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Episode #3

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Flo Akinbiyi
Communication Coaching

Flo is a Communication Expert originally from Germany & Nigeria who has been in Dubai for over a decade. He is a Communication Coach, Event moderator and Presenter.

Over the years he has worked with more than 150 of the world’s most successful brands, has delivered hundreds of events on and off stage and coached more than 1500 professionals on their communication skills

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Flo Akinbiyi
Communication Coaching 

Mireia Mujika (MM): Hi everyone. Welcome to this new episode of ‘Ways to Grow’, where every two weeks, I will interview experts to help us understand and discern different disciplines that will allow us to know ourselves better, grow and be better leaders. With this aim, we will travel from East to West, from the pure psychological studies to the ancient Shamans. We will look at every field and you will take what interests you. Join me on this journey of learning and discovery. My name is Mireia Mujika. I’m a personal and executive coach and, for this episode, I have invited FA to join us. If you think that you can benefit from improving your communication skills, whether that is in person or online, this episode is for you. Flo is a communication expert, originally from Nigeria and Germany, who has been in Dubai for over a decade. He is a communication coach, event moderator, and presenter. You see him on a stage, in webinars, hosting events, panel discussions, fireside chats, interviewing industry experts, giving keynotes, or behind the scenes, helping leaders and teams take their communications skills to the next level. Over the years, he has worked with more than 150 of the world's most famous brands, has delivered hundreds of events on and off stage, and coached more than 1,500 professionals on their communication skills. And this is where we will be focusing on today, communication coaching. Welcome, Flo. Thank you so much for accepting my invitation and being my guest today. 

Flo Akinbiyi (FA): Thank you for having me. 

MM: You're more than welcome. Flo, before actually getting into the matter here, I like telling our listeners how I met my guests. So, if you don't mind- 

FA: Do you still remember how we met? 

MM: I actually do remember how we met. Do you? 

FA: The first time we ever met? 

MM: The first time we ever met, it was a sunset beach. 

FA: No, it was on a street, and we ate pizza. 

MM: Didn’t we meet at the beach? And then we went to the pizza place.

 

FA: Okay. Maybe we met at the beach then. Let’s move on. 

MM: But yeah, it was November. It was actually the 16th of November, 2012. 

FA: Oh, wow. 

MM: Yeah, because I arrived on the 15th of November, in Dubai, and that was my second day. And we went to the beach, and I met you there. And then we went to have that pizza. 

FA: That’s almost 10 years ago. 

MM: Yeah, man. I know. And over these years, Flo, I have also seen how you changed careers; you went from doing events to now having your own brand, your own business, doing communication… You see, you need to help me also. 

FA: You're good. You're good. 

MM: Yeah, working on communication. So, this is wonderful. I think it's something that we have to celebrate over a bottle of wine. 

FA: Thank you very much. Thank you much. It's been an amazing journey. I'm very, very grateful for being able to make that transition, especially also that transition from being an employee to having your own business, and to be successful at what you do is really a great honor. 

MM: Yeah, I think so. Congratulations on that. I was actually a little bit nervous today because although you are a friend of mine, a very good friend of mine and we met, as we have said, we met over a decade ago. So, the thing is that when I have to speak, I always struggle. I always think like, “Oh my God! I should have said that so much better. Oh! I'm not articulate enough.” So, these are the things that we will be talking about today, right? 

FA: Yes, these are the things we’ll be talking about. And just for your listeners out there, Mireia is actually a good speaker. I remember that maybe six years ago, when I was still part of Toastmasters; (that's an organization where you can work on your communication and your leadership skills) Mireia had to do the table topic session, which is impromptu speaking. They give you a topic and then you have to speak for one to two minutes. There are always 5-6 people. Mireia actually won the prize for the best speech. And I really remember that, I thought like, “Hey, Mireia is actually a good communicator.” So, yeah. Don't be too-

MM: No. Well, anyway, let's just leave it there. 

FA: Let’s leave it there. 

 

MM: Maybe I can tell the stories, but I don't consider myself to be a good communicator. Anyway, what is communication coaching?

FA: So communication coaching, the way how I define it, is really helping people to make an impact through communication. And I work on three areas very specifically, i.e. either presentation skills, public speaking, or anything around virtual communication. And because my background is 17 years of organizing events and experiential marketing, when it comes to virtual communication, that could be whether it's online meetings, whether it is webinars or virtual events, I can basically help people with all of that, all of these aspects. And what's quite unique about me as a communication coach, if I look at my background, I've got that event experience. So, I understand everything that has to happen behind the scene. But I also understand what it means to be on the stage as an event moderator; I understand the pressure, I understand what you need to do in order to connect with an audience and get an audience excited about your topic, or maybe wake them up, whatever is needed. And of course, as a coach, I can also step back and look at, “Okay, what does every individual need?”

MM: Yeah. What is the most common need actually, when it comes to public speaking, for example?

FA: It's a good question. I've been asked that question lately a lot. And for me, it's very difficult to answer. It's kind of, I don't want to answer that because I don't think there's one specific need or there's one specific problem. Every individual is different. I always like to speak about communication superpowers; everybody has their own communication superpowers. And therefore, I don't think there's this one common problem. I think, one of the most obvious problems would be bad PowerPoint presentations. That is definitely the number one problem. But then, of course, there are a few common things that I see. If I look at conferences, most speakers are only concerned about their content. They don't even think about who the audience is. They don't engage with the audience; they just deliver a monologue. That obviously doesn’t work. You see it when the audience is on the phones. There are really a few things. Monotone speaking is what you can find very often. So, I think there's really a few things that you can find, that have a negative impact on communication. But as I said it, I don't believe that there's one approach to communication, or that you have to train people in order to speak in one specific way. Every person should find their own way of speaking and their authentic way of speaking. So, therefore, I don't like to really point out there's this one mistake.

MM: Yeah. Okay. So, individualized communication skills for everyone. 

FA: Absolutely. 

 

MM: Okay. That's Great. So now, if I'm a company and I have 3-4 managers that I think they need better communication skills, I hire you, how would the process be?

FA: Very easy. First, I want $100,000. That’s my fee. I always say that. That’s my opening joke for… that's a good negotiation tactic, remember that. $100,000. Everybody goes like, what? And then it's a joke. And then we can talk about real fees. But, it takes the awkwardness out of the conversation of money. So that's always nice. But then basically, when we have agreed on the contract, the way how it always will work is, at first it starts with evaluation; whether that's one on one, or that's in a group coaching, I want to understand where people are in their journey and see their individual problems. And once we have identified that, so let's say we do a group coaching session with 5-6 managers. I would do individual evaluation sessions. And then look at my content. I've got, of course, a generic coaching outline with different topics that I need to coach people on. And then I can basically tailor-make it for this group and for their audiences and for their content. That's how I look at it. 

MM: Okay, Great. Before I forget, you are also a certified coach, right? 

FA: I am. 

MM: Yes, you are. 

FA: That's a good story. 

MM:  If it’s a funny story then, tell us. 

FA: Well, basically I did a certification with the NeuroLeadership Institute, on result-oriented coaching, which is a great way of coaching. However, after I did my certification and I did a few sessions with a few people, I found out that I never want to be a life coach. I think it’s absolutely needed that you have your goals in life, but I'm not the person to help you necessarily achieve your goals by overcoming your problems and your challenges. What I like- 

MM: That's where I come. 

FA: That's where you come in. Right. So, everybody, if you want to do that, speak to Mireia. What I found out is the skills that I've learned though, they’re really, really helpful for public speaking, communication, presentation skills, virtual communication. Before that, I think  I was doing more training, but now, it's really coaching because I focus more on the individual. And sometimes, yes, we need to talk about some challenges as well and ask more questions. 

MM: The first one that comes to me is the fear of a stage. I guess there, you have to actually coach the person in order to get out there.

 

FA: Yes, stage fright. Often, confidence is a big topic in communication. One of the most fun things, if you think about people watching themselves on camera. 

MM: Or listening to our voice. 

FA: Oh my God. Or listening to your voice. Everybody goes like, “oh, I don't like myself. I hate myself.” And I was no different. When I looked at the first videos of me on stage. I’m seeing, I'm like, “oh, I don't like it.” I still got all the materials because I need them for my show and so on, but I would never watch them. I just give them to the editor and say, “create something nice out of them, but let me not watch it.” So, no different. 

MM: So you will post it on Instagram but not see it.

FA: Kind of, but it takes a while. It takes a while to actually be kind to yourself and actually to love yourself when you speak and when you communicate. 

MM: Yeah, of course. I mean, it's something that we don't actually do in normal life. 

FA: Absolutely. 

MM: So, let's say that we have company, as we said, and I have these 4 managers. So, how long would it take a process for them? Like, is it 10 sessions? Is it 6 months? Or how do you normally work with them? 

FA: Again, I've got to do individual packages. Let me explain you quickly, my framework. So, the framework that I've created for myself is very simple. I like simplicity. Yeah. So, therefore, we look always at three areas: 

  1. We look first at the Content. What is the content that you're communicating? Who are the audiences? And how can we structure this content better? How can we make it more engaging? How can we turn it into winning content by finding out what's the ‘wow effect’? And so on and so forth. So, we've got a few tools that we need to look at here.

  2. Then, we look at the Delivery. So that's really the personal level. That's about your voice, your body language, how do you create a connection with the audience? Also, the ‘wow factor' for delivering. There's so much that you can do.

  3. And then, the third part is always the Format. So, what is the format? Are you going to record a podcast? Are you going to be on a stage, in a meeting room? Are you talking to investors? What is it? So, we can also look at these specific details. 

And how long will it take? It always depends. So companies, corporates, usually they come to me and they say, “Flo, we would like to do a one-day workshop, or we would like to do maybe a two-day workshop.” And I try to always accommodate that because yes, you can do a lot in one or two days. But what I try to, do is always upsell. But I try to upsell actually for one reason. Basically, I want them to do a one-day workshop where it’s intense, where we learn a lot, where we explore them. But then, what I really like to do is to do a few more one-on-one coaching sessions or group coaching sessions afterward, so we can train and we can look again at the things we learned and we have more time for practice. Because, with everything, if you do it once, yes you will have an impact. But if you then do just more times, it works really well. 

MM: We train and then we learn. 

FA: Yes, absolutely. And for one-on-one basically, I found out that a sweet spot is around 7 sessions. So, that's the minimum package that I would do with people. Because in 7 sessions, we can make an impact. 10, 15, always better. But 7 sessions is really the minimum. 

MM: Okay. Yeah. In life coaching also, even also when I do executive coaching, it's also 6. It’s always the minimum so that there is a change, there is a transformation so that it's not just words that get forgotten. 

Cool. So, what can we expect to happen in a session with you? Well, we actually answered this one already, which is like first assessing and then going forward from there. 

FA: Yes. Well, every session is different. One thing that we will find common though in every session, is a bit of knowledge sharing, as I like to call it. You could also say it is a bit of training, but I don't like that word “training”. It's more, “I will show you communication tools”. So, let's take one part out and say, we talk about the voice. Then I will actually show you what you can do with your voice. I'll show you a few things that you can do. I've got this one great example. Just make sure that you're not too close to your microphones and to your headphones right now. For example, show people the power of their voice. And I always compare- 

MM: Listeners, let’s be careful. 

FA: Exactly, be careful. And I always compare to, how does the police storm an apartment? Mireia, how does the police storm an apartment? 

MM: [Makes a stumbling noise]

FA: Is it? Would you drop a gun when you hear that? You wouldn't, right? 

MM: No. You would go like….

FA: No, but what you would do? You would do, if you go, “Stop! Police!” then you freeze. And do these things, so people feel actually what they can do with your voice. And that's just one small example. So, there are always exercises; there’s a bit of learning. It's intense but it's great. 

MM: Okay. So, it must be a lot of fun, actually, having a session with you.

FA: Mostly for me, yes. Mostly for me. No, but it's also fun and I take people out of their comfort zones. And of course, it's always practical knowledge. So, even when it comes to the voice, I would take your corporate content, your presentation that you had to deliver. We also work on that, on the aspect of how can you improve your presentation, your content through the power of your voice. So, therefore, I don't just want to do theoretical stuff or get people to be the greatest orator of all time. No, this is not really what I focus on. For me, it's about making an improvement where you are today.

MM: Yeah. And with the goals that you have, right?

FA: Exactly. 

MM: Okay. So, who is the client that could benefit the most from a session or a process with you, or a workshop with you? 

FA: Well, if I'm really honest, everybody. I get my 3-year-old son; he's three. And we started that already at 2 years, to do a few dramatic speeches, like, “I say, today.” And he repeats after me, “today.” “It's a great day.” He's like, “it's a great day.” Exactly. Yeah. Just because I want him to be just a little bit playful and already experience that.

If you, maybe in the right moment, change the way how you speak, or put a little bit more energy in there, it makes an impact. So playfully, I want to already help him to do that. Because it's a skill set. It will help him in school, in life. But it will help anybody; really anybody. there's so many opportunities, and public speaking and presentation skills are a lot more than just being on a stage or being in a meeting room. 

If you think about a waiter, for example, when you come to a table, that’s a public speaking engagement, right? I can just say, “So on the menu today, there’s burgers and there are fries,” or you can come to the table and say, “So, good morning. How are you guys today? What we have today on the menu are not only burgers. They are actually state of the art, cooking dining experiences that our chef has created,” with an emphasis and you can go into a bit of storytelling and make it, turn it from, “Hey, here's your burger and fries” into something that is actually amazing; that people will not forget. And that's why I think, everybody will really benefit from that. But my target audience that I love working on mostly, is corporates, mid-level to senior executives, because I see with them the biggest need for improving their presentation skills. The biggest need, yes, because these guys do have presentations on a daily to weekly basis. The executives, they are on stage; they have to deliver in front of cameras. Therefore, it's, for me, the biggest joy to get their immediate feedback or to work with somebody where they have that immediate improvement. 

 

MM: Yeah. And also as you said, I mean, these mid managers or senior levels or C levels, they are always engaging with their employees, with their teams. So therefore, yes, that communication, that everyday communication can actually be improved and have a huge impact in the whole company, I guess.

FA: Absolutely. That everyday communication, and then also these bigger speeches that they would have. I always loved telling this story. I worked with a CEO from a German company, and we did 3 sessions online. Only three sessions. He wasn't the greatest communicator of all times. We did 3 sessions and then afterwards, he delivered his end of the year speech. And for the first time, in his entire career, he would receive positive feedback from his employees, which is already amazing. But what makes it even more amazing, was the fact that actually, they didn't have a positive result. So, the company had negative numbers. But still, his speech was so good that his employees actually said afterwards, “Thank you. And this was inspiring.” It's something he had never experienced. That’s exactly what I love doing, what I love hearing; that you see that somebody had that opportunity to grow. 

MM: Beautiful. Beautiful. I see. I see. I see. So, I always put an example, a case for my guest. So, many times, it has been Mike. Mike has another problem that we'll not discuss today. So, Mike has a burnout problem. But for that, you can go to other episodes. 

FA: Speak to me or Mire. 

MM: Yes, I guess. But now we have Mary today. Mary is a senior level in her company, and she wants to get to the next level, but she hasn't been able to.

FA: That's a great example. I can tell you exactly, where working on your communication skills (and not working with Flo right now) Working on your communication skills will help you. So, Mary has been in the company for 3-5 years. She would like to be promoted to the director level from a managing level. And for some reason, she's just not been giving that opportunity, or she's asked for it but nobody really has cared for it. So what can you do? Why would you improve on your communication skills? 

So, here's what you can do. Number one, you focus on when you have the opportunity to speak in front of the company, and to do a presentation. Make sure the presentation is just not standard. And even if she's already delivered good presentations, they can turn into exceptional. They can turn into outstanding. They can turn into world class presentations, where the company goes like, “oh my God, let me send that over to the headquarters, because this is just the best presentation that we've done. It changes the way, how we do presentations.” And that changes the ball game. And again, if it's not inside the company, you can also do something externally. You can say, “Okay, what is my job? Let me be now a thought leader on that and do videos for LinkedIn, for YouTube. Let me create stories for Instagram. Let me create a podcast and make sure that I'll show the world that I've got that knowledge.” So, build up a following through communication. And then, when you go back to the company and ask next time for actually a promotion, they would be like, “well, actually, she's got a big following. If we don't give her that promotion, then she will just go somewhere else.” So, you can raise your value through communication, regardless of what the company does. Eventually, that will put them in a spot where they cannot neglect the fact that you are one that needs to be kept. Steve Martin, the actor says it so well, “You should be so good that they can't ignore you.” And you can do that through communication. 

MM: Beautiful. Now, I want to work on my communication skills. 

FA: No problem. Anytime. 

MM: You got a client here. What else? So, this was a beautiful quote. I actually was thinking, when you mentioned before storytelling and now it came again. Once I had a manager. So, I think, I'm from a place where actually communication, we don't value it enough. I'm from the north of Spain. We speak another language, as you know. Even our accent is very harsh. We are people that don't talk much. We are doers. We do. If I want to show you that I love you, I will not tell you that I love you; I will do things for you to understand that I love you. We are more doers than talkers. So for me, it has always been a struggle to be in a company and how to communicate. Once I remember that the manager told me, “Mire, where is the story?” I was like, “where is the what?” He asked me again, “Mire, where is the story?” And I was like, “where is the story? Which story?” So at the end of the day, I realized that I needed to tell a story through my PowerPoint. That was quite… you can imagine. I didn't know that I was going to use the word, “sh….” but yeah. So, it was not that pretty. And this manager told me, “Mireia, you have to tell a story. You have to tell a story, always.” And that was the most valuable piece of advice that a Manager gave me in my career because whenever I thought about, “okay, I have to present these numbers.” Or I have to do anything, it was like, “okay, I'm going to tell a story.” And then I would put everything as a story. I used to work for the listeners. I used to work at dubizzle as a product manager. And I would use that advice always to use, tell a story. And with that story, people could understand, people could relate. So, that helped me a lot. So, that's what I was thinking when you were talking about this Mary. 

FA: Absolutely. And that's exactly how you turn an average presentation into a world-class presentation; how you turn one slide with so much content that nobody even looks at it, into one number, and you put that one number on the screen and you tell that story behind it. And then actually, people will remember it. That ugly slide with all the detail can go to the appendix. And then later on, when people ask questions, we can go back to it. 

 

MM: Yeah, because there are always these ones that they will always ask for numbers. So then you go “Appendix!!” 

FA: Exactly, Appendix. We all have that and we're prepared for it. But first, let's understand the big picture. Focus on the big picture. 100%. 

MM: Great, great, great, great. What fascinates you, Flo, most about communication culture?

FA: Honestly, especially for me in the last 2 years with COVID, I've been focusing a lot more on communication coaching. Before, I was still organizing events as a freelance event director every now and then, or then with my own company, just a few select clients. But then, I would do wedding ceremonies and I would do my moderator MC (Master of Ceremony) gigs.

MM: Flo, actually, is a great singer.

FA: Well, yes. But I don't sing for the living. 

MM: But now that you said that you did weddings as well. Flo sang at our wedding, and it was the most beautiful thing ever. 

FA: Okay, I did sing at your wedding. That's a nice memory. 

MM: Sorry, go back.

FA: Let's go back to communication. And I did also work as a public speaking coach. Now, over the last two years with COVID, I had to change my business model and the focus has been really on communication coaching and working as an event moderator and presenter. And now that I’m diving even more and more into the topic that I’m working with more clients because this is really what I now do so therefore, I get the opportunity to work with more clients with more companies.

MM: And internationally.

FA: And internationally. And you know what's the best? I don't stop learning. Every single client, each one teaches me. It's incredible. I’ve got a notebook full of notes every time, basically, the way how I work is I’ve got a PowerPoint deck and that's my library and it's 800 slides but my slides are not filled with content, right? So, it's literally, sometimes it's an image, it's a word, it's a sentence but every time I get an inspiration, I turn it immediately into one slide so it sits in the deck and it evolves constantly and I get inspired by everything. It's incredible whether I’m on a plane and I watch a movie or I listen to a speech or whatnot, there's so much inspiration that then inspires again other people when you talk to them and these examples are really what I love about communication. It's a field where you will never stop learning. Yes, that's amazing. 

 

MM: Oh, yeah. You’re inspiring me.

FA: That's good.

MM: One of the things that we talk a lot about in this podcast is the wisdom of the body, right, how the body actually talks. So, how do you incorporate the body in your coaching because I guess, it's very important as well how our body is presented when someone is, for example, giving a speech.

FA: 100%. So, I’ll take the body apart in two pieces. 

MM: Okay.

FA: Not physically, we're not chopping up anything. But, let's just focus for the sake of the argument, take the body apart in two pieces. So, number one, there’s body language and then number two, there's the voice. 

MM: Okay. 

FA: So, body language first. Super important and we all know that. Right? A lot of what I’m coaching on is not rocket science. Everybody goes like yeah, I know that. Thanks for reminding me, the simple stuff like yes, you should smile. It makes a difference for crying out loud. Smile, people. And even if it's a podcast, smile. You can hear it in your voice, it's incredible, right? And you know what people say, “within seven seconds, the opposite already in the first time they meet you, already has a kind of a view whether they like you or not, in the first seven seconds.”

MM: Yeah, we create that impression. 

FA: We create that impression, the first seven seconds. So, therefore, it matters what you wear, it matters how you smile, if you smile or not, how you look. All of that matters, your posture, your brain already just looks at it.  It hacks your body language and it already puts you into a box whether you like it or not, right? So, you have to be aware of these things and you have to understand it. That's body language and then, of course, we talked really early about the voice. I always like to say, your voice is a Ferrari.

MM: A Ferrari?

FA: A Ferrari. 

MM: Is it?

 

FA: Did you forget about the police, right? The police were driving a Ferrari at 300. 

MM: But your voice is a Ferrari. Mine, I don't know…. a Fiat Cinquecento. 

FA: No, it's not true. And I can tell you why it is not true because I had to learn to sing. Actually, I was fortunate enough to learn singing as a child and I only learned it to a certain level but because I already had a bit of experience then when I got engaged to my wife, I picked up singing again and I did some, again, some voice training and some singing training. And it is a skill, everybody can train their voice, everybody, because it's a muscle. So, you can train it. There are no excuses. If you're not happy with your voice, go out and learn singing or do work with a voice coach. Yes. So, looking at your body language and your voice, if you work on these aspects, your communication improves massively.

MM: What is the quickest advice that you can give when it comes to voice?

FA: Voice? Well, if you speak monotone and that's what many people in the corporate world would do, if you speak like this and you speak with low energy then basically, just raise the energy. There's this very simple rule that I’ve learned years ago is do 20% more and that can work for anything. So, do 20 more of your body language, of the energy, right? So, I can just speak to a mirror like this and say well, you do 20% more. I can speak Mireia, you know what? Do 20% more. And what is amazing, if you do these 20% more in your voice, it actually shows in your body language. Whenever I push people to do more with their voice, suddenly they start becoming more expressive with their facial expressions. They start gesturing and I haven't asked for that. All I said is do more with your voice.

MM: And that is contagious as well, right?

FA: It is, yeah. It is. It is very contagious. I always like to give that example of what Newton said, Sir Isaac Newton. He said, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction.” And that's exactly what it is, right? If you put in very little then the audience also puts out or gets very little. If you put in more, you can get out more. That's exactly what it is. 

MM: Beautiful. So, with that when it comes to voice and body language, very important. And we are reaching our last question already, which is something that, it's finishing. Well, I always ask this question, well, not always but I do a lot. Is there anything that I haven't asked that you would like me to ask? 

FA: Is there anything I would like to be asked? I think you've done a very thorough job here and asking me a lot of questions that I feel I’ve been talking a lot and at the same time, I could continue to talk a lot about communication because it's so important but honestly, if there's one thing that I would say is: people out there, work on your communication skills. Not for me, not for Mireia, do it for yourself because it's incredible. It's incredible.

MM: I think also many times, so I mean when I have these personal coaching clients that come to me like I have issues with my husband, right, or my manager, so many times it's actually a communication issue. It's a communication problem. It's just that they are not communicating what they really want. Sometimes, I see some clients that they communicate what they don't want but they forget to communicate what they really want, what they really decide. 

FA: Absolutely. 

MM: Yeah. So many times, it is actually a communication problem.

FA: Yeah, and that's, of course, an area that I shy away from, interpersonal communication. I’m not dealing with that. Please do not ever contact me about it but you just said something really important, right? People sometimes don't know what they communicate and let me just wrap up here with one story. I worked with a sports coach and he came to me because he wanted to improve his public speaking skills and he wanted to deliver some speeches and maybe become a bit of an inspirational speaker. So, we did seven or ten sessions and I showed him all the tools of communication and we did exercises and he improved his skills but then I hadn't heard from him for a year or one and a half and suddenly, he sends me a WhatsApp message out of the blue and he's like: Flo, I wanted to thank you. And I’m like what for? And then he's like well, because of your work, because of one thing that you said, I wrote a book and actually I wrote two books.

MM: Two books?

FA: Yes. Because I just told him that everybody has a story and everybody has a message and you should share that. I thought about speaking and he started to write two books then, right?

MM: Wow.

FA: And that's the beauty because once you improve yourself in one area of your life, it will trickle into other areas of your life as well and you have no idea what can happen.

MM: Exactly, 100%. I really agree with you but now that you were talking about books, so what books or websites or podcasts or all the resources would you recommend to our listeners that want to improve their communication skills? Or anything?

FA: Yes, absolutely. So, number one, what I would say is I would always start with, if you want to improve your communication skills, let's say for corporate presentations, then look at the greatest product launches, look at Apple's launch of the iPhones and at the best Microsoft product launches and the world-class staff, right, to learn from that. That is sometimes even more powerful than reading a book about communication skills. To see, to observe.

MM: To experience it, yeah.

FA: Yes, exactly, to experience it. But in general, I would always start with looking first at the greatest speakers of the world, whether it's Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, Oprah Winfrey, listen to all of them. Watch, for example, commencement speeches at universities. They are so inspiring. You've got the greatest actors and politicians and whoever is there and they all have put in a lot of effort to inspire these graduates and they're really good speeches. And then, of course, there are many other experts when it comes to, for example, body language, Joe Navarro, or Mark Bowden, another fantastic expert on body language. Voice, you cannot miss Patrick Muñoz. Patrick Muñoz, checking out on YouTube, a lot of videos. And oh god, there is so much content out there around communication but I would really watch and observe and of course, follow me on LinkedIn and on Instagram. I post a couple of times every week, whether it's tips, videos around improving your communication skills and yeah, I hope that helps and if you want, I can send you a few more.

MM: Yes, sure. So, listeners, you know that we have this website called www.waystogrowpodcast.com and when you go there, you see books and other resources and there, it will be Flo with the books and the authors that he mentioned. So, just go there, follow us and follow Flo. Flo, what's your Instagram?

FA: Flo_akinbiyi, which is very complicated to write. It's a k i n b i y i. 

MM: Very good. And also, you can also follow the podcast, ways to grow so that we have more followers and we know who is listening to us. 

FA: Follow the podcast now. Click on subscribe, do it. 

MM: Only if you want to.

FA: No, do it.

MM: So, Flo, like a summary of what you were saying. So, one thing that stood out to me was that you said that every individual is different and that everybody has their own communication superpowers and that you can actually help people find their own superpowers. That's something that struck me. So, well, looking for the wow factor you were talking, right, and for that, we need two scenarios. We need to look at that then the delivery and within the delivery, I think you were talking about the voice, the body language and the connection with the audience and other things and then the Format, how we're doing it: if it's a PowerPoint or if we're doing it on a stage and stuff like that. That is when it comes to the wow factor in presentations. Let me see something else that got me. Yeah, that is something, I think, that is important that you were saying that this is not just a one-day thing and that you can do a workshop for one day but then you actually need to train and you need to get out of your comfort zone so that you can develop these skills that you have learned, right? I think that's very important and something that I really liked was also that you said, you mentioned do 20% more. So, 20% more of your voice, do 20% more of your body language, do 20% more and that really makes a difference. So, Flo, I stay with that. I mean, there were many other things but these are the four that I got right now. Thank you so much. Thank you so much for being with us today. Thank you for your time and listeners, thank you also for listening to us.

FA: Anytime. 

MM: Thank you very much. Yeah, till next episode. Ciao.

FA: Bye.

 

List of Authors, Books and Resources:

 

Joe Navarro 

Mark Bowden

Patrick Muñoz