Communication, inclusive leadership and empathy at work expert, author and award-winning speaker
Shola Kaye: Biography highlights
Shola Kaye MSc FRSA DTM is a communication specialist, award-winning international speaker and author of two books. She speaks on Empathy in the workplace, Inclusion, Leadership and Communication.
Full biography of Shola Kaye
Shola Kaye’s background
She spent the first part of her career in IT consultancy in the U.S.A., consulting at household name investment banks, and in the U.K for global clients in aviation and finance. Her struggles to communicate and gain visibility in the workplace – as a black woman and an introvert – led her to develop an interest in learning to create inclusive workplaces with open, supportive communication. Shola eventually left the corporate world for a while and built a career for herself as a professional singer, appearing on stages around the world.
Shola has a unique interactive delivery style that combines the energy and engagement of a performer with the insights and actionable tools and models of a scientist or technical expert; Shola spent time as a scientific researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Today she blends her STEM and entertainment background to share clear, effective communication frameworks that help people work better together. These are delivered in a high impact style. The word most frequently used to describe Shola’s work is ‘engaging’. Clients often comment that her interactivity, and encouragement of the audience to transform during her presentation, makes her a stand-out speaker who gets results and delivers work that will be remembered long after the event is over
Her keynote and masterclass topics include communication for diversity and inclusion, leadership, workplace communication, and workplace empathy. She also speaks about how to create a more inclusive environment for introverts, especially within the technical/data/STEM/healthcare work space.
Shola has been featured in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar and on the BBC. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes and she regularly writes for industry publications such as HR Zone, Management Today and People Management.
In her role as a communication specialist, Shola hosts a popular podcast, and has created a top 10 rated weekly video blog. Shola’s first book was an Amazon.com number one bestseller and her second book, ‘Big Talk, Small Talk’ was published in November 2020. Shola is a LinkedIn Learning Instructor and has tens of thousands of students around the world who have enjoyed her programmes.
In 2016 Shola won the Jenny Seagrove Speaking award. She has also presented a TEDx speech on Empathy in the Workplace. Her speeches and programmes are in demand and she is frequently rebooked or tasked with running the same programme at multiple client locations. Shola provides keynotes, masterclasses and consulting.
Watch Shola in action
Bauer Media Audio
‘Shola is a big impact speaker and compelling story teller. Her contribution to a critical event was arresting, memorable and inspiring. Be warned: her energy and positivity are highly contagious.’
S-RM Corporate Intelligence
‘A great company-wide virtual keynote on Empathy in the workplace. It was a fascinating subject, and I think it was the most engagement I have seen with a topic – clearly it gave people food for thought and resonated. Our HR team has already said that they would like to incorporate some of the tools you gave us into the updated manager training programme. Our Diversity & Inclusion sponsor on the board of directors even contacted me to say that he really enjoyed the talk and especially how engaging it was for the audience – which I consider a great success!’
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
‘Shola conducted a wonderful and engaging Webinar session on communication in Diverse Teams for UNFPA! Her method of using the chatbox on Zoom to make sure everyone was engaged was super helpful for those who were not comfortable speaking up with the large group of people she was presenting to. Shola was very well-spoken and kind and I would highly recommend her work to any organization looking to improve communication skills between colleagues and teams.’
FOCUS Info UK
‘Shola has been running workshops for our organisation FOCUS for a few years and we love working with her. Shola’s energy and engagement skills are very strong. We have experienced her skills live and online and her engagement and results are exactly the same in both settings which is a true strength. Shola has a real warmth and human approach which makes all the difference to our professional audience. People do listen to her and benefit from her knowledge.’
Grant Thornton UK LLP
‘Shola is a fabulous speaker, she has excellent tips and techniques for public speaking… Shola is highly intelligent and approachable and was so well received by our Women In the Law audience at Grant Thornton. Shola is so unique in that she has an outstanding education, professional experience in the corporate world, is a writer and also a professional singer, and draws on all of her experience to deliver very inspiring sessions.’
Shola's speaking topics
LEADERSHIP: Harnessing the power of Empathy
To improve inclusion, productivity and engagement
Creating a workplace where everyone feels that they belong is more important than ever before, but how can you build supportive, cohesive environments within your organisation?
This inspiring keynote speech will provide you with practical and effective strategies for becoming an inclusive leader. It can be modified for senior leaders, management, and whole-company keynotes. You’ll walk away with the tools and the inspiration to become a more compassionate and effective leader, manager, or individual contributor.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Create a workplace of respect and belonging
Develop your listening, courage, and compassion to build an environment of trust and inclusivity
Bring our whole selves to work? How is that possible when we may not be accepted and valued by our colleagues?
This inspiring keynote speech shares stories, tools, and interactive exercises to help you see the value of ensuring everyone feels they belong. You’ll understand the vital components of empathy, how to be compassionate while avoiding burnout, and why skills like emotional intelligence are in high demand.
LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION: Delivering effective feedback with empathy
Develop the skills to support and co-create your colleagues’ success
At work and in our personal lives, delivering effective feedback is a valuable skill. Delivered in the right way, feedback can be empowering, inspiring and can drive an individual, and their team, towards fantastic success.
However, delivered in the wrong way, feedback can be divisive, demotivating, and destructive. And when we avoid giving feedback to spare someone’s feelings, the eventual outcome can be just as damaging.
So what’s your intention as a manager? Is it to break or build? To crush or to co-create? Do you restrict your feedback to the obligatory once or twice a year, or do you feedback continuously, increasing the motivation and confidence of your team members?
This interactive, high energy keynote contains insightful stories, impactful data, and valuable tools you can use again and again.
COMMUNICATION: Powerful under pressure
Communicate with impact and influence during meetings, Q&A sessions, interviews, and other high-stakes situations
Do you thrive under pressure, communicating with poise and power, or do you crumple into a stumbling wreck?
This practical, inspiring, and essential keynote will help you develop strategies to excel under fire during tough meetings and conversations. You’ll learn frameworks and strategies that will help you stay cool and collected, inspiring trust and respect in those around you. Whether dealing with a difficult customer, handling a question that could trip you up, or putting your best foot forward during an interview situation, these techniques will help you come out on top.
COMMUNICATION: Expressing your personal brand at work as a woman or minority
Articulate your value, develop your brand story, and shine!
For women and minorities, speaking up in the ‘wrong’ way can lead to the perception that we’re angry or have a chip on our shoulders. This can hamper progress at work, keeping us from reaching our full potentials. In addition, we may be reluctant to share our stories of overcoming challenges out of fear of being seen as too pushy or boastful.
So, how do we communicate our worth in the workplace? How do we convey the important work we do and achieve the recognition we deserve?
This speech shares valuable tools and mindset shifts to help you move ahead with confidence, shoring up your foundations with the understanding that you’re putting your best foot forward and presenting yourself as a person of influence and value.