Amplio Academy Dominating the Stage Report

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Dominating The Stage

Click here to view pictures from the event.


On January 19, 2013, 20 men and women gathered at CADD Centre in Lagos, Nigeria ready to ‘Dominate the Stage’! The 7-hour public speaking training workshop targeted entrepreneurs, marketing and sales managers, communications professionals and public speakers. Although designed to provide personalized training through small numbers, it was a full house. Here’s what some participants said:


“Fantastic program!!! I have been touched and I am ready to act on what i have learnt today. The networking was great.”

~ Insurance Officer, Lagos

“It was so much fun being among you all. The training was an eye-opener, very thought provoking! Thanks so much”

~ Protocol & Liaison Officer, IITA, Ibadan

Participants registered to attend the workshop between December 15, 2013 and January 18, 2013 and upon registration were invited to fill out an initial public speaking self-assessment designed to test their strengths and weaknesses as speakers. The public speaking level of participants ranged from ‘I’ve got this’ to ‘Help me!’ on the Amplio Rate Yourself Scale. Some indicated that they never experienced stage fright, while for others, it was a given.


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The workshop began at 10:30am with a welcome by Mr. Ayo Owodunni, CEO of Amplio Academy, videos of great speakers and a public speaking-style introduction game by Folake Soetan, also of Amplio Academy. Participants were split into teams of 4 and asked to pick a team name, a product to sell and a cause to fight for.

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The first session  started with speaker, Ayo Owodunni addressing ‘How public speaking really works’ and ‘Self-Limiting Beliefs’, the biggest drawback for anyone engaging in public speaking.

“Most public speakers are lazy!” he said. “We often assume that during a speech, we speak and the audience listens and receives. But when you


factor in your choice of words and examples, your personal beliefs and prejudices, noise and distractions, your audience’s different learning styles, beliefs and state of mind, what started as a big, impactful message, may be filtered down to no more than a mere whisper.” He challenged participants to work hard to overcome the many obstacles to communication that exist during any given speech.

Using the example of tamed elephants held back only by a thin rope, Mr Owodunni exposed how difficult past experiences and challenges can create beliefs that hinder effective public speaking and presentation delivery. By learning that having the right tools, tips and tricks alone do not make a great public speaker, the participants began to appreciate the important effect of psychology and mind-set on their speaking abilities.



DSC_0962With that important foundation laid, the next stop was a teaching by Mr Oludare Akinlaja, Human Capacity Development Consultant and Principal Partner at NovoHub.

Mr Akinlaja spoke about ‘Capturing the heart of your audience’ where he shared the key points of establishing a connection with your audience, finding your style and sticking to what you know. His humour and candour undoubtedly captured the audience. 


The participants got a chance to practice these principles in an activity called ‘Sell your Cause’ anchored by Folake Soetan, where each team advocated for everything from Gender-based violence to Sickle Cell Anaemia. Opeyemi Awoyemi, CEO and co-Founder of, Nigeria’s largest jobs website, opened for his team, by introducing their cause and revealing shocking statistics about Sickle Cell Management in Nigeria. He then handed over to Ms Toyin Adesola, Founder of Sickle Cell Advocacy Management Initiative (SAMI) who by sharing her personal experience with the disease created a powerful connection that wasn’t broken even after the speech ended. Others explored various speaking styles, from raw passion to soft-spoken engagement, even a sing-along! Everyone learned what it takes to capture an audience.


Mr Owodunni followed with a speech on ‘Small Changes, Big Impact’, a strictly practical session on making small changes that would significantly improve their speaking effectiveness. By teaching participants the tips and tricks for managing stage fright, reading body language, importance of vocal variety and understanding your audience, Mr Owodunni set the ideal foundation for sales and marketing managers, public speakers and entrepreneurs to build their unique speaking skills set. With several participants indicating that they always experienced stage fright and some even visibly nervous at the workshop, this session boosted the confidence of many. Talking about reading body language, he said “speakers are always looking for some sort of feedback from our audience. What we don’t realise is that it’s always there. Are they leaning back or leaning forward? Shuffling their feet or crossing their arms? Gazing off into space? All these signs are your feedback!” Using videos and pictures for impact, he explained subtle meaning of body language signs and its application in all areas from high-level executive presentations to sales pitches.


DSC_0174Mr Dayo Israel, renowned international public speaker and global leader, delivered a speech on ‘Making Powerful, Memorable Speeches’. He thrilled the audience with powerful, memorable quotes from some of the greatest speakers of the past century including Martin Luther King and US President Barack Obama. With these examples, he shared the core principles of making any speech or presentation memorable including the use of catchy short phrases, alliterations and antitheses.

Lunch and networking followed suit and business cards were exchanged even faster than the food was eaten.

After lunch, Farai Gundan, media personality and CEO of Farai Media LLC, USA, joined the participants via teleconference to train in the art of ‘Mastering the Art of Impromptu’. Sharing her experiences on the red carpet interviewing A-list celebrities and as a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, Farai emphasised the importance of a well-utilised impromptu opportunity. She inspired participants to internalise the power of three when structuring an impromptu response and to become avid readers and collectors of stories, quotes and anecdotes. These form the bedrock of the best impromptu speeches.



Mr Steve Harris, Nigeria’s leading Life Strategist and CEO of EdgeEcution, followed with a unique yet deeply practical class on ‘Turning your public speaking into a business’. The powerful principles he shared turned out to be not only useful for aspiring professional speakers but for any entrepreneur. The importance of quality products, branding and the financial value of time were important take-away points for every participant. 


DSC_0247Next up, Mr Abiola ‘Champ’ Salami, author, speaker and CEO of Champions Service, talked about ‘Make the Sale, seal the deal!’ He shared innovative ways of improving your sales pitch for whatever you may be selling whether goods or services. For marketing managers in attendance, this speech proved to be the highlight.


Finally, Ayo Owodunni and Folake Soetan, Convener of the workshop closed the workshop with a few final words. “There is so much more we would love to do with you, but that might take another week! Thank you all for coming; you’ve been an incredible audience”. More networking followed while participants gave excellent reviews of the workshop through evaluation forms and video testimonials. 100% of all attendees recommend it to colleagues.




Here are a few more comments from participants:

“Thank you so much for such an enriching workshop! Your speakers were splendid and I enjoyed every moment spent there. The nuggets deposited in us are like arrows looking for the bull eyes and whenever the opportunity arises, I will certainly shoot.”

~ Senior Architect, Consultants Collaborative Partnership LLP

“It was a really great one, can’t stop talking about it! It will help me close more business deals because I will change my approach from a salesman to a specialist consultant””

~ Sales Consultant, CADD Centre

“I will deploy all I’ve learned about obstacles to sales. It confirmed my thinking that public speaking is my domain”

~ Sales Manager, Onward Paper Mill


Click here to view pictures from the seminar


dominating the stage II