Public speaking involves delivering speeches and motivational talks amongst your friends, peers, colleagues, and a large audience. If you often find yourself at the center of the platform giving speeches or talks personally or professionally, then you might have a unique knack for public speaking that most people dread. Have you ever, then wondered if this skill is to be pursued as a hobby or if you can make a living out of it?
Public Speaking can be taken as both a hobby and a career! Yes, you heard that right. Given the right skill set and choice of line, you can take up public speaking personally and professionally. Professionally, you can choose to become a keynote speaker, trainer, motivational speaker, teacher, lawyer and so much more. If you wish to pursue this skill as a pastime, you can join clubs such as Toastmasters that allow for gatherings to practice this skill.
That said, let’s now explore some professional careers in the field of Public Speaking.
Professional Careers in Public Speaking
1. Keynote Speaker
A keynote speaker usually precedes the main speaker to give a gist and background of the upcoming topic and session. For example: if the topic is “Positive Psychology and its impact”, the keynote speaker will come beforehand to share what is psychology, the field of positive psychology, and a bit about the forthcoming speaker.
2. Motivational Speaker
A motivational speaker delivers talks and speeches to motivate or inspire an audience. Their talks often challenge, encourage, and influence the listeners. You can speak on a wide array of topics that interest you from life, and environmental awareness to working hard and achieving a meaningful life.
As a lawyer, you would represent people, parties, or governments and fight for their justice against the other party in front of a panel. While this does not involve direct public speaking, as a lawyer you will have to practice this skill as most of your work will involve talking in the court in front of the jury, panels, and members.
Your main duty as a trainer will be to train people who enroll themselves in various programs such as public speaking, personality, or in corporations to do a certain duty or role. Public speaking is of utmost importance in this profession because you will always be catering to big audiences and groups to deliver effective training.
As a politician, you will be entitled to represent the people of the country. Your role will often involve delivering speeches and announcements, speaking on behalf of the people, and communicating laws and policies. Public speaking is much needed in this profession as you will have to communicate on large scales such as at assemblies and conferences.
If you are still wondering about other professional careers in the field of Public Speaking, then read this article “Is Public Speaking a Good Career Option?” where we tell you about 12 careers that you can choose if you wish to take up public speaking as an occupation.
Public Speaking as a Hobby
If you generally like being the stage person and speaking to friends, colleagues, and other audiences but don’t plan the option of making a career in it, it is totally fine! You can still pursue this skill as a hobby or a pastime, catering to into sometimes in the week or month.
Public speaking is often seen as an additional skill whereas it should be considered a basic lifestyle. There are various places and options that you can explore with this hobby such as:
1. Open mics
Open mics are a good way to use the skill of public speaking. You can enroll in various competitions and stage events where you can speak on themes and topics that interest you and the audience.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that helps promote and grow public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Almost every city has a club that meets monthly and allows a platform to enhance their skills. If you too wish to explore your skills promptly, you can join one of the clubs near your location and take the stage there. To know more about Toastmasters, head on to their official website https://www.toastmasters.org/.
What skills will you need?
Whether you choose to take up public speaking as your professional career or a personal hobby, there are some skills that one should acquire or learn to communicate effectively.
1. Creating Content
Before preparing the speech, you must conduct research and develop clear, succinct, and compelling content. Knowing and understanding the content in your speech makes it easier to convey it in a story and conversational manner. As a result, one of the most critical abilities to master is the ability to efficiently produce content.
2. Voice Modulation
To communicate successfully, one must learn to talk or pause at the appropriate times, say things quickly or slowly, loudly or softly, and highlight keywords. When you modulate your voice while delivering content, pausing frequently to allow the audience to grasp, the audience understands considerably better than when you don’t modulate your voice.
3. Nonverbal language
Body postures, hand gestures, and facial emotions are examples of nonverbal communication. Actions, it is said, speak louder than words, and this is certainly true. The audience is unlikely to understand and stay engaged in your speech if your actions are inconsistent with the topic of your speech, or if you stand stationary without moving. Thus, it is important to work on nonverbal skills so that it complements the verbal delivery effectively.
4. Interaction with the audience
While it is critical to communicate your message to the audience, it is also necessary, in fact, helpful to interact with them. Asking questions, playing games, sharing anecdotes, and getting feedback all are fun yet interactive ways to do so. These interactions will assist you to figure out if the audience understands the material and will provide you with some breathing room in between segments.
5. Incorporate visual aids into your talk
Even though you might talk and convey your topic in the best manner, the verbal mode is not enough. When you include presentations, videos, and other visuals, it gives the audience something to look at while listening and this results in better engagement and capture of the content. So, you may want to consider polishing your skills by working on creating and finding relevant videos and presentations that will complement your speech.
6. Reading the room
Reading and understanding the audience is a skill much helpful if you take up public speaking. Although it doesn’t affect your talk directly, it acts as a direction. When you scan through the room and look at the audience, this skill can help you understand if the audience is engrossed or bored, understanding or confused, sleepy or energetic. Thus, upon gaining such nonverbal feedback you can alter your speech by including segments, breaks, or some fun activities that can change the environment of the room and get the audience back on to the talk. Thus, reading the room is one skill every speaker must acquire.
Can Public Speaking be Learnt?
One of the most common anxieties is public speaking, often known as Glossophobia. When people go up on stage, they may experience social anxiety as well as somatic symptoms such as a racing heart, shivering hands and legs, and so on. Is it possible, however, to conquer this fear and gain the skill of public speaking?
Yes! you heard that right! It is possible to learn how to speak in public. It’s just like any other skill. You can learn this ability with the correct coaching and process. Some of the most effective strategies to do so are:
- Joining institutions that train you in public speaking
- Starting to speak in front of a few people and gradually increasing your audience from there
- Enrolling in platforms such as Toastmasters that provide a safe environment to explore the skill.
Many people find this skill innately difficult to conquer. However, there are a variety of factors that play a role, most of which are in our control. Check this article on “9 Reasons Why Public Speaking is So Hard” where we tell you the factors why people find this skill an ordeal and how you can take steps to overcome it!
Is Public Speak a Resume Skill
Skills are an important component of your resume that often convey your traits in an environment, and managers often place a high value on skills and their equivalence to the job.
Wondering if you could add Public Speaking to your skillset? Yes, indeed! You certainly can! Oratory and communication are vital skills to have, and supervisors frequently look for them. Although your profession may not require you to speak directly in front of a crowd of a thousand people, having the ability to do so will demonstrate that you can effectively present yourself in front of a group of people and communicate efficiently on their behalf.
Thus, if you possess oratory talents such as Public Speaking and communication, then you should indeed mention them in your resume!
How Much Can You Earn from a Career in Public Speaking:
There’s no doubt that we all seek a career that allows us to put our skills and abilities to good use while also allowing us to live comfortably. Speakers are needed in almost every setting, from schools to corporations to non-profits, in order to encourage, inspire, educate, and imprint new viewpoints in the audience. As a result, it’s reasonable to conclude that public speaking as a profession is in high demand, and speakers are commonly hired on a contract or freelance basis to meet the need.
Generally, the salary of public speakers can range from $ 80,000 to $1,00,000 or more annually, depending on their experience, education, credibility, recognition, and affordability at the host’s end.
Public speaking is a lifestyle. A means of communication and expression. It enables the expression of thoughts and opinions clearly and succinctly. How you use it depends on you – as a career or a hobby. But to use it effectively is what makes it important!