What helped me become a sought-after speaker

The article's author Uchenna Ndubuisi

26th March 2021

After losing his self-esteem as a teenager, Uchenna Ndubuisi worked on his mindset towards stammering. Now a successful public speaker, he tells us how it's helped him achieve his ambitions.

I'm Uchenna and I'm from Nigeria. Since graduating in mechanical engineering at University, I've worked on several major engineering projects at Unilever. I'm also the Founder of LeadsUp Africa, a digital marketing brand.

I've also become involved in motivational speaking, and was invited to be a keynote speaker at a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation event, where I talked about leadership and entrepreneurship. I'm even a Fellow at YALI, a programme set up by Barrack Obama to provide leadership training and professional development for young people in West Africa.

Oh, and I stammer. 

I stammered a great deal as a child up to when I was a teenager. I was scared of expressing my ideas and approaching people for fear of being laughed at. One of my teachers at school didn't believe in me and talked down to me. As a result, I lost my self-esteem. 

Changing my mindset towards stammering was a deliberate process and has helped me lead a better life.

But I wanted to fight against that fear and change my mindset. I thought that if you can train your mind, you can change your life. I've always been passionate about wanting to help young people realise their full potential. So I decided that I wanted to be a public speaker. In this article I wanted to share the things that helped me on my journey to become one. 

A group of people on a bench looking at the camera
  1. For starters, when I starting working on my public speaking, before I replied to someone I was having a conversation with, I tried to say the words in my mind about three times before voicing them. I found this had a way of boosting my confidence. 
  2. I practised looking in the mirror at home while talking and expressing my thoughts. This helped me envision myself addressing people. This is a well-known public speaking tip and I still do it to this day.
  3. I joined a Toastmasters public speaking club a few years ago. I find it’s a supportive and encouraging environment and apart from the quality networks it provides, I get inspired to do more and be more.⠀

It can be a challenge, but I wanted to show that you can rise to it and become what you want to be. 

Becoming a motivational speaker has been a fulfilling experience for me. Everyone needs some sort of support — an encouraging word, a pat on the back; just an extra push to keep moving. I share my life experiences with my audience to motivate them to keep chasing their dreams. I believe as humans we can do more and achieve more by transforming our mindset. Changing my mindset towards stammering was a deliberate process and has helped me lead a better life.

This article is a form of encouragement for anyone trying to navigate life with a stammer. For those of you who stammer, or if you know a child or someone else who stammers, please understand that it’s not a disease. It can be a challenge, but I wanted to show that you can rise to it and become what you want to be. 

Read more inspiring stories from people who stammer at our Your Voice section. If you'd like to wrote your own, see our Share Your Story page to find out how.

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