Solly Moeng is an experienced professional Political journalist and Branding Speaker with a career that has seen him manage a variety of branding projects in various sectors and in countries spanning several continents.

He is an established independent media professional with specialisation in Reputation Management, Stakeholder Engagement Strategies, Strategic Internal & External Communications, PR and Media Relations.

Solly Moeng

Who inspired you to pursue professional speaking?

While I developed organically into public speaking over the years (teaching, addressing professional groups, company leaders, or potential travelers in various parts of Canada and the USA (where I used to be, respectively, Marketing Manager and Country Manager for SA Tourism) I have also watched other people who did this with much admiration. Many of them are well established in this sector.  

What do you like most about professional speaking?

Inspiring people to be better, for themselves, those around them, and the world we share. I often center some of my talks around the importance and impact of ‘personal brand’. I lecture on ‘Reputation Management’ and ‘Social, Company, and State Protocols’ at the respected EU Business School – Top Business School in Europe | EU Business School (euruni.edu)

What do you dislike most about professional speaking?

Nothing that I can think of

Why have you succeeded in a field where many have failed? (public speaking)

It has come naturally to me, and I believe that I have become better, more confident, over the years. One must be able to understand and read one’s audience and align tone and message content as one goes along, to retain audience engagement.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Diepkloof, Soweto, where spent my formative years. But since we never really stop growing up and that we’re products of all of our life experiences, I have also lived and/studied in France, Canada, the USA and, now, Switzerland, and have travelled to speak at conferences places like Russia (Moscow and Ekaterinburg), India (Mumbai), Armenia (Yerevan), Zambia (Lusaka), Switzerland (Davos and Geneva), etc. I have also been to the UK, Hawaii, Nigeria, and Algeria. All these places have – and continue to – contributed to my life journey of growing up.  

Where did you study?

Diepkloof, Soweto (all Schooling); Johannesburg (BA – WITS University); Besançon, France (MA – Université de Franche-Comté); Montréal, Canada (Restaurant & Hotel Management – ICC); Cape Town (Post-Graduate Marketing Diploma – Institute of Marketing Management); (PhD still to be completed – UCT);       

Who is your celebrity crush?

Halle Berry, Kerri Washington, Olga Kurylenko…

What do you watch on TV?

News, current affairs, documentaries, action movies…

How did you get started?

As a French teacher, a presenter during sales & marketing shows…

What are your career goals?

To positively influence more people to be constructive contributors, irrespective of their chosen sector of activity.

What are your personal goals?

To keep learning, growing my global footprint, and to earn a decent living

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?

Road and off-road Cycling, photography, travel, enjoying and discovering more food & wine, reading, meeting interesting people…

Who are your heroes? Why?

Nelson Mandela: he had massive amounts of empathy, self-awareness, emotional intelligence, maturity, and balance. He understood the value of ethical, exemplary, leadership.

Any hobbies?

Cycling (MTB and Road), literature, Travel, Movies, Wine collection…

Do you have hidden talents?

Singing for my friends during/after intimate dinners while accompanied by guitar (I’m still taking my own guitar lessons) or in accompaniment of a favorite song.

Your biggest pet peeve and why?

Littering, illegal dumping, loud speaking in public, bosses who shout orders at their employees or otherwise humiliate them.

If you could invite any three people in the world (alive or dead) for dinner, who would they be and why?

Richard Bronson, Barack Obama, and Thuli Madonsela. While here would be some serious discussions about issues challenging our world, as well as possible practical solutions for them, there would also be some light banter and laughter. The two gentlemen would see to that.

Anything else you want to tell Hesketh Media?

While I thoroughly enjoy discussions about serious stuff – one-on-one/group – I also love light moments of music and laughter with friends. I love comedy shows and live jazz concerts. But I’m also a loner who must have regular solo outdoor moments. My regular cycling feeds my hunger for that. I am as happy being alone in the outdoors as being with others who also enjoy it.

Favorite Quote?

“Every (wo)man that I meet is, in some way, my superior.” – Ralph Wando Emmerson.

“A good leader must know how to keep a distance wide enough between himself/herself and the team – in order to be the leader he/she must be – but narrow enough to always remain accessible to the team” – paraphrased from a forgotten author.

“If you’re a leader, don’t think you have to be everybody’s friend.  It’s not about being arrogant, or a jerk – it’s about preparing yourself (and your team) for the tough calls.  Leadership isn’t about being cool.  It’s about taking people from where they are to where they need to be.” – A Phil Cooke version

Tell us three things about you that nobody would guess.

  • Busy writing two books; one in French and the other in English
  • I enjoy singing
  • I’m somewhat of a loner; never been a groupie, even though I enjoy the company of others, provided I can quietly retreat into my own space when I want to.

Watch clip 1 for Chris Lemons.

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