Do you get scared when you have to get in front of a room with many unknown faces and give a presentation? If you answered yes, this is something completely normal! Even though speaking in front of an audience may be a daunting task, it is one of the most important skills you will develop in your life.
If you are a business major at UIC, you will be required to take a public speaking class in order to improve your ability to speak in large groups. Believe it or not, but public speaking can be a huge deciding factor in your career development; therefore, it is a skill worth learning! Here are some of the things I learned in my Fundamentals of Human Communication 100 class (COMM 100) about why public speaking is important:
1). Public speaking increases self-confidence
I can still remember when I first gave my first speech in COMM 100. Let’s just say, I was HORRIFIED. However, after giving multiple speeches, I was easily able to overcome my fear of speaking in front of large groups.
2). Public speaking is extremely important if you want to become a leader
I have learned over the years that people will follow leaders who who are not afraid to SPEAK UP and let their ideas shine! If you cannot communicate effectively, then it may be harder for you to lead those around you.
3). Public speaking is one of the most effective ways to get your message across
When we reach out to others by being ourselves, we can better persuade people. This is because when you appeal to a group of people as someone with normal emotions, desires, and dreams, then you are more effective in getting across your underlying message. Now you may ask, how do I do this? Well first, you must take an audience of employees, bosses, or clients, and transform them in your mind into real people with real problems, real hopes, and real dreams—treat them as if they are just like you, that way, it will be easier for you to get your message across!
4). Public Speaking allows you to think critically
While you engage in public speaking, you will increase your thinking skills. Ultimately, these skills will help you not only in public speaking situations, but throughout your life. It is important for future businesses to know that you have the capability to solve problems—and it is seen that oral communication skills allows one to do just that.
5). You will have to speak in front of people one day
Now, unless you are Patrick Star and decide to live under a rock the rest of your life, you will have to speak to a group of people. Sooner or later, you will be asked to talk —whether it is at school, at work, or at any other event—this is why it is so crucial to start practicing now!
In the end, public speaking will make you comfortable around other people. I say this because in the future, it will prevent awkward situations when speaking to a large group of people. One thing to remember is that no matter how good of a speaker you are, it can always be a little intimidating when one gives a speech.
So you may ask, How does one learn to speak like a pro? It is quite simple actually! The key is to PRACTICE! Like any other pro—such as an athlete or a musician—it is essential for one to practice. Rehearsing your speech many times before actually presenting it to an audience will ultimately help you become a more polished speaker!