Importance Of Public Speaking
What is the importance of public speaking?
"It is vital to be able to communicate with others. It adds at least 50% to your value." Warren Buffett, world's richest man, BBC Interview 2009
Warren went on to say public speaking training changed his life.
Not a bad recommendation if you're into raising your financial net worth.
Or how about this if you're more academically inclined.
"Your careers will be determined largely by how well you speak, by how well you write, and by the quality of your ideas… in that order." MIT Professor Patrick Henry Winston
The professor was talking to an audience of mainly professional academics, but his words apply just as much to you and I.
But you've got to understand the importance of speaking for you personally, and not just as an abstract idea.
After all, unless you personally feel that overcoming the fear of public speaking is worthwhile, you probably just won't bother.
I think the simplest way to approach this is to think about how it affects four aspects of your life. You could consider these the four main parts of your life.
I'll call them Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit to keep it simple.
This means all the physical aspects of your life including your finances. In my personal experience the importance of public speaking is clear from its dramatic effect on your income. I say that as someone who has effectively earned his living through public speaking in one form or another for more than 9 years. I can't imagine how much less my income would have been if I had been too afraid to do it, and do it often. And that would be fair enough too because I would have been delivering less value for people if I hadn't been speaking.
Speaking can position you as an authority in your field quicker than just about anything else. And you don't have to talk in front of hundreds of people. Imagine turning up to a business breakfast representing your own small business, and being too scared to give your one minute introductory pitch when your turn came around ... or being too scared to do it well.
Whether you're a CEO or a junior employee you can probably envisage many different types of speaking that you could be called on to do in the course of your career. Now envisage yourself as someone who is known to be a good speaker, someone who can be relied on to get the job done in a confident and professional way.
As far as the market goes you are simply more valuable. (Of course your value as a human being is untouchable, but that's another story!) If you're more valuable then all things being equal over the long term anyway, your physical rewards will be higher.
Remember the guy who complains that his pay is too low. His wise mentor asks 'Why don't you get paid more than that?. 'Becuse that's all my company pays' he replies. 'No' says the wise one 'That's all they pay you'.
This means your skills and abilities. Does learning to overcome your fear and speak in public help you here? Of course. It can improve not only your communication skills but also your attitude (which is a highly transferable asset to develop). I've always found that after I do some serious study and practice at public speaking that I just feel more confident generally.
They say that the certain fears are bundled together and that the fear of public speaking is bundled with the fear of prospecting for new business - address one and you can automatically make progress with the other.
A large part of the importance of public speaking is the huge array of communication skills it allows you to practice and refine.
This means how you feel. You'd agree I think that you feel good when you're doing something you love. Well it's very unlikely that you'll be able to avoid public speaking for the rest of your life - or that you'd be reading his if that was your strategy. So assuming you're going to have to do some, it seems like you've got a choice. Either hate it and suffer ... or love it and thrive.
Part of the importance of public speaking is that it changes the quality of your life, by changing how you feel about challenging situations. It lets you get some practice in situations that aren't actually life threatening .. but just feel that way because you're dreading having to get up and talk.
Do you really want to be at your daughter's wedding and be shaking like a leaf because you're scared of saying a few words? Don't you just want to express the love in your heart at that moment? How important is that? You'll remember it for the rest of your life.
I can tell you that speaking in front of a group can be one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling experiences in your life. I'd go so far as to say that it is meant to be that way.
There is no doubt that overcoming this fear can greatly enhance the emotional quality of your life.
Is the overwhelming importance of public speaking coming clear to you yet?
Don't get hung up on words. Spirit has nothing to do with religion. What I mean here is how you contribute by living according to your purpose.
Does overcoming the fear of public speaking help you here? How can it not help? All you have to do is imagine living your life as a free person, instead of someone who is shackled by irrational anxiety about what other people think of you.
Surely if you're free you'll make more of a contribution to others? When you find a cause that inspires you and someone needs to speak out for it ... there you'll be ... ready, able and willing to go. You might even set some of them free with your words and your example.
Well. Are you convinced of the importance of public speaking? I hope so. I hope you can see just what a difference it can make for you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Let's leave the last words to another brilliant man...
"Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot."
D. H. Lawrence
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