Public speaking is one of the most sought after skills
What is meant by public speaking?
Public speaking brings to mind political meetings, conferences, sermons... a person on stage talking to hundreds of people. This is certainly one aspect but it is not the only one.
Speaking in public also means taking the floor during a meeting, presenting a proposal for a project or the results of a job.
Speaking in public can also mean giving a training course or a workshop.
That’s why the "soft" skill of speaking in public is not just important for sales staff, but is of relevance to everyone in a company or profession, not to mention entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs who still have to “sell” their ideas and prototypes to a market.
Speaking in public is a skill which has its origins in oratory, do you remember Cicerone & Co.?
Acting could be helpful but doing it for “work" is not exactly oratory, rhetoric... This is no longer recommended nowadays.
Nowadays speaking in public is a skill that can be acquired by training and reflecting carefully on the components of communication:
- the audience - the people who will listen to you, the intended recipients of your message
- the objective - what do you want to get across: convince, sell, obtain consent, participation
- the structure - a speech with a simple and linear logical thread that is easy to follow
- the visual supports - slides, images and videos are you significantly nowadays. They may not be strictly necessary, but can be more effective than words in some cases and thus represent a good alterative
- the duration of the attention span - best leave monologues for the theatre!
Speaking in public is quite daunting for many people, but assuming it doesn’t mean speaking to hundreds of people, it is something you can prepare for and try. You never know – it might become less daunting!
An example of how to prepare without reading whole books or going on a course can be found in an article from the web that is useful in order to prepare a presentation.
Alternatively, or in addition to this, you might time to a business coach, whose job it is to support you in improving core skills!