Kolarele Sonaike – 11 things to know about me
11. I’m a practising barrister
So this is where I learned and honed my presentation skills. There’s nothing more likely to sharpen your persuasion skills than spending your days arguing against other really sharp advocates in front of grumpy judges on behalf of anxious clients with their livelihoods on the line. If you wanted to know why I got into the communication game, now you know (although I was always a big talker from childhood really!)
10. The only pets I’ve ever owned are goldfish.
I’ve got two at the moment called Galliano and Saladin. The kids are allergic to dogs & cats, which gives us a good excuse not to have any.
9. I’m the author of ‘How to Give a Great Speech’
My A – Z Guide of everything you need to know about giving a great speech. Where to start; where to finish; and all the steps in between. After searching the market (and not finding) a good book that covered every aspect of what it takes to give a great speech, I decided to write one myself. This is my step by step guide on what it takes to prepare, write, and deliver a great speech. It’s short and very accessible (if I do say so myself). If you sign up to my mailing list, you’ll actually get a copy of the Ebook for free.
8. I’m a BBQ Jedi Master
My wife does the salad and vegetables and all that cute stuff, but I’m in charge of the MEAT. I’ll take any excuse to fire up the charcoals. I barbeque in the summer, in the winter, and even when it’s raining. Of course I do the usual burgers, steaks, and drumsticks, but my specialism (the one that brings people from miles around) is lamb ribs and chicken hearts. I also make a mean lobster!
7. ‘The Bird that had Vertigo’
After telling my kids lots of made-up bedtime stories, I got the idea for the book whilst sitting in a park in Miami watching one bird in particular that looked like it was scared of flying. Took me one year to actually finalise the story and the rhyme (Kid’s books are much harder than you’d think). Since I can’t draw for toffee, I found a fantastic young illustrator, Angie Kordella, who did the illustration. Not sold a huge amount (might help if I actually did some marketing!) I’m still proud of it.
6. I studied Philosophy at University.
I was pretty average at school. It wasn’t until Birmingham University where I studied Philosophy & Politics that my mind really came alive. I loved the way Philosophy requires you to be logical in order to prove your arguments, but still gave you the freedom to be creative with your thoughts. I apply that same approach to public speaking, speechwriting, and even my speeches in court.
5. I once had a fight
For my 40th birthday I had my one and only fight (white collar boxing match). It was a draw, which means I join Marciano and Mayweather as one of the few undefeated boxers! There’s me on the right with Boxing Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua (no he’s not standing on a stool and yes those abs are real).
4. My approach to life
If I was to sum up what I am about as a person, it would be the quote below by John Wesley. (I’m not a Methodist though I am a Christian) and I like the idea that each of us are here to help our fellow human being:
Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.
3. I was the President of the 100 Black Men of London
Everything I now know about Leadership, Mentoring & Training others, Project Management and Team Building, I have learnt from my time as a mentor, board member and President with this amazing charity.
2. I’m a Hammer!
Pound for pound West Ham is the best football team in the Premiership (don’t listen to anyone that tells you differently) and I’ve been a proud supporter of West Ham since age 7. I don’t get to the games nearly enough but if you prick my finger I still bleed our team colour of Claret.
1. My Family is Everything
I love my work. I live to help others. But most of all I love my family. They sustain me and drive me on to try to achieve great things.
# of years as a barrister
# of times I've read 'A Tale of Two Cities' by Charles Dickens
# of goldfish I have owned
% of trainees that give 5 stars for my public speaking training
# of songs I wrote (in my younger songwriting days)
the age I think I will live to
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