Despite the fact that the internet is overflowing with articles upon articles vouching for the innumerable benefits of public speaking, the fact remains that speaking in front of people is one of the most common phobias in the world.
Stepping onto the stage and speaking into a mike in front of an audience–no matter how huge or small–is still a daunting task for far too many people. And so a majority of the population avoid public speaking opportunities in a swift and efficient manner, not realizing what a great opportunity they’re giving up.
Because that’s what public speaking is: an opportunity. In fact, it’s not just one single opportunity, but a multitude of them packed into a single package. And yet we so easily let it slip away from us. To name a few, public speaking helps you overcome anxiety issues, build better relationships and communication networks, and enhances your personal & professional growth.
All these factors make it essential that you are well-versed in this art!
Listen, we’re not asking you to turn into Robin Sharma overnight. What we want is for you to realize just how many benefits there are to public speaking, and what you’re missing out on by skipping that seminar you heard about from one of your friends a while ago. And once you understand, all it takes is a little push, a little practice, and you’ll be on your way forward.
Who Needs To Know Public Speaking?
Do Students Need To Know Public Speaking?
Do Homemakers Need To Know Public Speaking?
Do Working Professionals Need To Know Public Speaking?
Who needs to Know Public Speaking?
To put it simply: everybody. Some people are natural in front of large gatherings. Then there’s the rest of us. So does that mean the majority of people across the world don’t necessarily need to be well-versed in the art of speaking in front of a crowd? Not really. Public speaking isn’t relevant to just a selected few professions. Rather, it’s a skill that’s highly valued across all spheres of life.
Doesn’t matter whether you’re a homemaker, a teacher, a student, or a businessperson: you need to know how to handle yourself and speak out in front of a group of people. This is because, no matter where you come from, there will definitely come a time in your life when you will need to speak in front of people–doesn’t matter whether it’s a gigantic crowd of them or just two.
To put it into perspective, if you are a student, there will come many times during the course of your school life that you will need to present yourself in front of people. Even if you don’t actively participate in competitions and such, you will need to give practicals, vivas, presentations, etc. An introverted student? Don’t worry! Check out our article on 5 Public Speaking Tips For Introverted Students for help!
If you’re an office-goer and have entered the job market, the importance of public speaking amplifies further. Not only will you need to partake in meetings, deal with clients, and give presentations, but you will also need to give job interviews.
Even in everyday life, it’s imperative to know how to communicate with other people so that you’re not left behind or lose out on opportunities. Not only that, but public skill also teaches you important life skills, which I have elaborated further down in the article.
Importance Of Public Speaking In Everyday Life
A common misconception is that only working professionals or people engaged in delivering regular speeches need to know public speaking. However, this is not so.
Public speaking is very important for professionals, yes. However, it is a skill that you also need in your normal, day-to-day life. It doesn’t matter whether who you are and where you come from: communication skills are essential if you wish to move forward in life.
Unless and until you know how to speak in front of people, you will never be able to achieve what you want from others. If you wish to influence people and their decisions, or even if you simply want them to know your point of view, you must know how to communicate effectively.
If you don’t, then you will never be able to make your presence felt to others, and might end up as a mere spectator in events that you should have played a key role in.
Not only this, but public speaking is critical to the development of many other skills that are important in life. Communication skills, persuasive ability, confidence, reasoning, critical thinking skills…all of these skills are honed and developed through interacting with and speaking in front of other people. All of these skills, in turn, are imperative in everyday life.
As I mentioned before, no matter where you come from, you will definitely come across instances in life where you’ll have to speak in front of other people. So, it’s always better to be prepared in advance.
Professional Benefits Of Public Speaking
1. Hones Your Writing Skills
Public speaking also has a tremendously positive impact on your writing skills. As you speak out more and more, you are required to write more speeches on your own. This will hone your writing and research skills, and over time you will realize that your speeches have become better.
Not only your speech writing skills but the lessons you learn from writing your speech will directly translate to your overall writing skills becoming better. Good writing skills are necessary for all aspects of life–be it work, school, or even home.
2. Helps You Make Better Social Connections
Another frequently overlooked benefit of public speaking is that it helps you make broaden your social network, which in itself will help you better your speaking abilities.
Public speaking engagements like a presentation or a seminar or MUNs are a great venue for meeting other people who share similar interests as you. People might approach you to ask questions or simply have a conversation after your presentation is over. Alternatively, you could also try reaching out to them yourself.
After you deliver your speech or are done with your presentation, don’t sit by yourself or excuse yourself out of the venue. Instead, mingle with the audience. Interact with the organizers. At the end of your presentation, you could even hand out your business card or your website or other means through which people can contact you at a later date.
There are many, many opportunities to network. All you need to do is reach out and grab them!
3. Helps You Become A Better Leader
Leadership skills are one of the most sought-after skills in all fields of life. And yet, it is evidently clear that not everybody has the qualities that take to become a good leader. If you feel like you lack the ability to lead, don’t worry. Great leaders aren’t born that way–rather, they learn how to become someone that people look up to.
One of the most important qualities that set great leaders apart from others is their ability to speak fearlessly in front of other people. When they speak, leaders tend to stand out from others around them. Think of all the greatest leaders throughout history, and chances are a majority of them would have been excellent orators.
So, if you want to stand apart from the crowd, then practice your oratory skills. The better your command over words, the better you will be able to influence and lead other people.
4. Invites New Opportunities
When you speak up and speak well, people tend to notice you. And if they notice you, then they will speak to you. If they speak to you, you will learn new things, and find new doors of opportunities open up for you. This will help you grow and reach a better position in your life.
To illustrate, imagine yourself delivering a business presentation in front of a large gathering of people at a conference. If you deliver your presentation well, then people in the audience will be impressed by you.
Some of them might even come and speak with you backstage to offer you an opportunity to speak for them somewhere else. They might invite you for joint ventures. Or, they might associate the amazing impression that they’ve formulated of you with your product or idea, which will automatically broaden its reach.
5. Kick-Starts Growth & Development
While for introverts, staying cooped up inside their house might sound like the perfect day, the harsh truth is that if you wish to grow and move forward in life, then you need to step out and talk to people.
Exploring the world and meeting new people will not only provide you with much important life experience but as mentioned before, it also offers you the chance to do something with the experience you’ve gleaned by providing you with better opportunities.
As you speak out in public, your personality develops. You become a more rounded person. You learn new skills, meet new people, formulate new ideas.
You grow and develop as a person, and eventually, you will find yourself in a better position than you were before.
6. Boosts Your Career
Did You Know?
Fear of public speaking cuts wages by 10% & reduces promotion to management by 15%
Effective communication skills are one of the most sought-after skills in the job market. Employers often look for public speaking abilities in their employees, no matter the field you choose.
This is because having an employee who can speak out has a positive impact on the company’s image. Besides, outspoken and well-spoken individuals are able to tackle problems more effectively and deal with a variety of people and situations.
Besides, if you’re excellent in your public speaking abilities, you will be able to ace job interviews and deliver excellent presentations. This will help foster a positive image of yourself in your employer’s eyes and increase your chances of landing the job you’ve been seeking out for so long.
Want to land that dream job?
Practice your public speaking abilities!
7. Improves Your Research Skills
Another key benefit of public speaking is that it improves your research skills. This is because, as you write your speech and prepare for question and answer sessions, you will have to delve into the topic and do a great deal of research.
Not only this, but you will also need to organize this research in such a way that it’s easily understood by the audience. You’ll also need to sift through the research to find out what’s important and what’s not.
And research skills are imperative to job success. After all, variety of tasks like marketing, academic writing, business report writing etc. require the use of research skills.
Personal Benefits Of Public Speaking
1. Makes You A Better Listener
A lesser known benefit of public speaking is that is makes you a better listener. Indeed, the best public speakers are often also exceptional listeners. This is because the audience plays the most central part in any public speaking event like a speech or a presentation.
It is imperative for the speaker to not only know their audience, but to also speak to them, both literally and on a metaphorical level. What you say needs to be understood and related to by them.
And the only way to do this is to listen to them. Listen to what kind of things they like, the language they use, what is important to them, how they feel about a particular aspect of the speech, their observations about the stuff they saw, etc. etc.
Great speakers recognize that public speaking isn’t just about speaking–a great deal of it is opening your years to the stuff spoken by people that’s around you, as well.
As you delve deeper into your public speaking journey and become a better speaker, you will find your listening abilities start to improve as well. This will not just help push you further down the journey, but also translate into other aspects of your life by improving your relationships with others.
2. Makes You More Observant
Another benefit of public speaking is that it makes you more aware about how other people perceive you and your actions. This is because public speaking makes you more observant. During speeches, you are more likely to recognize how other people respond to the way you’re dressed, how you talk, the points you make etc.
This skill then directly transfers to becoming a more observant person in everyday life. Not only this, but as you become more observant of other people, your own habits will improve, as you will learn to now pay attention to how you carry yourself and the impact your presence has on other people.
3. Teaches You How To Be Calm During Stress
This is one of the best ways in which public speaking can help both, your personal as well as professional life. For most people, public speaking is stressful. Even for people who deliver speeches regular, speaking out in public might cause a little bit of anxiety.
As you deliver more speeches and become better in public speaking, this stress and anxiety you associate with it will slowly begin to fade. You will learn to control it, and this control will transfer to other aspects of your life as well. You may also use various calming techniques like breathing exercises before or during your presentations, which you can also use in other stressful events.
4. Improves Your Deductive Reasoning
Deductive reasoning, also deductive logic, is the process of reasoning from one or more statements to reach a logical conclusion. It is a skill necessary for carrying out a lot of tasks in your life. However, what few people know is that public speaking sharpens your deductive reasoning skills.
This mainly happens during the speech writing process. Writing a speech requires you to have a premise, to research based on it, and then to draw conclusions based on your research. This hones your deductive reasoning skills, which not only improves your public speaking but is also vastly important in everyday life tasks.
5. Boosts Your Critical Thinking Abilities
Critical Thinking is defined as the ability to think clearly and rationally and be able to understand the logical connection between different ideas. The abilities are essential. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a student or a job professional or a stay-at-home parent: for daily functioning as well as well as for more advanced scenarios, you must have a good level of critical thinking abilities.
Public speaking is one of the best ways to improve these abilities. This is because most of the steps required for delivering a speech in front of people make use of your critical thinking abilities.
For instance, if you’re delivering a persuasive speech on women empowerment, you will need to think up a variety of reasons why women empowerment is essential and be able to make the connection between all of these ideas so that your speech is a logical whole. Moreover, if someone asks you a question, you will need to think on your feet and get back with a logical answer.
All of this will polish and hone your critical thinking abilities and the more speeches you deliver, the better you will become not only in delivering them but also in tackling issues that pop up in your routine life.
6. Makes You A Better Conversationalist
A lesser known benefit of public speaking is that it makes you a better conversationalist. As you speak out more and more in front of an audience, you become more intuitive to people’s moods and emotions.
This will make you more intuitive–which will greatly improve how you interact with other people. Also, public speaking improves your communication skills, which directly aid to fostering better communications. In addition to all of this, you will be able to build more confidence and feel more comfortable in speaking to other people.
You will also learn to better organize and communicate your ideas to others, which will make it easier for you to interact with them, and also improve the quality of that interaction.
Skills You Can Learn From Public Speaking
Another hidden benefit of learning public speaking are the related skills that you learn by practicing it. You can apply these skills to improve your public speaking, but you can also use them to improve other related spheres of your life. A few of the skills you can learn from effective public speaking are:
1. Body Language Skills
A huge part of public speaking is not just the speech content but the speech delivery. The more you practice speaking in public and the more you actually do speak in front of people, the more you will realize the importance of having good body language. This will, in turn, improve how you carry yourself.
Having a proper body language is not just important on the stage, but in life too. A good posture and a strong and confident body language will provide people with a great first impression of you, and make you leave a lasting impact on their minds.
Wish to improve your body language skills? Check out our article on Body Language Guide To Public Speaking (The Do’s and Don’t’s).
2. Speaking Louder
If you’re someone that has a naturally softer voice, then learning to become a better public speaker is a great way to projecting your voice louder. As you practice speaking efficiently and learn important public speaking skills like diaphragmatic breathing, your voice volume will naturally increase.
This will, in turn, help you out in other social situations. When you’re no longer restrained by your voice level, your confidence level will increase. You will speak out more. People will begin to notice you. You will feel happier.
3. Improving Intuition Skills
Great public speakers are also very intuitive people. This is because they need to be intuitive to their audience’s reaction as they are speaking. This might seem tough at first, but the more you speak out in public, the better you will become at sensing other people’s emotions and reactions.
This will directly aid you in other spheres of life, as intuitive people generally tend to foster better relationships and have more success in life. Being intuitive will not only make it easier for you to communicate with people close to you, but it will also prevent conflict in other areas of your life.
4. Social Skills
As you speak more in public, your social skills will blossom. This is due to a variety of factors, most of which have been mentioned above. As your social skills grow, you will become a better public speaker. And as you become a better public speaker, you will find it more easier to communicate with other people and so on…
The benefits of having great social skills are numerous. You will have stronger and better friendships. You will find it easier to land jobs. You will meet new people, which will open new doors for you. Your level of success in both; life and workplace, too, will get a boost.
5. Boosts Creativity
If you think it’s easy to draft an entire speech on your own, you’ve clearly never written one by yourself. Delivering a speech takes great effort, yes. But even more onerous is the task of writing that speech. Not only does writing an original speech take a great deal of time and patience, but it also requires a huge chunk of creative abilities.
While this might seem tough at first, as you continue to write and deliver speeches, your creative thinking abilities will naturally become better. You will find it easier to write new speeches, and also be able to finish them faster.
It goes without saying that creative skills are important across all spheres of life. Be it a professional setting, problem-solving in your daily life, writing that book, or that song, creative thinking abilities are critical to success in life.
Tips To Improve Public Speaking
1. Take Active Steps To Overcome Stage Fright
Overcoming stage fright is the first step to become a better public speaker. If you have any underlying anxiety about speaking in front of a large audience, then begin by taking steps to relax yourself of the fear first.
There is no single magical cure to completely rid you of state fright. Instead, by taking small steps, you can become a better speaker than you were yesterday. Acknowledging your fear is the first step. Then, you can try to improve your speaking abilities yourself by using positive self-affirmations, practicing your speech in front of friends and family, asking for feedback etc. You could even go and join a public speaking club or you’re more serious about improving your abilities.
However, remember to not be disheartened. Even the best public speakers tend to experience bouts of nervousness before stepping on stage.
2. Study Ted Talks And YouTube Videos
Most people that appear on the Ted Stage tend to be amazing public speakers–which is why they’re invited to speak, in the first place. You don’t have to limit your study to just Ted Talks, either.
There are many, many other amazing speech videos on YouTube. As you watch the video, observe the speaker. Their voice, their body language, their facial expressions…take note of all of this stuff and try incorporating them into your own speech.
3. Research & Practice Beforehand
Research and practice are the cornerstones of delivering a public speaking. Unless and until you’ve done your research–not just about your topic but also your audience, possible questions that you might be asked, the organizers, your venue–you’re not going to be able to deliver a great and authentic speech.
So, before you step on the stage, take pains to study about everything that might be of import in your speech.
Another key is practice.
Don’t just write your speech and then straight-up go and deliver it. Practice beforehand. Time it. Make little tweaks here and there.
4. Books & Courses On Improving Communication Skills
Another way to improve your communication skills is by reading books on how to do so. Reading up on books might take time. However, the knowledge gained through this way is going to be far more exhaustive than anything else you could do. This is because a book is going to be more exhaustive than, say, a YouTube video or an article. Often, it will have first-hand and personal experiences. This will greatly help you improve your public speaking.
You don’t need to have any crazy goals, either. You can read one book per week–or per month. It doesn’t matter. All you need to do is set a goal and stick to it.
A few great books are:
1. Speak With No Fear by Mike Acker
2. Talk Like Ted: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets Of The World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gello
3. How To Win Friends And Influence People By Dale Carnegie
You could also do a few courses online. Online courses are a great, cost-effective way of learning public speaking. You can do these at your own pace, and also re-watch the material to better understand it. A few great courses are:
- Acumen Presents: Chris Anderson On Public Speaking – Udemy
- TED Masterclass – TED
- Introduction To Public Speaking – Coursera
- It’s Not That Scary: A Beginner’s Guide To Public Speaking – Udemy
- Public Speaking Foundations – Linkedin Learning
5. Remember That Attention Doesn’t Last Forever
No matter how well-honed your speech, unless and until you manage to grab and hold your audience’s attention, all your efforts are going to be in vain.
Your speech structure and the way you deliver it play a key role in whether you manage to grab your audience’s attention or not.
You might start off too slow, losing your audience’s attention even before it’s fully aroused. Or, you might start with a bang but end up losing track of your line of thought in the middle of your speech.
Or you might do neither of the above but just deliver your awesomely written speech in an inanimate way, thereby cancelling out any possibility of having your audience’s attention.
This is another reason why it’s important to research and practice beforehand. Proper practice and feedback will keep you from making these kinds of errors in your speech.
6. Start With A Bang And End The Same Way
Audience’s attention can be quite an unforgiving thing. Unless and until you manage to grab it in the beginning, chances are you will never manage to sieze it throughout the rest of your speech. Which is why it’s important to start off on an interesting note. You can do this in many ways: you could tell a joke, or a story, or even a shocking statistics. The key is to grab their attention, and to make sure it stays that way.
Another key is to have a strong ending. While your opening will determine your audience’s mental state during your speech, the ending will decide whether they remember your speech after you’re done speaking or not. Therefore, it’s not only important to have a memorable opening, but a closing as well.
So, public speaking has numerous other benefits besides simply improving your confidence. They help you hone a variety of life skills, invite opportunities to make you grow and develop, and make you a more well-rounded individual overall. Public speaking skills are imperative not only for working professionals or those who are professional public speakers, but also for an ordinary person. Besides being an essential skill itself, public speaking skills help hone and develop a variety of other related skills. So, what are you waiting for? Get that notepad and start looking for opportunities to speak up!