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Barack Obama, Malala Yousafzai, Steve Jobs, Mahatma Gandhi…Wondering what they all have in common? These inspiring visionaries wouldn’t have made an impact without addressing the masses and communicating effectively.
In today’s world, the vital skill of delivering impactful presentations and motivational speeches is a universal aspiration for people from all walks of life. Whether you’re a student giving a class presentation, a working professional addressing a team meeting, an aspiring entrepreneur pitching an idea, or just someone who wants to cope with stage fright, the ability to express yourself with confidence and charisma is an invaluable asset in today’s fast-paced, interconnected world.
In a survey conducted by Prezi, 70% of employed individuals agreed that presentation and public speaking abilities are critical for personal development and career advancement.
While the purpose of indulging in public speaking can vary based on the context, the ability to create and deliver an effective and persuasive speech equips you to take on every challenge in life. Let’s see how in the next section!
7 Reasons Why Public Speaking Is Important?
Once you’ve learned the basic public speaking abilities, you’ll find that being able to effectively speak in public has profound advantages, including the following:
#1 Amplifying Confidence
Facing an audience, first and foremost, is an effective tool for boosting your confidence and self-assurance. After gradually tackling public speaking anxiety, stepping onto the stage and embracing the experience will be fulfilling for any public speaker.
You will feel empowered while addressing the audience, and your daily conversations will also become seamless. Thus, engaging in public speaking would enable you to become more comfortable with expressing your ideas and thoughts in front of people and would cultivate a path toward success.
Whether it is a class presentation, a project proposal, or an inspiring speech, public speaking focuses on furnishing you with confidence that transcends beyond your academic, personal benefits, and professional life by enhancing your self-esteem and improving your social interactions.
#2 Improving Communication Skills
Along with boosting self-esteem, public speaking would enable you to create a long-lasting impact on the audience as a public speaker through your flexible vocabulary, articulation, and body language. Consistent practice and engagement with the audience would hone your effective oral communication skills, gestures, and expressions, enabling you to communicate effectively.
With a balanced combination of verbal and non-verbal communication, leaving no room for misunderstandings, communication skills ensure you are captivating your audience with proper clarity, articulation, and message delivery.
A study by Dr Albert Mehrabian proposed that during any communication, 7 per cent of meaning is communicated through the spoken word, 38 per cent through the tone of voice, and 55 per cent through the body language.
Pro tip: Reading the audience and contextualising your ideas and examples according to their needs and requirements ensures you are not just speaking but impactfully engaging with the audience members and listeners.
#3 Building Persuasion And Influence
- An essential aspect of public speaking is becoming a persuasive, engaging, and effective communicator.
- Public speaking enables you to sway a large group of people in your favour using various techniques, such as storytelling, humour, and persuasive devices. Such techniques ensure that the listeners are in tangent with your views and are influenced by your opinions, thus positively impacting your personal life and career path.
- Persuasive speaking plays a crucial role in meetings, speeches, pitches, conversations, or presentations, influencing others, inspiring action, and building your credibility as a thought leader. Look at some of the examples of persuasive speeches here!
#4 Developing Leadership Skills
- The ability to inspire, motivate, and influence others is a hallmark of effective leadership skills.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Business Communication, individuals with strong communication skills are perceived as more credible and persuasive communicators, leading to enhanced professional success.
- Converting your vision confidently and persuasively cultivates unwavering leadership abilities and prepares you for any challenge.
- Practising public speaking refines your ability to be more resilient and self-assured, further developing leadership skills. For details on how to work on communication skills to be a better leader, refer to books like Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get from Good to Great.
#5 Sharpening Critical Thinking Skills
- One of the most essential aspects of being a thought leader is to be a critical thinker. To think on your feet and respond to unexpected situations. For instance, imagine that you are delivering a thoroughly-practised speech. However, when posed a question about it, your mind starts to go blank.
- In such situations, using valuable skills of public speaking to recollect all the facts and information, critically engage with the problem, analyse the audience, and interpret the best way to tackle the situation would be handy!
- Through public speaking, you develop the ability to critically assess information and make informed decisions in real time. This thorough analysis of the situation refers to critical thinking skills, which can be polished by practising public speaking skills. You can learn to present complex ideas clearly and logically by organising your thoughts and structuring coherent arguments.
#6 Cultivating Empathy And Emotional Intelligence
- An integral part of public speaking is emotionally connecting with your listeners to create a long-lasting impact. By understanding the needs and perspectives of the audience and incorporating imagery, humour, emotive language, and relatable examples, you will be able to convey your message on a deeper level and develop emotional intelligence.
- Additionally, public speaking enables you to express your views and emotions effectively in personal and professional settings. By developing credibility, sharing personal anecdotes and experiences with listeners, and incorporating appropriate non-verbal cues, you could empathise with your large audience and leverage it to be more impactful.
Pro tip: Incorporating different viewpoints in your address and creating a supportive and inclusive environment through verbal and non-verbal communication would help foster better relationships.
#7 Promoting Personal Branding
- Always wanted to stand out from the rest of the crowd but didn’t know how to? Reading the room and engaging with people to leave a lasting impression would reflect your confidence and passion distinctly. Contributing to stimulating conversations could establish yourself as a subject matter expert, network with people, and build a solid personal brand to further open doors to new opportunities.
- Attracting the attention and respect of industry experts, potential mentors, or like-minded individuals through your public speaking skills might be a stepping stone to your next significant investment, career growth, or a friend for life.
Improve Public Speaking Skills At Home
Unsurprisingly, polishing your public speaking skills would make it seamless to interact with your personal and social connections. taking out time to work on it might be challenging so, here are a few ways to improve your public speaking skills at home:
- Books: Books are a great way to read about the journey of various public speakers and build on their learnings. Books like The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking and The Art of Public Speaking by Dale Carnegie, and Win Every Argument by Mehdi Hasan. etc. would be a great way to begin!
- Ted talks: Ted talks feature inspiring experts delivering presentations on various topics and sharing their insights. You can find examples of exciting and motivational speeches by other speakers on YouTube and TED Talks.
- Public speaking course: What’s better than learning about something from public speaking coaches in the comfort of your house? You can use public speaking courses to overcome stage fright, retain an audience’s attention, and improve communication skills as well.
- Practice: Indeed, practice makes perfect. Observing your verbal and non-verbal communication, writing and rewriting entire speeches, and keeping track of your progress would enable you to gradually improve your speaking skills in public settings.
Public speaking is more than being the centre of attention or delivering formal presentations. It’s about effective communication of your thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Taking that first step is often challenging, but you develop resilience, overcome fears, and build self-confidence by stepping outside your comfort zone and delivering public speeches or presentations. Learning, reading, and practising would empower you to express yourself, influence others, and make a difference in everyday life.