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057 – The Ultimate Guide to Non-Profit Communication: Tips from Brenden Kumarasamy

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In today’s episode, we are joined by a very special guest, Brendan Kumarasamy, who’s the founder of MasterTalk!

Brendan is a communication coach who specializes in helping ambitious executives and entrepreneurs become the top 1% of communicators in their industry. He has made it his life’s mission to provide free access to communication tools for everyone in the world through his popular YouTube channel, also called MasterTalk.

With his expertise in communication and passion for teaching others, we are thrilled to have Brendan on our show to share his insights and tips for effective human communication in the non-profit space.

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Episode Transcription

David Pisarek: Welcome to the Non-profit Digital Success Podcast. I’m your host, David, and in this episode, we’re going to talk about all things about being human in your messaging with Brenden Kumarasamy.

Brenden is the founder of MasterTalk. He coaches ambitious executives and entrepreneurs to become top one-person sent communicators in their industry. He also has a popular YouTube channel called MasterTalk, with the goal of providing free access to communication tools for everyone in the world.

Thank you so much for joining in. Brenden, how are you doing today?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Very good, David. How about you? And thanks for having me.

David Pisarek: Yeah, I am doing great. Fellow Canadian here, Brenden is in Montreal, and I also hear you’re a little bit of a karaoke superstar. You can sing in eight languages. What is that about?

Brenden Kumarasamy: I mean, we could skip the superstar part, but definitely karaoke. Yeah, I can karaoke in eight different languages and speak three of them.

And yeah, when I was in college, my friend’s favorite hobby used to be doing karaoke, and that’s how I just learned all these different languages, because they would karaoke in, like, Mandarin and Cantonese and Hinthi, and I was like, “well, might as well figure these languages outside it”.

David Pisarek: So what’s your favorite song to sing?

Brenden Kumarasamy: That’s a tough one. That’s probably the hardest question to ask me today. Something around Drake, I would guess, or Justin Bieber. It’s between one or the other.

David Pisarek: Okay, awesome. So let’s jump in and talk about this. What do you mean by being human in your communications?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, absolutely, David.

So for me, “human and communication” just means empathy. And for me, the definition of empathy is to never speak to the person we are today, but rather the person we used to be.

And especially as non-profit leaders or the people listening to this podcast, we always have the most information about the cause that we’re solving for, about the problem that we’re trying to solve in the world, but the person who’s listening to our message has almost little or no context as to why the cost is important, why they should donate money, and why they should continue a long term relationship with you versus just being a one time donor or donating a birthday or donating a race.

So what does that mean in the context of human communication? It means asking powerful questions to the donor and figuring out what’s important to them and their needs and re-message the offer, and the service around the donation so that people feel gravitated towards your brand and what you stand for.

David Pisarek: I think that’s really key: understanding what it is that people are drawn to your organization about and really speaking to those points and understanding why they should care.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely.

David Pisarek: So when we talk about public speaking, a lot of people get butterflies in their stomachs or some stage fright. What’s the biggest challenge?

Brenden Kumarasamy: A lot of people, David, think it’s fear.

Truth is, I think there’s a challenge even greater than fear, and it is motivation.

Motivation because if we’re motivated enough to figure out how to speak, we’ll crush the fear, and we’ll figure out a way to make things happen. But if the motivation isn’t great enough, we don’t get the result that we’re looking for.

Now the next piece becomes: how do we get motivated?

And this is a question I always like to ask people, but I’ll phrase it a little bit differently. So the question is simply this: how would your life change if you were an exceptional communicator? Or rather: how would the world change if you become an exceptional communicator?

And I find a lot of the non-profit leaders (that I’ve coached and spent time with in my career) don’t spend nearly as much time on media, they don’t come on enough podcasts, and they don’t speak on enough stages. By reframing communication as a way to create impact rather than a means to an end, a chore, “oh my God, I have to do this, I have to get this done”, versus, “wait a second. If I become the best communicator in my space and my niche and the problem that I’m solving for, I could raise potentially millions, or tens of millions of dollars, for the cause that I’m trying to fight for”, and that’s really how we reframe our minds and get excited and motivated around the art of communication.

David Pisarek: Everybody in non-profits cares so much about what they’re doing, they’re exploding with energy about they want to do this, and they want to be the world’s best problem solver for whatever the challenges that they’re trying to solve. But getting out and actually talking about it in a way that resonates with a lot of people can be difficult.

Do you have any advice in terms of what people can do or how they should frame their messaging?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, David. So let’s start. The principle that I feel is some “good news” for people listening to this…

I always like to tell people that if you communicate 20% better than your competition, not 70% better, not 7000% better, 20% better, you will stand out 100% of the time.

Let me use an example with the Water crisis, Charity: water, which (I’m sure) is an organization you’ve talked a lot about on this podcast, is a gold standard in storytelling/messaging and really creating impact from a marketing perspective, but the other watered charities… You don’t really hear that often as much about them because the marketing from Charity: water is so strong that they stand out as a category of one.

The point that I want to drive is: they have the same budgets that we do, it’s just the way they allocate it. They’re not gajillionaires… I mean, now they’ve raised a lot of money, but when they started, definitely not!

What am I trying to say here, David, the three tips that I’m going to share today, which I call my “easy threes”, are three easy public speaking tips that don’t really require that much effort, but if you do them for a consistent period, you’ll stand up from the competition. So let’s go through them.

Let’s start with the most important one that I don’t see a lot of non-profit leaders do, and it’s so simple:

Make a list of your top ten donors.

The people who really support you financially, the people who donate things in kind, and ask yourself: when was the last time you sent them a video message? For 20 seconds, and from the CEO of the company. The CEO of the org, just saying, “Hey, David, really appreciate everything that you do for us. I hope your kids are doing well. I hope your family is doing well. (I’m assuming you have kids) I hope you’re having a wonderful week there.” The point is… I’ve probably donated to 50, or 20 charities in my lifetime, on a consistent basis, in probably a handful of them… No one sends me video messages! It’s so simple.

You could just get somebody from your staff to send a 32 seconds message, and if you do that for your top 100 donors, that’s how you really improve retention and not just have a one-time donor.

David Pisarek: And there’s lots of different software that you can use to make these videos. Everybody’s got one cell phone kicking around, so just a little selfie video for five, six, seven seconds and see what happens.

Challenge number one from today’s episode is: to shoot a little video and send it to four donors. Let’s start with that, something short, and simple, “Hey, it’s David from blah, blah, blah charity, would love to talk and connect. Thank you so much for your donation over the past year, here’s the impact”. We want to try to create some kind of emotional connection with people, so “let’s talk about what and where the money is being used”.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, I completely agree, and that’s the one step.

Once again, it’s not rocket science, David, but it’s that one step that no one else is willing to take. That’s what gets you the results, and I always tell people… A lot of people think I get business from podcasts, and I don’t. I really don’t.

The reason I get most of my business is through video messages. I just send video messages to existing clients, David, and 10% of them always go, “Wow, Brandon, you really made my day. There’s this VP I need to introduce you to”, and that’s really how we grow. So that’s number one: take action on the advice of everyone, and you’ll see those dollars really come in, and you can create a lot more impact with that money.

David Pisarek: Yes! And in a lot of the episodes, I talk about taking the first step. Nothing is going to happen if you sit in a boardroom, and talk with other VPs executives, your board of directors, the team that you manage, the coworkers that you have, and whatever level you’re at in the organization.

Nothing is going to happen if you just sit and meet, take the time, and spend five minutes… Well, not five minutes, you can do three videos in five minutes without any issues. The first one you’ll probably retake maybe four or five times because you’re going to stumble, and it’s going to be a little bit awkward… And after that, it’s about creating momentum.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely. Completely agree, David. This brings us to exercise number two.

Exercise number two is the questioning. We get asked questions all the time, David, on podcasts, on a show, at school, at work, and by donors… We always get asked questions. And when I started (guessing, probably a few years ago), I stuck. I was so bad at guesting on shows.

I remember some guy asked me this question (I had no idea how to answer it), and he said, “Where does the fear of communication come from?” I looked at him and I said, “I don’t know, man. Los Angeles, London? You tell me”, like, I had no idea. I was being reactive, like most of us are, instead of being proactive.

So here’s a strategy that worked really well: every single day for only five minutes, David, that’s all I ask, write down the answer to one question you think all donors will ask you, or somebody will ask you about your mission, your vision, your organization.

If you do that for only five minutes a day, every single day for a year, you’ll have answered 365 questions about the ORG, and you’ll be bulletproof so that when you have those opportunities on the podcast when you have those opportunities on a small stage in your local community or an even bigger one, you’ll be able to crush it.

David Pisarek: I love that idea. One of the things that we do for my agency (if you’re watching this video you’ll see it on the wall behind me), I have this board with a bunch of posted notes on it. We do a content accelerator where we sit down with our clients.

We do this with ourselves as well in terms of creating content for the entire year. But we sit down, and we spend an hour, an hour and a half, and we plot out the content for the entire year. It’s an amazing process. Grab a bunch of sticky notes if you want to use, I don’t know, word on your computer or whatever, just write down the questions.

No question is a stupid question, because if you’re thinking it, somebody else is probably thinking it.

Sit down and do this brainstorming. If you want to do an entire week at once and spend 15 minutes, go for it, it doesn’t really matter. I think one of the key takeaways from this, once you’ve got these questions, you need to share them with your team, so everybody is on board with the same kind of similar messaging and everybody can answer it in the same tone with the same answers.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Oh, yeah, I love that. I love that piece that you mentioned as well, David, about sharing those questions with your teammates, because that actually multiplies the effect of the exercise. It’s great that you’re already doing it, which is amazing because now a lot of people in the ORG know the answer to the question, and that’s really how you create the results. Multiple people can answer in a high-quality, professional way, except just the CEO.

David Pisarek: And that’s exactly it. You need to get the inside on side, so that everybody is talking about the same type of thing, and it’s really driving the message, the goal, the mission, and the values of your organization forward.

And you don’t have to do this alone. Chances are that you’ve got at least two or three other people working with you. Maybe you’ve got a volunteer or two or a student that’s working with you, have them sit with you while you’re doing this.

You don’t need to do it alone. Talk it out, and do a little bit of brainstorming. Even if it’s five minutes a day. Even if it’s two minutes a day. You can totally hammer this out.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Oh yeah, and speaking of volunteers, if I was the CEO of a non-profit, that’s what I would do. I’d get my volunteers because a lot of the time they’re usually doing something, but there’s always downtime.

So what I would have them do is, I would give them the list of some, let’s say low risk donors, so it’s not that big of an impact, and have them send video messages to those people to just say, “Hey, I just really appreciate what you’re doing and hope you’re having a wonderful day”, and that’s it. Simple.

David Pisarek: That’s solid, right? If you’re a non-profit or charity or if you’re a hospital or whatnot, and you have a physical facility, maybe a community center. Some of the questions could be: how do I get to this place? It doesn’t have to be necessarily about why you do what you do as an organization, it could be: where is money best needed to create the most impact?

There are all kinds of different questions that you can ask. Feel free to use that one as the first one, use that one tomorrow when you’re going to sit down and do this process.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, love that, David. This brings you to the final easy three.

The final one is the random word exercise. Pick a random word like “juice box”, “donor”, or “charity”, and create a random presentation on the spot.

And what I love about this exercise, David, is one: you could do this with your family, you could do this with people around you, you could do this at work. I have some people start a meeting at work with the random word exercise. But the other piece is why it’s so effective, and the reason is that, if you can make sense out of nonsense, you could make sense out of anything.

If you’re able to talk about mangoes for 60 seconds when you go back to your charity, well, the mission isn’t changing every week, hopefully, it’s the same one, then you’re able to pronounce, you’re able to articulate and communicate that vision more powerfully because you know it’s always going to stay the same.

David Pisarek: I love that. That’s such a creative way to start a meeting and just get people thinking a little bit differently.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely. And what’s great about all these exercises, let’s recap a little bit: the video message, the question drill, and the random word exercise. All these three exercises literally take 15 minutes a day combined, which means the question drill is five minutes for one question. In the random word exercise, you might do three in five minutes. And then the third exercise, the video message, three videos in five minutes.

As you said, that’s it, so the real ROI from this episode, David, is our people booking 15 minutes in their calendar tomorrow, next week (not next year, not next month or so), just go to the next episode on the podcast and booking that time every day, and this is what goes back to our principle that we talked about, David:

If you communicate 20% better than your competition, you will stand out 100% of the time.

And these three exercises… I guarantee you, if you do all three, I doubt anyone else is doing all of them on a consistent basis.

David Pisarek: Okay, so challenge number one was to make a video for, maybe, the four most recent donors. Maybe it’s four donors that haven’t donated in the last twelve months, do a little bit of outreach.

Connecting with the most recent ones might have a bigger impact in the long run. Connecting with ones that haven’t donated in a long time might have been better, like, “Let’s get some more donations right now”.

The messaging, in my opinion, shouldn’t be about, “Hey, make another donation”. It should be, “Hey, here’s how we’re helping the world, here’s what our impact is. Thank you so much for being a part of it”.

I think that’s the connection you want to have, not every message that you have with your audience should be about making a donation. I know that’s a little bit hard to hear, potentially, because as a non-profit, you need money to on-go, but you also need to bring people along with your journey and let them understand and know what it is that you’re doing and why you’re doing it. So that’s the first one.

The second challenge I want to issue everybody is: book 15 minutes, maybe even 10 minutes a day, just standing like 9:15 to 9:30 every morning, or 02:00 PM to 02:10 PM every day, block that off and work on this, and you are going to see results. I can almost guarantee you are going to see results within a month from this, and it’s really about persevering and challenging yourself and pushing yourself forward and having the guts really to do something and take some kind of action.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I love what you said towards the end there. All this exercise takes is a little bit of guts.

Do this, you’ll definitely get the results because you’ll start to see it. Your donors will message you and say, “Wow, David, this really made my day. I never get video messages. I just realized I haven’t donated, like in six months. Let me wire you a check for $1,000 and there you go”.

David Pisarek: It’s just going to feel so good.

When I started this podcast, I was like… I was super nervous. I don’t know if you could really tell in those first few episodes. It was just getting through it, building the momentum, getting more used to it over time, and it just all evens out. Kind of smooth ceiling at that point because everything just ties together, and it makes sense, and doing it over and over becomes more natural.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely.

David Pisarek: And it’s okay to show a little bit of mistake if you record a video, and you’re like, “Oh, hold on a second, I forgot that thought” and then you come back in. That’s the human piece, right? We’re not all robots. We’re not all perfect all the time, despite how much we want to be. That’s the reality of it, and it’s okay to show that.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I completely agree. It’s that humanity piece that’s so important in communication.

A lot of people think they need to be perfect on video, like, “I’m not perfect today”, there’s still a lot of work and a lot more things to go, but as long as we’re authentic in that messaging, that’s what really gets people excited. It’s about building those long-term relationships. You’re better off having a donor who donates $20 a month for the rest of his life versus saying, “Okay, I’ll just donate a few hundred bucks once and never talk to that ORG again.”

David Pisarek: And I love that word that you use, you said: “authentic”. That really is one of those words that every organization should be striving to achieve, which is authenticity. What you do, why you do it, your messaging, and everything.

So we’ve talked about these three daily habits that you’re talking about. Even as a business, these are great ideas that I could take back to my agency and do that.

It doesn’t really matter if you’re a non-profit or not, being out there and communicating and talking about what you do, why you do it, who you serve, et cetera could be used by anybody.

Moving on from that, when we talk about meetings or conferences, or maybe there’s a presentation that you’ve got with your board of directors or maybe a big donor… How can presentations be done better?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, David. So, here’s my recommendation… I call this the “jigsaw puzzle method”, so let’s do presentations first, and then I’m happy to talk about meetings as well.

So, what’s the puzzle method? Communication is like a jigsaw puzzle, Dave. You know, those toy puzzles we used to as kids? If I ask you, David, (it’s a simple question, don’t worry): if you’re working on a puzzle yourself, with your kids, or just yourself, which pieces would you start with first and why?

David Pisarek: For me, I like to start with finding a corner and then doing the edges correctly, I think that’s the solid method. If somebody wants to pick some random piece and work from the random middle somewhere, go for it, but that’s not my technique.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I love that. So why the corners and the edges?

David Pisarek: Because you know where it connects and where it aligns.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely correct. So it’s a simple question, and they’re easier to find in the box: We work away through the middle.

So why am I telling you this puzzle story? The reason is that, in communication, we do the opposite, unfortunately: we start in the middle first. We shove a bunch of things in our presentation, we get to the presentation, we ramble throughout the whole thing, and then the last slide just goes, “Uh, yeah, guys, thanks for the impact. And do you have any questions?” It’s terrible, it’s not great.

And by the way, I’ve jumped in on a couple of these meetings where the CEO of the charity is talking to high-net-worth donors, and it is just not really good.

Instead, what you want to do is:

you want to practice that presentation because that’s the most important presentation of the quarter. Let’s face it, it’s retaining the high-net-worth individuals who are donating the most money and keeping your Ops alive.

You should be presented as if your life was on the line because it does in some cases. I would say we got to apply a higher level of commitment to this.

The other piece is what I call the “jigsaw puzzle method”: Start by presenting the edges first. What does that mean? Your intro should be practiced 50 times.

Forget about the rest of the presentation, just practice the edges first: Do the intro until it’s perfect, then do the conclusion 50 times. What’s a great movie with a terrible ending? Terrible movie!

So, same thing with the close. What’s great about the strategy, David, is: 50 sounds like a big number… “Oh, my God. Brenden is telling me to do this 50 times”, but the truth is: your introduction is like 90 seconds! And so is your conclusion. So doing it 50 times with the intro will take you about an hour and a half. Same thing with the close. Then tackle the fiddle, and that’s really what you want to do.

And for non-profits (we’ll add this as a bonus tip), is when you start doing the content… I feel, a big mistake a lot of non-profit leaders make is: they only say “thank you” to the donors at the beginning of the presentation and at the end.

They say something like, “This wouldn’t have been possible without you. Now let’s get into the results”, and then they go on for 30 minutes, and at the end they like, “Thank you again for all of your support. Do you have any questions?” and I don’t think it’s the right way of approaching it, I think the best way to do this without getting too complicated today (because we’ve already given them a lot of homework) is:

to start incorporating the pictures of high-net-worth donors in the actual case studies of how you’re pitching the results of that quarter.

For example, let’s say somebody donated a six-figure check, and let’s say that’s the biggest donation in the charity’s history. You could say something like, “If it wasn’t for David, we wouldn’t have been able to build XYZ”. Well, obviously you ask permission from the donor for doing that, but the key is: when you add those case studies, they feel involved in the presentation, and they feel more like a team rather than somebody who’s writing a check.

David Pisarek: And if you don’t have a big check like that, think about it in terms of an impact report. What is it that you’re serving?

If you raised a million dollars last year, maybe there wasn’t a big check, maybe you had a few, like $5,000, and then you had an annual gala that you raised out on $200,000 or $300,000 from and then a bunch of other donations through the year and stuff like that.

You could talk about the actual tangible pieces versus, “Oh, yeah, in theory, we’re going to be building a school in Haiti or somewhere around the world to help with women and girls’ education”, let’s say. If you can actually tie the real impact that things are having, people are going to feel more responsible and have a better emotional connection with the work that you’re doing.

Brenden Kumarasamy: I completely agree.

David Pisarek: Awesome. Okay, so what about meetings?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Meetings. What I’ll say, David is three questions:

What’s the goal of the meeting? What’s my contribution to the meeting? And, how do I communicate my ideas in a way that inspires and adds value?

So let’s go through these questions again: number one, what’s the goal of the meeting? What you’ll find oftentimes (especially with my CEOs, non-profits, SVP, VP, like, higher-up) is, a lot of those situations, even if you’re a small non-profit (let’s say it’s you and a few other employees), you’ll find that the people that work for you, or rather work with you, will start pulling you into meetings that you shouldn’t actually need to be in.

So the first part is to ask yourself, as you look in your calendar every Sunday evening (as you get ready for the week), look at the meetings that you’ve been booked into and just go through each of them and just ask you, “what’s the goal of this meeting? What’s the goal of this meeting?” and you’ll find out very quickly that 10% of them (and I’m being conservative with that number), they actually have no goal, so you can cancel those meetings.

Question number two: what is my contribution in the meeting? So what does this mean? This means: the goal is clear. This meeting should actually be taking place.

But the other piece is: why am I in the meeting? What’s my contribution in the meeting? Till far with another 10% was (again, being conservative here), there’s probably another 10% where you’re like, “Yeah, this meeting is important, but I don’t need to be in the meeting because there’s no contribution for me to add here”, so you can cut out another 10%, and this brings us to the most important question, number three: with the meetings that we have left, how do I communicate my contribution, David, in a way that inspires and adds value?

And this is the big miss across the board. Why? Because a lot of people think that when they’re communicating their contribution, it should just be like, “Okay, hi everyone. So this is what…”, versus being thoughtful about that contribution and practicing a few times. And the example we gave was with the high-net-worth donors, where in that meeting… That’s the most important meeting of the month, the most important meeting of the quarter!

So we know our contribution is going to be super valuable to the ORG, their success, and the results that we’re delivering, so we’re going to book an extra hour to prepare for that specific meeting, but it won’t be the case for all of them, of course.

David Pisarek: Yeah, I love that. Some excellent takeaways there in terms of presenting and meetings. And I think one of the things that people struggle with, in terms of fear, is that they’re introverted coming out, talking, communicating, presenting.

Those are all public-facing types of presentations, and extroverts really kind of thrive on that. If you’re an introvert, do you have any quick tips on how people might be able to overcome that? Because there are times when everybody needs to get up and present, even if it’s a small team meeting.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, David. So here’s what I’ll say from experience:

Introverts are actually really good speakers.

They’re really good at communication. They just don’t understand what their strengths are. I’m an extra extrovert, as I always like to call myself. A lot of things that introverts get right, it took me years to master. So let’s go through those three things, number one is: listening.

Extroverts love to talk and talk and talk, so, we’re not listening. Introverts spend less time talking, they’ll naturally listen better and a message a lot more effectively to their audience. That’s number one.

Number two is: introverts are exceptional at pausing. Pausing is the most important tool in communication, where you pause to emphasize key parts of your message. But because introverts don’t talk that much, it’s very easy for them to pause whenever they’re in presentations because they’re already comfortable in silence. Whereas an extrovert, when we’re at a party, or specifically when I’m at a party, and I’m talking to someone, there’s a space I immediately want to fill up, “What’s your favorite color, David?”, and I’ve always tried to fill up the space of that conversation. Introverts don’t have that problem. Very easy for them to master pausing.

And finally, key strength number three, and this is not well known, is:

Introverts are actually a lot more accessible as communicators than extroverts are.

Example: let’s say we take Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary Vaynerchuk the CEO of VaynerMedia, is a very successful personal brand, and I have a lot of respect for him and his work, but he’s the type of speaker you either really love or you really don’t. There’s no in-between with his brand.

You’re never going to say, “I feel very indifferent towards Gary Vaynerchuk”, no, you pick a side pretty much. He alienates a lot of people, so you either love the guy like I do or you don’t, which is fine, but then you have somebody like Bernard Brown.

Here are words that have never been uttered rather or spoken of, David, in the history of humanity. I hate Bernard Brown. If you say that, the FBI will come and arrest you. And obviously, I love Bernie, and I love the work that she’s done, but the point I want to drive is: because she’s a bit more introverted, her message is actually more accessible to the people around you. So what’s the message? The message is: understand your strengths and triple down on them.

David Pisarek: I think that’s really great. You don’t necessarily need to be extroverted to have a solid message and to really communicate effectively, and I love your point that even if you’re introverted, you can still do this, right? You might feel a little bit more of those butterflies.

You might not be as comfortable, but the practicing… Record yourself, open up zoom, and just record yourself talking, and then delete it.

Don’t even watch it, just delete it, and then do that like two or three times. Just delete them.

And the fourth one: watch, and you’ll see how well you’ve actually spoken and how articulate you can be when you are presenting and talking about whatever that topic is. Pick something, like “juice boxes”, like you’ve mentioned before, Brenden, and just talk about that.

Talk about something like what is your favorite juice? Why do you love mango juice? And just talk about that, talk about anything, but just get used to the speaking.

At some point, you’re going to need to present. You’ll need to talk to somebody. You’ll need to communicate your ideas. You could be at a brainstorming meeting about what is the next event that our organization should have, and then maybe you’ve got a good idea that you’re feeling a little bit shy. That’s okay. It’s quite normal, I think, for people to kind of feel shy. You’ll have people that don’t, like our extra extrovert Brenden over here, but it’s important to make sure that you get your ideas out and that you’re contributing to the team and the efforts that your organization is doing.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely, man. And then the point I’ll add on top of it because I think what you said was excellent, is: all the three exercises we share at the beginning of this pod are: introvert-friendly. Look at that.

The exercise you can literally do on your own, you could do this with your family, too. If you got kids, if you’re an introverted parent listening to this, just do it, because you know what’s great about kids is they don’t even question the exercise, they just go “Mango? Yeah, mango is like a juice, and they just go for it”, and that’s really the key that inspires you to actually take action.

The question drill. You don’t even have to speak that out to anybody, it’s literally a piece of paper in front of you. Write down the answer or, on a Word document, and then if you want, you could use a voice recorder, answer it to yourself, and then do it the next day.

Video messages don’t even make the extras even easier. I love David’s point around, “Hey, send this to Ford owners”, but if you’re scared to even do that, send it to your family, your brother, your sister, the people that you really care about, that you love the most.

Because once you send those video messages, it helps you unlearn something really important: that communication is not a chore. It’s not about doing the dishes. That’s not what communication is. It’s about creating an impact. And trust me, when people receive that video message, it really makes their day.

I had a CEO once, I forced him to send a video message to every employee in his company, and he has, like, around 30, 40 people, and he didn’t want to do it, not because he hated his employees, but because he was shy about how he looked, and I forced him to do it, so he did. And the next day, he woke up to such inspiring words.

He’s like, “Oh, my God, I can’t believe to see how this company sent me a video message. That’s the opportunity that is available for all of us and costs a total of $0.00”, so, implemented.

David Pisarek: Yeah. It’s really just about setting aside a little bit of time, doing what I like to talk about is calendar blocking, putting it in your calendar and making it on repeat every day at this time, “You’re going to do this”, and creating a habit around it will allow you to build on the exercise and build the impact that it’s going to have and build your confidence in yourself to actually produce something that will create impact at some point somewhere with someone.

Brenden Kumarasamy: Completely agreed.

David Pisarek: So super, super insightful information. What I want to do is give you a second to talk about Master Talk. So what is this all about?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Yeah, for sure, David. So, MasterTalk, my mission when I started this was never meant to be a business.

I started making YouTube videos when I was in college, and the reason is that I felt that everything that I was sharing, especially for non-profit leaders who are getting started, who might not have raised some money, who are just getting started with their charities, they can’t really afford a coach, so I just said I should really make videos to help people, in general, get really good at communication.

That’s what really sparked the idea for Master Talk, is: how do we live in a world where everyone has access to free communication tools to master this tool and make themselves the best that they can be with their communication skills?

David Pisarek: That’s solid. So again, everybody that’s on YouTube, just go and look for Master Talk. We’re going to have a show notes page. We’ll talk about that in a minute or two, and we’ll link out to it for you. All right? MasterTalk, is an awesome resource, with some great tips, and a little bit of homework for anybody that really wants to create some kind of impact in their organization.

If anybody’s more interested in reading, are there any book recommendations that you have?

Brenden Kumarasamy: I’m sure you’ve recommended this book before because it’s a non-profit specific show, but it’s one I’ll double tap on: “Thirst” by Scott Harrison should be a mandatory read for every non-profit leader in this industry because if a guy who is in his 20s went from being a nightclub promoter in New York City to build the largest water charity in America, there’s something that all of us can learn from Scott’s journey and what he’s built with Charity: water.

The reason I recommend that book (because I recommend it outside of this industry, too) is that Scott is a masterful example of someone who has implemented everything that we’ve talked about today. Maybe the video messages I have to hit him a little bit on the head around that, but besides the video message piece, I would say Scott has masterfully used communication and storytelling to really build the charity that he’s built. That’s why I recommend everyone read it.

And there’s a great quote in the book that I would love to share. And the quote is simply this:

“The goal is not to live forever, but rather create something that will”

Really start thinking about or really start to think about how you can build what you’re doing right now for a bigger purpose and for a bigger audience.

David Pisarek: Thinking about the legacy of your organization… There are the people that you help, there’s the community of the people that you help, and there’s the organization itself. And how will that outlast you? Unfortunately, something COVID has certainly proven to everybody is that nobody lives forever.

If you really care about your organization, you need to build some kind of method into it to create an ongoing legacy that will help it last and outlive you. Maybe at some point, you want to retire, and maybe at some point, you want to start another charity about something else. You need other people to care about what you’re doing to continue to propel it forward.

Brenden, awesome insights. Some super stuff around communication and tools and techniques and some methods to improve your communications. I hope people listening to this episode have been able to take at least one piece of advice from this. Take one of the challenges, and I dare everybody, I dare you to actually do this tomorrow.

Take something that we’ve spoken about today and just make it happen. Again, one foot after another, you need to implement to actually make a change. If anybody wants to get in touch with you, what do they need to do?

Brenden Kumarasamy: Absolutely. It’s such a pleasure being on your show, by the way. Great stuff. So two ways to keep in touch.

The first one that we talked about is definitely MasterTalk. Just go on YouTube and you’ll find me there. You’ll have access to hundreds of free videos on how to communicate ideas effectively.

And the second way is to attend one of my free workshops. I do a live one every three weeks over Zoom. It’s a 90 minutes call, it’s fun, it’s not some boring webinar, and I facilitate it myself. So if you want to attend it, go to rockstarcommunicator.com.

David Pisarek: Thanks again so much, Brenden. It’s been great having you on the Non-profit Digital Success podcast.

To everybody listening, if you want any of the links or resources that Brenden and I were talking about today, just head over to our podcast page at nonprofitdigitalsuccess.com/podcast. Click on this episode for all the details.

And until next time, keep on being successful!

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