I am still amazed today how many people, especially professionals and students, disregard the importance of public speaking. I personally feel that it is one of the most important skills any human being should develop simply because it is part of almost everyday life.
Here are some of the things that I have personally observed about public speaking today:
1. People are aware of it but puts it on their non-priority list.
Yes, this is true today. People know they need to improve on their speaking skills but have the mindset that I’m okay. I won’t die anyway. I’ll still get my comfortable salary. How can I vouch for this? Well, normally, people that enroll in our speech centers only do so when they have an emergency. If they have a sudden presentation, if they need it for their promotion interview, if they have a contest or even if they need to go abroad for immediate work. I’m okay with that because that’s what our business can do but I always say to the students that they should do advanced training because they don’t know when they’re going to need the skill. When opportunities arise, then you are already ready. But sadly, most people today only enroll during emergency cases and as a realist, I would like to tell you that it would take several months or even years of good training to improve someone else’s skill in speaking.
2. Most people confuse FLUENCY with GOOD PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS.
Another thing I have noticed with people today is that they normally associate good fluency with good public speaking. I use to have a friend that speaks well in English and works as an accent coach in one company and one time, he was asked to host a party for one of our friends because of his fluency level. At the end of the party, he was doing so bad of a job that everyone was surprised and was asking what happened to him. And, he just said, Oh my gosh, I’m so nervous! It’s hard to talk to a group of people versus a one on one situation! It is true that the challenges of public speaking are different from the challenges of conversation skills. Publics peaking requires more confidence, conviction, power and more theatrics. Hopefully, people would understand the difference between the two.
3. There are a few to none public speaking groups for professionals today.
In the book of Frank Bettger, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, he talks about how important attending public speaking classes are. When he was struggling in selling, the moment his life turned around was when he attended a training conducted by Dale Carnegie himself. Dale told him that his main issue was he had no life in speaking. He had no energy! Suddenly, Frank realized that the only way to turn his life around in selling was to start becoming the most enthusiastic presenter he can be! He promised that the next clients he will have is going to be amazed because he was so enthusiastic and energetic! He realized all of this by just attending a public speaking class! That’s why he recommends you attend a local class in your community or join a public speaking group. If there are none, create one. Fortunately for me, I have my own training center and our very own group composed of my students and co-workers. We invite you to join us if you can’t find one!
All in all, raising awareness for public speaking training is something that most people today should address simply because of its relationship with leadership and success. I believe that all great leaders and successes need public speaking. I hope that I was able to make an effort in increasing your awareness in public speaking. It is better to train now and use it when the opportunity arises. We will never know when the next challenge would be!