Everyone has felt that gut-punching feeling when you’re asked to speak in front of a group of people in a room or a crowd at an event. Your stomach sinks and you break out in a sweat, rooted to the spot and your mind going overdrive. Whether you know a topic, question or speaking point by heart or not, often nervousness and anxiety set in and interrupt your performance – and that’s perfectly normal. But, is there another way to deal with it? Public speaking shouldn’t root anyone to the spot or make them ill with nervousness, it should be an opportunity to command the limelight and get your point across. Here are six reasons why practicing public speaking should be a priority for you.
Public speaking attracts opportunities
Someone with your expertise is needed to lead the pitch for an important client meeting; A demonstration is required at a festival for creatives about what your brand is doing; A radio or TV station wants to cover a story you’re connected to. These opportunities come into our line of sight all the time – but how often is your instant reaction a thought of ‘how do I get out of this?’ or ‘what excuse can I make to not do this?’ Opportunities arise around public speaking all of the time, and require to be fulfilled by people who relish the opportunities. By pushing yourself to be more open to opportunities that come your way around public speaking, you’ll be rich in opportunity.
Public speaking can change your mindset
Practice public speaking by doing a small presentation in front of your immediate team at work, or even a group of friends. Then, try a larger group, maybe at a family occasion or in front of your board of directors. Small steps, often, lead to big changes over time. By making public speaking goals small, achievable and manageable, you’ll make progress before you even know it. Changing your mindset over time from “I can’t do this” to “I can, and I will”; the more you push the parameters, the more you’ll surprise yourself. Before you know it, you’ll be operating with a totally different mindset.
Public speaking creates confidence
If you feel that you’re particularly under-confident, just wait for the rush of competence, control and power that occurs after you deliver a public speech, however big or small. The confidence can absolutely carry over to other aspects of our daily lives that are not related to communication or public speaking. You’ll stand taller, be more assured and far more positive.
The skill of public speaking is lucrative
Do you feel that you’re not a good sales person? This isn’t just about working in retail or customer service – all of us need to ‘sell’ in one way or another in our lives. Whether it’s a pitch to a client, a job interview or a friendly debate with a friend, it’s all about ‘selling’ your point. Public speaking offers a masterclass in how to ‘sell-in’ your ideas to groups of people. Convincing people of the benefits or drawbacks to something. Demonstrating the value of a product or idea. Sharing the power of a piece of research you’ve just worked on. The skill of public speaking is directly linked to the skill of being able to pitch, sell and convince people. A great skill to have.
Public speaking pushes out your comfort zone
Imagine there wasn’t a limit to what holds you back? Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway is one of the most popular self-help books out there which explains how to acknowledge how you’re feeling but achieve your goals anyway. Picture how much success and enjoyment you would have from life if crippling anxiety or even just constant holding back about speaking in public wasn’t an issue. You probably wouldn’t recognise yourself. We all second guess our abilities, but what scares you should be what you tackle and overcome. Public speaking helps to push out your comfort zone, and, you know what they say: ‘Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone’.
Inspire others with public speaking
There’s no one else in the world who has your unique combination of experience and skill. Literally no one. How special is that? Everyone wants to hear it! There’s a reason TED Talks are so popular, because these are ordinary people sharing extraordinary ideas, but told in a relatable, understandable way. Likewise with podcasts. We all are fascinated by other people and what they have to share and offer. Let your stories and experience be told – the world is waiting.