The Importance of Public Speaking

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We cannot overstate the importance of public speaking! Speeches change the world. Moses spoke the ten commandments and set forth laws forming the foundation for many legal systems and religious doctrines for millennia to come. Jesus sermon on the mount reframed the edicts of Moses with emphasis on compassion. Frederick Douglass foretold the freedom of millions when he proclaimed in 1852, "I hear the mournful wail of millions!" Martin Luther King, Jr. propelled a decade of progress in civil rights when he cast his vision for the future in a famous oratory. He proclaimed, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'" These are but a few examples of the power and importance of public speaking.

You may not be running for a public office, planning to accept an Oscar, or fighting for civil rights, but here's a fact. Public speaking is significant for yourself as well as your neighbors. It may be cliche, but we all impact our society through opportunities to communicate OUR VISION.

Feeling confident in front of a crowd can improve ALL areas of your life, professionally AND personally!

Sooner or later, you will be asked to speak in front of an audience. When that time comes, would you prefer to be caught flatfooted (or tongue-tied as the case may be) or will you grab the opportunity and TRIUMPH?

For example:

  • You may be asked to deliver a toast for the bride and groom during a wedding.
  • You may be asked to deliver an inspirational speech at work if you happen to receive an achievement of some kind.
  • You may be asked to deliver a lecture about something you profess to know better than anyone else.
  • You may be asked to say some words about the birthday celebrant during the celebration.
  • You may be asked to address people who have come to congratulate you after a triumph you may have accomplished.
  • You may be called upon to publicly welcome a new member of an organization to which you belong.

Of course, these are just a few examples. There are plenty more.

And you could be called upon to deliver any these speeches with very little notice and no opportunity to back out!

Will you be ready to take on the challenge when it comes? Or will you falter before you even begin?

Given the importance of public speaking, it's good to know that it's a skill we can all acquire once we put our minds to it. Anyone can learn to speak - and speak well - and it's something we can teach ourselves from the comfort of our own homes. (That said, I do recommend forcing yourself to speak up in public at every appropriate opportunity to overcome any anxiety).

The importance of public speakingDon't find yourself without words. Prepare to speak. Seek occasions to practice your skills.

Given the importance of public speaking, here are some quick tips for success

Preparation ensures perfection. Prepare your speech beforehand. The work completed ahead will ensure that you'll have all of the bases covered.  You will never have those uncomfortable moments of silence when delivering your speech.

Practice makes perfect. Don't settle for just one reading of your prepared speech before actual delivery. Lack of preparation demonstrates inadequate understanding of the importance of public speaking and the power of words. Read your speech several times again until you get things right. Memorize the speech or not depending upon the audience and most appropriate form of delivery.

Intonation is the key to a dramatic delivery. Practice various tones for your voice when delivering specific points of your speech. This exercise will guarantee that your delivery won't be monotonous and boring.

Family members provide an advantage for preparation. Practicing in front of the mirror can only serve you until a certain point. Eventually, you'll want to develop your public speaking skills in front of a live audience. A trial audience can give you an honest appraisal of your performance? Your family members, excluding your mother, of course, can fill this role!

Make it memorable. Sprinkle shocking statistics, witty quotes, and great humor into your speech to give your audience an experience they will never forget!

Learning to speak well in public will hold you in good stead at work and in countless social situations. The confidence it gives you helps open doors and enables you to achieve your goals. It is a skill that every person, regardless of age, gender, creed, religion, or profession, should strive to learn.

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