Why is public speaking important? The reason is that everyone encounters a situation where public speaking skills are necessary. It could be at work, school, or in your personal life. Whether you are looking for tips on conquering stage fright, looking to improve your public speaking skills, or trying to motivate others on the importance of public speaking, we have all the info you need here. Find out all the benefits of public speaking below.
Public Speaking Definition
According to Merriam-Webster, public speaking is “the act or process of making speeches in public,” or “the art of effective oral communication with others.”
Everyday Public Speaking
Public speaking for the everyday person is still extremely important. Public speaking has many benefits in everyday life and can be grouped into the following categories:
1. Informative Speaking:
This type of speaking is the most common and happens to most people daily. It involves speaking in order to inform others, or get information out. This can be academic or professional knowledge, but can also be to report your progress on a project, or tell someone how to use something.
2. Persuasive Speaking:
Public speaking will often be in order to persuade others. This can be in a debate or formal speech, but can also be minor persuasions such as going to a place you choose for lunch. Persuasive public speaking is a very valuable skill to have.
3. Entertaining Speaking:
Public speaking for entertainment is used for award ceremonies, wedding speeches, comedy sketches, poetry reading, and much more. The purpose of this type of public speaking is to entertain the audience, instead of merely informing.
Why is Public Speaking Important?
1. Win Over Your Crowd
No matter the crowd in front of you — whether at a social gathering, business meeting or large audience at a conference — being able to speak publicly is a very important asset. With public speaking skills and experience, speakers are able to captivate the interest of their listeners and keep them interested in order to deliver the message.
2. Motivate Others
Public speakers motivate their listeners to make a change. It could be to stop or start something, try something new, or reach their goals. Public speaking is important because the speaker can motivate others to go in the direction they wish, and the speaker can motivate others to be their best selves.
3. Inform People
When you have information to share, you don’t want it to be portrayed in a boring way. You want people to listen! This is done with public speaking skills. Inform people about something that matters by using great public skills and they will be sure to listen and be more likely to understand the information.
Benefits of Public Speaking In Your Life
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If you’re currently working in sales, the benefits of public speaking are many. You can reach for higher sales goals, get more customers and make more sales with public speaking skills.
2. Career advancement:
When you are a good public speaker, you will be more comfortable in interviews, be better able to sway others in your favor, and convince your boss to give you a promotion.
3. Stand out in the workforce:
Most will avoid speaking up and putting themselves in the spotlight at work, but with public speaking skills you have the confidence to do so!
4. Bring people together:
Within your company or on your team, public speaking is a way to bring workers together. When many people feel confident in public speaking, workers will speak their mind and collaborate better together.
5. Become a thought leader:
A thought leader is someone that people go to for ideas, consult on problems, and more. Being a good public speaker makes you that person and will get you ahead in your job when people know they can come to you.
Make New Social Connections
1. Find supporters:
When you practice public speaking, you are championing for others or a cause, and you will find a tribe of supporters to surround yourself with. These will be people who are like-minded or who share your values.
2. Get comfortable in social settings:
Public speaking allows you to relax in a group situation or when the spotlight is on you. This will make you more comfortable around people and easier to make connections.
3. Increase your professional network:
As you speak in more public settings such as work events and conferences, you will undoubtedly meet other speakers in your field, as well as audience members who are interested in what you have to say.
Developing Leadership Skills
If you want to do well and get ahead in school or your career, leadership is part of the equation. As a leader, you will have many public speaking opportunities.
1. Good speaker = good leader:
Most of the great leaders in human history were also great public speakers.
2. Good leader = opportunities:
As a good leader, you will be given more opportunities in social settings, your career, and other aspects of life.
Personal Benefits of Public Speaking
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1. Boost Confidence
Public speaking repeatedly is a great boost of self confidence. Every time you speak, you gain a bit more confidence as you see your ideas and yourself were well-received by your audience.
2. Personal Satisfaction
Being able to speak in front of a crowd is a huge accomplishment. The first time can be very nerve-wracking, but coming out on the other end of the speech is a huge win! After the first time, you will keep getting better and better at public speaking and will get great personal satisfaction from this skill.
3. Critical Thinking
When preparing and conducting a speech, you also increase your critical thinking skills by working through problems, imagining positive and negative consequences, and finding solutions.
4. Improve Communication Skills
When you practice public speaking, you are practicing both verbal and nonverbal skills — and both will improve. The more you speak out, the better you get at communication. Public speakers are better overall communicators in all facets of life.
5. Learn to Argue
Presenting an argument in a formal setting will help you in informal settings as well. Public speaking helps you form better arguments, and you can increase your arguing skills even more through public speaking by engaging in Q&A with your audience.
6. Be a Better Listener
Attending conferences as a speaker means you will also listen to other speakers. As you listen to other speakers, you will have a greater appreciation and understanding of their material and craft, as a speaker yourself.
Public Speaking Helps You Drive Change
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Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to get your message across. With public speaking, you can influence the world around you. If you see something that needs to change, use public speaking to change it!
- Make the difference:
Every public speaking opportunity you come across is a time to spread you influence for the greater good.
- Reach people fast:
Instead of waiting for your message to spread by word of mouth, social media, or print media, put it in front of a huge audience and you’ll instantly inspire many.
- Your message comes to life:
Written information is useful in some cases, but when you really want to make a difference in the world, you need to campaign for your cause and the best way to do so is to get it to come to life with public speaking.
How to Get Better at Public Speaking
Writing the Speech
1. Be prepared:
When you are comfortable, you are confident. Write a good speech that makes sense to you and that you are prepared to deliver.
2. Research the topic:
When you have thoroughly researched the topic, you will feel more confident when writing and delivering the speech.
3. Outline or write it out?
When you write out an entire speech, it will be easier to memorize as it can be stored word for word in your memory. The downside is that it could sound robotic and you risk reading it straight from the page. When you write an outline for a speech, it may sound more natural and you can glance at your outline as you. However, it is more difficult to rehearse and some people feel less confident with only an outline in front of them. It all depends on what you prefer.
Overcoming Your Stage Fright
Fear of public speaking is a common one, but it can be overcome. Use these tips to help you overcome the fear:
1. Read your speech out loud:
Even if it’s just to yourself, reading it aloud will help you work out any hiccups and have you feeling confident with your voice.
2. Practice in front of a group:
Don’t just practice in the mirror or with a friend. To get over a fear of speaking in front of a crowd, try to practice in front of a small group first.
3. Should you picture the crowd in underwear?
The answer is, probably not. Even though this is common advice to get you to relax, it can be distracting. The best thing to do is to make eye contact, but if that starts to make you nervous, pretend the crowd is not there and just look straight ahead.
4. Pump yourself up:
Whatever gets you going before a test or a game, the same applies here. Listen to your favorite music on the way, or go for a run in the morning.
5. Use the power of knowledge:
When you know both your speech and your topic inside and out, completely by heart, you will have the confidence to focus on delivery and staying relaxed in front of others.
Things To Remember As You’re Giving The Speech
1. Eye contact:
Know your speech well so that you can maintain eye contact with the audience. This is important to engage them and make yourself more personable.
2. Move your view:
Make sure to move your eye contact around the room. Slightly shift your body or head at times towards a new direction if the crowd is large.
3. Talk, don’t read:
Try to talk to your audience as if you are inviting them into your thoughts. Do not read your speech word for word off the paper.
4. Your voice is a tool:
And people need to hear it! Make sure you are speaking loud enough so that you are heard.
5. Body language:
This is another important tool for public speakers. Try recording yourself so you are aware of your body language and fix any fidgets you find on the recording.
When you are good at it and practice often, the benefits of public speaking are many. Being an excellent public speaker is important for your career, social life, personal development, and for making a change in the world.
Each time you speak, you get better and better. So get out there and make your voice heard!