Taking that first step into the public speaking arena can seem daunting at first. Nevertheless with a little bit of practice a basic level of public speaking ability has the potential to have a huge impact on your life. There are many hidden benefits from learning to speak in public. And you’d be surprised at how relevant they are. So why would you want to learn how to speak in public?
In this blog post I highlight some of the hidden benefits of public speaking and the reasons why you (yes you!) should spend some time developing your public speaking skills.
1) Overcome Fear & Anxiety
Many people have a phobia of public speaking. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said:
According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.
In a previous article about overcoming the fear of public speaking I outlined how having a positive mental attitude will go a long way in public speaking. I suggested that the best way to overcome any fear is to simply speak more often. Practise helps you to improve, day by day.
Essentially making great presentations is all about delivering with confidence, and regular public speaking is quite the confidence booster. So what are you waiting for?
2) Create New Friendships
Public speaking events and engagements are great places to meet other people who share similar interests. For example Toastmasters is one of a multiple of groups and societies offering the opportunity to develop relationships with like minded people. Organisations in general are great places to meet people but I would say that the Toastmasters atmosphere facilitates it even more. I highly recommend you check it out. You can find a local Toastmasters club here.
3) Build Leadership Qualities
By developing your public speaking skills you are also developing your leadership skills at the same time. One of the most important skills for leaders to develop is public speaking, which is why executives spend millions every year going to public speaking workshops or hiring public speaking coaches.
As noted by Forbes, the ability of the professional to present well contributes to him or her being seen as an authority. If you want people to follow you, you have to effectively communicate what your followers should do.
4) Develop Critical Thinking Skills
Another hidden benefit of public speaking is an increased ability to think critically. Problem solving is definitely one of critical thinking skills you will engage in when delivering a speech. The research part of speech preparation in particular requires detailed thinking and investigation.
- For example, when preparing for a persuasive speech, you’ll have to think through real problems and provide possible solutions to those problems. You’ll also have to think about the positive and negative consequences of your solutions and then communicate your ideas to others
- In the speech delivery phase you will often have to think on your feet, especially if an audience member poses a difficult question. These skills will help you not only in the context of public speaking, but throughout many areas of your life
There are many hidden benefits when you learn how to speak effectively in public, both in the workplace and in your personal life. Developing public speaking is a great way to overcome fears, meet new people, build leadership qualities and develop critical thinking skills. Get started today!