Public speaking can be incredibly intimidating. That’s why most people are told to pretend their audience is in their underwear.
It’s even been said that the fear of public speaking is ranked by many people higher than their fear of death. But unlike death, there is so much to be gained by becoming a public speaker.
To help you conquer your fear for your own good, here is why you should improve your public speaking skills.
It Improves Your Confidence
It’s not easy to get up in front of people and speak. There are skills involved.
Most of us were not taught public speaking unless we took a specific high school or college course on the subject. For those of us who didn’t take a course, we’re left to figure it out on our own.
But like every skill, the more you speak in public, the easier and better at it you’ll become. As you become a better public speaker, you’ll notice your confidence begins to build.
All of a sudden, you’ll be known as an expert in your field. You’ll be able to articulate yourself better.
Helps You Avoid Career Risks
Being a public speaker sets people up to view you as an expert in your field. In no way will that ever put you at a disadvantage when it comes to your career.
Once, I was invited to speak at a networking event. I knew how to project my voice so everyone heard me.
I had a few jokes included in my speech that got a few laughs. I used clear language that was easy to understand. I also spoke with confidence and never used the words, “um or uh”.
The audience was engaged. Then the next person started speaking.
It was clear she didn’t have the same speaking skills I did. She spoke in a low tone and it was hard to hear her.
There were a lot of “ums and uhs” in her speech. What I noticed was that most people were not engaged in her speech. They stopped listening.
Half of them came over during her speech to tell me my speech was wonderful. Whether you’re speaking to potential clients or hiring managers, those with good public speaking skills will always come out on top.
It Makes You Stand Out
As you begin to use your public speaking skills, you can use them in a variety of way to attract clients. Radio shows, podcasts, and interviews will suddenly become much easier.
Your confidence levels in yourself and subject matter will start to set you apart from others in your business. As your skills grow, you’ll notice more people are becoming attracted to the confidence and expertise you have to offer.
A person with good speaking skills will always be able to stand out from a crowd. Even when they’re not giving a speech.
Good speaking skills will give you the confidence to ask for what you want. While you may get a few times when someone turns you down, simply by asking, you’re more likely to get a yes.
Good eye contact is another part of good speaking skills. It makes people feel as though you’re engaging only with them. That works in large crowds or in one-on-one situations.
Body language is another advantage to learning public speaking. When someone is slumped over, most people barely even notice them. They certainly are less likely to listen to them.
But when someone is standing tall and straight, people notice. Even without speaking verbally, their body language practically commands others to take notice of them.
Good Speaking Skills Helps to Motivate Others
The election of 1960 was the first election where an on-camera debate occurred.
While both men came with their strengths and weaknesses, it was John F. Kennedy’s speaking skills that helped decide the election.
While Nixon chose to look at the reporters when answering questions, Kennedy looked straight into the camera. He spoke directly to America.
Kennedy also looked polished and ready to go. Nixon, meanwhile, appeared sweaty and disheveled. Kennedy knew how to appeal to the cameras.
Those who heard the debate on the radio felt that Nixon was the winner. Those who witnessed it on tv knew that Kennedy was the one to vote for.
Those debates won the election for Kennedy. During his presidency, Kennedy was able to further motivate his audience to, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but for what you can do for your country.”
His words motivated people to be better humans. To give back to their fellow Americans.
Being a good public speaker is all about motivating others to be better. Not just while they’re listening to you, but long after they’ve heard your motivating words.
Increases Your Knowledge
Many people learn by doing. The same is true when giving a speech.
You have to prepare, which means you have to learn about what you’re talking about. But it goes much deeper than that.
As you teach your subject matter to your students, clients, or fellow employees, you learn at a deeper level than you would otherwise.
If you’re going to teach a subject to someone, you have to become the expert on that subject matter. Otherwise, people will quickly catch on that you have no idea what you’re talking about.
Not understanding your subject matter means quickly losing your audience. And your credibility.
Increases Your Empathy
Knowing how to read other people is an incredibly useful tool. Often, your ability to be more empathic increases as you increase your public speaking skills.
When you know how to identify with others, people start listening. They start listening because they themselves finally feel heard.
They feel as though they’re understood. They feel as though someone cares about the same things they do.
Empathy is vitally important to leadership. No one wants to follow someone they don’t believe cares about them.
While this isn’t a skill taught in schools, it’s one everyone should develop. The more we understand each other, the better this world will become.
Learn from the Best
While some people are born with the knowledge of how to speak effectively, most of us need a little help.
Attending a public speaking school is worth its weight in gold. Increased self-esteem and the ability to motivate others are just two reasons to attend.
Our school gives you the skills and confidence you need to further your career and provide you with skills you can use in any situation. Sign up now.
Also published on Medium.