In a climate of straightened times, greatly reduced training budgets and unrelenting pressures to do more with less…
…Are there compelling reasons why individuals and companies of any size should invest time, money and effort in acquiring public speaking skills?
In a word, ‘yes’.
Well that was a short article!
More seriously, here are 3 ways that acquiring public speaking skills helps careers to blossom and businesses to grow - achieving more with limited or dwindling resources:
#1 Visibility, for both you and your business
It’s getting more difficult for businesses to get noticed these days as:
- Response rates are falling for traditional advertising and direct response tools like direct mail, print, radio and TV
- People are struggling to cope with information overload from round the clock media and communication devices
- Our attention spans are diminishing
And the upshot?
Most of us (including those you may want to influence) are resorting to filtering information, just to cope. And even then, we seem to be more stressed and taking longer to get things done than ever before!
Interestingly, to the last point, Maggie Jackson claims in her book ‘Distracted’ that the average knowledge worker now struggles to spend more than 3 minutes doing anything before they stop and start doing something else!
Clearly this creates a problem for most businesses, which need to attract new customers and/or stay in touch with existing clients.
However, securing public speaking opportunities can be a very cost effective and time efficient way of breaking through the clutter.
As I mentioned in a previous article, find ways to use public speaking skills to offer you/your business terrific visibility via:
- Access and undivided attention from those you seek to influence – providing you speak to issues they care about
- An opportunity to be seen and heard – demonstrating your knowledge and experience, engendering trust and establishing why people should pay attention to you
- An ability to start conversations – providing a means to spark dialogue that can lead to new business or cement existing relationships
#2 Motivating others towards results and getting things done through people
Very few of us work alone. Most of us need to work with or through others to get things done.
And central to motivating others is having the ability to communicate effectively, in ways that people want to do something rather than being told or ordered to do so.
Communication skills tend to be a critical determinant of success for any position of management or authority and become increasingly important as you rise though the ranks.
And becoming a good public speaker will help you to acquire vital skills that have impact far beyond when you are audience facing – as you hone your ability to communicate clearly, succinctly, convincingly and with passion.
The more you learn to simplify messages (making them more meaningful to others), the more likely you are to influence people at any level within or external to your organisation.
#3 Instilling greater confidence in you
It’s no secret that public speaking is recognised as the number one source of fear in almost every society – including Ireland, where we allegedly have the gift of the gab!
But learning to conquer your fears about speaking in public greatly increases your confidence and the confidence others place in you.
And the numbers back this up.
In a recent survey we conducted among business people in Ireland, more than 9 of 10 respondents said they believed developing better public speaking skills would greatly enhance their career prospects and their confidence.