Perhaps the most important skill for the career minded is to develop is his/her public speaking skills. Executives spend millions of dollars every year going to public speaking workshops; hiring public speaking coaches; and buying public speaking books and CD's. Every public speaking opportunity is an opportunity to grow your leadership, your influence and your career. Here are seven ways that public speaking can help you advance in your chosen profession.
1) Think of the competition – there’s not much!
- So many people in the corporate world are nervous of public speaking. If you can manage do it, chances are they probably can’t. Even if you consider yourself just an "average" speaker you'll probably be better than most people. Seeing as most people won't even try!
2) Makes you more visible and more memorable in your organization.
- A person that is willing to step forward and speak will have a more recognised voice. When people see you standing up in front of 20, 40, or 400 people to give a speech, they will turn to you as the leader and spokesperson
- The more people that see your face standing in front of the crowd will provide more opportunities for your career. People will remember you and begin to see you with authority, putting you center stage with the new pitch or new client. You begin to appear as the spokesperson in your community of business professionals, being looked to as a leader.
- Your name comes up more and more when members of your organization are looking for new team members or to spearhead new opportunities. Inspiring public speaking allows to you to be more visible, thereby making you the "go-to" guy or gal.
- If you manage to represent your organization as powerful in your public speaking you will be seen as more trustworthy, that you won’t drop the ball when the pressure is on. More opportunities will come to you as a result.
3) Public speaking is leadership and organisations promote people with leadership qualities.
- In standing up and speaking in a way that is powerful, you're speaking in a way that will change peoples minds about something. If you're able to master that skill, changing hearts and minds and learning how to persuade, you will be already honing one of the major aspects of leadership.
- If you're able to do it in public to a group of people, chances are you'll be able to do it in a more individualized setting. Leaders require the capacity to drive change, public speaking skills are vital in learning that ability.
4) Public speaking helps you gain greater clarity of message (if you think about it properly!)
- If you hone your skills and become a very inspiring speaker, that involves figuring out clearly what you want to say. Rather than throwing forward 'here's all the things I want to say', you filter it for your audience. An inspiring public speaker will be able to take one idea, one narrative thread, and make that the focus of their speech. They will take that thread and allow it to guide the audience through the message.
- Brilliant public speaking is just as much about filtering out information as it is providing information. If you are able to communicate in a simple and clear way, you will be able to communicate more effectively to a greater number of people whether they are internal experts or external clients.
- Read more about the balanced way to structure a speech.
5) Public speaking helps you connect with people... if you do it with empathy!
- People "buy" people. As an inspiring speaker you will learn how to be passionate in the right moments and vulnerable in the right moments. People will be able to relate to you more as a human being. Public speaking can definitely serve you in your career by promoting more alliances, liking and trusting you more as they see you being empathetic.
- If you speak in a way that is honest, public speaking can make you the ‘people’s champion’ in your organisation. Connect with your personal stories, share who you are and you'll be amazed at how your audience will connect with you.
- Read more about empathy: Part 1, Part 2, AND Part 3. (yes... it's THAT important.)
6) Public speaking helps you drive change.
- Who do we listen to more; the convincing voice spoken to our faces, or the convincing email sent straight to our inbox? The person speaking is always going to be more convincing than a note sent across the interwebs. You could spend your time going from person to person, if that is your comfort zone. But think about how many more people you could reach if you stood up on stage and had them all gathered together in an audience! If you're speaking to an audience of 500 versus one-on-one, then you're driving serious change. The more people you're able to speak to, the more change you can implement.
7) Public speaking helps you know yourself.
- If you want to learn to inspire others, you have to first connect to yourself.
- Who are you? What do you believe in? What change do you seek in the world at large – and how does that relate to the work you’re doing?
- The big picture thinker is always needed in an organisation, to hold course, whilst the technicians do the leg-work. If you want to be that big picture thinker, who ultimately directs the future of your organization, it makes sense for you to learn the skill of inspiring public speaking.
--- To learn how to inspire your organisation, we have an incredible programme for you... The Inspiring Speakers Programme. A 6-month intensive public speaking programme like you’ve never seen before. Join a crack-team of just 10 individuals, to receive training, coaching, feedback and practical support from public speaking expert Sarah Lloyd-Hughes of Ginger Training & Coaching. Find your message and unleash it on the world.