The Making of a Keynote Prodigy: The Sancy Suraj Story
Sancy Suraj is a renowned keynote speaker, memory athlete, and trainer, who has earned worldwide recognition for his exceptional memory feats and dedication to helping others unlock their memory potential. He is the CEO of Knowles Training Institute, The Umonics Method, and Pinnacle Minds and has taught over 10,000 people worldwide. With one world Guinness world record for the longest color sequence memorized and six Singapore book of records, all in memorization feats, Suraj is no doubt a force to be reckoned with in the world of public speaking.
As a magazine that specializes in interviewing keynote speakers, we were excited to sit down with Suraj and learn more about his journey and the secrets to his success. In this article, we will delve into his early experiences with public speaking, his process of creating and delivering a keynote speech, and his strategies for engaging audiences. We will also discuss his notable collaborations and partnerships, as well as his advice for aspiring keynote speakers.
In the interview, Suraj shared how he developed his skills as a speaker through his passion for memory and his love for sharing his knowledge with others. He talked about his early experiences with public speaking, which were largely focused on memory competitions and training sessions. Suraj emphasized the importance of being authentic and speaking from the heart, as well as the need for constant practice and preparation.
Can you tell us about your early experiences with public speaking and how you developed your skills as a speaker?
Certainly. I have always been interested in communication and the art of persuasion, and my early experiences with public speaking helped to shape my passion for the craft. In fact, my first experience with public speaking came when I was just 10 years old, when I delivered a speech at my school’s annual day celebration. Although I was nervous at first, I quickly realized that I loved the feeling of connecting with an audience and sharing my message with others.
Over the years, I continued to develop my skills as a speaker by participating in debates, speech contests, and other events. I found that the more I practiced and prepared, the more confident and effective I became as a speaker. As I entered college and began to study memory and training in more depth, I realized that I had a unique perspective to share with the world, and I began speaking at events and conducting workshops on these topics.
To further hone my skills as a speaker, I sought out training and coaching from some of the best speakers in the industry. I attended workshops and seminars, observed other speakers, and practiced my delivery until I was comfortable and confident on stage. I also took every opportunity to speak at events, even if they were small or informal, in order to gain more experience and develop my skills.
Through all of these experiences, I learned the importance of connecting with your audience, delivering a clear and compelling message, and maintaining confidence and poise on stage. I continue to refine my skills as a speaker to this day, constantly seeking out new challenges and opportunities to share my message with the world.
What inspired you to pursue a career as a keynote speaker, and what were some of the biggest challenges you faced early on?
As someone who has always been passionate about communication and teaching, pursuing a career as a keynote speaker was a natural fit for me. I was inspired by the idea of sharing my knowledge and expertise with others, and helping people to achieve their full potential. I also saw the impact that great speakers could have on their audiences, and I wanted to be a part of that.
One of the biggest challenges I faced early on in my career as a keynote speaker was simply finding opportunities to speak. As a relatively unknown speaker, I had to work hard to get my foot in the door and establish myself in the industry. I reached out to event organizers, networked with other speakers, and made myself available for speaking engagements whenever possible.
Another challenge was developing my own unique voice and style as a speaker. It can be tempting to try to emulate other successful speakers, but I quickly learned that the key to success was being true to myself and my own message. I worked hard to develop a speaking style that was authentic, engaging, and tailored to my audience.
Of course, like any career, there were also challenges in terms of building a business and generating income. It took time to establish myself as a trusted and respected speaker, and I had to be patient and persistent in order to build my reputation and my client base. However, I believe that my passion for the work and my commitment to excellence helped me to overcome these challenges and achieve success in the long run.
How do you approach the process of creating and delivering a keynote speech? What steps do you take to ensure that your message resonates with your audience?
As someone who is passionate about delivering impactful and memorable keynote speeches, I approach the process of creating and delivering a speech with a great deal of care and preparation. To ensure that my message resonates with my audience, I follow a few key steps.
First, I do my research. Before I even begin writing my speech, I spend time getting to know my audience and understanding their needs and interests. I consider their age, industry, and any relevant trends or issues that are top of mind for them. This helps me to craft a message that is relevant, relatable, and meaningful to them.
Next, I focus on creating a compelling narrative. I believe that stories are one of the most powerful tools we have for communicating ideas and inspiring action. So, I try to weave stories and anecdotes throughout my speech to help illustrate my points and keep my audience engaged.
I also work on my delivery. I pay close attention to my tone, pace, and body language, and practice my speech multiple times to ensure that I am comfortable with the material and able to deliver it confidently and authentically.
Finally, I always leave room for interaction and engagement with my audience. Whether it’s through asking questions, facilitating a discussion, or encouraging audience members to share their own experiences, I believe that the most impactful speeches are those that create a dialogue between the speaker and the audience.
By following these steps and putting in the time and effort to prepare and practice, I am able to deliver keynote speeches that are engaging, informative, and memorable for my audiences.
“A great keynote speech is not just about delivering a message, but about creating a shared experience with your audience. By understanding their needs and interests, crafting a compelling narrative, and fostering interaction, you can create a powerful connection that leaves a lasting impact.”
Can you share any particularly memorable or impactful speeches that you’ve given in the past? What made these speeches stand out for you?
As a keynote speaker, I have had the privilege of delivering many impactful speeches over the years. However, there are a few that stand out to me as particularly memorable.
One speech that I will always remember was a talk that I gave at a corporate event focused on leadership development. The audience was made up of senior executives from a wide range of industries, and I was tasked with delivering a message that would inspire them to become better leaders. To do this, I focused on the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence in leadership, and shared a number of personal anecdotes and stories to illustrate my points. The feedback that I received from the audience was overwhelmingly positive, and many people told me afterwards that they felt truly inspired to become better leaders as a result of my speech.
Another speech that stands out to me was a talk that I gave at a youth conference. The audience was made up of high school students from diverse backgrounds, and I was tasked with delivering a message that would inspire them to pursue their dreams and overcome the challenges that they were facing. To do this, I shared a number of personal stories about my own struggles and successes, and encouraged the students to believe in themselves and to never give up on their dreams. The feedback that I received from the audience was incredibly positive, and many students told me afterwards that they felt truly inspired and motivated to pursue their passions.
Overall, what made these speeches stand out for me was the impact that they had on the audience. In both cases, I felt that I was able to connect with my audience on a deep and meaningful level, and to inspire them to take action in their own lives. To me, there is no greater reward as a keynote speaker than to know that you have had a positive impact on the lives of your audience members.
How do you stay up-to-date with current events and trends in your field, and how do you incorporate these insights into your speeches?
As a keynote speaker, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with current events and trends in my field, as this helps me to ensure that my speeches are relevant, timely, and informative for my audiences. To do this, I use a variety of strategies to keep myself informed and engaged with the latest developments in my industry.
One of the main ways that I stay up-to-date is by reading widely and regularly. I subscribe to a number of industry publications and newsletters, and I make a point of setting aside time each week to read through these and stay informed about the latest trends, news, and insights. I also make a point of following thought leaders and experts in my field on social media, as this helps me to stay engaged with ongoing conversations and debates.
Another way that I stay up-to-date is by attending industry events and conferences. This gives me the opportunity to connect with other professionals in my field, learn about the latest developments and trends, and gather new ideas and insights that I can incorporate into my speeches. I also make a point of attending workshops and training sessions, as this helps me to develop new skills and stay on top of emerging trends and best practices.
Finally, I stay up-to-date by engaging with my audiences directly. Whenever I deliver a speech, I make a point of asking for feedback and insights from my audience members, as this helps me to understand their needs and interests and tailor my future speeches accordingly. I also make a point of connecting with my audience members on social media and other platforms, as this helps me to stay engaged with ongoing conversations and to continue to learn from their insights and perspectives.
By using these strategies and staying engaged with the latest developments and trends in my industry, I am able to ensure that my speeches are informative, relevant, and impactful for my audiences.
“Staying up-to-date with current events and trends in your field is not just a task, it’s a mindset. By adopting a curious and open approach to learning and engaging with others, you can stay at the forefront of your industry and deliver speeches that truly resonate with your audiences.”
When it comes to creating and delivering keynote speeches, Suraj stressed the importance of understanding your audience and tailoring your message to their needs and interests. He explained his process of researching current events and trends, and how he incorporates these insights into his speeches to make them more relevant and impactful. Suraj also shared some of his favorite speeches from his career and the lessons he learned from them.
Suraj also discussed his collaborations and partnerships, which have helped him to expand his reach and impact. He emphasized the importance of building strong relationships with others in the industry and learning from their experiences and perspectives. Suraj also gave advice to aspiring keynote speakers, encouraging them to find their unique voice and message, and to never stop learning and growing.
How do you manage nerves or anxiety before giving a speech, and what advice would you give to others who struggle with public speaking?
As a keynote speaker, I understand that nerves and anxiety are a natural part of public speaking. While I still experience some level of nervousness before giving a speech, I have developed a number of strategies to manage these feelings and perform at my best. Here are some of the techniques I use:
First, I make a point of preparing thoroughly before each speech. This involves rehearsing my speech multiple times, practicing my delivery, and ensuring that I am completely familiar with my content. By doing this, I am able to feel more confident and in control of my presentation, which can help to reduce my feelings of anxiety.
Second, I use breathing exercises to help me manage my nerves. Before giving a speech, I take a few deep breaths and focus on slowing down my breathing. This can help to lower my heart rate and promote a sense of calm, which can be particularly helpful when I am feeling nervous or anxious.
Third, I try to reframe my mindset when it comes to nerves. Rather than seeing nervousness as a negative thing, I try to view it as a sign that I care about my performance and want to do my best. By shifting my focus in this way, I am able to channel my nervous energy into a positive force that can help me to deliver a more engaging and impactful speech.
Finally, I remind myself of the importance of connecting with my audience. By focusing on the message that I am trying to convey and the people that I am trying to reach, I am able to shift my attention away from my nerves and onto the needs and interests of my listeners. This can help to ground me and give me a sense of purpose, which can be particularly helpful when I am feeling anxious.
For those who struggle with public speaking, my advice would be to practice regularly and focus on the needs of your audience. By rehearsing your speeches and developing your skills as a speaker, you can become more confident and comfortable with the process of public speaking. Additionally, by putting the needs of your audience first and focusing on the message that you are trying to convey, you can channel your nervous energy into a positive force that can help you to deliver a more engaging and impactful speech. Finally, remember that nerves are a natural part of public speaking, and that many experienced speakers still experience some level of nervousness before giving a speech. By accepting this as a normal part of the process, you can reduce your feelings of anxiety and perform at your best.
How do you tailor your speeches to different audiences, and what strategies do you use to engage your listeners and hold their attention?
As a keynote speaker, it is essential to tailor my speeches to different audiences to ensure that my message resonates with them. To achieve this, I use a variety of strategies to engage my listeners and hold their attention. Here are some of the techniques I use:
First, I research my audience thoroughly before giving a speech. This involves understanding their needs, interests, and expectations, as well as their industry or field. By doing this, I can identify the specific challenges or issues that they are facing and tailor my speech accordingly. This helps me to connect with my audience on a more personal level and ensures that my message is relevant and meaningful to them.
Second, I use storytelling as a way to engage my listeners and hold their attention. By weaving personal anecdotes and stories into my speeches, I am able to create an emotional connection with my audience and help them to relate to the content in a more meaningful way. This can also help to make the information more memorable and impactful.
Third, I use humor and interactive elements to keep my audience engaged. For example, I may use a quiz or poll to encourage audience participation, or use humorous anecdotes to lighten the mood and create a more relaxed atmosphere. By doing this, I am able to create a more dynamic and engaging presentation that keeps my audience interested and invested in the content.
Finally, I make a point of using visuals and other multimedia elements to enhance my speeches. This might include using slides, videos, or other digital media to illustrate my points and create a more immersive experience for my audience. By doing this, I am able to keep my audience engaged and create a more dynamic and memorable presentation.
In summary, tailoring my speeches to different audiences involves research, storytelling, humor, interactivity, and visual aids. By using these techniques, I am able to create more engaging and meaningful presentations that resonate with my audience and help them to connect with the content on a deeper level.
Can you discuss any notable collaborations or partnerships that you’ve formed as a keynote speaker, and how these relationships have impacted your work?
As a keynote speaker, I have had the opportunity to collaborate and form partnerships with a wide range of organizations, businesses, and individuals. These collaborations have been instrumental in helping me to expand my reach, improve my skills, and develop new ideas for my speeches. Here are a few notable partnerships that I have formed:
One of the most significant partnerships that I have formed is with the National Memory Sports Council (Singapore). As a memory athlete and trainer, I have been able to leverage my expertise in memory techniques to help businesses and individuals improve their memory and cognitive abilities. Through my partnership with the National Memory Sports Council, I have been able to reach a wider audience and provide valuable training and support to people from all walks of life.
Another partnership that has been impactful is with various event organizers and corporate clients. By collaborating with these organizations, I have been able to develop custom speeches and training programs that meet their specific needs and address their unique challenges. This has allowed me to diversify my offerings and expand my reach to new audiences.
I have also worked with other keynote speakers and thought leaders in various fields. Through these collaborations, I have been able to learn from other experts and gain new insights into the latest trends and developments in my industry. This has helped me to stay current and relevant as a speaker, and to continue to provide valuable insights and guidance to my clients and audiences.
Overall, these collaborations and partnerships have been instrumental in helping me to grow as a keynote speaker and memory trainer. By working with other experts and thought leaders, I have been able to expand my knowledge, refine my skills, and reach a wider audience. These relationships have been invaluable in helping me to achieve my goals as a speaker and to make a positive impact on the lives of others.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in pursuing a career as a keynote speaker, and how can they best prepare themselves for this role?
For anyone interested in pursuing a career as a keynote speaker, my advice is to focus on developing your skills, building your network, and cultivating your unique voice and message. Here are some specific steps you can take to prepare yourself for this role:
Hone your speaking skills: To be a successful keynote speaker, you need to be an engaging and effective communicator. Take public speaking classes, join a Toastmasters group, or work with a speaking coach to improve your skills and build your confidence.
Identify your niche: Identify the topics you are passionate about and that you have expertise in. This will help you to establish yourself as an authority in your field and to develop a unique voice and message that resonates with audiences.
Build your network: Attend industry events, join professional associations, and connect with other speakers and thought leaders in your field. This will help you to build your network, find new speaking opportunities, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in your industry.
Create a strong online presence: Develop a website, create social media profiles, and build a mailing list to promote your services and connect with potential clients and audiences.
Practice, practice, practice: Before taking on paid speaking engagements, practice your speeches in front of friends and family, record yourself, and solicit feedback. This will help you to refine your message, improve your delivery, and build your confidence as a speaker.
Be persistent: Building a successful career as a keynote speaker takes time, effort, and persistence. Be prepared to put in the work, be open to feedback, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks or rejection.
In summary, to prepare for a career as a keynote speaker, focus on developing your skills, building your network, cultivating your unique message, and being persistent in pursuing your goals. By following these steps, you can set yourself up for success and make a meaningful impact on the lives of others through your speeches and presentations.
Looking back on your career so far, what are you most proud of, and what goals do you have for the future as a keynote speaker?
As a keynote speaker, I feel blessed to have been able to connect with so many people around the world through my speeches. When I look back on my career so far, I am most proud of the impact that I have had on individuals and organizations alike. I have received countless messages from people who have attended my talks and have shared how it has helped them in their personal and professional lives. To me, this is the ultimate achievement – to be able to inspire positive change in others.
Looking towards the future, my goal is to continue to grow and expand my reach as a keynote speaker. I want to reach as many people as possible with my message of personal development, and I believe that there is always room for growth and improvement. In addition to delivering speeches, I am also interested in exploring new avenues for sharing my ideas and insights, such as through writing and podcasting.
Another important goal of mine is to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of memory and learning. As a memory athlete and trainer, I am passionate about helping others unlock their own memory potential and achieve feats that they once thought impossible. I want to continue to innovate and develop new techniques and strategies that can help people improve their memory and learning abilities.
Overall, I am grateful for the opportunities that I have had as a keynote speaker, and I look forward to continuing to grow and learn as I pursue my passions in the years to come.
“I am humbled by the impact that I have been able to make through my speeches, but I am also driven to reach even greater heights. My goal is not only to inspire change in others, but to continually challenge and improve myself as a keynote speaker and memory athlete.”
In conclusion, Sancy Suraj’s journey as a keynote speaker and memory athlete is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and dedication. His commitment to helping others unlock their memory potential and achieve their goals is truly inspiring, and his success as a speaker is a reflection of his ability to connect with audiences and deliver meaningful messages. We hope that our interview with Suraj has provided valuable insights for those interested in pursuing a career as a keynote speaker and has shed light on the incredible achievements of this keynote prodigy.