What is the Future of Public Speaking? Communication Lessons for the Future
When we think of public speaking, especially with the current COVID-19 measures and situation around us, it is easy to be swept away by discussions of “new normal”. You may be tempted to think that the future communicator now only has to contend with developing skills to present on a virtual platform (e.g., Zoom). Instead, we need to look beyond the immediate, reactive world and start asking ourselves the long-term question: how would our speaking stage change in the next 10 to 20 years?
While the answer may not be clear from the outset, understanding this future progression would help us step ahead of the curve as communicators. How would this stage be then? The obvious change is already ongoing – the shift from a physical to a virtual stage. We may now have to think about how to present effectively on a different platform. Another possible change is in your future audience – what type of lessons would they be interested in?
We will run through these considerations and more below and share three possible growth areas for you to experiment with!
Versatility is Key But Don’t Stretch Yourself Thin!
It is tempting to try and pivot and present yourself as an ‘expert’ in online presentations. Some of our students, for example, come with a stubborn mindset that public speaking techniques for physical settings are no longer important. The likely scenario is more balanced than that! Instead, we believe that the future communicator will try to be as versatile as possible, to transit between different communication platforms.
This change is not daunting – it is something we are already doing when we transit from formal public speaking scenarios (e.g., giving a speech or presentation) to a more informal setting (e.g., conversations, discussions). The challenge, however, is spreading ourselves too thin as a speaker by placing too much emphasis on one speaking style. As you explore new speaking platforms, the future communicator will have to synergise the different styles and ‘code-switch’ between different communication settings confidently. In short, be versatile but don’t stretch yourself thin!
Valuable Content Trumps Valuable Delivery?
The shift to the online platform is likely to bring a change in the evaluation and assessment of one’s speaking ability. While we may traditionally look at a person’s delivery on a physical stage as a barometer of his/her speaking ability, the virtual stage redirects that scrutiny to other aspects of your speech/presentation. Your audience now has more room to slow down, pause, and unpack your speech/presentation content and style. Messages may need to appeal to your audience’s hearts, minds, or belief systems, beyond the transmission of mere information.
What does this entail for the future communicator? The one trope that may be challenged is the idea that a confident delivery can trump an average speech message. Instead, with more critical space afforded to your audience, you may need to dedicate more energy to craft your words carefully. Beyond this, you would want to avoid falling into the ‘viral trap’ – your words, if poorly crafted and taken out of context – may return to haunt you. Don’t let your future words be a detriment to the future you!
Your Stage is Your Tool
A quick scroll through YouTube or Facebook search results for powerful or confident speakers in the past will always show the typical set-up. You either have a single speaker helming the entire physical stage or the use of 1 – 2 props (including PowerPoint slides) during the speech or presentation. With the virtual stage, this idea may no longer hold true. As communicators, we need to adapt and pick up new ways to ensure that our audience members are engaged.
* But…don’t go overboard… *
We can change the way we think of the virtual stage by accepting that we have more tools or props of engagement now. Presenting through Zoom or online? Run through the various engagement tools such as poll functions, screen-sharing, or even breakout rooms to break the monotony or tiresome nature of online presentations. Your stage is no longer just a flat piece of land to move around, it is made up of all the various tools you can use, with your creativity. Combine the human element (your delivery and creativity) with the technological elements (your virtual stage) to become a powerful, future communicator!
Speak & Communicate for the Future!
All that said and done, we believe that the future for public speaking and communication remains bright. Communication will remain a primary way for us to convey information, ideas, and insights to our audience, except through different mediums/platforms. By looking ahead and projecting the role of future communicator, we can prepare ourselves to remain an indispensable leader in communication. We hope that the three tips we have shared above will help you get to the same goal!
WATCH Our Video On Effective Presentation Skills Training Via Online Tech: When Training/ Education Taps On Tech To Meet Challenges of COVID Pandemic
By The Way…
If you’re keen to take your public speaking skills & presentation skills (either business/corporate presentation / training for presentation to clients / kids in-class presentation) to the next level so that you may communicate and deliver speeches with greater flair and charisma, feel free to check out our public speaking courses for adults and kids below!
For more about our Public Speaking Courses for Adults :
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If you are a human resources manager/ business owner in your company…
We want to help you bring out the best in your team, organization, and company. Public speaking and communication skills for the workplace, such as persuasion, remain a priority for most corporate training out there. We believe in staying ahead of the curve in sharing the contemporary communication skills to help you and your team remain relevant, competitive and nimble. Through our customized corporate training programmes, your team will benefit from an in-depth, hands-on, and potential-maximising public speaking training programme!
Feel free to reach out to us to curate your own public speaking corporate training programme for your team, company, or organization! Let us help you develop them into highly effective public speakers at work, empowered with effective presentation skills & storytelling skills – them giving speeches with charisma, influence and impact is something you can look forward to!
For effective presentation skills & public speaking skills training for corporates/ employees: https://www.publicspeakingacademy.com.sg/corporate-public-speaking-training-workshop/