The Importance of Code-switching in Speaking

Code-switching remains essential despite efforts to standardise English.

Due to globalisation, English has become the main language of international communication. As more people in the world speak English, many media platforms around the world are breaking away from broadcast-standard accents and employing presenters who speak with a variety of regional accents, seemingly bringing about the democratisation of accents. However, with so many variants of native English and so many accents, two people speaking English still may not understand each other. As a result, an international movement to create a global standard of English, known as Global English or International English, is growing. However, without leadership or consensus, the development of International English is mostly organic and haphazard. Code-switching continues to be essential for international communication.

What is code-switching?

According to the Harvard Business Review article ‘The Cost of Code-Switching’, “code-switching involves adjusting one’s style of speech, appearance, behaviour, and expression in ways that will optimize the comfort of others in exchange for fair treatment, quality service, and employment opportunities.”

Code-switching includes switching back and forth between our ethnic vernacular accent and other vernacular or standard accents. Among bi-lingual speakers, code-switching also means speaking two languages in the same conversation. Speaking Singlish is an example of code-switching. It also includes reducing or adopting culture-specific behaviours in different situations, for example, using Western hand-shaking with a Westerner in an Asian context. An example of code-switching behaviour can be seen in a viral video where President Barack Obama greets a white coach differently from an African-American player.

Code-switching in Singapore

The fact is, not only is code-switching needed for international communication, it is needed within a country to communicate across cultural, linguistic, religious and socioeconomic lines. Despite what opponents to code-switching may say, for countries like Singapore, code-switching is the glue that brings its residents together. Singaporeans need to code-switch to understand and be understood in the complex multicultural, multilingual, multinational environment of Singapore.

Code-switching to bridge language proficiency differences

Within the Singapore context, many locals and foreigners will omit slang and speak slower and more clearly to each other, adjusting their accent to a more neutral one, if they can. Code-switching is also common in Singapore between generations and non-native English-speaking locals. Used within this context, this practice is seen to be considerate and pragmatic. Kasmani Dollah, a trainer who teaches WSQ courses in Singapore, says that his elderly participants often ask him to use simple English or to supplement with Malay when he teaches. When teaching operator level trainees, he finds that they prefer him to speak in Singlish.

Code-switching to sound more professional

Singapore’s colonial past and the country’s decision to make English the language of instruction in all schools has resulted in the perception that speaking proper English projects an image of professionalism. Chan Ying Ying, a Human Resources Manager, says that “interviews have protocols like dressing appropriately and speaking properly. If a local candidate speaks in a mixture of English and dialect, it is against protocol and the candidate may be viewed as unprofessional or disrespectful or not wanting the job. Once hired, it’s natural to speak Singlish on the job but not at the interview.” She adds that many factors are considered in the hiring of employees. “A good command of English is not a deciding factor unless the role requires it. In Singapore, companies are so used to hiring foreigners that accent and English proficiency are not as important as the required competencies. In fact, some jobs require the employee to connect with customers with specific non-English language or accent preferences. In that case, the interviewer may favour people who speak English with a foreign accent or another language.”

Shannon Zann, an emcee, says that although there is no explicit request for one accent over another, she has noticed a preference for emcees who speak standard English with a neutral accent or slight British or American accent among corporate and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, Exhibitions) event organisers, especially when the audience is international. On the other hand, Emcees will use Singlish for heartland events or mass-appeal events like the IT Show to create a greater connection with the audience.

Code-switching for Social Connection

Dollah, Chan and Zann all agree that speaking Singlish creates a greater connection among locals and between locals and foreigners. Chan echoes what I have heard others say. “A local speaking with a western accent will usually be viewed as fake.” As a local whose natural accent is considered too western, I am familiar with that sentiment. I have had to code-switch since childhood to avoid negative consequences.

It is understandable that Singlish creates a greater sense of connection between people living in Singapore. Singlish is an inclusive language. It blends words from all the ethnicities living in here, and creates a casual, relaxed common ground that ignores the prissiness of any grammar. While the world waits for International English to sort itself out, code-switching effectively lets the world get on with business. As Dollah puts it, “it is better to express not impress; connect not communicate”. So, although we may come away from a conversation not understanding more than half of what was said, a connection is made. Sociologists point out that much of the conversations we have around coffee are not about sharing information. Catching up with friends is a ritual we perform to say: we are friends. Code-switching to make someone else feel comfortable in Singapore is, therefore, a requisite skill

Review: The Writer’s Diet by Helen Sword

A thin book on how to get your writing from flabby to fit

By Margaret Tang

‘The Writer’s Diet’ is literally a thin book; there are only 77 A5-sized pages. It offers five simple strategies on how to spot flabby writing and rewrite using concise, vivid sentences. It was first published in 2007 by the Auckland University Press. I am reviewing the 2016 edition published by The University of Chicago Press.

Helen Sword is a Professor and the Director of the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at the University of Auckland. Written for students, academics, journalists, and creative writers, her goal is “to help you energize your writing, boost your verbal fitness and strip unnecessary padding from your prose” [I am quoting from her book which is written in American English, hence the spelling difference]. Since it is not a grammar book nor style guide nor writing guide, it does not offer rules for grammar, punctuation, or advice on how to write different types of writing. The book focuses on five common problems found in unnecessarily long and lacklustre sentences and offers these five ways to combat the problems:

  1. Use specific, descriptive verbs and limit be-verbs (is, am, are, be, been, being, was, were).
  2. Choose concrete nouns and don’t turn verbs, adjectives and adverbs into nouns.
  3. Avoid more than three consecutive prepositional phrases.
  4. Limit your use of adverbs and adjectives.
  5. Limit the ‘waste words’: it, this, that, there.

I think the book is good for everyone. Nowadays there is so much to read at work, on the internet, for personal development, from the government and service providers. The list goes on. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone wrote in concise, easy-to-understand sentences? Imagine the amount of time and confusion we would save. Sword writes with the type of sentences she proposes so the book is quick and easy to read. Using adequate explanation and examples, Sword effectively demonstrates how sentences can be shortened and invigorated.

You can read the book on its own or use it together with the tool that Sword has created on I tried the tool and found it easy to use. Just cut and paste your text or directly type it in. The tool highlights the problems according to the five writer’s diet rules in five colours and gives your writing a fitness rating from worst to best: heart attack; flabby; needs toning; fit & trim; lean. The tool does not suggest corrections to your prose. Do be very careful about using the tool because it is a very blunt instrument; Nonsensical, disorganised writing can still get a ‘lean’ rating because the five rules were applied. Although the book can be used without the tool, the tool should be used with the book unless you are a seasoned writer.

I highly recommend the book. It offers the fastest way to concise writing. However, keep in mind that observing the writer’s diet rules does not guarantee good writing because other aspects of good writing such as organisation, structure, logic and cohesion are not considered. Also, some types of writing that use more abstract or technical terms such as philosophy and technology will inevitably get flagged for ‘flabby sentences’ using Sword’s rules.

The book can be borrowed from National Library Board, Singapore. Call number: 808.042 SWO

Interview with Media Industry Veteran Colin Smith

Get some great tips about the media industry, breaking in, and improving your writing and presentations skills.

by Margaret Tang

Colin Smith, PhD, lecturer, film producer, photographer, writer, scriptwriter, branding and marketing consultant, and more, is one of the directors of Funhouse Productions. After graduating from the London School of Journalism, he started his career as a lifestyle magazine writer and editor. A few years later, he became a multimedia director at Mediacorp, Singapore’s largest media conglomerate. There he gained his many business and creative skills. After more than thirteen years at Mediacorp, Colin went on to establish Funhouse Productions with his wife. Recently, I interviewed Colin to get a peek into his working life and to harvest some tips from his vast and varied experience in the media industry that could help newcomers get a foothold in the media industry.

Margaret: In your LinkedIn profile, it says that you consult on branding and marketing in addition to being fully involved in film production, photography, factual and fiction writing, information technology and academic work. That’s a lot. Which keeps you busiest? Which do you love most?

Colin: Academic and training work keeps me very busy now. I cannot complain as I have a family to support. However, I do love producing short films and editing. Unfortunately, the videos I script and produce now are mostly work for hire.

Margaret: I noticed that your specialities include: market research; corporate and public presentations; marketing consultancy; business strategies; operational streamlining; advertising and event concepts; content and story creation and development; web branding; and editorial planning and execution. Which area keeps you the busiest?

Colin: I plan, write and produce a number of commercial productions. Very often, I try to put myself in the minds of the client and their customers. I normally find myself working on multiple projects at a time. As a result, there is always a subprocess running at the back of my head, even on weekends.

Life as a Writer

Margaret: As a writer, you’ve written magazine articles, marketing copy, advertisement scripts, film scripts, factual and fiction writing. Are there any other types of writing that you have done?

Colin: During my stint at Mediacorp, I also wrote speeches and business proposals.

Margaret: Which type of writing do you like most?

Colin: I like writing fiction most of all because I am a storyteller at heart. I would love to just write stories for a living, but it is not a viable option for me right now.

Margaret: Which type of writing do you like least?

Colin: I do not enjoy writing business plans and proposals, but it is essential for setting out objectives and coming up with some form of strategy.

Margaret: What are the challenges of being a writer? What are the best parts of being a writer?

Colin: The challenges of being a writer are those you set out for yourself. Complacency is the worst enemy. Being able to challenge myself to do better is, for me, the best part of being a writer.

Advice to Industry Newcomers

Margaret: What advice would you give to someone who wants to make a living writing while living in Singapore?

Colin: I’d say it’s always good to know who you are writing for and to continually hone your craft. There are several ways to get started in writing for a living. With digital marketing being the way forward, companies are now looking to create content. For this, writers are needed. You can always start your own blog if you want to share your thoughts with the world. Again, it’s down to who you want to address. I’d also suggest learning all the vital skills of storytelling because storytelling is essentially what a writer does. This would include learning photography, videography as well as audio recording and editing, and also how to use your voice to best effect.

Margaret: As a producer and media content creator, what advice would you give to someone who wants to make a living as a voiceover or voice actor?

Colin: Building networks is essential even if it means doing some free or cheap work at first. Today, there are also multiple platforms for you to ply your trade. You can also try to get yourself listed at the various talent portals online.

The Art of the Interview

Margaret: You’ve interviewed lots of prominent people. Did you get nervous when speaking to them?

Colin: I never got nervous when interviewing celebrities and politicians. I think it’s because I got into a dreadful accident when I was young. I was 12 and was rushing home to watch Super Friends, a cartoon series. I rushed to cross the road from in between two buses. The next thing I knew, a blur went before my eyes, and I was down on the road. I tried to get up, and I saw my leg bending between my knee and foot. The bone had pierced through the flesh, so there I was, in a pool of my own blood. I’d come so close to losing a leg and my life. Nothing else frightened me after that.

Margaret: How do you prepare for those interviews? What tips would you offer to a new reporter interviewing prominent people?

Colin: I would tell new reporters that they are more important than whoever they are interviewing because the person is counting on them to create the right impression. The reporter isn’t powerless, and the interviewee may be just as nervous or even more nervous in some cases.

Margaret: Is there a difference between how you would prepare for and conduct a video vs a print interview?

Colin: Video interviews have added requirements. A respondent may be playing with the button on a pen. Although this may not matter in a written article, it would be terribly annoying on video because of the noise. Stripes on a shirt also cause moiré patterns that look bad on video. As such, I would tell the interviewees to dress accordingly, and I would also find a suitable location that does not have too much background noise. I think the interview for an article can be done with less preparation. Even the photograph can be prepared earlier or submitted later.

Margaret: Do C-suite clients get stage fright when you photograph or film them? What tips do you give to your business clients when they appear on a corporate video you are shooting?

Colin: The clients I produce the videos for are normally rather confident, but there are times when even CEOs get cold feet. I try to talk to them to reassure them that it’s alright if they mess up the first time. I also try to help them come up with phrases sometimes, and try to fix their script on the fly so that it seems more natural coming from them.

Margaret: Having observed so many people in your career, how does a person’s dressing style and public presentation skills affect others’ perception of them? What insights can you share with my corporate readers who are working on their public-speaking skills?

Colin: Sadly, people still judge by appearances. We tend to have first impressions of people based on their attire: whether it’s branded; new or old; and formal or informal. However, we often forget that appearances can also deceive us.

I normally tell people to think about the impression they want to create on others. I ask them if there is a person, real or fictional, who represents the ideal image of themselves. They can take steps to emulate this real person or fictional character.

Diction also plays a part in the impression we create. Our diction is a bit harder to change. We can’t change it like we can change clothes. The problem is that American entertainment and pop culture has become such a big part of our leisure and lifestyle that its influence is hard to escape. I’d suggest being a more discerning consumer and choosing what you want to watch as those language nuances tend to creep into our speech patterns.

However, diction is not the main issue affecting those who have to do public speaking. It is usually fear of crowds. It doesn’t matter if it’s four, forty or four thousand. If there is fear, it will still affect the delivery and eventual perception. I tell people to talk as if they are talking to friends. Forget the script, and just remember the essential points. Then talk to the crowd as if you are addressing only one or two friends in the audience. That has worked for me.

State of the Industry

Margaret: What are the differences, if any, between the TV, newspaper, magazine, and media production industries? Which do you like best?

Colin: The differences used to be quite big but it’s all becoming one amalgamated mess now with the Internet being the main distribution platform. I still buy magazines in spite of the technological advancements.

Margaret: How do you see the media industry evolving in the future?

Colin: Everyone now has the power of advocacy. The industry will be very fragmented, but corporations will still be able to dominate through their resources. All this gives audiences the power of choice, which could also lead to restricted world views among some people.

How to Overcome Fear of Public Speaking

Overcome your fear of speaking or performing in front of an audience with these positive thoughts.

by Margaret Tang

I have spoken in public for years. For nine years, I guided groups of visitors ranging in size from one to sixty through a few museums: The Singapore Art Museum, The Asian Civilisations Museum, The Peranakan Museum and the now-defunct Singapore History Museum. I have delivered numerous training programs to colleagues and customers and made project presentations to managers. I have also emceed a conference of six hundred attendees, some dinner and dance functions and weddings. I’ve also read my short stories at literary events, among many other speaking engagements.

Even though speaking in front of an audience comes naturally to me now, there was a time when I when was afraid. I would not be able to sleep the night before. Before my presentation, my heart would thump in my chest so hard that I felt like I was going to pass out. My mouth would get dry. My hands would tremble.

What is behind the fear? Images of being laughed at and ridiculed? The gut-wrenching, face-burning feeling of humiliation? I even imagined people saying to each other: who does she think she is? How arrogant! Catastrophic thoughts like these would naturally make anyone fearful.

After all these years of speaking in front of thousands of people, I love it because I have consistently experienced my audiences’ appreciation of what I share with them. How did I get from being afraid to loving it? It begins in the mind. Replace your negative thoughts with the following positive thoughts:

1.  My audience is kind

I have spoken to thousands and I have yet to meet an unkind audience. The reality is that people are kind. Unless you at a political event or protest rally where the topic is controversial and emotions are running high, your audience is likely to be polite, even if you’re boring. Of course, if you’re going to speak in public, you should be prepared with a good presentation that’s worth listening to. Your audience would have no reason to be unkind. In fact, they would be appreciative. Think of all the times you’ve been in the audience and appreciated a talk. This brings me to my next point.

2.  I am giving value to my audience

For many years, my favourite speaking task was giving tours to visitors in the Singapore Art Museum. I am not an art expert. I made a living as an engineer but I volunteered as a docent on weekends because I love art.

At the start of each tour, I would notice that many in the group looked intimidated. (It’s a strange phenomenon: lots of people don’t understand expensive art and it seems to make them afraid to look like fools.) Some were dedicated parents who felt obligated to expose their children to art, even though they didn’t appreciate art themselves. Others were tourists who felt that visiting the museum was a necessary holiday to-do. At the end of each tour, there was always a smile on their faces, a sparkle in their eyes and enthusiastic applause. It was no longer an intimidating mystery to them. I knew that I had opened the door to the world of art for them and in doing so, introduced them to new possibilities.

When you speak or perform, you are putting value into the world. People benefit from that value.

3.  I don’t have to be an expert

That’s right. You don’t have to be an expert to make a public presentation. You just need to know what you’ve chosen to talk about. As long as your audience goes away with some new knowledge or experience, they’ll be happy. If you can’t answer a question, acknowledge the asker, admit you don’t know and learn the answer for your next talk. Even experts don’t know everything. Here’s some statements you can say:

  • That’s a good question. I’ll have to look it up/ think about it.
  • That’s very insightful of you. I did not think of it. That’s something that I will consider adding to my research/presentation.

Also, don’t be afraid of someone in your audience who does know more than you (I once had a Western Art professor on my tour of South-east Asian Art). Think of each encounter as a conversation of mutual benefit. You can say:

  • Thank you for telling me that. I learned something new today.

4.  My audience won’t know if I forget a point

It is necessary to rehearse your talk. It’s normal to worry that you’ll forget some part of it. And sometimes you really do forget. I have, more than once, actually. But my audience never knew what I was originally planning to say.

In fact, sometimes I deliberately reorganised my talking points while presenting. My audience didn’t know that either.

5.  I am excited

Fun fact: the physical symptoms of fear are the same as the symptoms of excitement. The adrenaline coursing through your body is getting you ready to perform at your best. It’s the “fight or flight” hormone.  It super-charges your mind too. So, tell yourself that you’re excited. Jump up and down. Smile. Visualise a smiling audience clapping loudly for you. Embrace that adrenaline because it makes you look more alive. I’ve read that Anthony Robbins uses a trampoline backstage to ‘rev’ himself up so that he can bring energy to his performances.

I hope these tips will help you overcome your fear of public speaking. Swop out those catastrophic thoughts for positive thoughts and you may discover the pleasure of public speaking. It’s really just a conversation with some nice people.

Interview with Actor and Host Shannon Zann

Pick up some tips from a performer about changing careers, overcoming shyness and speaking in front of an audience.

by Margaret Tang

Shannon Zann is someone you may find familiar. You may have seen her on Mediacorp Channel 8 drama serials. Or you might have also seen her hosting an event. She is a veteran that has hosted big-stage events like beauty pageants, exhibitions, festivals and gala dinners, in addition to various mall events and corporate events. More recently, she has also become a trainer, teaching participants how to perform in front of a camera and make their own videos for social media.

Shy Child

The woman before me is vivacious. Her voice sparkles with energy. You would never imagine that she used to be a shy child.

Shannon says, “When I was young, I loved to watch musicals. All those beautiful costumes, dancing and acting, it was all so amazing to watch. I wished I could do it too, but I was always too shy.” She still remembers the time in secondary school when she missed the chance to be in a class performance. “I was fourteen or fifteen years old. The teacher needed actors. She went around the class asking us one by one: Can you act? A lot of the students said ‘no’, but some students had friends who would cheer for them and say ‘she can act, she can act’. When the teacher came to me, I stayed silent, but in my heart, I was crying out, ‘I want to act. I want to act’. I was known to be shy and introverted, so none of my classmates nominated me. When my teacher moved on to the next person, I felt like my bones just shattered. I was really sad because I really wanted it.”

Even though she did not dare to perform, the desire never went away. After her ‘O’ level examinations, she asked her mom if she could go to a performance art school like Lasalle or NAFA, but her pragmatic mom asked her how she would make a living. Obediently, she went to junior college and university like everyone else. After graduation, she went to work as a social worker.

How She Got into Acting

After a few years of working as a social worker, Shannon felt burnt out. “I was praying and seeking God and asking ‘What next? What next?’ then I was reminded that as a kid I loved to perform.” She tried out acting by performing in a mini-musical in church. “It was lots of fun. It was so cool. I really liked it. But I still had reservations. I thank God because people from the industry started showing up in my life. I met performers like hosts and magicians. Talking with these people allayed my fears and dispelled some myths about the entertainment industry. I started by signing up for some acting classes with the director Kelvin Sng. My instructor said, ‘Eh, Shannon, you have quite a flair for acting, you know.’ That made me think: maybe this is possible.”

In her first year, Shannon got into the ensemble cast of Toy Factory Productions’ December Rains starring Kit Chan. “Live theatre is very fun. I got to try everything. I even had one line of solo singing and a named character for one scene. I had to change my wardrobe for different characters in the various scenes. It was hilarious when it was a rush.”

Becoming a Host

After a year in acting, Shannon chanced upon an audition with the Singapore Armed Forces’ Music and Drama Company. For her audition, she had to sing, dance and host. She laughs as she recalls, “I had to improvise my dance, so I just did the Saturday Night Fever sort of move. All the army boys were laughing at me. They must have been thinking ‘so old school’” After the audition, the manager told her that she was best at hosting. She decided to trust the feedback and gamely took on hosting with the company which started her on the path to becoming a host.

Advice to people who want to get into acting and hosting

Shannon advises young aspiring entertainers to go to Lasalle, SOTA or NAFA to get good foundation training in acting, dancing, singing. “That would open up your path to so many areas and make you a better actor,” she says. For people making a mid-career change into the entertainment industry, she advises them to take classes and go for auditions and if they can, go overseas to take theatre or acting classes where there are proper programs as in the USA. Of course, now during the pandemic take online classes.

Tricks of the Trade

I have seen Shannon on film and in front of an audience. She has a vibrancy that looks completely natural, not over-the-top dramatic like some other hosts I have seen and certainly not awkward and low-energy like the average person. I ask her how she charges up her energy levels before an event and for some tips for my readers so that they can project the confidence she projects.

She says, “Before any event, I hide away and conserve my energy. I won’t go out with my friends the night before an event. If possible, I also take a nap just before the event. My advice is: get enough sleep if you want to have energy for a performance. For people who feel like they have low energy, while they are backstage, they can jump up and down, move their arms and legs and stretch to loosen up their muscles too. The adrenaline rush really helps to boost your energy. Tony Robbins uses a trampoline backstage to rev himself up before he goes on stage.

Before I get on stage, I will visualise what is about to happen. In my head, I see myself walk up the stage until I reach the rostrum then I turn to the audience, look someone in the face and say ‘Good evening ladies and gentlemen’. Visualisation will help you feel grounded. After that, you go on stage and do the same thing.

Of course, before the event, I would have looked at the script and adjusted it to match my style. I would have checked the pronunciation of names with the organisers and also rehearsed a few times so that I would be familiar with the flow of the event and what I’m going to say.

After you do it a few times, you’ll be much more relaxed. The first time I went on stage, I was in my teens. I remember the first row of people in the audience were laughing. I thought, ‘oh no, is something wrong with my clothes or my hair?’ then I realised that my whole body was shaking. My knees were literally knocking together. But the next time, I was much better because I knew what to expect.”

Injecting Energy into the Audience

Shannon also has a few tricks to get our famously stiff Singaporean audience to loosen up too. “For events where I need audience participation like for games, I warm up the audience by starting small. First, I’ll get them to do something easy like clap for someone. Then, I’ll get them to say something easy like: say hi to the people sitting beside you. Bit by bit, I get the audience warmed up so that by the time we get to the games, they are ready to play. For dinner and dances especially, I will ask the organisers for names of outgoing, fun-loving employees that I can call on, just in case I can’t get the audience to play along.

Tips for Camera Work

Here is a simple cheat from Shannon to appear more relaxed and confident: Put a photograph of a family member, close friend or even an idol next to the camera and pretend that you are talking to them. Ultimately, it is all about practice. Rehearse your script in front of the camera. You will become desensitised to the camera being there. 

She also gave a tip for zoom calls. “To seem like you are making eye contact with the other person, get out of full-screen mode, and resize and reposition the zoom screen until the person’s image is directly under the computer’s camera. That way you can look at the screen, and still look like you are looking into the camera.

COVID-19 and the future

COVID-19 brought about major changes for Shannon and many in the entertainment industry in Singapore. “During circuit breaker, one hundred per cent of my bookings were cancelled or postponed. Postponed jobs were eventually cancelled anyway. Overnight, I had no income. Now after one year, jobs are slowly coming back, but there aren’t as many as in the pre-COVID days. There are fewer jobs and so many hosts, so there are quiet price wars among hosts. Events companies have lower budgets now too.”

Despite the tough times, she is grateful that the pandemic has forced her to evaluate her future in the industry. “For a few years now, I’ve been thinking that I can’t keep hosting for the rest of my life. Every year, new hosts are entering the industry who are younger, prettier and cheaper. It doesn’t make sense to the customer to pay more for an older host. I’m getting older, so I knew I needed to think about what else to do for a living. But I was cruising along and still earning good money, so I didn’t take action.”

2020 forced her to start teaching smartphone videography. “For some time, people had been asking me to teach them how to make videos because I’ve been making showreels and videos to post on YouTube for marketing.”

The introvert has a love/hate relationship with social media. “Even though I’m an actress, if I’m left to myself, I would be happy to hide in a corner and not put up any videos on social media. Of course, I am thankful that I can use social media to market myself. So, I would push myself to keep engaging with my audience.” 

As an introvert who has painstakingly built up her career in the public world of entertainment, she empathises with and wants to help solopreneurs and small business entrepreneurs who also face the difficulty of marketing through social media. Other than videography, business and marketing courses, she plans on adding courses on cultivating a positive mindset; overcoming limiting beliefs; battling imposter syndrome; and developing confidence.

“I feel a calling to move towards coaching. I really believe in mindset transformation.” When I ask her if coaching will be easy for her since she had the personality to go into social work at the start of her career, she says, “Actually, social work is more than just personality. You really need to have the heart for it. You have to want to help.”

Get updates on Shannon’s course’s