By Kefilwe Morobane, Founder and Managing Director of Giving Wings
Do you find yourself intimidated by people’s position, title or social status? Professor, Billionaire, CEO, Bishop, Queen, President or Minister are some of the titles and positions that are common in society and in the corporate world. Have you ever been intimated by the thought of engaging with individuals who hold prestigious titles or are in positions of power?
I will be honest with you, there was a moment in my life when I used to be intimidated. Until one day I realised that outside of the position, title or social status, these individuals are simply human beings!
Last year, I had the opportunity to host a Professional Speaking and Presentation Skills Workshop for Senior Lecturers at a University in South Africa. When I shared the news of this opportunity with a friend she looked at me and said, “Kefilwe I wish you all the best. A workshop with Professors and Doctors, what can you teach them? These people are so educated,” she said. As I listened to my friend share her sentiments, I refused to walk into my training workshop with the assumption that the Senior Lecturers would not be receptive to learn due to their extensive educational background. I acknowledged and respected their titles but I refused to exclusively see them as Professors and Doctors. I chose to also see them as human beings who had made the effort to show up to my workshop with the intention that they could learn about how they can enhance their presentation skills, and I was eager to teach them all that I know. After spending two days with the Senior Lecturers, I must say that it was a phenomenal workshop and the team had very positive feedback to share with me!
Over the years, I have witnessed many professionals and entrepreneurs who are afraid to approach individuals in order to network, share a business proposal, or highlight their aspiration for employment. This is because they have allowed an individual’s position, title, social status or the opinions of others to discourage them from engaging with them. Imagine if I had listened to my friend’s opinion about the Senior Lecturers, I probably would have doubted my capabilities to facilitate the training workshop.
If you are that individual who has dimmed your light and been so afraid to speak out and share all the potential that lies within you because you might have been intimidated by people's positions, titles, social status, educational background etc., I want to encourage you to remember the following tips next time you are about to introduce yourself, pitch your business offering, share a presentation or speech:
- Focus on your key message and make sure that you practice the delivery of your message.
- Be confident when you communicate your message. Make sure your posture is upright, you have good eye contact and you are dressed for success!
- Let go of any preconceived assumptions - do not judge people.
- Always remember that at the end of the day we are all human beings!
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Kefilwe Morobane is an award-winning Public Speaker, Communications Specialist and Social Entrepreneur. She is the founder and Managing Director of Giving Wings, a Communication Skills Training Company. Kefilwe holds a B Com Honours degree in Communication Management and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Communication Management from the University of Pretoria. She is passionate about developing effective communicators and has facilitated workshops for a wide range of reputable organisations, equipping professionals with the necessary tools to help them excel in the workplace. Kefilwe has been featured on numerous media platforms namely: 702, SABC News, Power FM, Kaya FM, ETV, DRUM Magazine, SA FM, Tshwane TV and many more.
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