He is World Champion of Public Speaking, a Next level Leadership Expert and author of International bestseller. Find out what is the journey that Manoj Vasudevan had to pursue in order to achieve all those listed above!
Meet Manoj Vasudevan, One of Singapore’s Brand Minds
What made you start writing?
I believe our struggles are the stories that shorten the struggles of others. Writing is a way through which we can help others, clarify our own understanding and ensure our learnings transform into positive habits.
Tell us three things you’ve done in order to grow as a World Class public speaker.
The three words are Mentors, Content and Platform.
Mentors: In every path I seek to excel, I learned the importance of actively seeking feedback from people who have walked farther on the path. In my book Mastering Leadership The Mousetrap Way, I call them Kingmakers. Every King is surrounded by kingmakers. This is not only nice, but necessary. This ensured that I do not waste time on doing things that don’t work. I learned and documented the best techniques to be a great speaker.
"I synthesised my knowledge with my experience into a system to coach others."
Content: The unprepared speaker has the right to be nervous. We need to be prepared to speak. I do in-depth research on the topics I speak on, to arrive at a unique perspective and bring it to life by using stories that resonate with it. Then it is the humour that makes it digestible! Over the years, I have created a collection of messages and stories that provide value to my listeners. Every day, I continue to learn something new, which is essential if you aspire to be a World Class speaker.
Platform: We often have opportunities to speak that helps us be better speakers. Most people do not observe those opportunities. Ever since I started to do public speaking, I have always taken the opportunities to speak, even if it was as stretch outside my comfort zone. I try to do my best for every speech. My believe is this - every good speech will get you more opportunities to speak!
In this time and age, a good speech is a great marketing tool that takes your brand further. It can reach a wider audience in much less time and at lowe costs.
Name one situation that made you want to quit and change your career.
I have reinvented myself a few times. Like most people, I used to be in the typical rat race in the corporate sector. It provided me the status, the income and the comfort. However, I realised that it also came with an opportunity cost. It used up the one resource I had in short supply - TIME.
"Like most people, I used to be in the typical rat race in the corporate sector. However, I realised that it also came with an opportunity cost. It used up the one resource I had in short supply - TIME. "
As I got interested in public speaking and became better at it, people started taking notice and came to me for help with their problems. That is when I realised I am a far better coach than a speaker. I could use my struggles, experiences and knowledge to help others excel in their field. This was one of the reasons behind starting our two brands Thought Expressions and Next Level Unlimited.
I found meaning in seeing happy faces whose lives I was fortunate to touch. Soon, I realised my calling is being the catalyst who unlocks people’s true potential. We have a goal to help 20 million people to take at least one step out of their fear zone by 2020.
Name one situation that made you want to go forward.
We all have 24 hours in a day. How we choose to use these 24 hours each day determines what we achieve and what objectives we'll reach. This is one driver key that pushes me to do more today, instead of waiting for tomorrow.
What do you think are the most difficult challenges entrepreneurs have to face in order to grow a personal brand, nowadays?
Distinction. It is tempting to copy the success of others by mimicking exactly who they are and what they did. This is self-defeating. While you can learn from others, it is important to find out what makes you special. The personal brand you're creating, can make you distinct for your market.
Investment matters. If you would invest in something else but your actual brand. What would that be?
I believe investing in yourself is the best investment you can ever make. If you see yourself as an valuable asset, you will invest more in your knowledge. The reverse is also true.
If you could change something about Singapore’s Leaders mind-set, overall, what would that be?
The biggest problem we face is conformity. Everyone is trying to be like everyone else. I believe values, innovation and distinction should takeover conformity.
Meet Manoj Vasudevan, The Man
Name one good habit that helps you deal with your active life.
Only making promises I can keep and keeping all the promises I make. This is a guiding principle that I strive hard to sitck with.
Name one bad habit you can’t quit.
The feeling that I have not done enough.
If you could be anything else but a transformation coach what would you be?
I would learn to draw caricatures, portraits and cartoons.
You are a coach, an author and a conference speaker. What is the favourite movie of the man who manages to be all these three things at once?
Three idiots. A Bollywood movie that highlights the importance of following your heart.
Tell us your favourite book. What’s the best thing you learned from it?
There are many favourite books. If you ask me to pick one, I would say “How to win friends and influence people by Dale Carnegie”. The book urges you to see everything from other person’s perspective in every conversation.
Name the most important value a leader should have.
Trustworthiness. Trust is more important than the rest.
If you could compare your career journey with a song what song would you choose?
A song title that I resonate with is “You are not alone.” There is always someone there who can help you achieve your dreams. I don't know if it is because I was lucky or maybe because I was looking for it, but I have always found someone who helped me achieve my dreams. Believe it. You are not alone. Ask to receive!
Tell us the best experience you had while speaking at conferences?
Once I got an invite to speak at a high profile conference in US. I was looking forward to it. It was a short speech and I have done my very best to prepare for it.
During my speech my microphone didn’t work which affected the impact of the speech. I was extremely disappointed. After the conference, a visually-challenged lady found her way to where I was, along with her working dog. She had come to tell me how that speech resonated with her and what are the lessons she remained with. It cemented my belief that there is always someone who has to hear your message – you should write and speak in service of that person who is listening to your message.
If you would give our readers one single advice from your experience, what would that advice be?
Your best is yet to come. Every day we read about news and events that feeds our fears, doubts and uncertainties. That’s other people’s opinion. Don’t let it become your reality. Despite all the troubles you see, the world as a whole is moving forward and is far better than it used to be 100 years ago. There will be even more opportunities in the future. Your best is yet to come. Stay confident. Believe. Take action.
What is your biggest expectation on Brand Minds ASIA event?
This is going to be the best Brand Minds event! I hope the delegates will absorb, assimilate and implement the learning to take their brand to the next level.