The journey started last year when Nescafe invited a couple of African bloggers for a brainstorming session that held in Accra, Ghana – you can read more about that meeting here.
This was simply the start of the Get Started challenge 2!
Shortly after this unique meeting, entries for the challenge opened and about 2,000 ideas were submitted, all of them in the areas of technology, health, social enterprise and environment. Entries were received via the Nescafé Get Started Africa website.
At the end of the voting process, 4 finalists were selected representing 4 different Africa countries and one of the finalist is Korotoumou Sidibe, from Mali, who had a pretty interesting idea which is to build a food processing plant and help reduce food wastages in her home country. The Getstarted team assigned her to me to be coached and prepared for the final presentation to the judges.
The Mentoring Process
Koro & I got to work soon after the introduction and thank God for modern technology, we didn’t have to wait until we met physically – we started by exchanging a couple of emails and then used Whatsapp as well. This we did for a few days before we finally met physically in Ghana for the final preparations.
Koro, already had a good idea but I understand (and always say) that people who make it in life are not necessarily the smartest but those who can convince others to believe in what they had to sell, so that was simply the basis of my sessions with Koro.
Here are some of the tips I gave her:
- Change your Affirmation: Koro had a lot of doubts about her ability to present convincingly (considering the fact that she is French-speaking and I wanted her to present in English), so I had to change her negative affirmations to statements like “I am the winner” “I can do it” “I am super smart” etc. I remember her trying to resist but I was firm and happily she accepted and continued in that flow.
- Speak with confidence: I told her one of the simplest ways to achieve this is to slightly raise the pitch of your voice (don’t shout)! She did exactly that and during her presentation everyone was starring at her in amazement and I smiled 🙂
- Tell your Story: I had to ask her to bring in some of her background in a story format and I went further to guide her how to deliver those aspects.
- Stir up Emotions: Yes! I had to tell her to add some emotions in her conclusions. Men, keep thinking it is their world and for this, I laugh out loud – any smart woman out their can actually pull through easily if properly coached. It’s not about seduction, it’s about influence!
- Believe in yourself – you can do it: these were my last words to her before her presentation and she sure did it. At the end of her presentation, I was almost certain she would win the $30,000 and I even said it to the hearing of everyone 🙂
- All praises goes to God Almighty for the grace and wisdom to be an influencer.
- The team at NESCAFE & Now Available Africa deserve to be mentioned for putting together a fantastic challenge. Kudos guys!
- I can’t forget all the awesome bloggers that ensured this challenge got the mentions and mileage it deserved. They made it interesting all the way.
- Congrats to Koro for having such a fantastic idea and being teachable – made my work easier!
- Finally, a big thanks to Lanre Olusola, one of Africa’s most influential coaches who taught me some coaching skills at the OLCA – I bagged a life coaching certification from his Academy and its been very helpful.
Final thoughts: I’d sure serve as an executive, exclusive coach to a few selected sharp minds in the future but for now I am learning as much as I can!