#LadyBoss Interview: “Entrepreneurship, to me, means waking up every morning and chasing my dreams. Doing the things I passionately want to do, things that make me happy and useful to society,” Joyce Daniels, Event Host MC & Founder of TALKADEMY.

Image credit: Joyce Daniels

Joyce Daniels is an Event Host MC (Master of Ceremonies), Trainer, Author, Mentor and all-round “Talkpreneur”, who has revolutionised what most people considered “Gig work” or “Side hustle” into a platform worthy of its own industry sector. Today, she is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s most sought-after Masters of Ceremonies, hosting a long list of high profile events, with clients in Government, Oil & Gas, Retail, Property, Consulting, Diplomatic Community, and many more.

Since her break into the industry over 12 years ago, she has been able to create over time, hard work and sacrifice, a blueprint of what what the industry should be, paving the way for other ‘talk’ enthusiasts and budding MC’s seeking to turn their passion for speaking into Profitable businesses and full-fledged careers. 

Joyce’s experiences in her formative years as a Master of Ceremonies propelled her desire to build up, train, mentor and teach others in the industry, by creating a pathway to entry. TALKADEMY was birthed out of this desire. 

It has become Africa’s premier training school for Masters of Ceremonies, with the ultimate goal to standardise the industry and create a level of professionalism, which should, in the next decade see that potential clients would only hire trained and certified Masters of Ceremonies. TALKADEMY has metamorphosed to TALKNATION, which in addition to training MCs, also trains professionals in Confidence Building, Public Speaking & Presentation Skills.

In 12 years, Joyce has facilitated trainings in Presentation Skills, Public Speaking and Effective Communication. She has trained over 8000  speakers and Masters of Ceremonies, in across the world, through live and online, free and paid events.  Joyce hosts a group mentoring session – Talk With Joyce – designed to create a positive shift in the mindset, reevaluation of values, building networks, financial intelligence and fostering Nation Building.

Over the years, Talk With Joyce has been in 6 cities physically, with short videos on YouTube, and has touched the lives of over 1000 youths.  Joyce holds a B.Sc Anatomy from the University of Port Harcourt, she is a member, Institute of Strategic Management of Nigeria (MISMN), an associate of Women in Management, Business and Public Service (WIMBIZ) and a mentor at Women in Successful Careers (WISCAR).

In this interview with Leading Ladies Africa, Joyce shares what entrepreneurship means to her, the inspiration behind becoming an MC and how she uses her gift and skills to teach upcoming event hosts. Lean in!

Image credit: Joyce Daniels

What does Entrepreneurship mean to you?

Entrepreneurship means the following to me:

  • Entrepreneurship, to me, means waking up every morning and chasing my dreams. Doing the things I passionately want to do, things that make me happy and useful to society.
  • Converting this passion, from being just for me to becoming an institution that would empower people, employ people, and of course positively impact society.
  • Entrepreneurship also means the ability to turn your gift, talent, or desire, into productive service. It doesn’t necessarily mean running your own business. You can be an “intrapreneur” within a larger organisation.

Tell us the inspiration behind establishing the Joyce Daniels’ brand (Moderating, Keynote Speaking, Corporate Speaking & Event Host MCing).

The inspiration is very Simple – These are the things I do naturally, happily and easily, plus, I can teach other “Talkatives” like me, to do what I do. 

I’ve always believed the ‘Giver of Gifts’,  gives to everyone according to their ‘several’ abilities, and since He has given me the gift to speak and to discern with my words, it was, therefore, imperative for me to build my business around my gift, and build my brand around my business. 

Image credit: Joyce Daniels

What “Oh, Shit!” moments have you had since establishing your business and how have these mistakes shaped you to become better?

Hmm, there are a few:

About 4 years into my journey as a professional Master of Ceremonies and Speaker, I realised I could & should have been collecting testimonials and referrals from my clients – I had NEVER done.  Of course, now I do, and use the same to boost my profile, plus, I teach up-and-coming MC’s to collect testimonials and ask for referrals from day one. 

In 2011, I was MC at a wedding, yapping away on the MIC. The event chairman picked his mic at some point, and said, ‘hey you this Madam MC, who gave you the permission to make so and so announcement, when you’ve not conferred with me?’ 

That was a major “Oh Shit’ moment. 

Since then, I have always conferred with my chairman before the start of any & every event, to ensure we’re on the same page and to be sure everyone is carried along properly. This, I also teach in my trainings for Masters of Ceremonies.

Image credit: Joyce Daniels

If you could have a lunch date with one Lady Boss you admire – who would that be and what would you ask her?

The Lady Boss I will love to have lunch with, even though she’s long gone from the Earth, is Margaret Thatcher.  The question is 2-fold: 

“Why did you become a Prime Minister?”  

“What inspired you?” 

Your top 3 book recommendations for entrepreneurs?

  • “Before You Speak, Read This!” By Joyce Daniels;
  • “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield; and
  • “The Book of Proverbs” by King Solomon of Israel 950BC (found in the Bible).

 

The Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.

It is an off-shoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.

If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email lead@leadingladiesafrica.org, and she could possibly be featured.

 

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