Onkar Khullar is a person who’s every action throughout his life has exuded one major quality- confidence. A quick recap would prove our words – he’s the recipient of the Pride of India Award 2015, he’s dropped out of three universities- IILM, Khalsa and DU, has jumped into entrepreneurship twice, had written a book titled ‘ 5-year-old Billionaire’ and has spoken on Tedx multiple times.
If that blew you away, read on to see what we sat down and spoke to him about.
What got you interested in the art of public speaking? How did you begin?
4 years of silence, while having a massive crush on this beautiful young girl. Although we were friends, because of my inability to express my feelings towards her, within two weeks I saw another man steal her from me. That was the time period that changed me and I decided I would use my voice to speak, to express and to impact not just myself, but communities around me.
Tell us about your first speaking engagement? What were your emotions at the time?
Not to sound like the typical person, but it’s the truth, I trembled and lost my voice multiple times. As all winners do, I continued. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI8LCT7uZq8&t=106s
What was your most memorable empowerment session or a person that you came across?
Criss Angel, a world-famous magician’s show was one that I’ll never forget being at in Las Vegas. Given the glamour and lifestyle of the space, he gave a speech about celebrating life and that was a defining moment for me.
Did public speaking come naturally to you or did you mold yourself into this persona?
None. Each one of us possesses the ability and talent to speak. Sometimes we just need the power to amplify messages we are conveying. The same thing happened with me, I was not always comfortable on stage. I did become comfortable once I had set my mind to creating magic everytime I stepped on a platform. That’s also why my TEDx talk touched 2 million views. Guess what it was about? – Obviously, the breakup that changed my life and it’s a journey. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GHS6Wmk5tg
Who inspires you with their speeches?
As I was growing up, WWE’s The Rock was my hero. I’ve always been inspired by his methods of entertaining and inspiring people who believe in him and his powers. I even have The Rock’s action figure in my bag all the time. I keep it there as a note to myself that I need to be the most electrifying man on stage every single time I set foot on it.
At what point do you come alive on stage – before you walk in, when you walk in, or a few minutes after you start?
Every speaker has their own methodology to warm the audience up. Mine is a word ‘Aaho’ which asks for a response in a chorus. That’s when I know I have the audience attention and they are ready to listen and absorb what I’m going to share. Our adventure begins then and it’s the best part of the session.
How do you know if your audience is interacting and engaging with your speech as predicted? Have you ever had to make a major change to a speech?
They will! Every 15 seconds during a speech or interaction I have a mini-engagement activity. A laugh, a clap or a cheer.
Also, every 6 months I write up a new 60 minute set with new techniques and tactics to constantly try, and push the barrier of engagement and response.
What are the top 2-3 skills you need to have to be able to do what you do, excluding confidence of course!
A pinch of madness to be confident and strong
Secondly, the guts to take on the world as is, if you start taking it too seriously, it will reflect on your persona
Lastly, something you swear to live by? A quote or an anecdote?
The world is a playground, you gotta keep playing to stay in the game.