I think many of us hate the idea of speaking in front of a group of people. It can be nerve-wracking, intimidating, and just plain uncomfortable in some cases.
But for better or worse, public speaking comes up fairly often, especially if you work in a traditional office setting.
In the workplace, there are of course formal presentations that are sometimes required of employees, especially if you’ve been made the head of a specific project.
But even if you’re not required to deliver formal presentations, you may also need to participate in group meetings on a weekly basis.
And if you’re still in school, then public speaking is much more frequent. Many classes in different areas of expertise require oral presentations or simply class participation.
So before you solidify your hatred for public speaking, let’s take a look at the importance of public speaking in everyday life.
After all, public speaking doesn’t only teach you how to present. It’s much more than that, which is why it continues to be a major part of contemporary life.
The Many Kinds of Public Speaking
First, let’s take a look at a few different settings where public speaking skills can come in handy.
As we’ve already mentioned, many careers require public speaking in some form or another.
But the good news is if you dedicate some time to improving your public speaking skills, you can carry those skills with you to other jobs in the future.
Becoming a skilled speaker can also have benefits when it comes to finding a new job. A job interview is, in many ways, just an improvised speech.
It’s an opportunity to answer each question thoroughly while also showing off your personality type and your level of confidence.
If you’ve done a significant amount of public speaking in the past, then you’ll be much more likely to feel confident when you find yourself in a job interview.
You may also want to check out this article on how to get rid of nerves when presenting at work.
Support and Community Groups
Support groups and community groups are a few settings where public speaking skills can come in handy.
You may not necessarily be asked to lead a group discussion, but if you’re confident in your speaking skills, it will be much easier to participate in group discussions.
One of the main goals of these kinds of groups is often to let individuals make their voices heard.
It’s a chance to open up about what’s been bothering you lately, or even just something that you’ve been excited about.
Public speaking skills will also allow you to articulate your thoughts much more accurately.
Town Hall Meetings
Town hall meetings are one of the last great examples of traditional Democracy. It’s a rare opportunity to speak with community leaders and politicians and bring certain issues to their attention.
You’ve likely seen plenty of videos taken at town hall meetings around the country. The basic idea is for individual citizens to offer comments or ideas with regards to the topic at hand.
Some town halls also allow for citizens to bring their own topics to the discussion.
For a whimsical example of a classic town hall meeting, we can look to this famous scene from The Simpsons.
Even in this comical example, it’s clear that having the skills to clearly state your case to a large group of people can increase the chances that your suggestion will be seriously considered.
People naturally pay better attention to someone who is able to make a passionate case for their perspective.
With a little practice, you could become a persuasive member of your community.
A Confidence Boost
But public speaking can also have benefits outside of the realm of delivering speeches to groups of people.
Mastering the skills of public speaking can give you a significant confidence boost in your everyday life.
Knowing that you can make your case clearly and succinctly can help you to feel much more self-assured and ready to face new challenges as they arise.
Meeting New People
Public speaking skills can also help you to engage in interpersonal interactions throughout the course of your daily life.
It may not seem like a direct connection at first, but you’ll be surprised at the extent to which your speaking skills can encourage you to meet new people and start conversations with total strangers.
Maybe there are a few coworkers at your office who you find interesting but have never had the confidence to speak with.
Well, now is your chance to speak with them on a personal level, getting to know them bit by bit.
And when it comes to telling someone more about yourself, it’s basically just a mini speech that you’ll need to give, summarizing your interests and where you come from, and how all these factors have influenced who you are today.
These skills can also translate to the dating scene, where confidence and clarity are extremely valuable commodities.
You don’t have to see these interactions as speeches, of course, as this could make for a very rigid approach to normal human conversation.
But if you tend to feel too intimidated to even initiate a conversation with another person, thinking of it as a chance to share details about yourself can remind you that you can rely on some of your public speaking skills.
On a personal level, I can say with absolute certainty that I am still intimidated by the idea of giving a speech or a presentation in front of a group of people, even if it’s only 4 or 5 others.
But when I’m feeling nervous or intimidated by the idea, I also have the ability to think back on past experiences with public speaking, not the ones that went poorly but the ones where I was able to win over the crowd.
Focusing on positive past incidents like these can help make the idea of public speaking seem much less frightening.
After all, we’ve all done it before, many times before. All that’s left to do is to work hard and prepare for upcoming presentations or speeches.
From there, you can simply rely on the skills that you’ve already learned and made use of time and time again.