Confidence by Design: Conversation with Kyle Murtagh

Confidence by Design: Conversation with Kyle Murtagh

Created: Wednesday, July 28, 2021 posted by at 9:30 am

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Kyle Murtagh

Kyle Murtagh
Kyle Murtagh is a public speaker. In 2018, he founded Confidence by Design, an industry-leading presentation skills company that has helped people from all walks of life to transform their public speaking abilities – from global corporations to ambitious entrepreneurs.

His passion, hard work, and talent have also led him to win multiple public speaking accolades, both in Scotland and on an international level. Not only that, but Kyle is now a successful author! His debut title, The 5 Pillars of Effective Public Speaking has received 5-star reviews from readers across the globe, who have discovered how to harness their public speaking potential to achieve tangible results.

In this conversation, Kyle talks about himself and his work.

Kyle Murtagh is a public speaker. In 2018, he founded ‘Confidence by Design’, an industry-leading presentation skills company that has helped people from all walks of life to transform their public speaking abilities – from global corporations to ambitious entrepreneurs.
Confidence by Design: Conversation with Kyle Murtagh

Geetesh: Hi Kyle, how are you today? Tell us about yourself, where you live, and what you do?

Kyle: Sure. Hi Geetesh, I’m doing great. Thanks. I hope you are too. My name is Kyle Murtagh and what I do is I do presentation skills training, helping people become more confident when they have to speak in their presentations mostly, but also in other forms of communication too. I’m based in Glasgow, which is in Scotland and I’ve been doing this for over three years now, and it is my passion.

Geetesh: Wonderful. So, tell us about what got you into presentations and coaching, and is there a story behind all this?

Kyle: Sure. I was studying at university here in Glasgow. I was doing psychology, and after four years of doing psychology, I had an epiphany. I didn’t want to be a psychologist; that’s what I discovered. So, I was kind of lost at that point. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I was about to graduate so I started just trying a bunch of different things. And one of those things was Toastmasters. Well, presenting, public speaking in general, and I remember the first time I went along to one of these meetings where people meet up and practice speaking. And what they do is they ask you questions off the cuff, they call these table topics. And my question, my first ever one was, “Kyle if a zombie apocalypse happened in Glasgow, where would you go?”

And I thought to myself what the heck is this? You know, I can’t believe it. I found myself up here, staring at all these people staring back at me, and I literally said two words, “the pub”, and then sat back down. So, that was my first ever experience of public speaking–not the best at all, but after that moment, I realized I needed to do something about it. I needed to get back to wrap this, and that’s what started the journey.

Geetesh: So, you are an active Toastmasters member. You already answered a bit of the question that I have for you, but I’ll still go ahead and ask. So, did Toastmasters help you?

Kyle: Yes, yes, it did absolutely. It gives me a place to practice, the place to refine my skills, but also to compete. And I love competing because, once you compete, there’s more pressure, there’s more expectation, and that drives you forward, as a result. So yes, Toastmasters does help.

Geetesh: Does becoming a member of Toastmasters, or something of that sort help wannabe speakers and presenters?

Kyle: Yes. If you’re nervous about speaking, what you need is practice. You need exposure and you need some feedback. So, Toastmasters is a great place to start out. You can try out so learn new skills. And also get a little bit of feedback from people who are in the same boat, who are also worried, anxious, and so forth. So, it’s a good support group is what I would say.

Geetesh: Wonderful. So, you do training and coaching programs. Tell us more about them, and in the same question, what I want to ask is do these training and coaching programs–are they applicable for people who want to go and learn virtually, or are they in-person?

Kyle: Yes to both–they are virtual and they are in person. So, I’ll talk about a couple of different things I do. One of the things I do is team training. And this is where I work with an organization on their presentation goals and wants. For example, this could be sales presentations, it could be management or team presentations–whatever the goal is, and whatever the team struggling with, I’ll help them get better at that, and getting more results when they speak.

The other thing I do is I have a membership group myself, and that is online entirely. And what I do with this group is every month, we cover a different topic within public speaking and presenting to give you a flavor. We’ve covered things like selling well, presenting, and we’ve done stuff on storytelling. We’ve done stuff on virtual speaking, finding the funny, and adding humor. And the idea is we cover a new topic every month. And I also give people an opportunity to practice those new skills and receive feedback from myself, as an expert by viewing it, but also the fellow members of the group, too.

So those are the two services that are predominantly used at the team training and the membership group.

Geetesh: So, if you can share a URLfor the team training and your membership services, do send it across to me and I will put it in the description of this video.

Kyle: Absolutely.

Geetesh: Wonderful. So, the last question, actually. If there’s just one thing that presenters can do to make their presentations better, what according to you would that be?

Kyle: I’ll give you two, right—one for in a virtual environment and one for an in-person environment. So, if you’re speaking virtually one thing which you can do, which the majority of people don’t when online, is you can look at the camera, OK, if you can actually find the lens of your camera, you’ll stand back. Because what most people do is they look at the screen like this, and you can see, Geetesh, when I’m looking at the screen, I’m not looking at you, really from your perspective

But as soon as I make eye contact with the lens, now I’m engaging. Now I’m more dynamic. So, think about looking at the lens, locating the lens—that will help you stand out when you speak and will improve your speaking online. In terms of speaking in person, it’s all about presence. OK, and what I’d recommend is having lots of gestures, if possible, which are in sync with your verbal message. Of course, not too many so you are all over the place, but if you can really try to own the stage or by being big with your gestures to stand up, because most people are too afraid to do that.

So really try to own the stage, especially when you’ve got the gift of speaking in person.

Geetesh: Thank you so much, Kyle. It’s been a wonderful time speaking with you and I look forward to meeting you again.

Kyle: Yeah, likewise. Thank you for having me on. I hope the tips help and if anyone is interested in learning more, just reach out to me. Be happy to have a chat with anyone online.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.

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