Career advancement and public speaking go hand in hand.
Public speaking helps your professional career as it showcases a plethora of required desirable qualities such as confidence, creativity, leadership, professionalism, and excellent communication skills, to name a few.
A candidate automatically stands out from the crowd, with the possession of such skills.
If it had to be put in one word, candidates with experience in public speaking are considered to be assets for any organisation.The beauty of public speaking stems from the fact that the possibilities that are derived from this are unending.
Every sphere, every avenue of your life, is positively influenced by the skills you gain from public speaking; whether it’s a job interview, a presentation or a conference– the benefits of public speaking are innumerable, especially when it comes to career advancement. Here’s why.
Why Employers Value Public Speaking:
1. The Biggest Asset
Your personality is your biggest asset, when honed well. Any employer will immediately be drawn to a magnetic and confident personality, which is developed through the art of public speaking.
When accustomed to speaking to people–both familiar, and unfamiliar; in environments, known and unknown, one is able to quickly build a rapport with the people around him.
2. A Great Leader
The art of expression is derived through the inculcation of public speaking.
The quality that defines any good leader is that of clear expression. It is only when you express, can you impress.
Leadership is an amalgamation of various skills–skills that cannot be taught and are developed through experience. Public speaking provides one with that experience.
Confidence, persuasion, negotiation, authoritativeness–all of these skills are inculcated through public speaking, and make a great leader, which is a treasured quality that employers look for.
3. The Factor of Trust:
Your employers need to trust you. Goodwill is what matters in the long run.
A good public speaker is a credible one. It is someone an audience would instantly develop a liking towards. It is a person who looks his audience in the eye and forges a connection through body language and gestures.
Keep reading to find out the skills of a good public speaker and how to inculcate them.
4. What’s Your Idea?
It’s all about communication. How you present a thought, idea, and/or message, makes or breaks your position in an organisation.
It doesn’t stop with just a great idea. It is equally important to present and express it, with the same level of finesse and creativity.
Often, a brilliant idea may be rejected due to its poor explanation, while a mediocre one may seem more alluring, due to a great presentation.
As an employee, you have to prove your mettle time and again. You need to reinstate your worth, and that comes from constantly being able to deliver.
Being a public speaker gives you an edge over others, as you’ll find it easier to convince and persuade your employers and fellow employees to agree to your ideas and viewpoints.
How Public Speaking Enhances Your Skill Set:
1. The Magic of Logic
Public Speaking isn’t merely about memorising a few words and repeating them in front of people. It requires a great deal of thinking, planning, structuring, organising and analysis.
It starts with drafting and structuring the speech, which in itself is quite a tedious task, as so many factors need to be kept in mind such as time limit, audience, the message in itself, and language to name a few.
Finally, even while presenting, establishing a connect with the audience is absolutely essential, and is done so by maintaining eye contact, adequate gestures, body language, and voice modulation.
Basically, from start to end, your mind is constantly at work, rationalising and analysing every little detail, which is necessary for a successful speech.
Naturally, this aspect will benefit you in every other walk of life, as well– especially your career.
2. Fear Factor
Public speaking is a daunting experience. In fact, it is one of the most common forms of anxiety, and is definitely a frightening experience for many.
What empowers an individual the most, is facing and overcoming their fears and insecurities. Of course, it does take time, but day-by-day as one takes the plunge, it starts to boost one’s confidence.
Turning a perceived weakness into a strength is what public speaking teaches you, and the amount of strength received through that is immeasurable.
It will change your outlook on life. You will be more driven, motivated and inspired to complete tasks, with your new-found confidence.
This, of course, will help you take your career to the next level and will make you believe in your abilities, and develop new skill sets.
3. Work Through your Network
Any public speaking event is a great opportunity to meet new people. After all, chances are, you share similar interests.
The people you meet could most deinitely end up playing a vital role in your personal and professional lives in the near future.
You may even be able to receive new leads on jobs, and other career advancement opportunities.
It gives you a chance to connect with people who could influence and shape your knowledge and understanding on various subjects.
4. Living in Security
Life is all about new people and new experiences. The very point of life is to step out of the ‘comfort zone’ that we demarcate for ourselves.
We move from one goal to another, when we’re satisfied with the previous one. Conquering public speaking with confidence gives one immense satisfaction.
Mastering public speaking turns the impossible into possible. It gives you strength to pursue any other hobby or passion of yours.
Most importantly, the confidence you get leads to a new found freedom, which instills a sense of security– something that all human beings yearn for.
5. Sway them, Persuade them
If you believe in your abilities, and have a powerful idea, public speaking helps you instill the change you want to see.
Whether it was Martin Luther King’s I Have a Dream or Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Speech, history has been rewritten and defined through these revolutionary voices.
Good orators know how to persuade and captivate the audience into believing what they have to say.
Being able to influence is a great strength and power to possess, especially when it comes to your career.
6. Flexible Lexicon
Every public speaking event is a different experience altogether. The more you explore this avenue, the more you learn.
The speeches you draft will depend on the kind of audience and environment you’re in. Your language and choice of words are heavily dependent on these factors, as well.
Thus, you automatically lean and add new words to your vocabulary. While doing research, you may come across new concepts and terms, which would definitely add a lot to your speech, as well as normal day-to-day conversations.
Additionally, by speaking on such a scale, we learn how to eliminate the usage of filler words like umms and ahhs.
This article will definitely help you get rid of these filler killers.
7. Building your Resume
The very mention of being a public speaker on your resume is a huge added advantage.
This is because, as you see, this concept in itself requires the development of so many other skills that shape you, as an indiviual.
With the very mention of a skill like this, your employer would know that you come with so much more.
Therefore, adding it to your resume would most definitely give you an upper hand.
8. Don’t Stop Believing
What people find the hardest to do is standing up for what they believe in. Especially in today’s dog-eat-dog world, you are very likely to find someone who’d pull you down and reject your ideas.
But, public speaking gives you that nudge to stand up for what you believe in. The skills of confidence and expression that you hone, go a long way, especially when it comes to your career.
9. Spot On When Put On the Spot
Many a time, we may be asked to deliver an impromptu or unrehearsed speech. While these mostly may be for informal occasions, such as toasts or other celebratory events, the nerves are still real.
But, if you’re no stranger to public speaking, then this is a piece of cake. You’ll be able to floor any audience with your new-found confidence, and impeccable vocabulary.
How to Become a Better Speaker
1. Listen & Learn
Related Article: Delivering a Speech for the First Time? Try this!
The first step to learning any new skill is to watch those experienced, in action. The first few times, you could just attend a conference or event, just to see how the speaker commands his audience. Do remember to take notes.
In this era of digitisation, you can find all the resources you need to learn ho to speak in public. Watching videos on YouTube lets you learn from the greats with the press of a button, all free of cost.
2. Mind Your (Body) Language
Language isn’t just restricted to the one you use in your speech. A lot can be inferred from the physicalities as well– the way you stand, the way you hold your microphone, your gestures and eye contact.
To become a better speaker, you mustn’t overlook these aspects. Body language plays an equally pivotal role.
Here’s how you can do so.
Of course, every skill requires practice and experience. To get the hang of public speaking and overcoming your fears, practicing is a must.
Set small goals for yourself and accomplish them at your own pace. Don’t put pressure on yourself.
There are adequate resources online that you could lay your hands on, to become an effective speaker.
4. An Ability in Vulnerability
Vulnerability is often perceived as a weakness. Speakers look at it as a sign of nerves, and do their best to avoid situation like these.
However, to become a good public speaker, vulnerability is essential.
You are able to forge a strong, emotional connect with your audience, which is irreplaceable. No other technique could ever do the same.
Being vulnerable means that you’re allowing yourself to express and be free. Here’s how you can embrace vulnerability to become a better speaker.
5. Record, Rewind, Repeat
You will also be able to track your progress, which will motivate you throughout your journey.
This article will surely help you out.
Following Suit: People Who Have Made it Big through Public Speaking
1. Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, author, Internet personality and speaker. He is the co-founder of Resy and Empathy Wines and is also the Chairman of VaynerX, and the CEO of its subsidiary, VaynerMedia.
“I become extremely focused, like a boxer about to hit the ring. But I don’t review any notes. I don’t frantically start rattling through the speech to make sure I know it by heart. Those last-minute tendencies people have to want to fix something or change something can be really destructive.“Gary Vaynerchuk on how he prepares for an important keynote.
Vaynerchuk has always propagated the fact that one’s reputation must never be banked on, and that one’s true talents should take center stage.
What makes him successful is his genuineness and authenticity on stage. It is his confidence and sheer belief in what he does, that makes every speech of his so impactful. He knows his audience, and believes that what he has to say matters, which is reflected on his audience.
Watch this video to learn from him.
2. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Terminator himself needs no introduction. Actor, entrepreneur, bodybuilder, politician and public speaker, Schwarzenegger has always described how principles he learnt through bodybuilding, were applicable to any other scenario in his life, including public speaking.
Just like one starts building muscles by first lifting light weights, similarly public speaking can be learnt by small presentations with colleagues, family, and friends, and by joining Toastmasters.
According to Schwarzenegger, set small goals for yourselves, look for little victories. Start small, but dream big. You will get there.
Watch this speech.
3. Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek is an American author and motivational speaker. He is one of the most-watched TED Talk presenters of all time.
“It’s like you’re having a conversation with your audience. You’re not speaking at them, you’re speaking with them.”Simon Sinek on striking a deep connect with his audience.
Before working as a ‘professional guru’, Sinek worked in advertising. After his brilliant TED Talk that went viral, he used this opportunity to write and promote his book Start With Why which became a bestseller.
Through his talks, he popularised the very concept of WHY and made a career through it.
4. Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs was a revolutionary. He was the co-founder of Apple, which changed the game in almost every technological sphere.
“That’s been one of my mantras: Focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”Steve Jobs on how a presenter must bring out the crux of his message and stick to the details.
This video is testimony to how impact Jobs’ delivery is.
Can Public Speaking Be A Career?
Public speaking as a career in itself, is definitely a promising one.
Questions that need to be answered before delving into this field are:
- What is your content?
- Will people be willing to pay for it?
- What is your Unique Selling Point?
Often, many overlook these aspects, which may end up becoming counterproductive to your goals.
Like any other field, a certain amount of knowledge needs to be possessed before going all in. Once these questions are answered, finding your way will become much easier!
Making public speaking your career starts with a platform. If you want people to come and pay to watch you speak, you would have to start by making use of every possible platform.
Nowadays, by vlogging on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, plenty of avenues have opened up for people to try their hand in this field. Most importantly, you start to build credibility through these.
Career Options For You
- News Anchor– millions of viewers, you at the forefront.
- Politician– utilising public speaking as the root of social change.
- Motivational Speaker– preaching to hundreds of thousands, with your energy and charisma.
- Professor– speaking to hundreds of students on a daily basis.
- Spokesperson– to a politician or celebrity, where making public announcements is your bread and butter.
The opportunities are endless, so to say, because now you know, how being a good speaker is a quality every aspect of your career demands. You can even create your own opportunities, and open up different avenues, by using these platforms correctly.
So, go ahead, and pursue this passion of yours.
Public Speaking Resources
You may be interested to try out this avenue, but it is, undoubtedly, nerve-wracking.
Here are some resources you can use to become a better speaker:
1. Join Toastmasters!
Toastmasters International (TI) is an organisation aimed at honing skills of public speaking and leadership amongst people. It is deemed as a ‘safe place’- welcoming everyone with an equal amount of warmth, irrespective of experience.
It is an encouraging environment, and thus, tens of thousands join every year, to get over their fear of public speaking, and make progress in life.
2. TED Talks
Ideas worth spreading: Technology, Entertainment, Design. That is what TED stands for.
They inform and educate global audiences and make knowledge accessible in over 100 languages, by calling upon pioneers in different fields to share their story.
By watching them, you can emulate their storytelling techniques and inculcate them throughout your journey.
3. Sarah LLoyd-Hughes’ Six Week Online Course
It is crisp, concise, and clear, yet brings about the strongest impact.
4. The Accidental Communicator
Dr. Jim Anderson’s blog, The Accidental Communicator, has tonnes of public speaking advice stored for you to become a better speaker.
Anderson believes that new opportunities come about when one improves his communication skills.
5. Dale Carnegie’s The Art of Public Speaking
Joseph B. Esenwein and Dale Carnegie co-authored The Art of Public Speaking, which gives one a wonderful insight into the subtleties of what public speaking is about and how it is essential to understand how it works.
6. Other Websites & Blogs
Here’s a list of websites you can visit to help you on this journey:
Irrespective of what you strive to do in life, public speaking will always help you. You could be in a corporate field, where public speaking would help you when it comes to presentations and projects, or an entrepreneur where skills like networking and publicising your work are of utmost importance, or even an artist where being vulnerable and free to express are absolutely essential skills.
Nevertheless, public speaking would form the backbone of what you do. So, go ahead and take the plunge of inculcating this skill and giving your career that much required boost.