Some of the common questions and comments I receive are:
What is Public Speaking?
I don’t speak to big groups either socially or at work.
Who should learn to Speak in Public?
Are there any other benefits to learning to Speak in Public?
Well let me respond and illuminate……
What is Public Speaking?
Public Speaking is not just about standing in front of 100 or 1000 people. The “art” of Public Speaking is about your ability to communicate a message to 1 or multiple people such as friends, family, work colleagues, peers or a group of complete strangers. That message can be selling yourself at a job interview, delivery a workshop, promoting your product or service, speaking to educate, inform or entertain and importantly, that communication is not just your words but your body language and your vocal variety. Albert Mehrabian, Professor of Psychology at UCLA, undertook studies which found that a staggering 55% of our communication was through Body language, 38% was Non –Verbal i.e. Tone and vocal variety and ONLY 7% was what we actually said. This can be easily demonstrated. You come home late and your wife greets you with folded arms, tapping foot and THAT look. She hasn’t uttered one single word and you know you’re in deep!
I Don’t Speak to Big Groups.
I touched on that above but let me elaborate. Other than living on a deserted island on your own, I can’t think of any other situation that would not require some form of communication. I stand to be corrected if anyone has another example. It may only be via email but it is still communication. The ability to communicate and understand how others communicate is fundamental in building and maintaining relationships in both our work and personal lives. From asking mum or dad for a new toy, to trying to convince your teacher why your homework was not completed, to the job interview and even to convincing that boy or girl to go out with you. We are all communicating ALL the time.
Who Should Learn to Speak in Public?
Short answer….Everyone! As I mentioned above, unless you are living alone on a desert island (and so unlikely to be reading this in any event) you should learn better communication skills through Public Speaking Training. It doesn’t matter where, it could be university, work, family and social gatherings, improving your communication will only ever help you.
Are There Any Other Benefits to Learning to Speak in Public?
This one won’t be a short answer. The great American Speaker and Motivator, Zig Ziglar said one the best ways to build your self-esteem and gain confidence is to learn to Speak in Public. I have seen so many examples of people whose confidence was zero and as a result underachieved at work by not speaking up at meetings and presenting their ideas to becoming confident, articulate and assuming leadership roles within their organisations, church or charity. The value of being able to speak to a group cannot be understated. Technology and social media has created unprecedented opportunity to be seen and heard for all age, social, and ethnic groups. Facebook, messenger, and other platforms are the most common form of communication and to an extent, the downside of this revolution is the younger generation’s inability to varying levels to have either the skills or the confidence to communicate and build relationships in a face to face situation. As they move forward in life there will be potential job interviews, presenting reports or research papers at University or college, selling their ideas to potential investors and many more. But much more than that, Public Speaking isn’t just about a speech. It teaches structure and understanding human psychology to be able to answer question or make comments on the fly, e.g. you run into your boss or team leader in the elevator and he asks your view on the last quarter’s financial report. Rather than floundering, imagine being able to have a structure along with the information to provide a concise and intelligent comment? You may be called upon to perform a toast at a wedding or work colleagues going away celebration. Priceless! I can tell you I have been to weddings where the toasts had about as much impact and entertainment on a level lower than zero. There is also the more sombre, a eulogy. The celebration of a loved one or close friends life. And the final and sometimes MOST important skill is listening…..yes listening. I once read “we were given two ears and one mouth….we should use them in those proportions”. It’s amazing what you can learn when you listen! You need to be able to listen with interest and intent to then be able to correctly, with structure respond and or provide critical, constructive feedback such as in a performance review or a departmental meeting. Public Speaking Training provides all the skill for every communication situation.
I always say that the quality of your communication determines the level of your success. Success is measured in many different ways. It could be your work or personal relationships. Whichever you’re looking to improve, I wish you well on your journey.
As always I look forward to any comments and feedback
Until next time, bye for now