Eight years ago, Kavitha Garla enrolled for a public-speaking programme in her hometown Bengaluru by Ian Faria recommended to her by her sister. A former corporate professional whose two sons were grown up, Kavitha had been going through a challenging patch in her life at the time, and the idea of a workshop called Pep Talk drew her in. It also changed her life.
“My whole life turned around when I discovered that I could be the creator of my life and not just a bystander. I moved myself from playing victim to being the heroine of my life,” says Kavitha, who ended up joining Ian in his venture.
Realising how important communication skills are to a person’s happiness and success, Kavitha signed on as business development head and trainer at Ian’s company Talk Temple, and has over the past few years, helped transform hundreds of lives through leadership training and mentoring.
“Our organisation believes that we are all born with infinite potential; we just need a catalyst to light the fire,” says Kavitha.
Born and raised in Bengaluru, Kavitha did her MBA from Clemson University, USA, and worked there as a marketing and public relations professional before returning to India, getting married and raising a family.
Now, over the past eight years of teaching communication skills at Talk Temple, Kavitha has interacted with corporates from entry level to CXOs, and has noted the biggest mistake people make about communication: “Most people believe that when they say something, the message is understood by all, but in reality the meaning of the message does not lie in what is said but in what is understood.”
She has also observed that the top qualities good speakers have are confidence, authenticity and passion. “First, you have to build your own self-esteem and confidence to know that you are equal and competent to take on anyone,” she says.
“Secondly, with globalisation today, it is important to improve one’s English speaking skills, especially grammar and word usage. And finally, in public speaking, less is more so you don’t have to have an extensive vocabulary and use complicated sentences – a crisp and simple message is far more effective.”
Having mentored hundreds of women, Kavitha says the most important factor that women need to work on is their self-esteem and self-belief. “If you know who you are and what you stand for, there is no stopping you in expressing yourself,” she says.
She adds: “You can use communication as a tool to not only express your ideas but also build your brand, and create a positive impact in the world.”
First published in eShe’s October 2019 issue