Public speaking is one of those unusual skills where most of us know that it’s a good idea to pick it up, but where most of us are also far too scared to do so. We’ve mentioned this in other articles, but it’s worth a reminder here: public speaking is the world’s most common phobia.
And yet learning the skill of public speaking can be super useful, both at work and at home. But what is it about public speaking that makes it so worthwhile, even if it means facing our fears and doing something that we’re scared of doing?
Let’s take a closer look.
It makes you a better leader
One of the best reasons to learn public speaking is that it makes you a better leader, whether we’re talking about leading a family or whether it’s a multinational business. If you stop to think about it, you’ll see that all of the best leaders in history have been accomplished public speakers, from Winston Churchill to Steve Jobs. There are many reasons why leadership and public speaking go hand in hand, with one of the main ones being that it’s vital for a leader to be able to effectively share information with people.
It introduces you to new people
Public speaking is great because it introduces you to a whole bunch of new people, including those that you never would have met in other circumstances. This is obviously good news in the workplace because it’s a great way to go about networking, but it’s also good for your personal life because it can help you make new friends and meet new people. If you move to a new city, for example, you can start up a class where you teach a skill that you’re good at, and you’ll soon find yourself making friends with likeminded people.
It improves your self-confidence
Learning to be an effective public speaker can be a great way to improve your self-confidence because it helps you to get used to situations in which you might not be fully comfortable. It enables you to face and overcome your fears and to realize that you’re stronger than you maybe thought you were. Every time you apply your public speaking skills to a new situation and see it through to its eventual outcome, you increase your net total self-confidence.
It’s rewarding to learn a new skill
There’s a lot to be said about learning for learning’s sake. Most people are aware that learning a new language is good for the brain, for example. Learning any new skill is a good idea, but public speaking is a particularly good one to go for because of how useful it is. It just has so many practical applications.
It comes in useful throughout your life
One of the interesting things about public speaking is that even though it’s most commonly associated with the workplace, it can help throughout the entirety of your life. You never know when you might need to stand up in front of a group of people and talk to them, whether you need to talk to a group of teachers at your child’s school or whether you need to deliver a speech at someone’s birthday.
It helps you motivate and inspire people
Building on from the first point in this list about public speaking helping people to become better leaders, it can also help them to motivate and inspire people, whether clients or co-workers. Being able to motivate people is a valuable life skill that’s useful for everyone from business leaders to sports coaches and shopkeepers.
It helps you to stand out in the workplace
It’s unlikely that the ability to deliver a public talk will be the only factor that helps you get a job or earn a promotion, but it’s certainly true that it will help you stand out. If there are two people up for a job and they’re equally qualified to take it on, the fact that one of them is comfortable with public speaking can be the thing that makes the difference.
It improves your critical thinking skills
Practicing public speaking will help you improve your critical thinking skills because it’ll push you to carry out research ahead of every talk you give. You’ll learn to better tell whether a source is reliable or not, and you’ll have plenty of practice when it comes to determining which information to share and which to keep private.
It helps you push for change
Being a public speaker means that you’re better placed to advocate for the changes that you want to see in the world. This is true both in the workplace and elsewhere. For example, if you want to campaign for social justice causes or for people to take action against climate change, it’s going to help if you’re able to speak publicly with skill and confidence.
It makes you a better listener
It might sound counterintuitive, but becoming a better speaker can also make you a better listener. That’s because you’ll start to appreciate the value of listening to what people have to say when they’re talking about something they’re knowledgeable or passionate about. You’ll also have plenty of chances to practice your listening skills when you come across other speakers at events and conferences.
Now that you know our thoughts on why it’s a good idea to learn public speaking, it’s time to hand over to you. What are your thoughts on what we’ve talked about, and do you think that the benefits of learning the basics of public speaking make it worthwhile doing?
As always, be sure to let us know in the comments so that we can keep the discussion going, and don’t forget to follow us on your social networking sites of choice for more. We’ll see you soon!
This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.