Jose Ucar is a global TEDx speaker, curator and host, NLP coach, international business, marketing specialist, and founder of Jose Ucar Ltd. Jose has spent the last ten years traveling the world, successfully growing and promoting different businesses by working alongside them to bring about transformational change through the power of advanced communication skills. His goal is to give you the confidence to present the best version of yourself when communicating with others and speaking in public.
“My motto is, learn to communicate with yourself first, then with others, and finally broadcast your message to the world,” Jose says. This is reflected in his speaking style, which he has spent years perfecting through learning neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), business, marketing, and professional public speaking from some of the best coaches in the world.
Jose’s clients include Procter & Gamble, SEAT, and CUPRA (Both part of the Volkswagen Group), DAF Trucks, UK Research and Innovation, Sabio Group, Sports Work, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the NHS, and General Assembly, to name a few.
He also has a growing community of over 40 thousand online students, with his signature World-Class Communicator Online Training Course being an amazing source of knowledge to give you the skills and techniques to adapt your presenting style and speech content for maximum impact in any setting.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jose Ucar: I’m all about helping business owners and people in business to communicate with impact and confidence. Why? Because throughout the years I’ve discovered that at least 80% of our success in life has to do with how we communicate with ourselves and others. Hence my motto – Learn to communicate with yourself first, then with others, and finally broadcast your message to the world through public speaking.
I went from being very outgoing as a child to shy during my teenage years, I became very insecure and withdrawn until one day, a great teacher from high school said to me, Ucar (he used to call students by their surname), there are only two things you need to be successful in life. One, you need to read the news every day. Second, you need to master Public Speaking. What he did for me back then, without knowing it yet, would change my life forever.
So, I began to embrace the whole idea of speaking in public and doing presentations. The seed he had planted started to grow. Never got my head around the news thing; even today, I struggle to keep up with everything that is going on.
My international speaking career started when I was 16 years old as I traveled to Sweden as an exchange student. This was the beginning of a crazy roller coaster ride that would end up with me setting up a business where I help people speak their greatness by overcoming their obstacles and limitations because that is exactly what I went through during my travels. There were many ups but more downs, and it was my ability to communicate and willingness to connect with human beings that kept my life interesting and on track. It still does today. I keep on investing in my craft daily, but my focus is not on what I learn but on what I do with the knowledge I acquire. Application is key.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Jose Ucar: Between 2020 and 2021, I had many conversations with business owners, I opened up my diary to support those who were struggling and even started a podcast called the lockdown and then what, where with my cohost Liz Hamlet we interviewed businesses that were managing to weather the storm successfully and used their stories to inspire and provide helpful tools to the business community.
Based on my experience and what I’ve seen, to thrive in 2022, this is what I’d recommend. (Note this is not an exhaustive list).
Proactivity: Businesses can’t afford to sit back and wait to see what happens. It’s essential to continuously monitor the macro and micro indicators of the market. It’s also important to look inwards to leverage strengths and reduce weaknesses. Do this when you are doing well, not only when things go south. COVID caught us all by surprise, yet many businesses thrived and became more resilient. What can you proactively create, increase, eliminate and reduce in your business today?
One of my clients who operates within the manufacturing industry decided to move a big part of the business online, despite the industry trends at the time. When the pandemic hit, they were ready to run sales seminars and training workshops virtually, which enabled them to access new markets at a much lower cost.
Relentless Adaptability: Things are constantly changing; how flexible are you and your business? I operate within the training and coaching industry, and my business dropped to historic lows in 2020. How do we make it work under current circumstances? because giving up wasn’t an option. This is when the World-Class Communicator online course was born. Today, it has over 40,000 students on various platforms worldwide.
Remember that we are in business to make tough decisions and to solve problems. Of course, we do this to serve and impact the lives of our clients, but this is the outcome.
Invest in Leadership: As Simon Sinek says, leadership is an infinite game, so invest in your development as a leader, put your team first, train them well, care for them, and your organization will endure. A good friend of mine runs a very successful Venezuelan restaurant in London, and if it wasn’t for his ability to lead and steer the business in the right direction, they would’ve closed in 2021. They have recently opened a third restaurant.
Build your network: You may have heard your network is your net worth; believe it. How many conversations are you having with potential clients and partners a day? Who do you know that I should know? How can I support your business? Who could you recommend me to?
At least 50% of my business growth comes from my inner circle. Who are you spending time with, and what conversations are you having?
Develop your brand: Always invest in your brand. This will impact your credibility and raise your authority within your field of expertise. There are many ways to do this. You can do PR, social media, interviews, blogs, podcasting, public speaking… the list goes on. Be consistent, and you will reap the rewards.
Finally, be ready for failure and rejection. Fail quick, fail forward, learn in the process and apply the learning.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Jose Ucar: Focus on the controllable. In times of uncertainty, focus on what you can control within your business. To stay current and competitive in the current environment, I invite you to apply this 4 actions framework:
- What can you create?
This will help you think of new ways to deal with the challenges at hand. Think of new products and services; ways to make the competition irrelevant; new processes; new habits, etc. This is what I ask myself when working on new keynotes.
- What can you increase?
Whatever is working, do more of it. I have a relatively new podcast with my public speaking partner in crime, Elliot Kay. Given the positive results we’ve achieved, we are recording more episodes more often.
- What can you eliminate?
I was very active on a platform called clubhouse between 2020 and 2021. Eventually, I decided to stop and focus my energy on the podcast side of things. What are you doing that is not working anymore and yet to continue to do?
- What can you reduce?
Things you could be doing less of. With time I’ve learnt to delegate better so now I have fewer virtual meetings with the team, which saves us all valuable time.
Remain curious and relentlessly adaptable.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Jose Ucar: I operate in the coaching, training, and speaking industry. Initially, things shut down for a while. Then everything became virtual, and now the hybrid seems to be gaining more adepts because of its cost-effectiveness.
There is rising demand for face-to-face training at the moment, but in my opinion, longer term, there will be a healthy balance between virtual and in-person. In a week, I get to train people in the UK, Europe, The US, and Asia. This wouldn’t be possible face-to-face.
In terms of adapting, I’ve always believed in the power of a marketing function within the business that helps you identify, satisfy and anticipate customers’ needs and requirements profitably. This has enabled my businesses to survive and now thrive.
I’m not only seeing what’s in front of me for what is, I’m always thinking about what it could be. This mindset helps me remain flexible and adaptable.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Jose Ucar: Always think of a worst-case scenario and prepare for it. I never thought an external event could change the business environment so quickly, so now I’m trying to be ahead of the game. Also, to avoid assumptions. There were so many around the lockdown and its duration, none of them was right because it went on for way longer than expected.
In 2022 I intend to continue to improve the business cash flow and keep operational costs in check. I’m also considering the following worst-case scenario to build a strong and sustainable business.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Jose Ucar: Although the trend indicates online will continue to grow, there are certain areas like virtual meetings, for example, that may need to be reduced due to mental health and well-being issues. Back-to-back virtual meetings and having no breaks from screens are leading to fatigue and other health challenges.
In the training, coaching, and speaking industry where I operate, there are clear benefits from delivering face-to-face sessions. The engagement and connection can be greater, leading to better results. There are elements to consider, such as the length of the sessions, number of participants, etc. Virtual can also be effective, depending on the expected outcomes agreed with the client. I’ve been delivering more hybrid programs, where I meet the team virtually, then deliver the program face-to-face, and lastly, look at action learning sets with each participant virtually.
Think about what’s best for your business but, most importantly, what’s best for your clients. They are the reason your business exists.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Jose Ucar: Too many. Sometimes up to 14 hours.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Jose Ucar: Stories, analogies and metaphors are very important when communicating. Why? When we share them, neural coupling occurs, which means the minds of the speaker and the audience get in sync. When we are on the same wavelength, we can significantly affect our listeners, the whole point of effective communication.
I like to use analogies to facilitate understanding and to bring data into perspective. For example, when I speak about consistency, I always like to bring in the long staircase, where every step brings us closer to our organizational objectives and why it’s essential that we always take action and don’t lose sight of where we are heading.
In terms of stories, I share those of successful people, business owners, and those who have accomplished incredible feats. Most importantly, stories that illustrate the point I want to make. When speaking about failure, I love to share Alan McFadyen’s story. Alan took the perfect shot of a kingfisher diving straight into the water without a single splash. It only took him six years and 720.000 attempts. This story is fantastic when I want to motivate the team and help them recover from setbacks.
I also like to use quotes, depending on the point I want to make. I love this one: “If my mind can conceive it, and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it.” Jesse Jackson
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Jose Ucar: The barriers to entry keep getting lower, making the markets incredibly competitive, so the challenge of standing out and gaining visibility remains. With low barriers to entry, anyone can call themselves a speaker, coach, or trainer, which then impacts the reputation of the industry and the quality of the service clients receive. Basically, who can you trust and why?
Another challenge is the lack of regulations in specific industries.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Jose Ucar: Online marketing, leadership, communication, and real estate investment.
My motivation is to always become a better leader and communicator than I was yesterday. My competition is with myself. I can always be better.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Jose Ucar: I’ve made this point already. Leadership training is much needed, especially leadership focusing on the people first and results in second. People are still being promoted to management and leadership roles because of their results within the business and technical capabilities, but these don’t make them ready to lead others. This is something that needs to change.
On the other side of the spectrum, people leave their jobs and decide to start their own business without having the skills and believing it’s easy. EASY? Nothing could be farther from the truth.
There is a great need for education on both sides. We need people committed to becoming great leaders and educated entrepreneurs who can deal with the challenges that setting up a business represents.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jose Ucar: The ability to predict if a new product or service will be profitable and successful before launch. Without previous validation or anything. I’d love this.
On a more serious note, I will continue with the ability to lead and inspire people. Leadership is an infinite game that constantly changes and evolves. I want to ensure I’m continuously growing as a leader and communicator. If I do this, my team will surely grow, and so will the business.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Jose Ucar: I want to get booked to speak every day. I want to impact millions of lives in the years to come. That’s success for me.
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jose Ucar for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jose Ucar or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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