Be Authentic, Be Understood and Be Happy

Be Authentic, Be Understood and Be Happy
June 26, 2017 Riffi Khan


Hi, my name’s Riffi and I’m in charge of Effective Communication for the Big Life Project. I’m also a Television Producer, Director and Global TV Format consultant. I’ve enjoyed a successful career by ‘being myself’ and communicating authentically and effectively. With over 15 years of making top-rated television shows, I know that the ability to engage and create trust with a diverse range of people is THE most important skill and key to my own success.



Over the last few years whilst working with my young production interns, I have seen first-hand the challenges young people face with communicating. Through mentoring, I’ve helped them find confidence in their own voice. I’m passionate about empowering others to express themselves eloquently in ANY situation.


I discovered that most youngsters will do anything to avoid a face-to-face conversation – especially if there’s even the slightest possibility they may not ‘get’ what they want or, even worse, a ‘no’. Many would rather ‘google’ for hours than to actually pick up that smartphone (which is glued into their hands) and call a complete stranger to obtain information that could well save them time. It’s clear that although technology is an incredible gift (especially in-terms of communication on the go) and one of our biggest strengths, it’s also, for some, their biggest weakness.


It’s far too easy to ‘hide’ behind a smartphone whenever the going gets tough – messaging by text or WhatsApp instead of speaking to the person face-to-face. This seems to have left some youngsters less practiced in the art of verbal conversation – where the other person’s reaction to what you’ve said is immediate! There’s no place to hide.


Sadly, you don’t know, what you don’t know’, we all slip into communication practices which are easy, safe and comfortable.  The challenge is to realise how precious, effective and powerful authentic communication is. It’s unsurprising that growing up being adept at mastering phones and laptops from age of 3 (like my niece!) means young people are naturally using the same ‘tech tools’ as they move on to university or work life. It’s NOT their fault or ANYONE’S fault – we happen to live in a highly developed tech world.


The flip side is, as humans, we are ALL still the same. We haven’t evolved quite so much as we like to think – communication by ‘tech’ can’t replace the impact of human-to-human conversation be it at home, school or work. We still have the basic need to use our ‘mouths’ and string together a bunch of words in order to most effectively get what we want. Hence, we’d like youngsters to be able to express themselves clearly, in a professional context, without having given them enough ‘practice’ of how to do that.


The workplace doesn’t accept abbreviated jargon nor ‘text’ speak. The inability to converse away from ‘tech’ may prove costly in the work place, and life in general. From university to friendships and personal relationships, the ability to speak and be understood is a major factor in achieving happiness. Those that relish face-to-face conversations know the positive impact this has. For them the world indeed is their oyster, giving them a greater chance to make their dreams come true.


The good news is communication is a skill, and like any skill, it can be learned. I’ve joined the Big Life Project because storytelling and communicating clearly is my passion. I truly believe it’s important to empower young people to develop the art of conversation without feeling fear or frustrated to make their lives happier and fulfilling. 


If you’re a teacher or Educational Establishment and don’t always have the resources to teach vital life skills to your students, contact us at and find out how we can help!



As a TV Producer and Director, Riffi has over 15 years programme-making experience communicating to millions of viewers. Her credits include prime-time documentaries and popular format shows like “Come Dine With Me” and “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here”.


Riffi’s diplomacy and natural flair with people led to a global role as a TV Format Consultant for ITV. She worked successfully across the world by quickly engaging and immediately creating trust with new people.


Riffi lives to inspire and motivate others. The core of her message is that we should ‘speak up’ and ‘articulate clearly’ what we want to say in an authentic way and with love.


She currently mentors a team of young interns as they work together to launch a global web channel Riffi TV – a series of vlogs about communicating and how to get what you want in life.

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  1. Mac 5 years ago

    Very insightful. Thank you.