As is the norm when a year draws to an end, I take stock of my biggest communication lessons.

In 2022, I was privileged to experience the following:

  • Lectures delivered to executive MBA participants at a globally ranked business school in Africa.
  • Seminars designed and delivered to corporate clients.
  • One-on-one communication coaching sessions with executives.
  • Coaching sessions to prep students for keynote speeches and industry report presentations.
  • Communication sessions in a pro bono programme for some of the brightest young professionals in the country.
  • Podcast appearances.
  • Interviews for a virtual career summit.

I interacted with Gen Z graduates, millennials, mid-level professionals, and executives. I facilitated sessions, had insightful discussions and sharpened my communication skills.

Despite the useful takeaways from the year, three simple communication lessons will make you unstoppable in 2023.

1) Authenticity connects and makes you memorable

I was invited on the ‘Big Ideas Big Moves Podcast’ hosted by the engaging Jamie Allison. Before the session, I hadn’t spoken to Jamie even though we were connected on LinkedIn and exchanged messages. Nevertheless, we hit it off. Jamie’s podcast format is to have a casual conversation that is not pre-recorded or scripted. So after some banter for a few minutes, he hit ‘record’ and our session became live. The session was thoroughly enjoyable and he asked thoughtful questions that deepened our conversation. He also invited me to share my thoughts on communication. We had a few laughs and tackled key takeaways, and I was comfortable sharing my insights as an African professional.

Watch the podcast session with Jamie below.

I was also invited to participate in my first virtual career summit: the Level-Up Your Career series hosted by April Mason. As one of the 21 speakers, I spoke on ‘levelling up’ with communication. I was also the only African in the speaker lineup. April ‘found’ me on LinkedIn and after a relaxing conversation, we finalised plans for my participation. Again, April was a gracious host and steered the conversation towards a rewarding exchange. I was able to bring my authentic experiences and outlook to make recommendations that would benefit the international audience.

In both appearances, my unique perspectives and authenticity made connecting with the hosts easier. My experiences as an African communications trainer, bestselling author, and coach opened the door for collaboration and interesting exchanges.

So this is what you should know:

Embrace your background, your story, and your unique value proposition. Be confident, but ensure you communicate in a simple, concise, and clear manner.

As you usher in 2023, be intentionally authentic. If you’re from a minority group, in particular, harness the power of being different, because being different makes you memorable.

2) Coaching sharpens your communication skills

I had the pleasure of coaching executives one-on-one on public speaking and business writing over a couple of months. Among the executives were a business owner, a regional manager overseeing international locations, and a professional aiming for a C-suite role. Two of them were also executive MBA students.

The executives had come to realise that their communication skills were hindering their career aspirations. Since they were all committed to either scaling up their business or ascending the career ladder, they knew they had to take action to move ahead.

As the coaching sessions progressed, the executives marvelled at the positive outcomes they experienced:

  • They listened more, thereby becoming more discerning.
  • They sharpened their critical reasoning skills.
  • They became more persuasive in their writing skills.
  • They became more confident in their speaking and presenting skills.
  • They developed greater clarity on steps they needed to take in their business or career.

One common thread in the different experiences was that they found communication coaching invaluable.

In the one-on-one discussions, I stressed the need for the executives to become disciplined in honing their communication skills beyond the coaching sessions. I set them tasks, requested feedback, and invited them to share their experiences.

Their efforts paid off.

Below are two of the executives’ accounts, which prove that communication coaching gets results:

Scenario 1

Executive T, a business owner concluding her executive MBA programme at a globally ranked business school in Africa, requested private coaching in business writing.

She runs a small consulting business with her spouse. Since the nature of the business warrants clear, persuasive writing, she wanted to improve her skills.

Towards the end of the four-month programme, Executive T excitedly shared some great news. Her writing skills helped secure a project extension worth 150% more than the previously agreed fee.

She explained that she had initially verbally agreed on the scope of a project with a client, and based on trust, she began the work. However, the client emailed her soon after and requested additional responsibilities at the same cost, which negated the agreement.

Executive T, who felt taken advantage of, considered cancelling the project altogether. However, after processing her emotions, she responded to the email where she concisely and clearly made her recommendations. She first politely reminded the client of the agreement. Then she advised that the project be delivered in stages to accommodate the client’s new requests, while also firmly listing the steps to be taken.

The client agreed to the new terms, which increased Executive T’s revenue by 150%.

When  I  asked  Executive T exactly what she wrote, she was kind to send me the email trail. From the email, it was clear that Executive T maintained a professional tone in her recommendations and provided a good rationale for her position.

In that case, the return on investment of the communication coaching program was concrete financial gains.

Executive T stated that in crafting that email, she remembered what we had discussed in the coaching sessions. She was also proud of her persuasive writing skills.

Scenario 2:

Executive J is a regional manager in his organisation overseeing multiple international locations. He joined a coaching programme on public speaking I was running.

As an executive MBA student, Executive J attended some of my lectures on business writing and crafting powerful emails. He explained that by making tweaks in his email, he was able to get a positive response quickly.

Read his account below and be inspired.

What’s the bottom line?

Get help to improve your communication skills if you want results. Specifically, join a communication coaching programme where you’d be held accountable for your actions and applauded for your progress.

Begin to research coaching programmes you can join in 2023 and challenge yourself to commit to the process.

Superb communication is your superpower.

Trust me on this.

3) Practice amplifies your delivery

Practice is underrated.

Now you might not dispute the usefulness of rehearsing and practising your pitch, presentation, or speech. But do you practise enough?

In Part IV of my Amazon bestselling communication blueprint Influence and Thrive, I interviewed six accomplished professionals, executives, and leaders. One of them, Robin Farmanfarmaian, is a US entrepreneur in the healthcare industry and a seasoned keynote speaker. At the time of the interview, she had done 140 speaking engagements in 13 countries. She stressed the importance of practising on page 223:

“The way I prepare for those really big talks with the huge audiences and the really respected people, like MDs, in the audience, is I practise…If it’s a 60-minute talk and it’s a really big audience, I would do it up to ten times. And if it’s, say a 30-minute talk, and core content that I already know really well, I’ll still do it five times all the way through—from start to finish. I make sure that I can practise it at least that many times in a row without messing anything up”.

Take Robin’s account seriously. Her impressive professional speaking experience should account for much.

I know firsthand how practice transforms my delivery. I practise multiple times before any workshop, seminar or training programme. And the more I practise delivering material I already know thoroughly, the more confident and flexible I become. Since I always prioritise audience engagement, being able to tweak, expand, or cut my content is critical to ensuring I connect with the audience.

But in 2022, I saw how practice transformed hesitant speakers into persuasive powerhouses. During the rehearsals for an MBA keynote competition, and later for the industry report presentations, I coached the speakers and challenged them on their content and delivery. Rehearsals and coaching sessions lasted hours, excluding the practice the MBA students needed to do independently. However, when I saw how the MBA students delivered the keynotes and the industry presentations during the events, I was blown away. The practice led to some brilliant performances.

When it comes to effective communication, whether it is speaking, pitching, or writing, realise something profound:

Practice begets confidence.

How many times should you practise? Practise as many times as it takes for you to effortlessly deliver your content in different ways—and have fun.

Practice separates the average from the exceptional. And in 2023, which camp would you rather be in?


The three simple communication lessons from 2022 are not earth-shattering. Yet, they affirm that excellent communication skills are not reserved for a selected few. They can be learned, and then amplified for impact.

Therefore, I urge you to set yourself up for success in 2023 by becoming intentional about improving your communication skills.

Reach out to me to help you on your journey. You’ve got options: from workshops, seminars, and training programmes to private coaching sessions.

Take action today because you cannot wish your communication problems away.

Do you need help with your communication skills?

I love working with ambitious professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.

You already know my approach, my credibility, and my experience. So kindly get in touch, and let’s explore how my transformational communication coaching and training services will catapult you to success in your career or business.

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N.B: First image is courtesy of Rosy via Pixabay. Videos are courtesy of YouTube. Email screenshots are courtesy of Lucille Ossai. Last image is courtesy of Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.

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