Tips for public speaking and presentation skills

Have you ever given thought to the importance of public speaking? Do you see areas it can benefit you in the seemingly ‘ordinary’ activities of your daily life? Have you ever considered how effective public speaking could boost your career and help you in your family, school, workplace and social gatherings?

I bet, you might not even have thought of how public speaking could help you during job interview sessions!

Ironically, so many people simply give the importance of public speaking a passing thought. They might even dismiss the thought before it ever sprang up! They reason…

“What the heck is my business with the importance of public speaking? I’m not a professional public speaker and I don’t intend to be the next Martin Luther King… So, why bother my head over the importance of public speaking?!”

BIG mistake!

I’m glad you are not like this set of people. Otherwise you wouldn't have read this far!

Really, like I explained in The Art of Public Speaking, public speaking does not necessarily have to take place in a structured, formal setting as in a hall filled with people listening to a speaker on a podium.

Bottom line? Simple…

You don’t have to be a professional speaker to be interested in the benefits of public speaking. Reason being that public speaking takes place daily even during those things we perceive as ‘ordinary’ activities of life… It’s simply a part of life!

OK, enough of this ‘blah, blah, blah’. Let’s get right into the discussion.

Ready? Then follow me…

The Benefits of Public Speaking

The importance of public speaking to you as an individual and to the society at large is numerous. However, I have come up with the very important ones. Here they are…

It Boosts Confidence and Helps Overcome Fear

Surveys have shown that the number one fear in the world is the fear of public speaking. This means that most people are more afraid of public speaking than they are of death!

Alarming! Isn't it? But that is the truth!

However, if you gather enough knowledge about your topic and practice well before you deliver (even your first) speech, it can help you reduce anxiety greatly. Then as you consistently engage in art of public speaking you will horn your skills, build your confidence and gradually take control of your fear.

My personal experience has proved this to be true. Naturally, I was a very shy person. I found it hard to make new friends and keep old ones. Public speaking? Nah! Nah! Nah! Don’t even go there… it was one of my greatest fears!

But the story has changed now. Today, I can confidently stand in front of thousands of people and give a captivating speech!

You ask me how? Hmm…One of the things that helped me was consistently engaging in public speaking. I got better and better with every speech I delivered.

The moral of the story is…

One of the importance of public speaking is that it can help boost your confidence and help you reduce anxiety when you have to face a group of people.

It Improves Communication Skills

You must have heard statements such as: “the error was as a result of breakdown in communication” or “it was due to communication gap”. At times, the consequences of such ‘communication gaps’ could be very, very costly!

Nothing is more frustrating than trying hard to pass across valuable information and the recipient doesn't seem to ‘get it’. Surprisingly, the problem might lie with you and not the recipient!

Why? You are not communicating effectively!

Public speaking is a form of communication. The more you engage in public speaking, the more you sharpen your communication skills. Such good communication skills you develop can help you connect with people’s emotions and pass your message across in a way that is easy to understand.

It Improves Interpersonal Skills and Relationships

Imagine you at a party or any other gathering. And there is this person who relates well with people— even those she is meeting for the first time. she is able to easily start conversations, carry people along and make new friends. (Don’t get me wrong… I’m not taking about the irritating, lousy ‘show offs’)

How do you see such a person? No doubt, you will almost form a liking for her instantly.

Such skills and confidence can be developed through public speaking. And such interpersonal skills will help you maintain good relationship with your family, friends, classmates or workmates.

It Leads to Better Image and Perception

Why do you think people respect great personalities like Martin Luther King, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, Dale Carnegie and others? It is because of their public speaking abilities. It’s as simple as that!

So, what’s my point?

Mastering the art of public speaking helps you to make a good impression on other people. Your friends, classmates, teachers, workmates, bosses and others will come to respect you. And this will positively affect their perception of you.

It Fosters Feelings of Self-Worthiness and Self-Esteem

Have you ever given a successful speech or made a nice presentation before? How did you feel after such exciting occasions?

I can confidently say that you had a strong feeling of satisfaction and inner joy that words could hardly describe! Such moments in life give you a sense of self-worthiness. This boost to your self-esteem will make you successful in other endeavors of life.

It Serves As A Career Booster

The communication skills, confidence and improved self-esteem you develop through public speaking can help you excel at job interviews. It can also aid in getting deserved promotions at work.

Talking about job interviews, the interviewer looks beyond your qualifications. Otherwise, your resume is enough to do the job. You won’t need any interview! But it doesn't work that way…

Your ability to communicate effectively, your interpersonal skills, confidence and comportment play a very important role in the decision making process. Thus, the importance of public speaking to your career cannot be over-emphasized.

It Makes You More Knowledgeable

Public speaking increases your knowledge base. One of the key success factors in public speaking is to know your subject inside out. That makes the delivery flow naturally and makes you relax. Often times this calls for doing extensive research on the subject. Such research adds to your reservoir of knowledge.

For example, when I wanted to write the page on the history of public speaking I had to do more research to add to my knowledge of the subject. I now know more about the history of public speaking than I did before. That’s exactly what I’m saying!

It is a Way of Giving Back to the Society

How? You may wonder. Through public speaking you share your knowledge with others. You can inspire people, lifting up their dampened spirit. You can motivate people to take certain ‘profitable’ action that impact positively on their lives or the society. By so doing you are giving back to the society.

For example, the world today boasts of great names that changed the world with their public speaking abilities. Even though many of them have died, the world still finds it hard to forget them.

It Helps Improve Academic Performance

The discipline plus the knowledge you acquire through public speaking can help improve your performance in school.

As you can see, the importance of public speaking cuts across all walks of life. There is hardly any area of life it cannot be applied. And to think that it is only meant for certain set of people is one of the worst mistakes one can ever make on the surface of the earth!

I am very sure that if you think hard you can come up with more benefits of public speaking. The points I discussed above are not all inclusive.

So dear, my candid advice (as usual) is…

Whenever you have the opportunity to develop your public speaking skills, please don’t throw it away… Grab it with both hands! Read all the ‘read-ables’, watch all the ‘watch-ables’. Practice, practice and practice!

Then someday I strongly hope to have the privilege to listen to you as you confidently and masterfully make a powerful, captivating delivery!

Did I hear you say “really?’’

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