Why Public Speaking Is Important?
“You’ve stolen my dreams!” & “How dare you!” are the catchphrases still resonating in mind whenever I think of Greta Thunberg’s United Nations Climate Change speech. Plunging the future generations into a world of environmental maladies, foisting upon them a standard of living that is inferior to ours just so that we can live ours wantonly – that certainly is thought-provoking.
Greta Thunberg, at age 15, kick-started a multi-city global movement to call for governmental actions on reducing global warming by spending her school days protesting outside the Swedish parliament. Soon, others joined her, and it created a chain effect that influenced many other students around the world. Some called it the “Greta Effect”.
Greta Thunberg may have great aspirations and passion for shoring up awareness of climate change and global warming…just like many of the kids and teens around the world (case in point, her followers! Those inspired by her to participate actively in the student marches across multiple cities). Amongst the various reasons why she was able to vault to prominence and engender the “Greta Effect” stands one salient reason – her public speaking abilities.
Her straight-shooting and not-one-who-minces-her-words brand of public speaking might be abrasive to some, but she has clearly made it her own style of communication and the impact is telling from the millions of inspired student protestors heeding her call.
That’s our main point here. From someone whom we have never heard of to someone who is able to catapult herself into the spotlight, give a clarion call and influence scores of people to listen to her message, the importance and usefulness of public speaking is being accentuated here.
Throughout history people have used public speaking as an essential means of communication, especially to the masses. Greek leader, Pericles, succinctly put it 2,500 years ago and it still holds true today: “One who forms a judgement on any point but cannot explain” it clearly “might as well never have thought at all on the subject.” (Stephen E. Lucas, 2015).
We may have similar ideas to build a company or businesses like Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Alibaba, and we’ve had these brilliant ideas stewing in your mind for years…but what’s the point of that if we can’t express our ideas to 1) gather like-minded talents to join our causes and assist us in building the organization, 2) influence and convince venture capitalists, or angel investors or even customers to buy into our products or services, 3) communicate our brands to the masses to brand-build and widen our markets. That idea, to make a difference, won’t take shape and germinate if you can’t speak about it. Period.
Some may argue that with the prevalence of social media (Instagram and Twitter where attractiveness of pictures and brevity of written words are prized over oratorical abilities & vocal/verbal expressions) and the advent of artificial intelligence & virtual reality will cause our younger generations to lose their ability to talk in a professional way. On the contrary, public speaking skills are made ever more crucial precisely because of social media because everyone now is a walking publisher of content. Be it in the form of video or audio podcast, the elements that govern public speaking such as vocal variety, facial expression, eye contact, tonality, pronunciation & enunciation, hand gestures are now put on the pedestal.
Many job/ scholarship/ school admission interviews now require interviewees to deliver a terse but engaging presentation (probably 5 minutes with a small PowerPoint deck) along with the interpersonal/ conversational/ Q&A component. Young professionals are being demanded by their bosses to conduct meetings and briefings, be brand ambassadors in conferences and exhibitions – and public speaking skills are paramount to excel at those assignments.
As pointed out by Stephen E. Lucas in his book “The Art of Public Speaking”, “In a recent survey of more than 300 employers, 93 percent stated that the ability to think critically and communicate clearly is more important for career success than is a job candidate’s undergraduate major. In another survey, the American Management Association asked 768 executives and managers to rank the skills most essential to today’s workplace. What was at the top of their list? Communication Skills.”, which in similar vein, a research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology concurred with results reflecting “…that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead…”.
Some people may either blithely or with a defeatist attitude say, “That’s all right, I’m not aspiring to be a bigshot, a great leader, manager, politician, president, preacher, expert authority…I don’t need public speaking skills…”.
Even if you don’t find yourself having the need to public speak now, that doesn’t mean you won’t need it a year later, or 5 years into your current job for career preferment. You WILL find a need for it some time, if you’ve an ounce, an iota of ambition in you.
Check out WHY Public Speaking is (doesn’t matter if it’s for kids/ children, or for adults, working professionals) imperative for your future success:
Public Speaking Academy strives to enhance people’s communication skills around the world especially in the face of rising automation and artificial intelligence. We are acutely aware that the hype is all about high-tech (robotics, machine learning, big data etc.), no doubt, that’s the future. However, besides high tech, what is going to be incredibly popular and in high-demand are two other “highs” – High-Touch and High-Trust.
High-touch involves social interactions with customers, patients, elderly – jobs in nursing, hospitality etc. will need effective interpersonal communication skills ever more!
High-trust involves jobs that the majority of people still prefer humans to perform instead of robots. For example, a judge in a court. We are confident people will still prefer a human judge to pass verdicts on court cases than robotic judges. Those jobs will need incredible public speaking & communication skills even more!
Public speaking allows you to build trust, share your expertise and messages effectively to far more people, expand your influence and expert authority. Start accumulating your stage mileage and begin sharpening and honing your public speaking skills!
Let Public Speaking Academy help you achieve that:
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Lucas, S. E. (2015). The Art of Public Speaking. New York, NY 10121: McGraw-Hill Education
Jensen, K. (2012, April). Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/keldjensen/2012/04/12/intelligence-is-overrated-what-you-really-need-to-succeed/#7166129b6d2c