Is public speaking a must-have skill, or a nice to have, optional skill? This is a question that I am often asked by managers and business owners. My answer is always that it depends. It depends on whether you want a high-performance team, if you want to encourage group participation and idea sharing, if you want to enhance creativity and innovation, and if you want to allow people to show their leadership skills and full potential. If this is the case, then yes public speaking is a must-have skill for all your staff.
Warren Buffett said, “If you can’t communicate and talk to other people and get across your ideas, you’re giving up your true potential.” So here are 8 benefits of good public speaking skills to your business, your employees, and your team.
Benefits of public speaking training for your employees
1. Ability to confidently share their ideas with others.
Some people don’t like talking when surrounded by others, especially when surrounded by colleagues. Public speaking training can give them the confidence to talk about their ideas and share any suggestions they may have regarding the problem or issue at hand. It can be beneficial to both the team and the organisation when all people are confident to speak up and share their ideas.
2. Ability to give their best at job interviews.
Most organisations like to develop and train their staff so that they can move up into leadership and management roles. And there are advantages to promoting within your organisation as that person knows the culture and values and can often hit the ground running. To provide this training and development and opportunities for promotion to staff, only to see people do poorly at job interviews because of poor public speaking skills, would be a shame. Being good at public speaking allows people to perform their best when going for that promotion or job interview.
3. Ability to sell ideas and be more influential.
Good public speaking allows you to convince and persuade people to change, accept new ideas, try something different and look at things from an alternative viewpoint. Good public speaking allows you to influence people through the spoken word. If you struggle with public speaking, you may struggle to be influential, and people may not be convinced of your argument or your idea.
4. Media requirements
We have all seen or heard TV interviews and Radio interviews where the person being interviewed has not done a very good job. They have used lots of ums and ahs and other filler words, avoided the questions, misunderstood the question, gone off on a tangent, spoken for too long and in general they have not portrayed confidence or credibility in themselves or the company they represent. Media interviews are a great way to market and raise awareness around what a business does, and every media opportunity should be handled professionally.
5. Ability to coach and mentor other staff
Sometimes we need to help and guide new staff or junior staff at work. Not everyone is confident when they start new duties or a new job. And most organisations use experienced staff as a mentor or coach to help facilitate and fast track people’s development. After going through public speaking training, employees will be better equipped and more confident in stepping into a coaching and mentoring role. For an experienced employee not to share their expertise with a junior staff member, because of fear of public speaking, would be a loss to both the organisation and the people who miss out on that valuable mentoring.
6. Better able to deal with customers
Public speaking is essential to good customer service as you need to deal with all types of customers. There is the angry customer, the disgruntled customer, the curious customer, the unfair customer and the one who asks lots and lots of questions. It is easier to deal with your customers and their questions or objections when you are confident and effective with your public speaking.
7. Build people’s own self-belief and self-worth
Self-doubt and fear of speaking up or fear of public speaking can easily affect your self-esteem and your self-worth. However, by improving your public speaking skills, everyone can overcome this self-doubt and fear and become a regular contributor to team meetings and organisational forums (seminars, lunch and learns, pre-start meetings, safety meetings, project updates etc).
And the nice part about learning good public speaking skills is that you can apply this self-assurance and confidence in speaking to your personal life as well.
Learning public speaking will increase one’s confidence and as you do more public speaking, the more you believe in yourself and the higher you value yourself.
8. Develop your leadership skills
Good public speaking is seen as a leadership skill. Public speaking helps you to show your team what you’re thinking and where you want to go. They will perceive you as not only a leader but also a thought leader, helping to influence them to take new action and consider your new ideas. Great leaders are good public speakers.
Good public speaking allows you to share ideas, ask questions and contribute to meetings and it is key to creating a high-performance team where everyone contributes and shares and openly asks questions. Public speaking in my view is an essential workplace skill and organisations that invest in improving their staff public speaking skills, will reap the benefits.
There is nothing worse than having thoughts and ideas that you are afraid to share with others or your team because of fear of public speaking. If you want your organisation to improve their public speaking skills and your staff to be more confident and overcome any fears, I run a workshop called Winning Presentation Skills.