Why to hone your speaking skills
What really causes anxiety while speaking in public? In one second, I can have a full length, no-pressure conversation and feel fine. And the next, I’m “ah” and “um-ing” my way through every sentence; failing to complete a full thought. It’s as if speaking in front of a group suddenly turns my brain off. Obviously, I’m not alone. Tons of people struggle with public speaking. This article, aimed at those people, demonstrates the importance of practicing speaking and hopefully nullifies all common cop-outs and downright refusals to articulate before a group.
1.) Good speaking skills apply to any field
I’m sure you have great ideas that could potentially change the world. Therefore, what are the value of those ideas if you don’t tell anyone about them? Ideas are just ideas unless they are acted on. No matter what you do, you’ll almost always need to convey your ideas to someone else. For example, what’s the purpose of having a cure to cancer if you can’t describe the cure to someone else? Sure, you could do it through writing, but at some point you may have to do it face-to-face. What are you going to do when you must deliver your Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech? How about when you want to ask for a raise? No matter how important, if you can’t articulate your message, it’s almost worthless. That being said, if you can speak competently, it pays dividends in any field.
As with business, you’ll potentially have to pitch an idea to clients or your boss. Maybe it’s about how you’re doing as a company or even a new project you want to work on. With presentations to higher up officials bound to happen at some point in someone’s professional career, proper conveying of your message becomes imperative.
Also, in a field such as the Arts, where practically everything revolves around expression, speaking plays a huge role. How will you sell your art if you can’t explain why anyone should buy it? Nothing sells itself, no matter how good.
And finally, in Education having good speaking skills is almost a necessity. The only question that needs to be asked is: Do you convey information in the way that students will best understand it? If you can’t communicate information effectively, is that fair to whomever you’re instructing?
2.) Great Speaking Skills Can Get You a Raise
Let’s say there are two workers with equal experience and they both want a raise. If one goes in to the bossman and squeaks out a raise proposal with, “maybe, uh, because of all of my, um, hard work, can I, uuuuh, please have a raise, please?” The outcome will be totally different than someone who states firmly, “Hello boss, I’ve done x, y and z over the last few months making over $100,000 in revenue and I believe I deserve a raise.” One example illustrates confidence and know how, while the other shows uncertainty and a lack of commitment. Even though both people have the same experience, because one conveys their importance and reasoning effectively, they’re more likely to flourish.
3.) Being a Competent Speaker Boosts Confidence
There’s nothing better than successfully negotiating a raise. Or hitting a home run on your presentation to a client or boss. Doing either ought to make someone feel pretty great. But, what about other social interactions? Let’s say you ask the love of your life to marry you and they say yes. It sure would be great to be the talk of your friends’ wedding due to your “once-in-a-lifetime” speech. Or even being able to confidently ask that cute guy or girl out for a date. Being a competent speaker builds presence and poise.
4.) Build Strong Relationships
It’s not surprising to hear the saying, “the key to a relationship is communication.” And it makes sense. The better you communicate your feelings, the less room for mistakes and miscues from your partners. By saying what you mean, you leave less room for interpretation. And this applies to both good times and bad. If you need help with something, wouldn’t it be in your best interest to be able to ask for it? Or better yet, what if you think someone needs help? Maybe without you, there’d be nobody else to speak up.
On a side note, plenty of ways to practice your skills exist. One major organization, Toastmasters International appeals to millions of people. With competitions, leadership roles, impromptu speaking and more, TM has something for everyone. Another simple way to practice revolves around accepting open opportunities. For example, let’s say you’re working on a group project and nobody wants to present. Do it and gain experience. And finally, try to get involved. Plenty of leadership roles in clubs and organizations include some form of group address. Whether that be through the rotary club or a non-profit. The chance to practice rests only on your imagination!
Therein, no matter what aspect of your life: whether in your career, family life or self-improvement, learning how to speak well, pays off.