I am intentional about using the word “get better” in the title of this blog so that I can get your attention if you consider yourself to be a good speaker. There is always room for improvement. And if you haven’t spoken to an audience of more than 5 (just an arbitrary number), it’s time to prepare yourself for the opportunity that could come your way.
What is public Speaking?
For me, public speaking is what you do when you stand in front of an audience to communicate your message or idea. There is usually some formality to the occasion and there is some intentionality to the presentation. So you are engaged in public speaking if you are:
- Giving a best man’s speech or any speech at a wedding
- Giving a presentation at work
- Preaching a sermon
- Delivering a lecture, seminar or workshop
- Giving a sales presentation to a group of buyers
- Giving a talk to a group of people to inspire, influence, motivate or persuade them to your cause.
Why should you stand up and speak?
Public speaking is a method of communication and so if you have no message to communicate, then there is no reason to stand up and speak.
However, from my experience of being around people, many have experiences, knowledge and ideas that would benefit a lot more than themselves. So here is something to consider:
There is a skill to speaking in public. It doesn’t matter how bad you think you are or how scared you are of public speaking, you can overcome your fear and get better at standing up to speak in public.
So let me give you 10 reasons why you should improve your public speaking skills
#1. Increased influence
When you are good at public speaking, people listen and make themselves open to be influenced by you. It’s really up to you what you do with the influence, but I am sure that there is a lot of good that can be done.
#2. Overcoming fear
If you are afraid of standing up to give a prepared speech, then taking up the challenge to speak is one way of overcoming this fear. Once you overcome your fear of public speaking, there is an increased chance of you overcoming your other fears.
#3. Building relationships and meeting people
Public speaking opens doors of opportunities for meeting new people. Your after-speech conversations are all opportunities for new relationships.
#4. Increased leadership effectiveness
Clear and effective communication is said to be the most important key to great leadership. Public speaking gives you the chance to inspire, motivate and persuade your team. Public speaking also gives you a platform to extend your leadership beyond the boundaries of your organisation.
#5. Improved self-esteem
For many of us, our self esteem is tied to what people think about us. Public speaking gives you an avenue to influence the way people think about you. Just imagine yourself speaking to a hundred people with everyone nodding their head in agreement as you make your points and you get a rousing applause at the end.
#6. Good for your career advancement
Think of your boss and your boss’ boss nodding in agreement as you present point after point to management. You leave a positive impression in the hearts and minds of your listeners. When it’s time for promotion and your name is mentioned, their recollection of you will improve your chances of getting the promotion.
#7. Source of income
Believe it or not but there are people out there making a good income from speaking. You can supplement your income by giving speeches and holding training workshops and seminars.
#8. Good for creative thinking
The writing and delivery of a speech is a process that helps you work on your creative thinking process. It involves generating new thoughts and ideas about your topic and how you intend to put it together to come up with an impactful speech.
#9. Increased vocabulary
Your speech is made of spoken words. The more words you have at your disposal, the more creative you can be with the expression of your thoughts and ideas. You are therefore compelled to increase your word supply. When you give a speech or presentation, your listeners haven’t got the luxury of stopping you midway to ask for the meaning of the words you are using. This means that you have to use simple words to express complex ideas.
#10. Turn your speech into a book
With public speaking, there is the opportunity to convert your thoughts and ideas as expressed in your speech into a book that reaches further than your listeners. Your seminars and workshops become the seed of your new books. All you have to do is to record your speech, transcribe and then use the materials as content for your articles, blogs and books.
Now you have my ten reasons why you should get better at public speeking.
It doesn’t matter how good you think you are, getting yourself properly trained and coached or simply joining a speaking club like Toastmasters International will help you improve your speaking skills.
Question: How confident are you as a speaker?