Contrary to popular belief, public speaking is more than merely standing on a podium and speaking into a microphone to an audience. Public speaking, or a skill of communicating information, is the backbone of every society, regardless of age, gender, level of education or occupation. On a daily basis, we all form connections, influence decisions, and inspire change with public speaking.
It is time to challenge the notion that public speaking should be reserved for the gifted, the professionals, or the elites. History, politics and statistics have ascertained the importance of speaking one’s mind. Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream speech” which inspired a nation and eliminated racial barriers. It may have taken an extra decade for equality to all races if not for such an inspirational speech. And let us not fail to recall Donald J Trump’s political victory that was met with shock across a wide political divide – simply with his powerful form of speeches and substance.
This applies to every common folk – politically apathetic or not. Without communication skills, the ability to progress in the working world and in life, itself, would be unachievable. Yet public speaking is one of the most important and most dreaded forms of communication.
I Have An Education To Advance Me – So Why Take Up Public Speaking?
According to recent polls, the more educated you are, the more comfortable you may be with public speaking. In one poll, 24% of degree graduates expressed a fear of public speaking, compared to 52% of respondents who had a high school certificate or less. Yet employment statistics say otherwise. In a study from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, 44 percent of employers say the first thing that gets their attention is a job candidate’s general demeanour and confidence.
“When employers do hire from college, the evidence suggests that academic skills are not their primary concern,” says Peter Cappelli, a Wharton professor and the author of a new paper on job skills. “Work experience and personality is the crucial attribute that employers want even for students who have yet to work full-time.”
Does this mean that if you lack confidence and strong communicative skills, this will translate into lower chances of employability? The answer is a resounding yes. Throughout primary school, it is easy to be the student who sits in the back of the classroom and avoids raising his or her hand to evade ‘show and tell’ situations. Not so easy in the working world – public speaking is a vital skill to have and to hone. It effectuates artless, everyday interactions between colleagues, bosses and employees, as well as potential clients. This can have an enormous impact on your career path and your level of success in your industry.
One may argue an education and polished resume is sufficient to carry you through the success of your career or business – but a confident personality and communicative skills set could give you that edge over the many competitors in what may seem as the rat race of the 21st century.
Governments, parents and teachers may be equipping highly intellectual students with an education who understand disciplinary content, but are we preparing them to communicate that information globally?
The Types Of Everyday Public Speaking Everyone Should Know
To help you further understand why public speaking is important, Speech Academy Asia will first examine public speaking in everyday life. We will then discuss how public speaking can benefit anyone, regardless of age and occupation, personally.
Although public speeches are of various types, they are grouped here into three categories based on different purposes: informative, persuasive, and entertaining.
Everyday Informative Speech
Informative speaking is one of the most common types of public speaking. The primary purpose of informative presentations is to share your knowledge of a subject with an audience. The reasons for an informative presentation have in common one goal – to impart information to an audience. For example, you might be asked to instruct a group of colleagues on how to use a new program or to report the development of a latest project to a group of managers. A local community group might wish to hear about your volunteer activities in Nepal over the holidays, or your classmates may want you to share your expertise on French cooking.
Informative speaking is integrated into various occupations. Doctors often lecture about their areas of expertise to medical students, other surgeons, and patients. Teachers find themselves presenting to parents as well as to students. Firefighters give demonstrations about how to effectively control a fire in different environments. Informative speaking is a common aspect of numerous jobs and everyday activities. As a result, learning how to speak effectively is an essential skill in today’s world.
Everyday Persuasive Speech
In our everyday lives, we are often called on to motivate, convince or persuade others to change take an action, change their beliefs, or reconsider a decision. Advocating for a new co-curricular activity in the local university, convincing clients to purchase a product, or inspiring a group of youths to do voluntary work all require influencing people through public speaking.
Giving persuasive speeches is a crucial part of attaining and continuing career success for politicians – in the case of Donald J Trump; who easily convinced millions to elect him as President. Motivational authors and speakers Motivational authors and speakers make millions of dollars each year from people who want to be motivated to do better in their lives. Les Brown (http://www.lesbrown.com) and Brian Tracy, another professional speaker and author, specializes in helping business leaders become more productive and effective in the workplace (http://www.briantracy.com). Whether public speaking is something one does daily or just a few times a year, persuading others is a challenging task. Developing the skill to persuade effectively can be personally and professionally rewarding.
Everyday Entertaining Speech
Entertaining speech involves an array of speaking occasions ranging from wedding toasts to presenting and accepting awards, to delivering eulogies at funerals and memorial services as well as after-dinner speeches and congratulatory speeches.
The advent of entertaining speech traces its roots to the time of the ancient Greeks, when Aristotle identified epideictic speaking (speaking in a ceremonial context) as a significant form of address. Professionals such as religious leaders and comedians make a living from delivering entertaining speeches. We’ve all watched an awards show on television or seen the father of the bride deliver a wedding toast. Speaking to entertain is no insurmountable task, but similarly to a persuasive and informative speech, one that requires preparation and practice to be effective.
Can Public Speaking Courses Benefit Me, Both Professionally and Personally?
According to a study by sociologist Andrew Zekeri, A. A (2004), oral communication skills were the number one skill that college graduates found useful in the business world. In addition to learning the skills of creating and delivering an effective speech, students of public speaking courses leave the class with other amazing life-skills.
You Will Develop Critical Thinking Skills
The very first benefit you will gain is an increased ability to think critically. Problem solving is one of many critical thinking skills one will engage in during a public speaking course. For example, when preparing a persuasive speech, thinking through real problems affecting your society, community, or the world will provide possible solutions to those problems. Thinking through the positive and negative consequences of your solutions and then presenting your ideas to others will be a less complicated thought process.
At first glance, it may seem easy to come up with solutions for a problem such as a shortage of community spaces; just build more spaces. After thinking and researching further however, you may find out you will cause an environmental impact from loss of green space and maintenance costs. Being able to think through problems and analyse the potential costs and benefits of solutions is an essential part of critical thinking and of public speaking aimed at persuading others. These skills will help you not only in public speaking contexts but throughout your life as well. Providing credible evidence within your speeches if you are going to persuade various audiences will enhance your ability to conduct and analyse research as well.
You Will Improve Both Your Verbal and Non-Verbal Skills
A second benefit from a public speaking course is that it will help you improve both verbal and non-verbal communication skills. Whether you competed in a debate competition as a student or as a complete novice in public speaking, the opportunity to actively practice communication skills and receive professional feedback will help you become a better overall communicator. Apart from improving your tonality as a well-groomed orator, you will discover how to improve non-verbal skills. Every so often, people do not realize that they overdo hand gestures or repeatedly mispronounce words while speaking in public settings until they receive feedback from a trainer during a public speaking course. After all, details do matter.
You Will Eliminate Your Fear Of Public Speaking
Whether one is a professional public speaker or a greenhorn who has never given a speech, statistics show that majority of people experience anxiety when engaging in public speaking.
According to a poll in the United States, roughly 40 million people in the U.S. aged 18 or older suffer from different forms of anxiety. A study by Rose, H. M., & Rancer, A. S. (1993) evaluating students’ levels of public speaking anxiety during both the first and last weeks of public speaking classes found that those levels decreased over the course of the semester. This means that a public speaking course will make anyone become better acquainted with the public speaking process, making them more confident and less apprehensive!
Join A Course At Speech Academy Asia Today
The skills set required for someone speaking for informative, persuasive, or entertainment reasons, are applicable across all public speaking forms. Taking a public speaking class with Speech Academy Asia will improve skills in speech, develop your critical thinking, and even help you overcome anxiety.Speech Academy Asia’s courses have directly benefitted every individual,influencing the world around them, developing their leadership skills, and transforming them into a go-to person for solutions.