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Best Public Speakers: Studying Shamla Naidoo

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

We chose Shamla Naidoo for our "Best Public Speakers" list because of her calm, clear leadership communication style. Shamla Naidoo is an accomplished executive with experience managing hundreds of millions of dollars in budgets for large, globally distributed teams who support operations in 170 countries. As Managing Partner of IBM Global Security Services, Shamla is one of the most influential security executives among Fortune 50 companies. Her advice and thought leadership in strategy and execution is sought by governments, public institutions, and private companies. Her ability to communicate complex technical process into simpler, more understandable terms is highly regarded.

by Stephanie Bickel

The best public speakers event we reviewed was an interview conducted by Atul Vashistha: CEO/Founder of & Supply Wisdom from April 26, 2021 from Episode 9 of the CRO Wisdom: Sharing Wisdom of Risk Leaders series.

Shamla's greatest leadership communication skills:

  1. Vocal Presence: Shamla speaks with excellent pacing, using pauses and word highlighting to draw in the focus of her audience. She also uses good vocal variety which makes her more fun to listen to.

  2. Professional Style: Shamla has a relaxed, peaceful delivery style. Bringing calmness to your style helps increase the speed of trust.

  3. Visual Presence: Even though this is a remote, virtual interview format, Shamla wears a dark color and a structured collar that creates a polished look to support her strong leadership presence.

  4. Emotional Intelligence: She has great emotional connection to the ideas and topics of discussion, and the potential they have to support the efforts of others.

  5. Message Structure: Naidoo gives answers about complex security frameworks that are clear and easy to follow for her listeners.

What Shamla could do to improve her leadership communication skills:

  1. We would love to see Shamla to avoid using, “right?” at the end of her phrases.

  2. It would be great for the camera format to move back enough from each of the speakers so we could see any hand gestures used by them. Hand gestures support a speakers message and help build audience connection.

  3. Surprisingly, blurred background designed to avoid visual distractions can actually be a source of distraction.


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