#150 Chatterbox Public Speaking – Shil Shanghavi

While the ability to speak confidently in public is one of the most important keys to success, it also brings up one of our most primal fundamental fears.

So, take an exploration into public speaking with founder of Chatterbox Public Speaking and TEDx Speaker Coach, Shil Shanghavi.

Shil shares his own journey of overcoming a significant childhood stutter to where he is now and how his greatest challenge (his kryptonite) has become is super strength.

Shil breaks down the art of public speaking, sharing key tips as well as a deeper dive into the fears that public speaking elicits.

While on one level you would expect Shil to present well given his background, however it is his humanity and vulnerability that shine through in this conversation, which make it a truly engaging and enlightening podcast.

Read Full Transcript

Bryn 

Hello, welcome back to WA Real. I’m your host Bryn Edwards. WA Real Follows, the oldest form of learning, that of listening to the stories and experiences of those around us, capturing those stories. Why is that? So you can really explore them to get a greater sense of self.

 

Today we’re going to be deep diving into the world of public speaking the fear around that and tools and techniques for how to conquer it and overcome it with my guest, Shil Shanghavi.

 

Shil, thank you for coming on today.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Thank you for having me. I’m sure we are going to deep dive properly into public speaking and I’m delighted to be here.

 

Bryn 

Superb. So, I like to keep things a little bit topical at the start. And obviously we’re in this disrupted environment. How are you finding this both personally and for your business?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Personally, it started off really difficult I think like everybody I was blindsided by how quickly this all hit. And the first couple of days was really difficult for my mindset and my stress levels and anxiety and all of that. And, and which which ties into the impact it’s had on my business as well. The first week or so was hard. I had 80% of my work either postponed or cancelled, which then added a lot more stress and anxiety to my personal life. But then, out of it all, I realised, like everybody, we’ve got a choice. We can either stress and worry or panic, or we can wake up in the morning and think about things and just appreciate what we actually do have and work with what we do have and that’s the approach I took. So it’s been difficult. It’s been challenging all the things that I’m sure most people like saying, however, there is opportunity, and I have found a lot of opportunity. And I suppose by finding that opportunity, it’s strengthened my mindset. It’s given me more confidence and more positive outlook and as a result of that I one work on one clients. I’ve had inquiries and collaborations. So it is difficult. It’s a new way of working However, I’m doing okay out of it all.

 

Bryn 

Good. Good. Sounds like you’ve been on a journey yourself in that time.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I have. I have it is. It’s one of the my, there’s been so many instances in my life where I’ve been faced with adversity or resilience. So there’s been really difficult things that have happened and this is just an I don’t mean to disrespect the situation. But this is just another one. Yes, this is something else has been thrown my way. And I can either stress and panic or I can embrace, adapt and thrive. And I choose to embrace, adapt and thrive and find a way to make it work.

 

Bryn 

Is, is interesting, you should talk about this because they’re almost like a step process or an internal dialogue that you go through that you can share.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I go through an internal dialogue for most for most things, my my, my my wife, my best friends, my family, they all they all call me a robot, you know, because I am so I because I’m and and we’ll, we’ll come to your question about why this applies specifically. But I’m so OCD about things. There’s a process to everything, there’s a system to everything. The internal dialogue I have, there’s a system to that as well, but simply put, it’s a model which I developed called eat and eat stands for embrace, adapt, thrive. When you’re put into a situation, embrace the situation, embrace what you’re going through as crazy as that sounds, embrace what you’re in, adapt to the situation you’re in, build a system, build a plan, and then out of that thrive, find a way to thrive in the situation you’re in. And so that’s the internal dialogue, which I go through. It’s always How can I eat the situation? Instead of the situation eating me?

 

Bryn 

Oh, that’s sweet. That’s Wait,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

does that make sense?

 

Bryn 

No, I love it. I love it. I’m interested that you you know call yourself a robot that sounds makes you sound very sort of left hand side of the brain. How do you deal with the right hand side of the

 

Shil Shanghavi 

eye? I am I look I talked about this in my presentations a lot I REM I think I’m a bit of like everybody. I think I’m a bit of both but yes, I’m on a more I mean I’ll give an example and this is really crazy. I live in a two bedroom apartment. When I wake up in the morning, the the walk from our bedroom to my kitchen is 22 steps. If I don’t hit 22 steps, I start again come back and stuff. You know the volume on the television has got to be five was zero. Those are the increments it needs to be on. The coast is must sit flush magazine said things, even the way my laptop is at the moment, it’s all very flush and squared so that it fits my system and my thought process. Everything very symmetrical.

 

Bryn 

Where’d that come from?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I think over the years I’ve just this, the systems have had to develop internally for me to be able to speak The way I do is also controlled and it’s so precise that I just without even being conscious about it I just applied to everything I do now. Right It’s been years of being afraid of things and not being able to do things and being told I can’t do things and being told no and shut that just consistently and then whenever it happens finding a way to get past it and in order to find a way to get past it, it’s like you psyche to your radio channel and you just find that right tune but in order to get there you really got to get everything right

 

 

yes.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah, that that’s that’s how I see it in my mind. That’s how I sense it in myself as well.

 

Bryn 

So it sounds almost like you found what works for Shell in one area and now you’ve gone and applied it into lots of different colours.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Correct? Yeah. If it works, amplify it, yes amplify it into other areas of your life and if it doesn’t work in other areas of your life, okay? You learn from it and then you figure out what works. In general though, like I there, there are things I do, which are an extreme how however, I’ve been forced to do these things, and so it might seem extreme to some however, to me, it’s normal. To me, it’s how I’m built is how I am whereas to others, it would just be too much. We can’t do that. But you’ve never had to do it. So I understand why. You haven’t

 

Bryn 

been faced with a situation or had to go that far into yourself to go and find out.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

No, and and I, I know there are people out there who have I know there are people out there who’ve got have similar stories or experiences and their own way of channelling things. However, just in my mind, my journey and my experiences I’ve met so many people who’ve point blank said You’re crazy. It’s extreme and I go Yep, yep. In your world that is in my world.

 

Bryn 

The world your lens, the world what I’m doing looks crazy. Yep.

 

 

You standing on your map the world.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Something, something as simple as that. There are there are times where I’m up early. Just because I want to get out. I want to get some air so I’ll take a walk down to the park. I’ll put my music in my ears or meditate on the walk and it’s it’s quarter to six. It’s still dark. It’s early to some people. That’s what they do every single day but to others. Why on earth would you get up at that time to go for it? Walk into the park. It’s a crazy thing to do. Well, yes, in your world it is. However, in my world, it’s very normal to do that.

 

 

Yes.

 

Bryn 

So I imagine adding a bit more depth and context of what you’ve just said. If I asked you the question, why public speaking? Why, why is it so important? What’s the story behind that?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

public speaking? It we’ve we’ve heard the fear of public speaking. I’m sure you’ve heard of this fear of public speaking. Yeah. For me, I’m more into that generally a bit lighter. For me, it is unequivocally without a doubt, the most frightening thing I could have ever faced and I have ever faced and that I still continue to face even though I do it. So it’s one the fear factor But the more personal story is my stutter. In order for me to control it the way I now can I, I realised I had to face a fear. And the more I built my fluency The more I built my confidence. I thought, why don’t why not trying to test yourself in front of an audience now? So I tested myself and so I’ve been so scared of it my whole life. I still am scared of it, despite the fact that I specialise in it. But it was the only way for me to really master controlling my stutter.

 

 

And so that’s why

 

Shil Shanghavi 

it was the only way for me to do it.

 

Bryn 

Hmm. And just to give us an insight is, is the stuff that you had something from birth from early

 

Shil Shanghavi 

age. It’s from an early age. So my my parents I pinpointed back to when I was about 10 years old. And gay it’s been it’s been crap. It’s been really hard, you know to as a kid to live with it is just sucks. Kids kids don’t understand. And and then when you get older, you know, going through your life as a teenager, it’s very difficult for other kids to understand this bullying, this teasing. Then you get to university where you’re where you’re a bit more grown up. And so you need to communicate a bit more than that’s difficult. And then you get into the corporate environment where you’re expected to network to socialise, to present have coffees and it’s just, it affects everything. Everything

 

Bryn 

so when And what was the point where you decided to really, obviously double down and go into the world of public speaking and how did that journey come about?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

There’s been, it’s been plenty of occasions, but I suppose the one one of the occasions, which stands out was, I was asked to do a talk, I was asked to do a presentation. And I thought it was a good chance to shine. And it was a high value project, and I just crumbled. I really, it was terrible. And the look on everybody’s face in the meeting room of we, we never got it and it was obvious we weren’t going to get it in the room because of how bad I was. I mean, I was sweating everywhere. I couldn’t get my words out. It was really terrible. But that was icing on the cake. On top of hundreds of incidents where I’ve I, there was a time where I went to a networking event and somebody asked me for my name couldn’t get my name out. And I tried so hard that the the reflex made me bite my lip. And I started bleeding everywhere. And to the group I was standing around they didn’t understand why. I knew why but it was so embarrassing that I just left and there’s been so many of those incidents now where I haven’t felt like I want to see friends or go out to events. So all those things, but one one which stands out which was I suppose an accumulation of everything was this, this presentation I gave.

 

Bryn 

Then where did you go from there then?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

From there, I made a commitment to myself that it wouldn’t happen again. That would never happen again. And so I started practising at home in the shower while driving. I put so much time just hours and hours into what can I do to say words clearly, what can I do to calm down control it? What techniques can I learn to distract my mind? So I can speak clearly. And so from that presentation, I went into this obsessive, completely obsessive, what do I need to do to control that and invested hours and hours and hours into it? with family with friends at home, putting myself into situations where, say for example, if I went out to dinner with with my family, I would I would offer to take everybody’s order and then Call the order out to the waiter to the waitstaff. I mean, because that to me was a form of public speaking. Or on a Monday when I go to soccer, I would, I would give the team talk before we start, so I consistently do things like this, just to push myself. And then eventually I got better, not got better, but I got more fluent and but why not try this in front of an audience?

 

 

willingly.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

And it was terrible. Yeah. So willingly. And it wasn’t good at all. Right.

 

Bryn 

So it was that you had to double down again and go a bit further.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah, yeah. Every time. Even now, but but especially in the early days when I started, I remember I would get up in front of an audience and just the, the anxiety is enormous. You know, we In sleep for days, sometimes weeks stressing out about it. And not present terribly. If I had my notes in my hand, my hand would shake the whole time and I tremble there would be times I would throw up before I presented. And every time I did it, a walked away. And I thought, hmm, I’m still here. Like that. That was, it was terrible. But I’m still here. And so what do I need to do to make sure I don’t do the terrible again and every time I did that, I wouldn’t try to focus on everything but I just tried to focus on one or two things and I fixed the one or two things on my next time and do the same again and do the same again. Because I realised if I try to fix everything, it’s too much. It’s too overwhelming. So bite sized chunks, broken down into miniature bite sized chunks and that I’m obsessed. over how to fix the bite sized chunks at home, so that when I next get in front of an audience, those one or two areas are under control then then I worry about the next ones.

 

Bryn 

So can you give me an idea what like two or three what would the bite sized chunks look or feel like?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I’d so one of the bite sized chunks would be my breathing. kept my I breathe in a very controlled and systematic way. But to get your breathing under control in that way, it’s not a natural thing you need to practice it. So through my meditation through practising at home, I would tie my breathing to when certain words or sentences are coming out. So that was a bite sized chunk of work time. Another one is the language I use. Understanding what words sit where understanding if there’s a word I can swap or a place in a sentence. Why would need to do that? How it sounds to the audience as it makes sense to them? Because to me, it makes sense. It’s not about me, it’s about what I’m telling the audience. So it’s great for me to swap a word, but does it make sense to the audience? So those are two examples of bite sized chunks. They’re probably the bigger bite size. Yeah, chunks are worked on. But there are two examples. So it makes sense. It does.

 

Bryn 

It does because it’s almost like a little bit then layering and layering and layering and layering it. It makes sense to me, because I was very fortunate in the early part of my career, to work at a company where the culture was so the owner, the nd the ops manager role. Master practitioners in LLP And we were we went through a three day presentation course, that started with the most basic things of standard a horseshoe and, and you had to have you had to hold everybody’s report just by looking at them. And, and the exercise didn’t stop until until everyone had their hand up at the same time. And then when you’ve done that, then we did another bit, another bit and another bit another another bit. And it’s only I didn’t kind of realise the gift that that was giving me at that point in time I was 2728. And now there are so many things that I fall back on from that experience. So, but the thing it taught me was is like you’ve just said, concentrate on one thing, get good at it, put it in and then stick another layer on and another layer on another layer

 

Shil Shanghavi 

that you can’t once you get good at the one thing though, You can’t just put that away, you need to keep evolving The one thing so as as you said the layers, you build the layers. And so say for example, if if if there’s six, six parts to it and you build your six layers, it doesn’t mean you forget about one and two. As you get to five and six, you got to still keep working on one and two, yes, then you have to work on five and six at the same time. And that’s what makes somebody a complete presenter is knowing all of it which way to move which way when when to look at a person, how long to look at a person without, without it being too creepy. Too long and it’s a bit creepy to short look a bit unsure of yourself, when to elevate your voice who went to adjust your pitch in your tone When to move from right to left and where to anchor yourself somewhere. There’s all these different things which come into it and I just now through the process that I’ve been through I’m, I’m fascinated by I’m obsessed by because I think when somebody has the ability to be in front of an audience and you know through the power of your language through the power of speech, you can inspire you can challenge you can motivate you can move it’s, it’s so powerful. Yes, um, of course, I have the bias because it’s something I do, but I genuinely feel it is so powerful when somebody can do it and do it. Well. Yes, that I’m completely fascinated by it now.

 

Bryn 

I mean, I suppose that blunt responses how many people have great ideas but not been able to articulate and how many of those that we remember

 

 

Correct.

 

Bryn 

So how did you go from where you were to TEDx coach and founder of chatterbox?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

What simply I had this I, the, the more I was able to talk the fluency improved and I realised from being somebody who’s always been afraid of speaking, I’ve now become this chatterbox because I just enjoyed speaking so hence I quit my full time job on a Friday on the Monday, our show from chatterbox it was that I cut the cord like that. And on the Friday after I went to my first event, terrified, absolutely terrified. Because now I was introducing me as chatterbox with this flimsy business card that was pulled designed. And I, I knew in myself what I was and what what? Sorry What I wanted to be. Yes. telling somebody who asked me so what do you do? Because that’s such a common question right and saying, I’m sure from chatterbox It was terrifying to say that because net, it’s now me. There’s nothing there’s no one else to back it up it’s me and say it was that. That’s it. That’s it. I’m brand chatterbox is nothing else but me. And so I quit on a Friday on Monday. I was chatterbox the Friday after I remember giving out my first card to somebody and I felt really awesome. But Wow, that’s, that’s me take my coffee. Just really cool. And so, TEDx came around. So I’ve always been very anxious of going to networking. It’s been It causes me a lot of stress and nerves because I’m, I’m very afraid that if I don’t speak well, or if I stutter, people will judge me. But I pushed myself to go to a particular event. And we sat around the couch and everybody was asked to introduce themselves. And when it came to me, I’d thought very carefully about how I wanted to introduce myself quickly. So it’s interesting. And after I did the lady who ran the the, the event, she came up to me and said, I really like how you spoke and now you introduce yourself. So we had a chat and she said, I’ve got something for you. Would you be interested in doing work with Ted expert as a speaker coach, and that’s it was it was it was the right place at the right time. However, I was never going to go to that event. The trauma, I went through it home and I remember speaking to my wife about it, saying I don’t want to go to this because I My head wasn’t right. I was really stressed. But because I pushed myself to go, that opportunity came,

 

Bryn 

you got rewarded.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah. And that’s been the case for I’m not kidding. Almost everything which has happened to me a chatterbox has been because of that. Because I’ve pushed myself and I’ve thought Nope, even if you’re nervous about this, just do it. And see what shakes out of it.

 

Bryn 

So let’s meeting the universe halfway.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah, let’s put it again. Yeah, and and look this this there’s been a lot of it’s been a lot of a lot of people have turned me down. A lot of people have said no, no people I, I often talk about this because I it’s, it’s very flattering that a lot of people are complimentary of what I’ve achieved in chatterbox in a short amount of time, and I’m flattered by that. Hello. Ever what people don’t see is how many times I’ve heard no. is the rejections the nose the and sometimes it’s been delivered really poorly. Some people have been pretty cruel about it. Has that ever happened to you? Or you just flat out? Yeah, it’s

 

 

Yes.

 

Bryn 

Come on your little policy podcast

 

Shil Shanghavi 

and it. It affects you. It affects your confidence it affects your mindsets and. But like anything like at the start of this chat, you’ve got a choice. Either you panic or you take action about that. And every time I had every 10 times I heard and no one person would say yes. The one person who said yes, I would obsess and apply the process to that one person to make sure they would never forget me. From there, and I hope that doesn’t sound arrogant in any way. But that

 

Bryn 

builds, it builds momentum and it builds confidence. You know, those, those rejections that like you said, the amount of nose, I got, they came thick and fast at the start of this podcasting journey. And now they come less often. And even when they do turn up,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

okay, still trying to find. Do you find that all that? If you ever had people who have said, no people have turned you down? Have any of those people ever come back to you and said, Now we’d love to be on your podcast. Has that ever happened to you?

 

Bryn 

Yes.

 

 

How have you dealt with that

 

Bryn 

and I welcome the back and If I’m going to be really honest, you know, and I listened to earlier episodes and of mine, and the way I hold the conversation and interview people and the questions I asked, and now I’m, I trust my own intuition a lot more, more so than I did in the earlier times, and quite a few. I’d say most of the people who have come back and I welcome them with open arms and put it down to now is the time that we’re going to talk. And you’re now going to get an even better experience, because I’m two years old. I’m a year and a half on and I think I’ve just become a little bit more. I don’t know what the word is, but I just I say to the bigger level and Yeah, because every learn something from every single conversation. Sure,

 

 

sure.

 

Bryn 

So I guess I look at it now in the fact that I never get any hahaha now you’re back and all of that because I’m still eternally grateful for every single guest that that shares an hour an hour and a half with me and talk so sure, yes. So and so what is the service that chatterbox provides that and who’s the sort of clients that that you’re engaged with now,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

sort of client side, engage with our people who want to work with me. And it’s such a broad spectrum, as you can imagine, Stute I’ve, I’ve worked with, with universities, I’ve worked with C suite executives, and as you can appreciate the levels of work. between those two spectrums is very different. And quite simply, I do one on one coaching or group coaching. And I show people how to control their fear of speaking, become confident presenters become world class presenters and even get to TED Talk level. Everything is tailored. So there is no one size fits all approach. Everything is tailored to the individual or to the group that I work with. And it’s all about how to speak with confidence how to speak with authority, how to present well. And you you apply that to, to presentations at work, speaking up in your meetings, networking events, doing TED Talks, the applications are so broad. Yes, and I find most clients I work with once we’re done There’s a newfound appreciation of how tough the skill is. And there’s a newfound appreciation of how much confidence it builds in you internally, and how that confidence then can be transferred to every aspect of your life. So it’s not just about the work presentation, it’s what you learn and what you build for your work presentation. If you continue with the skill applies to so much, so much, it’s a lifelong skill which you walk away with.

 

Bryn 

I can I can imagine, and, you know, the applicability not just to standing up presenting with a PowerPoint and the people in the stage but you said networking events, you know, first up interactions with people, everyday interactions with people,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

or whatever what we’re doing now I this is public speaking. Yes. Let’s all so Roger love said, you know, whether it’s one or 1000 it’s all public speaking.

 

 

Yes.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking to a client or a coffee, or you’re speaking at a keynote with 1000 people, the principles apply.

 

Bryn 

And, and I guess, for me, thinking about it at the moment is within all of us there’s there’s a beautiful spark to be expressed, and to refine the scale, so that you can express that beautiful spark that’s within every single person. So that we get a clear a pure version of that beautiful spark is just incredible.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Every single person has a story and you would know that you’ve interviewed so many people now with their own stories. Everybody has A story to tell. Everybody has experiences to share. Everybody has something which they would like to say, I’m making a big generalisation here, but I’m assuming everybody’s got something which they would like to say. Even the most shy, introverted person, they’ve all got somebody that wants to say, yes, and for some, I’ve work with really confident introverts who have a wonderful experience and a wonderful story. However, their ego is so big and their confidence is so much that it comes across in the wrong way. Whereas I’ve, I’ve worked with people who are the most shy, just calm introverts I’ve ever met, and because they put so much time and effort into the way they want to deliver their talk, it sounds incredible when it comes out and often I find it comes from the quiet people. Because they’ll sit in their own time they’ll think about it. Whereas and and this, whereas often it’s the more confident ones who feel we can do this, you know, we can we’ve, we’ve got this down pat, generally there’s more work required there. Cuz you’re almost challenging the knowledge and confidence that an extrovert has bringing them down to a level and saying, Yes, I get your confidence. However, there’s a way to do this. And so when you challenge that, to those sorts of people, it’s a difficult conversation. Right? It’s an easier process to somebody who is willing to learn,

 

 

willing to go through it.

 

 

It’s also

 

Bryn 

academic Imagine a very powerful and very powerful skill and tool that you give someone. Because to be able to stand up and confidently talk about something means that we have a bias towards, you know, an authoritative figure that can speak eloquently. And so if somebody is eloquently and confidently presenting something, which might not be entirely the truth. And I’m just reflecting on my own experience during 15 years of being a management consultant, and I remember one particular project, I’m not gonna name anyone names, but I was the person who we had a solution, an IT solution that had to be presented to accompany and as we looked across the whole team of 12, it was immediately Brian can talk, he can do it. And so I had to go and give five presentations back to back to back to back to the front. And, and I had to be convincing that it that this solution was the best thing that we should be doing and deep down. I wasn’t bought into it, but I had to go into it. And I remember I remember getting home that day and saying to her friend, God, I feel about it. In all five of those presentations. I felt like I get a chunk of my soul away.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

And you know that people can see it.

 

 

Yes,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

people can see it when you’re presenting and it’s not authentic and it’s not you. People can tell if you’re nervous. People can tell if you’re lying. People can tell if you’re just if if as as you said if you want bought in what you’re saying. If you want invest In what you’re saying, your audience will know it. And it can do so much damage to your credibility. And often people won’t say anything to you maybe one or two people will come up to you and say, Did you mean what you said? But let’s face it, that’s quite rare. That actually happens. And I think

 

Bryn 

you know, the wall is song.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah. Because Because you’re walking away and thinking yeah, I nail last. But really everyone’s thinking we just saw right through you mate.

 

Bryn 

Yeah.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

People are very savvy now. Audiences incredibly savvy. Now you know that they’re, they come in armed and prepared with information that you don’t even have, will even aware of. And so I just find bpu be honest, be you and I feel from a from a speaker’s perspective from a person enters perspective. Nothing beats just being completely authentic. Yes, ratio vulnerability, be authentic. Let your audience see and feel that. And it makes a massive difference to how your presentation comes across. Of course, it’s different. If you’re in a boardroom and you’re giving a pitch to a board of directors about a project, what $10 million? Can’t really, that’s a whole different style of presenting. Yeah. You know what I mean? Yeah, I don’t show too much vulnerability in the head.

 

Bryn 

And where, when you’re when you’re coaching people, and is the balance point between and one of the, as I mentioned earlier on, I’ve had quite exposure to sort of neuro linguistic programming and one of the tenants there, which really stuck with me was this You know, the sum effectiveness of your communication can be summed up by the response you get from other people. Whereas if you tell somebody something, if that’s the goal and do the thing that you’ve mentioned, then you port forwards, then you can you can surmise that your communication was spot on. Whereas, you know, I’ve done a lot of coaching in the past with managers where they say, Well, I told him to do this, and he’s gone and done something different. He must be stupid. And this I will, brother, wait a minute, let’s come back and look at how you’ve got the message across. And there’s that balance between or the, or the, the impact horizon of focusing on it leaving your mouth as opposed to going in the ears and into the brain? How How do you deal with that in your country,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

slowing down. First, first and foremost, our brains think so much faster than a mouse can. It’s It’s wild. People often say, Oh, I spoke too soon. Cuz your brain is thinking and it doesn’t mean you have to rattle off everything your brain is thinking. You the way you deliver something is critical, critical, I don’t tell people what to do. I give people my opinion, I give them my expertise. And then I always encourage them to apply that to however it works best for them. And I feel the role of a coach is not to tell but it’s to, it’s to explore ideas and opportunities so that the client, the person you’re speaking to, can unlock their, their own path. You know, you you you work with them to build a foundation for what the part is. But you want to see them understand that based on what shields told me, this is how I need to apply. This is what I should do with it. And then if I It’s being applied in the wrong way. I tell them that depending on the sort of person it is, it’s delivered in a specific way. And the conversation can be really difficult at times, it can be a tricky thing. Because what I feel is delivered in a very gentle way to somebody might feel too aggressive. Whereas if I’m working with a CEO, generally they don’t want things delivered in a simple way they wanted to live it in, tell me what I didn’t do. Well just don’t want you to sugarcoat it. Yeah, it. It is a challenge. However, I always come back to just slow down. Think about what you want to say. Think about the person you’re speaking to. You’ve almost got to be two or three steps ahead. And I know now from working with so many different types of people, I’ve got a pretty good feel on the person types of work with. You can never be 100%. But I reckon I’ve got a pretty good feel of that now. And I know if I say something to someone, the scenarios that two or three responses I might get and what I need to do to respond to their responses and see that that’s come from being having to think about things at such an extreme scale, constantly. Being aware of things constantly being aware of when I’m at the peak of things when I couldn’t even say my name. If I’m having a conversation with somebody, me talking to you, and if I started, I would see the reaction on you. I would, I would sense why you flinched, why you moved your eye or why you swore by use, why you grimace to your face, there would be all these things that I’d be able to pay Make up. And so I now apply that in all situations, and I can read emotions and body language and I can feel, oops, I might not have delivered that correctly. So what do I need to do now to, not to backtrack, but to ensure that I clarify what I’ve told you so that you feel comfortable that you can apply what I’ve said in your way

 

Bryn 

really strikes me that was been an enormous challenge to you is turned into your superpower. Now.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I use that analogy. Is that the word analogy? Yeah. I use that a lot actually. Because what what, what’s, what’s always been a fear and it still is a fear. What has always been my kryptonite. Over the years of being afraid and not being able to speak and not being able to communicate, I didn’t realise that over time it’s given me this increased awareness of people, body language communication, you know the art of being very selective with your words and placing your words carefully. So my kryptonite has turned into my superpower. Because it’s forced me to think about things that most people wouldn’t have had to think about.

 

 

Yeah, it’s a very conscious level.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s this acute awareness of it, being extremely aware of it. And it’s exhausting.

 

Bryn 

So, obviously, the fear of public speaking is is right up there apparently with snakes and or spiders or vertigo or something like that. At its core, because you will be dealing with this day in day out at its core. What is that fear?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

At its core, it’s a combination of things. It’s fear of being judged. a fear of failure, a fear of not being respected. a fear of embarrassing yourself. It is a fear of safe, I’m safe. I’m an engineer. And I’m a technical expert in my field. But when I present something if I make a mistake, or if I forget something, the fear I have is, I’m no longer going to be seen as a technical expert. In some cases, it’s a fear of your ego being smashed. It is a combination of all those things. We want to be liked. We want to be respected. We don’t we don’t like failure. No one likes to fail. failing and embarrassing yourself or rather the thought of failing and embarrassing in front of people is awful. You know how often wire this I hope this doesn’t come across as a sexist comment but understand why I’m going to say it the way I am. Why are so many men afraid of approaching girls in a bar?

 

 

To be rejected?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Because and and why? It’s Yes, it’s the rejection which affects your ego. But deep down it’s the rejection in front of other people Guess Who else has heard the rejection? What are they thinking of me now? Oh my god, this is so embarrassing. I don’t want to go through that again. It’s the same principle. It’s that fear of embarrassment and rejection in front of people. No one likes that. No one wants that. And it’s what we think about. It’s easy to say get up there and think about success. But the stronger emotion is what happens if I fail? What will people think of me? What happens if I make a mistake? What happens if I forget my next? If I forget a line or if I skip a slide? My boss is going to be in the room, what’s my boss going to think of me? If you’re delivering a wedding speech, your whole family’s there, your friends are there, What will they think of me? Whereas I say, you realise your wedding day is the most forgiving environment you can ever present him, you might deliver the most horrible speech, everybody will laugh and love you for it. It’s your wedding day. I’m not saying do that. But it’s a different way of thinking about it. Whereas if you’re in a boardroom, delivering a pitch or high risk pitch, there’s more pressure

 

Bryn 

I had a little mindset shift a few years ago with the fact that all of a sudden it was, wow. As I stand up here in front of 100 people, I now got people’s attention. How exciting is that?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

See that that’s also scary. It’s exciting. Absolutely. It’s scary. I’ve got 100 people’s attention here. What happens if they don’t like what I say? What happens if I lose their attention? What happens if there’s somebody in the audience who I’m trying to impress? And because I say something that they don’t agree with that they’re no longer impressed? What happens if there’s somebody smarter than me? That there’s every single time I’ve presented and I’m sure that’s been the case for you as well. There are people smarter than us.

 

Bryn 

All around

 

Shil Shanghavi 

tonnes of B heaps. Most people I meet most people in fact, probably all people like me. I think you’re way smarter than I am. I just I know this I know presenting I know, I don’t know a thing about engineering, or mining or it or software. I just don’t know what and, and I think it’s okay. And I tell people it’s, it’s it’s okay to be like that but if you can present and keep it simple and keep it clear and keep it easy to follow. No one’s the you can’t question that. Keep it simple, keep it easy to follow. Keep it easy for people to digest. And you’re fine. You don’t have to get caught up in jargon and technicalities, because if you do that you’ll trip up. You chances are you’ll trip up If you trip up in front of an audience, you’ll notice it. If you notice it, you’ll stress and that’s when all these other emotions start to come in. Not worth it. It’s this fear of not being accepted by your peers and by your colleagues and it’s a powerful emotion.

 

 

It is.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

On the same day, you can meet somebody who just you fall completely in love with. And you can be stepping into a room with 50 people to present which emotion you do think will squash the what thought process directly will take you you’ll think to yourself, I can’t wait to see this person. But I got to get through this presentation. I’m so scared about this.

 

Bryn 

So without giving the whole game away and what you do, what are some of the is if somebody’s listening to this, what are some of the top two or three or four things that they can start to do to just even make small improvements in the way that they speak publicly.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

The easiest, sorry, not the easiest, the quickest thing which you can do is get your breathing under control. Your breathing under control, you know, when when you do something which causes stress and panic, you you lose control of your breathing. Public Speaking causes people to panic when you panic experience your shortness of breath, which means you can’t get your words out. So concentrate on your breathing, calm yourself down. And once you’ve done that, focus on clarity, be absolutely clear on what you want to say. Be clear on why you want To say it once you focus on your breathing, you have some clarity. Keep it simple. Keep it keep your message really simple. You might have something really complex and technical. But there’s a beauty and an art. When somebody can take a complex topic and simplify it. And from the audience perspective, it’s easier for your audience to understand you. The best part of it is it’s easier for you to deliver it. Yes, I keeping it simple, causes less stress. So get your breathing under control. understand exactly what you want to talk about. be crystal clear on what your messages and then keep it simple.

 

Bryn 

Super. And you mentioned being part of TEDx That’s become such a thing. And globally as well as here in Perth, the TEDx Perth event. And what’s it like been involved with that?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I there is no appropriate adjective. I can say amazing. I can say brilliant.

 

 

Yeah,

 

Shil Shanghavi 

but there are cliche terms. We hear them all the time. It is. I I can’t believe I’m involved with them. Firstly, it’s just, it’s incredible. The feeling you have this sense of community with TEDx Perth, which is amazing. Being a part of something like that, which, as you said is so global now is so respected and so well known. I mean, if you think about it, Ted is the pinnacle of public speaking If you’ve been on a TED stage and you’ve done a TED talk Well, you’ve you’ve, you’ve made it in terms of public speaking. You know what I mean? And being able to work with speakers who get accepted to do a TED talk, you meet some incredible people. You hear incredible stories you build, you know, the friendships that are built with speakers and with some of the community are a lifelong. So it is, it’s a privilege to be a part of it. And it’s a privilege to be able to say that I’m associated with a brand like TEDx, but it’s awesome. And I have a big smile on my face because I never ever, ever imagined that 10 year old kid from Kenya, who struggled to speak his heart. Live is now a speaker coach for TEDx PR. It’s Yeah, it’s Thank you. It makes me feel really good. Inside that I can call myself a coach for TEDx

 

Bryn 

superbe. Back to you chill the person. How are what are you learning about your self during this disrupted environment?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Just Just hearing the disrupted environment during this last

 

Bryn 

three, four or five weeks.

 

 

I’ve learned

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I’ve learned there’s more resilience and fighting me that I thought there would have been. I’ve learnt I’ve learned to be more appreciative of stuff. I’ve learned to be more of appreciative of I say this, my, my mom and dad are in Kenya. They live in Kenya, which is where I’m originally from my sisters in the UK. Yes, what we’re going through here is not good. What the world is going through is not good. However, when I compare who wha and the measures we’ve put in place, were far ahead of a lot of places in the world. We’re far ahead of what’s happening in the UK. We’re far ahead of what’s happening in Kenya, especially in Kenya is a developing country. What it’s going to be tough with this. I feel it’s going to be tough when this really hits. And so it’s just going back a few steps and analysing things and saying yes, it’s difficult, however, look at what we have here. Look at what the government’s doing here to support people. Now, aye, aye. Aye. I’m grateful for everything I have now. But what it’s taught me especially is I have a lot more fight and resilience in me than what I thought I did. But it’s also a gift. It’s given me also a perspective of the world that I didn’t think existed. You know, I’ve seen I’ve seen the good side of people and I’ve seen the really bad side of people. As I’m sure is the case with you as well. We’ve both seen the good and the bad of the world we live in and what for a while there I went through a period of bad thoughts. No bad as as as in and I’ll say this, go out and buy up all the stuff that I can because if we go into lockdown, what do we do? But then reframing the thought Same well hang on, there are people out there who will need it more. So don’t go out and panic just do what you normally do and be be normal person about it and things will come back. So it’s been an evolution it’s been a learning curve inside me. It’s taught me things about myself which I I’m glad. I’m happy for

 

Bryn 

Super sense of gratitude coming through

 

Shil Shanghavi 

there. A lot of gratitude, a lot of gratitude. And you know what we’re in, in Kenya, there would be, you know, we come from a little island called Mombasa. And I remember growing up there, there’d be times where we would have no electricity would have we if we went to the shops, we couldn’t buy a bread or milk. No, we we couldn’t have a shower because the water supply cut off and there’d be days on end with no power. So my dad would my mom would like these candles would sit in the living room. And as a family, we just bond and talk. And when I think back to those days my parents have done well, we live in a beautiful part of Kenya. However, it’s Kenya. No matter where you live, you can’t escape the fact that it’s Kenya,

 

Bryn 

your most beautiful lighting system, there’s no electricity.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

No when there’s no electricity, it doesn’t matter where you live, there’s no electricity. And, but we have all that here. We have all that here. We can shower, we can this, we can do this. We can do this. There’s still things are functioning things are running. And so it’s really made me as challenging as everything is it makes me think well hang on. We still have all these things. We can take a shower, we have internet, we have the ability to connect with people all over the world via Skype and zoom and all these things to stay in touch. So just be grateful and you know what things are still happening. You just you have to work a bit harder you have to look a bit harder and you have to fight a bit more to make things happen. And that’s never a bad thing. Yeah, it’s never What do you think? I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

 

Bryn 

I hundred percent agree with you. I think it’s pulling the veil of many things that were a comfortable and and comfortable while we’d like it can also be like a slow move to me. Sometimes comfort can be like this slow moving by we’re constricted that goes around and round and round around you until you are almost strangled by company. And so to have that removed while it is exposing, and it is confronting, and now we have to deal with something called unknown. And we have to be alright with sitting in the unknown, which previous guests are I really enjoyed that he sort of said, if it was a muscle, it would be a very weak if not nearly atrophied muscle. And now we’re going to have to put some unknown muscle weight training in and actually just be okay with sitting there and saying, I don’t know.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Yep, it’ll it will test. It’ll test your relationships, it’ll test friendships, it’ll test family, it’ll, I think they’ll be your identity. It’ll test your identity. It’ll test your resilience, it’ll test. It’ll show you who your friends are. It’ll show you who you are. If we’re talking about this from a business perspective, who you’re selling Porter clients are it’ll show you who your true industry colleagues are. There’s so much about this which will expose and test and challenge. I love the muscle muscle comparison. It is you have to reprogram your whole day. We haven’t got kids. But I imagine if you have kids and you’re working from home, if you’ve had a salary cut or you’ve lost your job, and you’re working from home and you don’t have kids and you have bills and a mortgage and all these things to look after, I mean it is a test off who you are as a person and how you’re going to make it work.

 

Bryn 

Yeah. This so much

 

Shil Shanghavi 

game that it is not I hope this doesn’t come across in the wrong way. It’s certainly not intended to I think the world I needed this to reset itself. Yes. And please, I’m not saying this whole thing is good. It’s awful for the whole world.

 

 

Yeah, yeah. Still.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

However, when I read somewhere that when you if if you travelled to Venice for the first time in ages, the gondolas, the water is so clear that you can see all the way to the bottom. Yeah. And there was another stat don’t don’t don’t quote me on this, but I think it was something along the lines of for the lives we’ve lost, and it’s sad, we’ve lost a lot of lives. Because the environment is so much cleaner. It will extend your life for another three to four years, because the world is so much cleaner. And so then we get on to this topic of climate change, which is a whole different conversation. But is the good for the environment. Well, yes, it is. I think the world just, it needs to reset. People need a reset. And this is the reset, which is happening and we have to deal with it.

 

Bryn 

It’s interesting as I, as I sort of chunk up and reflect across our conversation. Yes, you there is the public speaking aspect and the skill that you’ve gained that but when we talked about the fear that people face and go through, it’s almost like a gangway that they go through with you to learn how to public speak, and go through that. Who am I am I being judged or that sort of challenges as an identity level. And in the past, by and large, whether I go to public, public speak, can be optional. I can, I could work my way out of it. I could pass it on, you know, Get the example earlier on with our 12 people it was a brand new best do it because you’re the you know, you’re the person who can talk. And and so there’s 11 other people who got a free pass. They’re almost like now votes are burning behind people and they’ve got to go and have that little existential identity level challenge at the moment. If

 

Shil Shanghavi 

not, there is nobody who has a free pass at the moment. Yes. No one and yet my experiences in Kenya with my fluency with public speaking, I believe they have given me a resilience which I’m grateful for. Because I think the shell of three years ago, four years ago, actually I know the shill of four years ago wouldn’t tell dealt with this and the way that I’m dealing with it now. No way

 

 

No way

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I know that and so it Yeah. And I tell my wife about about this as well I tell there’s no if if this happened four years ago five years ago now I would have been the person that I’m saying you have a choice either you stress or you fight and I would have been that gone down a really bad stress hole.

 

 

You’ve been beaten by

 

Shil Shanghavi 

out compete, I was gonna say I would be eaten by hit. Because you learn you learn through not through knockbacks through failure through so much crap. You learn that you can either look at the situation and say this is all I have or you can look at the situation and think, right, this is what I have. And this is how I’m going to make this work. And it’s a mindset shift like that. You

 

Bryn 

just want.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Same thing, this person who’s got two cans of baked beans, person B’s got two cans of baked beans. Person A goes well, that’s all I’ve got. Person bigos. I’ve got two cans of baked means that will stretch me for two months I can survive on this. I don’t know why I use baked beans, but that just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter but you get

 

Bryn  

it last question that I asked all my guests, which I always enjoy asking people is if you could take a little nugget and just upload it into the collective consciousness, everyone just get it. What would that be?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Well Can Can you? Can you ask that question? Again, please. So I definitely understand it.

 

Bryn 

So if you take a little nugget. So this is shills nugget of wisdom, nuggets of knowledge, pearls of wisdom, whatever you want to call it, and just upload it into the collective consciousness, often guests find it helpful to consider Neo in the matrix when they go. And he goes, Well, I know kung fu. And so if you could you like that. So if you could upload something into the collective consciousness, so everyone just gets it. What would that be?

 

 

And you’ve just bought yourself enough time to think about.

 

Bryn 

See what you did.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

I talked about stunning simplicity. Stunning simplicity, keep things keep it simple when it’s simple You cannot from a speaking perspective, or really, from any perspective, if you keep it simple, the results can be stunning. Stunning simplicity. It’s whatever the situation is keep it simple. If you’re presenting keep it simple. And I promise you by doing that the results can be stunning. So stunning simplicity. It’s a piece. It’s something I often talk about. And I talk around it and I go into detail about it. But if there’s a nugget, it’s just those two words.

 

Bryn 

Stunning simplicity. And probably now more than ever, just keep it simple.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Keep it simple, just don’t wash keep it simple. No one’s going anywhere. Just relax. Yeah, imagine you’re designing, matching. you’re designing your slides. Imagine you do this. In your tour, you’re designing your response to somebody, whatever it is studying simplicity, keep it simple and deliver it and it’ll be something.

 

 

Outstanding.

 

Bryn 

Show thank you so much for your time today. I have thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Shil Shanghavi 

Thank you. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation too. If someone wants

 

Bryn 

to come and reach out and find you, where do they find you?

 

Shil Shanghavi 

on LinkedIn, I’m very active on my LinkedIn. You can look me up via my name, Shil Shanghavi or my website chatterbox PS all one word .com.au.

 

Bryn 

Super Show. Thanks so much for your time.

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