September 1, 2015 (09h00 – 10h00): Jacques de Villiers and Bonsai Shongwe were interviewed on Cliff Central by branding thought leader, Timothy Maurice Webster.
The subject was the Power of Public Speaking.
Can a speaker move an audience?
In one of his questions, Timothy was trying to figure out if there was a magic sauce that could move audiences en mass.
I think I put a damper on things when I made the statement that I believe only 10% of the audience would get the message and be moved to some kind of action. As a speaker, I believe that it is a bit of a Grail Quest to expect the majority of your audience to take action.
Both, Timothy and Bonsai challenged me on this. Bonsai going as far as saying that I thumb sucked that figure. He’s right of course. It was a thumb suck. To be charitable I would say it is closer to 20% of the audience that gets it. Both of them thought that the figure was a lot higher than that. So, maybe I’m just too humble and make more impact than I think or Timothy and Bonsai are living another reality.
Are you a master speaker, Jacques?
Timothy asked an interesting and difficult question to answer (for me at least). He asked, if there are beginner, intermediate and master speakers, where would Bonsai and I peg ourselves? Bonsai was emphatic, he classed himself as a master speaker. For me that is a difficult question to answer. It is probably my personality type, but I’m extremely hard on myself so I seldom think I’m a master at anything (even though outsiders praise me on some of the work I do). So, I gave this lame answer. “Uh, I would peg myself from intermediate going to master.” I don’t even know what a good answer would be. Maybe, “If you believe your own PR and think you’ve mastered something, then you’re not a master yet.”
So, if you’re a speaker and you’ve read this far, how do you know if you’re a master speaker? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comment section below.
Black and White
We then went to how we would pitch to different types of audiences. And, being South Africa it typically broke into two
audiences – black and white. And, we even discussed a Muslim audience. So, all political correctness went out the window and we went there. I was of the opinion that predominantly black audience are comfortable with a ‘preacher’ type of speaker who pushes a religious agenda. And, when speaking to a predominantly white audience, religion would be taboo. Finally, Bonsai agreed with something I said :-).
I’m not sure that the interview went where Timothy wanted it to go. But, since Cliff Central is #unscripted #uncensored and #unradio, he rolled with the punches really well. And, gave as good as he got.
If you know his work, you’ll know behind that persona, lies a massive intellect. He is the author of three books including, Soul to Sole and has too many projects on the go for me to mention here.
And, of course, oodles of charm. Timothy was kind enough to say this to me after the interview: “Thanks for making the interview memorable. This is why I wanted you.”
If you’d like to listen to the podcast you can find it here on Cliff Central.
* Photo (from left to right): Jacques de Villiers, Timothy Maurice Webster, Bonsai Shongwe and Rianette Leibowitz. I’m really fond of Rianette because she works for a non-profit with my friend Monique Strydom called Matla A Bana, a voice against child abuse. This is a cause that is really close to my heart. Some of you will remember that the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa collected R27 000 for the cause.