There’s a reason why some of the most successful businessmen and women in the world are known as top-notch communicators. They recognized the importance of public speaking in business at some point and ensured that they honed that skill.
Whether you’re a business owner or hold a high position in a company, public speaking is a skill that will go a long way in your long path to success. Because of my biased love towards public speaking, I would go even a step further to say that no matter what level you are at in your company, public speaking is something that will help you climb the ladder faster.
But I get it, not all successful people are great speakers. But remember what Warren Buffet said:
“If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential.”
The only degree he has in his office is the certificate from a Dale Carnegie public speaking course he had taken when he was young. Learning to become a better communicator is critical and a good public speaker is a communication’s master on steroids!
Here are 5 ways public speaking can help you in business:
Whether we’re business owners or not, we all want to better influencer others – communicate our ideas more effectively and hold the other person’s undisturbed attention.
Through public speaking, we learn the art of storytelling. We’re able to share our ideas with more clarity and effectiveness. Through this, we realize our audience (whether it’s a crowd of 2 or 200) is not only more engaged when we speak but also knows exactly what to do after we’re done speaking.
By understanding effective transitions, pauses, gestures, modulation, we become a lot more engaging to listen to. Our understanding of our audience improves and we are able to communicate much more effectively to different people across various cultures.
That’s called being magnetic – the ability to influence solely because of your ability to understand who you’re speaking to and communicate accordingly. That’s what public speaking teaches us to do.
Public speaking helps you to understand the principles of ethos, logos and pathos. It teaches you to appeal to your credibility as a speaker (ethos), the logical side of an argument (logos) and appealing to the emotions of your audience (pathos).
Learning to integrate these 3 elements into your speech is what makes your speech (or conversation) a lot more persuasive.
By learning public speaking, we improve our research skills, we learn the importance of understanding our audience better and we learn to prepare before we speak so we have the ability to be flexible and adapt our communication according to the circumstances thrown to us.
Related article: The Secret of Writing a Persuasive Speech (On Any Topic) | Ethos, Logos, Pathos is Not Enough
Makes You Irreplaceable
We all know it. Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is going to change the face of employment as we know it. According to one famous study, 47 percent of currently existing jobs in America are at high risk of potential automation in the coming decades.
How do we ensure that we are irreplaceable? By doing something a machine can never do.
Public speaking makes us confident, it makes us a powerful communicator, negotiator and influencer. None of these skills can be replaced by a machine. If you’re working in a company which values these skills, you do not need to worry about the AI wave.
Think about it – most people fear public speaking even more than they fear death itself. Most of the world faces the fear of speaking in front of crowds. If you can master this art, you’re already ahead in the game.
Your Own PR Machine
As business owners, we must be our own PR machines. Instead of shying away from the spotlight, we should grab every opportunity we can to speak and promote our business.
Honing the skill of public speaking will enable us to handle public events, networking, seminars, conferences, interviews, etc. like a pro.
It’s so much better to see a business owner who is comfortable with speaking to a crowd as opposed to someone who is visibly nervous and struggles to communicate his/her ideas.
As business owners, we’re out there selling nearly every day. But no one likes to be sold to. Yet, sales is the blood-line of all businesses.
Public speaking gives us an opportunity to soft sell. This means that instead of selling directly, you convince your audience of your credibility and expertise through your prowess of effective public speaking.
Great Instagram influencers do this brilliantly. They never try to sell anything. But because of the trust they build over the years, when they talk about a product or service they really believe in (or start their own product line) people buy into them without question.
Soft-selling is incredibly effective in today’s world where being salesy or overly pushy is not received well especially by the millennial audience. That’s where public speaking comes into play – an indispensable skill which allows you to sell without actually selling anything.
Business(wo)men Who Have Killed it in Public Speaking
There are certain business(wo)men who have aced it in business largely thanks to their ability to speak in front of and influence crowds.
One of the greatest business presenters in history – the founder of Apple wasn’t a naturally gifted speaker. Then how did he manage to influence so many people to buy into his vision? He practiced.
What can we learn from Steve Jobs about public speaking?
Why was Jobs such a powerful speaker and presenter? METICULOUS practice. He would rehearse intensely, review scripts, ensure everything supporting his talk was on-point and prepared well in advance. T
To quote Bill Gates, “It was just amazing to see how precisely he would rehearse. He’s even a bit nervous because it’s a big performance. But then he’s on, and it’s quite an amazing thing.”
People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint.Steve Jobs
Recommended speech: iPhone Introduction Presentation
In today’s world, if you follow business, Gary V is a name that you cannot ignore.
Starting off by building his father’s wine business from $3,000,000 to $60,000,000 to becoming one of the most influential businessmen of our time, a lot of Gary V’s prowess comes from the fact that he is an amazing speaker.
What can we learn from Gary Vaynerchuck about public speaking?
Authenticity. The thing I personally love about Gary V is how authentic he is. Remember we spoke about soft-selling? Gary is the king of soft selling. He never sells anything. All he does is add value to other people as authentically and genuinely as he can.
This philosophy is reflected in his best-selling book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
By knowing his audience and having an urge to genuinely add value to them, he doesn’t need to sell anything. People understand he is an expert and flock to him.
I started to realize I was not a great wine-merchant, it was that I was a great communicatorGary V (when asked why he left his family business and started over)
Recommended speech: One of his keynotes
TV host, author and speaker – Mel Robbins is a powerful businesswoman in the 21st century. Her Ted Talk has been viewed over 20,000,000 times and she has helped thousands of people turn their lives around through her talks, books and coaching.
What can we learn from Mel Robbins about public speaking?
We all fear public speaking. The butterflies, the heart-thumping, the sweaty palms – but Mel says that by simply reframing that nervousness into excitement by telling yourself that you are excited about something, can shift your mindset into a better state before presenting.
I used to be nervous before going on stage and I still am.
But now, I don’t acknowledge that fear anymore. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t lie to myself. I know I’m nervous. But I don’t talk about it. If someone asks me before a big presentation, “Nervous?”, I shrug it off and say, “Nah, I’m pumped!”.
Greatness is hearing your truth and speaking it, no matter how your voice shakes.Mell Robbins
Recommended speech: Ted Talk: How to stop screwing yourself over