Ultimate Guide To Improve Your Public Speaking6 mins - Introduction
Ask a group of professionals and most will list public speaking as something that bothers them. It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or running the company, public speaking is difficult for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s a vital part of most people’s job roles, and essential if you want to climb the career ladder.
There are many reasons people fear public speaking, but if you’re able to master it, you’ll possess an invaluable skill and be an attractive prospect to employers.
An Ancient Tradition
Public speaking is one of the oldest means of communicating ideas to a group of peers, and its origins date back to Ancient Greece. Many of the greatest philosophers valued public speaking and Aristotle taught it in Plato’s Academy. Both the Greeks and Romans used public speaking to further themselves in society. This was an essential part of gaining prominence within the Roman senate and prominent public figures taught citizens public speaking.
During the Medieval Period, public speaking became less prominent, due to the church’s influence on society. However, the Renaissance Period breathed new life into public speaking, as various sects began to rebel against the church’s control.
Today, public speaking is a way of life for politicians and people in business. Most schools teach children the skills to speak in public, and they often ask young children to give presentations to their classmates. The emphasis we place on public speaking shows how valued it is in society.
Why Is Public Speaking So Important?
For introverts, standing up in a room of people and delivering a speech is a daunting experience, but public speaking is so important. There are many reasons one of the scariest things we’ll ever do is a necessity.
One of the most significant skills in business is the ability to influence others. Being able to deliver a persuasive argument is vital for a range of situations, including making sales, pitching ideas and handling negotiations. While understanding the subject you’re talking about matters, if you’re unable to deliver a convincing argument then you’ll lose your audience.
Public speakers can empower and motivate people to make a change. Think about the worlds best speakers and how they emulate an air of confidence. The ability to speak about a subject, makes others believe in what you’re saying and motivates them to take action.
It’s easy to forget about the most important element of public speaking, but the main point of standing in front of others and delivering an epic speech is to give them information about a subject. Public speaking isn’t just about delivering a speech, it’s about presenting information.
There are many reasons you might need to give a presentation, including introducing a new company direction, instructing co-workers or showcasing your business to potential investors. Being able to speak confidently and break information down into digestible chunks is essential.
We know that public speaking skills can develop your career, but what about personal development? One of the biggest benefits public speaking offers, is it increases your confidence and self-esteem. Where would we be without believing in ourselves? That dream job would seem out of our reach, and we’d not feel motivated to pursue our goals. It’s a difficult situation, and people find they shake, sweat and panic before delivering a speech or presentation. However, once they’ve done it, their confidence improves!
The Fundamentals of Public Speaking
When World War II was over, public speaking became less formal and more conversational. However, research, planning and analysis are critical if you want to make a convincing argument. Your audience depends on your ability to combine facts and figures with a persuasive speaking tone. These are the fundamentals of public speaking.
Before writing your speech, it’s important to understand the topic you’re speaking about. For example, if you’re delivering a presentation about business growth you’ll need to offer statistics to back up your claims. Always ensure you can offer a reputable source for any information you give and present it so everyone will understand. PowerPoint and Google Slides offer a range of tools including graphs and charts.
Once you’ve gathered information, you can focus on writing a speech to influence your audience. A good speech should engage and be informative in equal amounts. Think of these two components as the Ying and Yang of your presentation. There are plenty of online resources to aid you in writing your speech.
Planning your speech is the easy part, but as soon as you think about delivering it fear can creep in like an unwelcome guest at a dinner party. We’re often our own worst enemies, and people have the extraordinary ability to create fear from nothing. The only way we can control that fear and overcome it is to not let it take over our minds. Reassuring yourself that you can speak will help you convince your audience you know what you’re talking about. If people see your hands trembling or voice shaking, they’re less likely to listen to you.
Before you deliver your speech to colleagues, practice with friends and family. They’ll be able to offer you advice, and you’ll feel more confident on the day. Ask people if your speech is understandable, and the visual tools you’re using make sense. Once you’ve practiced your speech, you’ll be able to deliver it with more confidence. Think about three vital aspects before the big day:
– Will you need to bring equipment?
– Will people hear you?
– Are there enough seats to accommodate people?
Preparing For The Future
As technology increases, people are adapting the way they work to accommodate younger generations. The Millennial crowd is defining workplace practices, and a simple PowerPoint presentation might not be enough to deliver a persuasive argument. In the coming years, we’ll see a shift to Augmented Reality, and technology will be a vital aspect in delivering any speech.
Public speaking is one of the most important skills someone can have, and as one of the oldest traditions, its unlikely technology will replace it. People like a personalized approach to business, but a combination of new technology and skilled speakers will improve speeches and presentations in the future.