. And I think, if you can find out when you can fit it into your schedule whatever works for you, like naturally or just with how busy your day is, do it. And if you’re thinking, oh, you know, I’m not like an executive or a CEO. I’m somebody’s middle management or whatever, it doesn’t matter. We’re all selling something. We’re all talking. We’re all speaking about what is passionate about is. And if you’re trying to move the ball and make the world a better place, then practice, practice, practice. Brenden, thank you so much for being on the show today. I really enjoyed this conversation. How can our listeners follow you?

Brenden Kumarasamy
[45:58] This was so much fun, Taylor, thanks for having me as well. You did such a great job with the pod and it’s an honor for me to be on this show. So two ways to keep in touch. One is definitely the YouTube channel. Just go to MasterTalk and you’ll have access to hundreds of free videos in how to speak. And the second way to keep in touch is the rockstarcommunicator.com. Just jump on one of our free trainings and just watch me live for 90 minutes over Zoom and you’ll learn a bunch more things. We’ll do more practical workshops. We'll go deeper dive in those workshops.

Taylor Martin
[46:26] The links are in the show notes, everybody, if you want to go and grab those and link off and get to know Brenden a lot better. Because I got to tell you, those videos that you have are wonderful. So I’ll probably be getting onto the rockstar probably next week or something. I’ll see you there.

Brenden Kumarasamy
[46:42] Amazing, really appreciate it.

Taylor Martin
[46:43] Alright, over and out, everybody.

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[00:46:45] Thanks for tuning into the Triple Bottom Line. Your host, Taylor Martin, is founder and Chief Creative of Design Positive, a strategic branding and accessibility agency. Interested in being interviewed on our podcast? Then visit designpositive.co and fill out our contact form. If you enjoyed today’s podcast, we would appreciate a review on Apple podcasts or whatever provider you are logging in from. This podcast is prepared by Design Positive and is not associated with any other entity. We look forward to having you back for another installment of the Triple Bottom Line.

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