Daksh Sethi is the Founder of Guby Rogers, which caters to the needs of students and professionals seeking personal and career guidance. Having delivered 120+ hours of talks along with collaborating with over 45 prominent institutions pan-India, he has positively impacted the lives of more than 5,000 individuals from different fields and age groups. Daksh’s dedication to bringing about a positive change in the world, accompanied by his vibrant personality and a go-getter attitude, stimulates a long-lasting introspective mindest for the audience.
What is your approach to guiding individuals to help them understand and overcome problems affecting their educational or vocational situation?
Having a mentor — someone to keep you grounded and to guide you as you make decisions regarding your personal or professional life can be extremely beneficial. This individual should preferably not be a part of your family, but at the same time, should be willing to listen. I always advocate for finding the right mentor in my talks as well. They can advise you if you are headed in the right direction. Your friends need not know about him/her. Taking my example, I too have a mentor. We met at the gym; he is twice my age and a very senior professional at an MNC. I share my concerns with him, and we have a discussion. The clarity you achieve when someone else lays it out in front of you is priceless.
How do you ensure that the key information relayed in your talks is assimilated by the audience?
There are tactics to capture and retain audience attention, something similar to reverse psychology. You have them think about a subject matter and simultaneously listen to you. It’s all about setting the trap and modulating your voice to enable the audience to be receptive to the content of your speech. You also have to inject humor into your presentation and understand where the audience is coming from. I tend to talk to the audience beforehand in an informal manner to inspect their frame of mind. One can pep up a dull atmosphere that way. I would say that about 30-40% of the process is seizing their attention, and the rest is continuously evaluating their response to know if you should switch gears or not.
In what ways does the relationship between speaker and audience sustain you?
Every event has a theme or agenda associated with it around which the conversation revolves. The primary rule is to be a good listener — to make people comfortable and establish a rapport, you must listen to them, understand their perspective, be humorous (you can’t always be serious as a heart attack!), and hit the right frequency. You must also develop an understanding of their purpose. For instance, if an individual is representing an organization, you initially tend to ask a few questions about the particular organization. General awareness plays an important role here because if you know something about their organization and can connect the dots while conversing with them, it might impress them, and then you can build on that!
What is more important in public speaking — content or delivery, and why?
Content and delivery, both are equally important, or to be slightly more specific, it’s a ratio of 49 to 51. You must have a good understanding of the subject matter. Once you’ve done your homework, then it depends entirely on how you deliver. Delivery style develops naturally over a while. However, it requires effort, study, and in-depth knowledge of the topic at hand.
What motivated you to pursue public speaking as a career?
It all started while I was pursuing my undergrad at the University of Delhi. I was a part of various college societies; I was the president of the commerce society for two consecutive years, captain of the college cricket team, and the secretary of the Connecting Dreams Foundation. Whether or not I had a leadership role, I was interacting with people every day and was developing an understanding of basic human etiquette. These people were managing directors, executive directors, heads of HR of top companies. When you are in the same room as such people, even if you aren’t necessarily talking to them, you learn a lot. I am a gym freak, but working out requires a lot of discipline. So, all these things played a pivotal role in making me the person I am today. A month after my graduation, I had friends and juniors from various colleges request me to talk to their college society peers. I did not turn into a public speaker overnight. It was sometime later that I realized I could do this professionally because I was getting positive feedback. It is because of my hard work and my mentors’ encouragement that I can do what I do today.
What is the one topic that is really close to your heart while delivering speeches?
The youth makes up the majority of our country’s population today. We are going through a phase where technological advancements are driving the world, and the economy is behaving a certain way. People right now are equally vulnerable to negative and positive influences. Social media is one topic that is close to my heart. However, I always emphasize that one should use social media to impact people and not impress them. Nobody cares about how good you look in your photos, but if you can reshape a person’s life using social media, that’d be huge. That is the kind of value the youth of today can add to society. At the same time, it is essential to discern right from wrong. Social media wields the power to make or break someone with one viral post or one false allegation. Take Yashraj Mukhate, for instance. Thus, it is of utmost importance that one doesn’t believe in blind items just because they sound controversial.
What do you want your audiences to do differently as a result of having attended your talk?
I aim to imbue a feeling of self-analysis. After I’ve spoken, if an individual sits down to analyze his daily schedule and contemplate his decisions, then I’ve done my job. I am not there to tell you right from wrong; you have to figure that out for yourself. Giving a speech is primarily about identifying the right issues to talk about and making sense. I always try to encourage people to introspect. I want my readers and listeners to use their brains for their betterment.