Every public speaking opportunity is an opportunity to grow your leadership, your influence and your career. I've picked six reasons why, or your money back. Well, if time is money...
1. There is no competition
Well, not much.
So many people in the professional world are nervous of public speaking. If you can pluck up the courage to do it you're already ahead of the pack. Even if you consider yourself to be an “average” speaker you’ll likely be better than most people, especially seeing as most people are reluctant to try.
2. Be seen, heard and remembered
A person who is willing to step forward and speak to an audience will gain a more recognised voice. When people see you standing up in front of 10, 50, or 500 people to give a discourse, they will turn to you as a leader and spokesperson.
The more you are seen speaking to a crowd, the higher your career opportunities become. People will remember you and begin to see you with authority, putting you centre stage with a new client or to present a pitch. You begin to appear as the voice of authority in your community of business professionals with a potential to lead.
Your name comes up more and more when members of your organisation 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” person.
3. Public speaking provides you with leadership qualities
In standing up and speaking in a way that is powerful, you are speaking in a way that will change people's minds about something. If you’re able to master that skill of changing hearts and minds and learning how to persuade, you will be already honing one of the major aspects of leadership.
Should you be able to speak confidently to a group of people, chances are you’ll be able to do it in a more individualised setting. Leaders require the capacity to drive change, public speaking skills are vital in learning that ability.
4. 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 in Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World's Top Minds
5. Public speaking helps you connect with people
People invest in people. Human behaviour is really that simple. As an inspiring speaker you will learn how to be passionate in the right moments and vulnerable at another moment. People will be able to relate to you as a human being and not as someone speaking at them.
Speaking in this way can definitely serve you well in your career by promoting more alliances, who develop a liking and trust 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.
6. 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 organisation, it makes sense for you to learn the skill of inspiring public speaking.