For many of us, public speaking is no less than Kryptonite. It gets us anxious and renders us helpless when we need our voice the most, so we avoid it.
But doing this means we never get a chance to improve our skills, and we need those skills because we constantly face situations where we need to speak to an audience. That’s not always on stage in front of hundreds, it can be a family, social circle, classroom, office team, or the club we’re a member of. It’s all public speaking and it’s all got one goal – to have people pay attention to us.
Whether you’re looking to improve your speaking skills for your personal or professional life, this article has you covered. Here, we answer the question “why is public speaking important?” with 7 reasons to inspire you to get speaking in any environment.
#1 – Improves Communication Skills
Public speaking involves both verbal and non-verbal communication. You need to have a strong vocabulary along with a command over the language you’re going to speak in.
Practice is critical here because, when you get up on the podium, you cannot afford to stutter or use fillers. You’ll need to have a professional grasp over the language you’re using for your audience to listen to you, so by practising your speech, you’re practising your communication skills.
Now, a public speaker doesn’t just speak well, you’ve got to listen well, too. Many speakers neglect to listen to their audience, but the body language, silences, questions and level of interaction from the crowd in front of you are the real indicators of how you are performing.
Reading the room means you can change your body language and method of delivery to grab the room’s attention. These are non-verbal communication skills and they’re super important.
A perfect combo of verbal and non-verbal communication ensures that there is no room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. Be it a meeting room or a classroom, public speaking is sure to help your communication skills.
#2 – Instils Confidence
Facing an audience is a nerve-wracking task, so when you come through it and can present your topic successfully, it adds a lot to your confidence. With regular practice, you get rid of the fear of public speaking until it becomes second nature to you.
If you’re public speaking at work, regular presentations help you become much more self-assured in your professionalism. If you’re doing it in the classroom, you become confident about presenting your project and engaging in healthy debates with others.
The confidence gained doesn’t just stay within the limits of public speaking, it spills over into other aspects of your life. Regular performances can reduce general anxiety in life and can help you be more independent in your everyday decisions.
#3 – Leads to Leadership Opportunities
The confidence and knowledge gained through effective public speaking makes people look up to you and value what you have to say on a particular topic. Your judgements start to matter and people listen to you more because of the way you speak and present yourself.
In a professional setting, this could lead to management opportunities. At school, you might be chosen to be the official representative of an event that requires a student with a strong, clear voice.
Whatever the situation, an able leader needs to complete several tasks simultaneously – instruct, delegate duties, negotiate, convince, and create trust among their team. All of these require you to have excellent communication skills and teamwork skills, all of which come from your public speaking skills.
#4 – Expands Social Connections
Never underestimate the power to hold a conversation. Public speaking not only makes you aware of that power, it helps you develop fruitful relationships and expand your social horizons.
Doing so makes you part of stimulating conversations, in which you can become aware of contradictory views, learn to listen well, network better, and even create long-lasting relationships.
When you show confidence and passion in your communication, it makes people interested to listen and take part in the discourse. Once you’re done with your speech, there is usually a chance to interact with your audience, get their feedback, respond to questions and look at viewpoints that are different from your own. That opens doors to new possibilities and potentially a stepping stone to your next venture, your new college, or a friend for life.
#5 – Develops Critical Thinking
Public speaking prompts you to use your brain power to the max.
Let’s say you’ve forgotten a part of your speech. You can’t allow yourself to panic in that situation – instead, try to remember the speech outline and phrase your words to convey the same meaning. Doing this not forces you to think on the spot and makes your brain work on its ability to judge and analyse a problem, as well as work to a solution. This is critical thinking.
As a critical thinker you should be able to utilise the information you have, in any situation, and find a solution to it. Doing this in front of a crowd can be pretty scary, but the added pressure could just give you the boost you need.
Take another example. You’re giving a product presentation; the demonstration began with a bang, you’ve got a good audience, and everything is on track. However, midway through the presentation you feel the energy dip in the room and you know you must act fast to get the attention back. This is where you use your critical thinking skills to adapt; you change your speaking style, approach, and body language to lure them back.
#6 – Provides Recognition
The fact that you are a capable public speaker with excellent leadership and social skills will eventually make people recognise you. They will respect you for your knowledge, study your public speaking skills and techniques like you used to do in your learning stages, would love to be associated with you, and probably quote you in one of their conversations.
Plus, gaining recognition also means that you get to widen your scope and explore areas and meet people you never thought would have been possible.
But with great power comes great responsibility. You cannot slow down just because you’ve become famous. You need to keep your brain sharp and your mind open to new information, ideas, and possibilities.
#7 – Inspires Others
The culmination of all the above-mentioned benefits is what brings us to this last point – inspiring others. Your journey of being a speaker can be healing and motivational for many, especially in this digital age where we come across many influencers who have started from zero, fought through their insecurities, and achieved a significant following while inspiring others to do the same.
You can also be a mentor or a guide to people sharing the same interests as yours. You can promote noble causes, as now more and more people are willing to listen to you and are inspired to make positive changes to the lives of others. You will have the power to impact people’s lives and their decisions because you have decided to use your words wisely and effectively.
Now that you know why public speaking is important, you should include building the skills we’ve mentioned here into your to-do list. Speaking for 15 minutes a day in front of your family, friends, colleagues, or even a mirror can put you well on the way to realising these 7 benefits of public speaking.