Nomalanga Ndlovu: Your voice is your gold ticket

Nomalanga Ndlovu – well known as Miss Noma, was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She lived most of her childhood till her early adult years in Botswana where she obtained her Law degree from the University of Botswana.

She is a public speaking coach who is passionate about women empowerment and self-discovery.  As a Christian, her values are based on her beliefs.

Miss Noma loves to travel and meet different people. She is the founder of Outspoken Consulting, therefore, she enjoys learning about entrepreneurship.

Nomalanga has had notable experiences being part of the Mandela Washington Fellow 2017 and being a Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) fellow in Washington DC where she did her internship.

She is also a TEDx Speaker coach. 2018 was her second year taking up the role yet to occur in Pretoria December 2018.

If you’re interested in becoming a professional public speaker, you’ll learn one-too-many things from Miss Noma.


 Where did you get the passion for public speaking?

My journey to public speaking was inspired by her childhood which had memories of her being a backbencher. I was mostly a reserved child of low confidence and participation. Although, I would always envy the children who participated.

My literature teacher was the one who saw something in me and that was when I started making presentations. Since then, it has always been my mandate to help other people discover their voice and be able to sell their stories.

My passion to help comes from helping people creating first impressions that will create opportunities as she believes most people will miss out on the best opportunities based on how they present themselves. 

Tell us about your company – Outspoken Consulting

Outspoken Consulting was established in 2016, it is an organization that helps business executives and entrepreneurs to develop their ideas for presentation, customer care, and selling of brands as individuals as well as organizations.

We realized a lot of business entrepreneurs and executives have great ideas however when it is time to present the idea there won’t be much focus on the customer.

The sales or marketing teams at most times could not have received training on how to engage and speak with the client. We help individuals and companies:

  1. Package themselves and their product.
  2. Understand the clients they have and how to speak to them.
  3. Take their business to the next level in terms of communication.
Speaking isn’t only about opening your mouth, it is about selling an experience -@MsNomalanga Click To Tweet

Outspoken Consulting also has a program that is being launched in 2019 that is called the Outspoken Girls Initiative that will focus on high school girls to help them discover themselves and focus on their futures.

There will be successful and experienced business women that will be mentoring them and also engaging with them one on one so that they can have an idea of what is happening out there in the real world.

Outspoken Consulting goes beyond consultation work, it also has Outspoken women, which is a platform for women to network, collaborate in events. It simply offers a platform for people to meet and network and sets a tone that there is no limit in who you are and what you can do.

As a result, I’ve collaborated with various companies in Harare, Zimbabwe.

 

What strategies have you developed to help entrepreneurs develop and deliver rich presentations?

The main strategies are first to discover who the clients are (business executives/ entrepreneurs /individuals), through the YOU experience.

Knowing who these parties are as individual’s makes it easier to now prepare and sell their brand. We help clients sell their experiences. Also, we look a lot at relevance, when it comes to the product and the audience.”

How can one develop and manage their personal brand through speaking?

The most important aspect in developing a personal brand as a speaker is that one has to be very clear. You’ve got to address the following questions:

  • What is your topic?
  • Who are you speaking to?
  • What is your experience?
  • Why should they listen to you?
  • What platforms have you spoken at?
  • What have you done, where have you gone to?

“As you develop your personal brand as a speaker, find a topic or subject, stick to it and do not speak on things that you do not know”.

As you are building a personal brand, you are building perception, and perception is reality. The more you speak on a certain topic or subject, the more it settles with the external people that you are an expert in that certain field, it results in more research and speaking on different platforms.

Put yourself out there, in this era of social media, make use of platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook etc., those are platforms where one can start to grow from.

It is not about waiting to be invited to speak on large platforms, it is about making yourself known and sticking to the topic or subject you want to be heard on.

“Attend networking a lot of events and continuously look for opportunities.”

As a public speaker, your main strategies are should be to discover who the clients are through the YOU experience -@MsNomalanga Click To Tweet

Can people have a career in speaking?

“Yes, people can. Speaking works differently in different countries, you can have speakers like Tonny Robins and Simon Sinek.

These speakers are encouraging and motivating people, it’s working for them because of how they have branded themselves and how much value they have put in people’s lives.”

“The most important aspect is HOW MUCH VALUE YOU ARE ADDING IN SOMEONE’S LIFE.

I believe anyone can have a career in speaking as long as it adds value, the value added is the one that will translate into the monetary aspect that one is living on.

Speaking is a career that can be penetrated but one needs to be strategic about it, which goes back to the issue of topic and value addition to your targeted audience.

Anyone can have a public speaking career, as long as it adds value - @MsNomalanga Click To Tweet

What are your recommended steps to creating a winning presentation?

While making a presentation, one always has to ask the organizers whether they want you to make a keynote speech or a presentation on a particular product or topic.

Some questions to ask the organizers are:

  1. What do you want me to speak about?
  2. Who am I speaking to?
  3. What value does the organizer want a speaker to add to the audience?

The kind of presentations made for business executives and high school children are totally different. even female entrepreneurs, it might be the same product but the audience is different hence should be fine-tuned accordingly.

Ask yourself: What kind of impact and what kind of story can I tell in my speech?

It is vital to understand who you are speaking to, why they are listening to you. What do you want your audience to learn and from there it is about what you want the audience to do with the knowledge shared, we call that a CALL TO ACTION!

Your speech or presentation has to have an objective the people have to do something after, the speech is not about the presenter, but about the audience listening.

Prominent people like Oprah Winfrey and Barrack Obama have given speeches on platforms such as goal cast.  What sets them apart from others is their ability to connect so well with the audience.

They listen to the audience instead of themselves.

Most speeches get very boring because speakers have not tailor-made their speeches to for the respective audience.

What blunders do people make when pitching an idea or giving a presentation?

  1. Failing to understand/have the objective of the pitch. You have to come down to the level of your audience (client/business investor).

What is the objective of the pitch? If you fail to understand this, you will get it all wrong. For example, you are a scientist and are pitching to potential investors, if you pitch as the scientist, you will use jagon that business people will fail to understand.

  1. Not having visuals when giving a pitch. E.g Images, gifs etc
  2. Not knowing your numbers
  3. Not selling yourself enough. People should use stories as they are hard to forget, they connect us.

Don’t make things so technical.


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Kiba Bam: I am fulfilling my passion of empowering young people to unleash their potential

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Kiba Bam: When l started l had limited technology and resources but l was a woman on a mission. Click To Tweet

The size of Africa’s hair market is just mind- blowing. The demand for human hair is increasing by the day and  from this we have seen the increase in the supply of this contemporary ‘ladies’ essential’. We have with us CEO of HAIREXPRESS Premium, Kiba Bam sharing her entrepreneurial experience.

Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, Kiba’s heart of entrepreneurship was kindled at the age of 9 when she was working in her parent’s shop. This exposure forced her to think on her feet and be mature enough to handle the business’ finances.

The young lady then moved to Johannesburg to study Clothing Management and from then she was in the retail industry for 9 years. From learning the dynamics of the industry Kiba had sparks of interest to tap into the undiscovered potential in beauty retail. This led to the birthing of  her human hair distributing retailer and custom wig making company.


When did you “charter” HAIREXPRESS?

HAIREXPRESS premium opened for its first day of business in August 2015. I started the business by myself in my parents’ house, working from my bedroom. The business retails human hair bundles, custom makes wigs and is a distributor to salons.

When I started I had very limited technology and resources but I was a woman on a mission. Results and progress is all I cared about. I started the company because this was a dream God gave to me. l believe I started at the right time because everything was just flowing and HAIREXPRESS came together.

Initially, I never had funds to start the business but as I said things just worked out for good. I got pregnant and the company l was working for in Joburg started retrenching staff. I was due to give birth to my daughter and decided it would be done in Cape Town where my family is.

In the midst of my maternity leave I got a call to say l was getting laid off. Funny enough there was no panic in my spirit because consciously I did not intend to go back to Johannesburg. This call then meant I would get a retrenchment package of R50k, it came and l  invested part of this money into buying my first stock. The rest is history as they say.

What successful ideas have you implemented to boost your business?

Re-working my marketing plan was the best thing I could have done for the brand. As we know without customers there is no business. We went for a total brand revamp. Before I explain what we did, I want to share why we did it.

The reason was we identified our niche target market and we also studied our competitors closely and capitalized on their weaknesses. It’s not enough to have just good hair. We created a lifestyle around the brand. We wanted our clients to desire to be identified with the brand, for it to be a personal thing for them. To love the hair and the woman behind the brand.

Since we have taken this leap clients have been rolling in and we are being noticed by a few media houses for interviews which is great. So publicity tick, customers tick.

Re-working my marketing plan was the best thing I could have done for the brand Click To Tweet

Based on your experience, is it better to cut staff or use less expensive products to reduce salon costs?

The best is to possibly reduce the hours of staff but not cut on staff as your people are an asset to the business. The pleasant thing about our business is that the staff rent for space from our premises so it’s a win-win situation. Bringing in labour when it’s most needed and having contractual staff instead of permanent staff.

I don’t have the opportunity to use less expensive products because I sell and distribute a premium product. My brand is everything. My integrity is all I have in the industry and I can allow bad publicity over bad quality. It’s not the HAIREXPRESS premium way.

kiba bam hairexpress

How do you think your start-up story will motivate other African women out there to start their own business?

It will motivate them because I honestly started something from nothing. We have a very clever God! All He requires from you is willingness. I was willing and hungry to be the CEO of my own multi-national. I’m not there yet but I started and now I’m working my plan.

My strategy is in motion. I want to motivate other woman and say money should not stop you from starting because I didn’t have money. I got retrenched at my old office job. Things worked out, they always do. Endure the beginning stages. They are painful but well worth seeing the growth and change.

Money didn't stop Kiba Bam from launching HAIREXPRESS premium @kibabam Click To Tweet

Women need to forget about the noise and focus on their purpose in life. Being the It girl, best dressed, wife to a rich guy is not an achievement. If that’s what you want then great, own it but what I know is we all have dreams given to us by God. Take a leap and just try and try everyday to move closer to the dream. Women need to understand that they are natural born leaders. We are naturally organized and think things through. We always have a plan A- Z. That already is the mind of an entrepreneur.

What is the best thing about being an entrepreneur?

Being able to transfer your knowledge to other young entrepreneurs and colleagues in the entrepreneurial space. This is a long road that needs focus and determination. The best thing about the journey for me is to see the strategy coming together. I started alone and now I have a very savvy smart business manager who is part of the team.

The business is growing and people are inquisitive about the brand. We are so grateful. It’s also so rewarding to see people buy into the idea and business of HAIREXPRESS. Clients referring other clients, people recognizing the brand and being clear of what we do. Of course the financial reward in the long run will be the utmost best reward.

Where do you want Hair express to be by the end of the year and how do you plan on getting there?

By the end of the year our loan will be approved (March 2017) and we will move into our headquarters (May 2017).

At our HQ, the front of house will be the hair salon with hair dressers, nail technicians and make up artists renting space from us. The back of shop will be the wholesale and distribution center for our salon clients where they will be able to restock for their salons.

kiba bam hairexpress 2Apart from human hair industry being monopolized by the Chinese, what other challenges do you face?

Having constant availability for my clients with stock is a major issue. The turn around time for stock is 10-14 working days per order. I have every intention of changing that, my clients want hair and when they want it they want it now with no delay. So the wholesale and DC will eliminate that problem immediately.

The other problem l faced was separating myself from the competition taking a step back and studying what’s “really” happening in the market and acting on the information collected. Women love convenience and don’t like to change their suppliers. If you are not consistent in your ways with clients they will go elsewhere, and that has been a major challenge.

Women love convenience and they don't want a change of suppliers @kibabam Click To Tweet

Apart from being CEO of HAIREXPRESS what else do you do?

My purpose and vision as an individual which also translates into my business is to change lives. Also, I mentor young people industry professionals to unleash their inner potential. I mentor young professionals through personal one on one meetings and group empowerment sessions.

I am fulfilling my passion of empowering young people to unleash their potential also through public speaking engagements at schools and events.

Fun question! What would you do if you didn’t have to work?

I literally would go shopping everyday for myself and my daughter . Everyday in South Africa and once a month on 5th Ave, Harrods and Selfridges. In the past couple of years, the budget has been tight because my money is being invested in my business 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. So I would go shopping  EVERYDAY till I get bored of it.

Then would go do my nails and facials every other week. Have a personal Pilates trainer come to my mansion. Then off I go once every two weeks to do body sculpting non invasive surgeries on my stomach and hip area 🤣🤣🤣🤣.

I’ll also go for a boob job (breastfeeding is real out here lol) and do lunch with whomever is available from among my friends. And before I forget travel travel travel. Build a house in Camps Bay, Franschoek, Hyde park and Braynston, buy an apartment at the Marina V&A Waterfront (to live in), go apartment shopping in NYC, Paris and London.

Oh and of course I’ll be driven everywhere in my Rolls Royce. So basically, I’ll look super hot with perfect skin and be body goals for many. I’ll be super on trend everyday and live my dream life. I’ll also speak every other day, give me a golden mic and fill up a stadium and speak to inspire others.


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4 ways to overcome your fear of public speaking

public speaking shehive new york
Feel the world is crumbling around you when you speak in public? It's time to overcome your fear Click To Tweet

When it comes to public speaking, we’re all different. For some people, it can come easily, and for others, it can feel as if the world is crumbling down. Especially when you’re trying to speak without sounding like you don’t know what you’re talking about.

It’s frustrating. But keeping quiet and not practising will not make it better. This can be in the workplace, in school, even in social settings.

Is the right time to get exposed to it? A good starting point would be these observations I’ve made over the past few years:

1. Set a target for networking events and conferences

It’s very easy to go to networking events and decide to only speak to one person before the event starts. One lesson I learnt was to go to an event with the intention of having spoken to three other people.

Speaking to more than one person helps you deal with different kinds of people. It also helps you learn how people react to you speaking, and in learning how to interpret people’s body language.

Speaking to more than one person helps you deal with different kinds of people Click To Tweet

Learning someone’s body language will help in determining in whether or not they’re interested in what you’re saying. People become disinterested during conversations therefore the more networking events you attend or more people outside your circle you interact with, the more you learn to be able to turn the conversation around.

Even though this isn’t public speaking, learning to read people’s body language in a smaller setting can feed into how you interpret people’s interests and attention span in larger crowds.

obama-public-speaking2. Join Toastmasters

One of the best pieces of advice received a few months ago was to join Toastmasters to help overcome my fear of public speaking. This was, and still is a daunting idea.

Firstly, it requires that you actually speak in front of people you wouldn’t initially know. But this is a great way to learn, and also a good step towards overcoming your fear.

You could also bypass attending the networking events, because joining a Toastmaster’s club helps you get right into speaking in front of people. But it’s important to take baby steps and move at your own pace.

It becomes second nature to you the more you are acquainted with people and the art of public speaking.

3. Volunteer to facilitate meetings and workshops

If you’re in corporate and can get the chance and experience to facilitate a meeting or workshop, then volunteer to do so.

One of the best, and most challenging aspect about this is that you’ll find that you’ll be speaking to different people at different meetings or workshops.

This is where studying the body language and possibly joining a Toastmaster’s club will come in handy.

It's important to keep calm and take a few pauses to get over your fear of public speaking Click To Tweet

4. Prepare yourself and keep calm

Prepare yourself and keep calm before any public speaking that you do. Especially when you’re still in the beginning stages of trying to overcome your fear of speaking in public.

cookie-sigh gif

Write a few notes to keep yourself on track and keep these with you during public speaking. But it’s also important to keep calm, take a few pauses in between.

Taking those few pauses will help you process whether or not you have been speaking too fast. The audience will also receive your message clearly when you speak calmly.

 

5 proven ways to improve your personal brand

lolafola

What exactly is a personal brand? There is no official definition but it’s artful combination of your expertise, talents and skills as well as the platforms that you use to present these. Many people focus only on their personal brand when they’re looking for a job, but the work doesn’t stop there. As a young professional, you can continue to find new opportunities and establish yourself in the job market by keeping your personal brand updated, fresh and in front of the right people.

Whether you are in your first job after youth service or a brand new entrepreneur looking to establish credibility in the market, below are 5 things you can do today to build and sustain your personal brand.

1. Define your brand

lovefolaWhat do you want to be known for? Are there certain attributes that you want to be linked to? What is your area of expertise? What are you passionate about? Once you establish this, you will be able to clearly define your brand. Be specific.

Choosing a general subject matter like “lifestyle” will not make you stand out of the crowd. According to Inc. Magazine, with a niche focus, you’ll have more opportunities to prove you know what you’re talking about. While your potential audience might be slightly smaller, it will also be that much more relevant.

2. Social media presence

lovefola

Social media platforms are great tools for promoting your personal brand. Make sure that the content on your profiles is consistent across the board and aligns with your brand. Flesh out your LinkedIn profile. Contribute to conversations on Twitter. Delete or untag yourself from questionable pictures on Facebook. Post regular updates about issues you care about on all three. Be careful about the images and videos you upload to Instagram. Remember that all the content you post online contributes to your personal brand.

3. Write

lovefola

Take advantage of writing opportunities. This allows you to not only share your knowledge but also establish yourself as an expert in your field. You can start by guest blogging for blogs that you admire. If you want to write more frequently, you can start your own blog or create a personal website. An added advantage of having your own website is that it increases the rank for your name on search engines. You can also reach out to newspapers and magazines, and write opinion articles to be published in them.

4. Network

lovefolaNetworking is important in building and growing your personal brand. Engage with other people in your industry both online and offline. Participate in online professional discussions and forums. Attend networking events and be ready to make connections with, share and learn from the people you meet. According to Forbes, your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands. Find and leverage strong brands that can elevate your own personal brand.

5. Speaking engagements

lovefolaSpeaking at different events gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and meet new people. It also builds a rapport and trust with your audience. This will allow you to not only communicate effectively with them but also to grow your network. Interacting with people this way differentiates you from your competition and increases your credibility.

Cultivating your personal brand is not an overnight task. Like everything else, it takes patience, perseverance, proactivity and a lot of time. Don’t just limit your personal branding to online tools like LinkedIn and your website. Get out into the world and find opportunities to keep growing and connecting via media interviews, networking events and conferences.

Happy branding!

Images of and from Folashade Adeoso. Follow her here and here.