I started investigating Branding and found it would be a relevant angle to bring in people I admire and look up to for their work and eye ethic towards Branding. My goal is to demystify the word Branding so that anyone can fully understand its paradoxes and implement their version of Branding.
By collecting an eclectic panel of definitions and visions of what Branding is and implies from those who do Branding, use Branding, expand Branding: Brand makers.
I discovered the work and mastery of Brenden in 2020 while testing the platform ''Hi Right Now'', we had a lovely talk, and I have been following his work so far. His eloquence, wisdom, and confidence are real inspirations and dedication to making an impact. I was curious to know his thoughts about the link between Branding and public speaking. So I asked him to join me for this little talk.
Life is great, can't complain, you know. Beautiful family, beautiful life, great business. Can't complain. How about you?
I would say it's like a work in progress, but work is good. I'm working for a start-up, so I've been diving into the backstage of what a start-up is and of all my projects that I've been working on. I'm also starting the podcast next year so I'm really excited about that as well.
Wow, that's awesome!
This Branding mini-series it's a way for me to close a chapter about Branding and my expertise about it. Yeah, so it's pretty cool for me to work on such projects initiated by intuition, I would say.
I love that!
So, let's just start. Do you want to ask me any questions or have any questions before we start?
Let's do it.
Do you want to tell me more about yourself and master talk.
Yeah, for sure. So, my name is Brenden Kumarasamy. I'm the founder of Master talk. MasterTalk is a YouTube channel that I started to help the world master the art of communication and public speaking, and the thesis behind the channel is that
I think that the next Elon Musk is a 15-year-old girl who probably can't afford me. So, I started making videos, and I built a business around it so that the whole world has access to these free resources.
Wow. As always, it's empowering. When I discovered your work, I was like, " Okay, this is the man to talk to about public speaking and storytelling. So, I had to ask you these questions to understand more. The first question I have is, what is the most empowering link between Branding and public speaking?
Yeah, I would say that the empowering link between Branding and public speaking is communication is the catalyst of ideas. So, if you have a personal brand, you want to market something you want to communicate it.
I think what is great about the art of public speaking is that it allows you to talk to more people, and that's what we see; a lot of company brands that rely on their employees to be their beacon and behind every organization is a person.
So, we think about Nike. It's not just about the Brand itself people associate with; it's the spokespeople, whether it's the athletes, whether it's Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, and the passion he has for his book ''Shoe dog''.
Or even when you think of Apple, it's Steve Job in the back even if he's not alive anymore and finally, obviously Tesla and Space X; we know that Elon Musk is primarily the person who's driving the company into what it actually looks like.
So, I think what's fun about communication and how it ties into Branding is how communication allows us to be the spokesperson of our own ideas and share them in a different medium and format so that those ideas reach more people.
Yeah. I totally agree. The person behind is definitely the force of a brand voice. And, what have you learnt so far about Branding? Because you are a personal brand, but you also have MasterTalk, which is a company. So what are the differences? How have you leveraged your Branding so far?
Yeah, but so for me personally the biggest thing I've learnt about branding this journey, to your point it's really the person that drives the Brand and also understanding what makes you different from everybody else.
So, when I started MasterTalk, it was mostly by accident. I just looked at other YouTube channels and realized no one was sharing information on communication in an accessible practical that was easy to get to people. So that was one unique piece.
The other way is to venture yourself on a mission.
So, for example, when I say something like I believe that the next Elon Musk is a 15-year-old girl who can't afford me, that's very unique to me because no one really says that.
So that's another piece. What is it about what you're doing that's different to everyone else? And there are different ways of doing that; it could be what's better about your services and products? It could be what is the bigger vision of what you are trying to achieve?And how the vision is more detailed and how it is more detailed than everyone else, and what are some of your values. What are the core brand values that you have as an organization and what you're doing?
So, for me, one of the big things is generosity. As I become more successful, everyone around me should become more successful.
So, if I make a million dollars a year, that also means that I'm impacting 10 million lives throughout the world because I'm re-investing a lot of that capital back into the YouTube Channel. So I think the biggest lesson I learned about Branding is that people really drive the Brand and the other piece is communicating your differentiation is what makes you stand out. I'll give you an example quick. So, let's see what you think about Nike.
Just do it.
Yeah ''Just do it''. You know exactly what they stand for. It’s like greatness is competition. What about Adidas?
I actually can’t think of anything. And I think that’s the key.
Yeah definitely. Many people don't understand what Branding implies and how to do it. Or they have lost touch with what the Brand was at the beginning because you know whenever a brand or a company grows, a lot of people come in, strategies evolve, and a lot of time, you can dilute the core message.
Do you have a piece of advice or tip that any founder could start and try today to improve the grounding of their Branding?
Absolutely. For me, personally tying it back with communication because that's my area of expertise. What I recommend is that founders can outsource anything but the message. Right so you can outsource your marketing, outsource your human HR, outsource accounting, but don't outsource the core message.
So even when companies are at scale, what you will notice is that a lot of the founder-led companies are still communicating very often with their staff or to people around them, whether it is Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook, whether it's you know Apple with Steve Jobs when he was alive is that the best founders are always communicating who you should be, why we're doing this, and what our Brand actually means whereas the problem with most companies is that once they're no longer founder-led (once the founder is no longer in the business), the message and the Brand start to dilute over time as the people who started the organization begin to leave the organization.
And that's why something like IBM is harder to bring back that same core flare that the initial founders had.
Same thing with Hewlett-Packard with HP; when those two founders died, it's a lot harder to bring back that energy, that flow.
So, my recommendations to founders would be to communicate the culture and who we should be as often as possible.
But teach the correct people and create evangelists in that organization who could also communicate that Brand and embody that Brand. So, if you leave, you still have people who communicate that for you.
I totally agree. Do you have your definition of Branding?
I would say my definition of Branding is one's ability to communicate unique gifts to the world in a most effective medium.
Powerful. Amazing. Well, that was pretty short.
I'm going to add something more, I am a chatty person (laughs)
Sure, Jump in!
I'm supposed to tell you the secrets of communication (laughs)
Definitely. I read one of your posts this morning about money, and the lessons you learned from the way you're using money. What is your take on public speaking improving the financial state of a Brand?
So, I think the way I see it, Keva is money is directly related to how well we communicate our brands besides the product and service, assuming that's good.
So again, an example if Elon Musk never talked about Tesla or showed up in that way, no one would know about the company, and the company wouldn't make nearly as many sales as it does today.
Right. Same thing with Facebook. If people don't talk about the company, people don't find out about it. It's really difficult to scale a product, especially at the beginning when nobody really knows what you're doing.
It's the same thing with me. Right. When YouTube started with MasterTalk. Yeah, sure, my YouTube channel is growing now, it's easier now, but that's because my count is much higher. When I started, it was zero; I was like, well, I need to talk to 1000 people one-on-one and build relationships to get to a thousand subscribers.
• So, the key message here is that as you communicate more effectively, you'll start to see indirect benefits not just to the Brand and the impact but also your bottom line. And the easiest example I can give here is that every senior leader is a great communicator at work. So, if you're a manager at a company and get promoted and you're really good at communication, you practice and work on it. You're getting an intrinsic financial benefit for mastering your communication skills, and that's one way to do it.
• The other way to do it is to make more sales whenever you talk about the Brand. So, for example, when you give a speech, when you talk about products and services and speak in a really nice way, you'll tend to sell more products a lot faster.That's another piece.
• And then, the third piece is that
The value of the Brand will start to increase because a portion of what Tesla's worth is also because of the person running the company. So, if you're a really good communicator, you're increasing the intrinsic value of your Brand as well.
Many introverts are founders, and they pair up with other people who have this kind of asset of being huge and powerful communicators. Do you have any tips for any introverts who are founders and who want to improve their public speaking?
Of course. So, I have a little video on this, but basically, what I say is introvert's being bad speakers is a myth that needs to be broken.
Because many of my best clients are introverts, I say that because introverts have three key advantages that extroverts like me spend years trying to get.
So, number one: introverts are much better at pausing. So, for example whenever you speak, when you pause, you're able to emphasize key points in your message like I'm doing right now.
An introvert can catch that fast because they speak a lot less on average, so pausing is very natural for them in the speech whereas somebody like me as you can see, I'm always talking talking talking talking all the time! It's difficult for me to pause. And take a beat. That's number 1.
You perfected it, right?
I did for years. I was terrible at it which brings me to number two.
I'm a terrible listener, but introverts are exceptionally great listeners, right. So, because once again there spending less time talking to people on average so there spending more time going 'does Keva actually get the message? Am I communicating it in a way that she's understanding it?' The extrovert is talking and not paying attention to Keva, right so? Because an introvert is a better listener, they're able to absorb more information. More importantly, they're able to adapt the presentation much quicker to the audience's needs; in a way, an extrovert can't because an extrovert is kind of like in their head, just talking. They will go 'what oh so I have to change something okay.'
And then the third piece is introverts are a lot more accessible than extroverts are. I'll give you an example. Let's say you take Gary Vaynerchuck. Gary V, we all know him.
You either like him or don't; there's no in-between. You either go I really like Gary V, I'm a fan personally, or you really don't like him. Oh, that guy's off-putting; he's so loud, he's always screaming.
Great, he's passionate or, to some people, he's arrogant or crazy, but nobody says I hate Brene Brown.
Brene Brown is like a teacher; she's a ted talk speaker or better; nobody says I hate Seth Godin, right. Nobody says I hate. I don't know somebody else who's introverted. Why is that? Because introverts are a lot more accessible.
Nobody hates on introverts.
You're a lot, your message is a lot more accessible, but for someone like Gary V, who is super super loud and then develops a huge raving fanbase, you also develop a base that goes: 'I hate this person.'
So, there's a lot of advantages to being an introvert.
My last question will be about listening. I think that is the one thing about Branding that is also about taking the time to listen, once you have done all the work, to storytell your Brand effectively, and now you receive the message. Any tips about being a better listener? because you're listening to me and answering in the flow, do you have any suggestions on how to be a better listener?
Yeah, absolutely, and this took a lot of time, too, so don't worry. I'm working as we go. So, what I would say is super simple for listening is to respond more with questions rather than statements.
So, most times when you communicate with a human being, it usually sounds something like this: 'This is what I believe!' 'This is what I believe!' 'But this is what I think' 'But this is what I think' So its statement, statement, statement, statement, statement, statement.
Whereas exceptional listeners do is somebody tells you what they believe, and the person who's listening goes 'Okay, but why do you believe that?' 'Why is that important to you?'
If you were to communicate my ideas back to me, what would you say and why? If you were to change how I communicate my Brand, what would you change and why?
There's one thing you didn't like about the way I communicated it; what was that piece you didn't like that really resonated.
They ask questions rather than statements, and obviously, I can't answer back the question because I'm a guest on a podcast, but in most situations, whenever I'm listening to someone outside this medium, I'm always asking questions rather than responding with statements. That's the key to being an exceptional listener.
Amazing. There's a lot of empathy in Branding, storytelling, and public speaking, and I think that's why it's so powerful and it teaches all of us. People who are not in the field and people who are in their daily lives as well, we are all, in a way, Branding ourselves.
Do you want to add anything more about the subject, about the theme?
Yeah, you know, one book recommendation I would love for people to check out is Thirst by Scott Harrison. I think Scott Harrison is exceptional at Branding, especially in the non-profit section.
From a communication perspective, I think what I've always appreciated about his work is if you're building a for-profit company, there's a lot you can learn from that book because he's always tackling Branding from a non-profit perspective.
Somebody like him could do so much magic with Branding; with a very little budget, there's a lot we can do as well as ours.
Amazing, and I am going to add it right away. Well, that's it.
It was short but perfect.
That's awesome. Thanks for having me, Keva.
You're welcome; thank you, it was great talking to you!
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