When you think about public speaking, the hair on the back of your neck may stand up. You remember the last time you were standing behind a rostrum and you ended up eating most of your own words just because that tingly feeling in your stomach won’t go away. You realize you sweat a lot when you’re backstage or while you’re sitting in the office board room and have to give a presentation next.
The fear of public speaking is quite common than you think. People don’t even realize how stressful they get that their body activates their survival mechanism. The old “Fight or Flight” is what gets you safe and by safe we mean, completely devasted because you ended up choking on your own words and the presentation didn’t go that well.
“What am I so afraid of?” is the question in everyone’s head. And it’s true, people are often scared to speak their heart out. However, if you are to take any great leader into perspective, you’ll realize that no matter who they were, they knew what to say and how to say it. Public speaking is a vital organ in the make-up of a true influencer and nowadays, it has become even more so.
Who isn’t inspired by the speeches made by Winston Churchill in his wartime effort, the man who rallied an entire nation towards a cause simply by his wit and his words? Who isn’t inspired by Greta Thunberg’s speech in the UN towards the leaders of the world to come to a consensus about climate change? Despite her stature, she looked at everyone in the eye and spoke the truth. It doesn’t matter who you are what your size is or how good you look. Your words and ideas mixed with a persistence unlike any other can change the world. True leaders always have, haven’t they?
How does Public Speaking Help?
There are several instances in which the way you form your words and then voice them out can help you in life. The art of public speaking helps you carefully assess someone before you talk to them. It helps you communicate better to form alliances and gain followers in your ranks. A true leader understands his people well because he or she isn’t scared to ask them questions about them.
Through public speaking, you gain confidence in your communication skills. Confidence is not only attractive but also intimidating. It sends out a message to anyone who meets you for the first time that you are satisfied with yourself and your ideas. Your faith in yourself is what sets you apart from someone who doesn’t even know why they are alive in the first place.
Furthermore, having confidence in your words can help you stay calm in situations where emotions are running wild. Tensions may rise and this is where a true leader needs to be careful with what they say. Diplomats, for example, need to assess someone sitting on the opposite table and be able to convince them about something the diplomat holds. This way, public speaking can help negotiate treaties, help form trade alliances, free victims of war and even gain support from another nation.
As a leader, you need vital connections who can help you in your time of need. Someone with several connections is seen as useful and is therefore approached for guidance. A leader who knows how to form these connections must first learn how to speak well. They must be able to unite people towards a common cause/ idea. Leaders always have to keep the bigger picture in mind and public speaking skills can help them gain the support they need to pursue that vision.
Remember, it’s not only about winning minds but hearts as well. A follower can only truly stay loyal to you if they believe in what you say wholeheartedly. If you never voice out your ideas into the world, how will they ever believe in you?