Public speaking has always been a powerful weapon for change. Through centuries, many great leaders, orators, and visionaries have voiced some of the most enduring speeches that have moved the audience in inconceivable ways, inspired nations, sparked conversations, and ultimately, found their way into our history books.
Think of Queen Elizabeth I’s iconic Tilbury speech and how it changed the course of the battle between the English troops and the Spaniards. Or, President Kennedy’s Inaugural Address that caused the launch of the Peace Corps. Take Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ speeches that culminated in the freedom of India, or Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech that became the catalyst for change in racial relations in the US. Closer home, Paul Keating’s Redfern Park speech paved the way for a formal apology to indigenous Australians.
Clearly, a public speech is more than a set of spoken words. It is how the speaker, the ideas, the context, the language, and the delivery — all come together to bring about remarkable impacts and often, world-altering changes.
Now, the question I often get asked is — “how is public speaking relevant to an organisation?”
The fact is, public speaking is not just about delivering a speech. It’s also about striking meaningful connections and fostering relationships. And, relationships form the foundation of any business.
So talking from a business standpoint, the ability to communicate clearly and passionately, with the appropriate emotion and authority can have incredible advantages for organisations. The power of voice can be used to build networks, influence decisions, and motivate others in ways perhaps no other forms of communications in the world can match.
A recent study found that 79% of people surveyed find presentations to be boring. And it’s true. How many of us haven’t struggled to sit through dreary and passionless presentations? It happens all too often.
Considering how effective presentations can help a business stand out and make a favourable impression during recruitment, sales, and investor outreach, it’s not hard to see why speaking skills can be the difference between success and failure of a business.
Poor presentations not only cost businesses time, money, and opportunities but also hurt their reputation and growth. If the leader of an organisation doesn’t come across as a confident and articulate speaker, it will be difficult for them to attract people to be a part of their team or do business with them.
The same is true for businesses where employees don’t communicate well within and outside the organisation. On the other hand, a company greatly benefits from having all its employees communicate the same message so that it helps in maintaining a uniform and consistent brand messaging. Moreover, efficient communication is key to great workplace culture.
However, the biggest challenge that stands in the way of businesses and individuals from reaping these benefits is the fear of public speaking. So crippling is this fear that some describe this as even worse than death, revealed a survey on common phobias. It may offer some comfort to know that even business magnate and billionaire Warren Buffett admitted to being “terrified” of public speaking early in his career. But he knew that “If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your potential”. And, so he chose to conquer his fear. You can, too!
If you’re challenged by public speaking, there are several techniques that can help you overcome your fears. I’ll discuss those in my next post.
So stay tuned to break your fear of public speaking and wield the power that comes with it!
If you would like to catch up or learn more, join the Digital Women’s Network and us here at Illuminated Story at our breakfast series;
21st August 2019
GROSSI FLORENTINO, 80 BOURKE ST, MELBOURNE VIC 3000
Hone your presenting and influence skills with a small group of leaders for a one hour breakfast, we will look at framework for success and delve into some of the pitfalls and challenges also how to quickly curate content “ from the page to the stage”.
– How to formulate a persuasive presentation that will invoke thought within your audience
– How to shift your language and build deeper rapport with your audience to be not only heard but felt
– The importance of your delivery and how to, as Amy Cuddy famously said, ‘Fake it until you become it’.
Let us help you hone and polish those hidden skills and Illuminate the presenter inside you.
0409 007 114
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