When it comes to unlikely career choices, Benjamin Loh takes the cake with the mismatch between his background and career.
Benjamin Loh is a self-declared lifetime introvert, and a victim of bullying from ages 7 through 17. His university life was spent deciphering complicated spreadsheets as an accountancy major – the complete opposite of his life today.
Today, Benjamin is a public speaking coach and the founder of Flare Communications Coaching Pte. Ltd.. He boasts a clientele of major industry players like AIA, ANZ Bank, and the Monetary Authsority of Singapore (MAS).
But how exactly did Benjamin get to where he is today? More importantly, how did Benjamin thrive in a career that is a complete mismatch from his skillset?
Benjamin’s first encounter with public speaking was in 2008, when he was tasked with delivering a public speech in front of a minister. In the middle of the speech, Benjamin suddenly found himself overwhelmed with emotions and struggled to finish.
This incident was his first brush with the terror that comes with public speaking. Yet, instead of turning him away from public speaking, Benjamin let this fear motivate him and rose to meet the challenge.
He dove head-first into the public speaking and coaching world, participating in various competitions throughout university. He even spent two years doing sales to improve his communication with corporate clients.
A watershed moment for Benjamin came when a client first offered to pay for his training services. He realized then that his skills are valued in the commercial market, giving him the confidence to take the leap and pursue this full-time. Eventually, he founded Flare Communications Coaching.
Benjamin’s achievements don’t end there – he is also quite a unicorn in the global public speaking scene. He is an introvert in an extroverted profession, and also an Asian in a primarily-White industry. In fact, one of the greatest highs in his career was when he was hired to train the Japanese government – the first Asian to be engaged in many years.
Benjamin firmly believes that “Asians are a force to be reckoned with”. While there are still many Caucasians in the public speaking scene regionally, Benjamin hopes that his work will help others “know [the Asian voice], and hear our stories.”
If Benjamin – an introverted victim of bullying – can find his voice on stage, then you can too. Will you let him help you find yours?