Public speaking is a game-changer. Professionals who invest time in honing their skills position themselves for leadership. I’ve been training leaders since 2004, and it is evident to me that those who can communicate their ideas well get ahead. For this reason, I find time to teach aspiring leaders how to become better speakers.
Public speaking is a powerful tool that can boost your career in ways you might not have considered.
Why do employers notice confident speakers?
People who can speak well in public often show leadership qualities. They can convey ideas clearly, motivate teams, and represent the company in a positive light.
Even if you have the grandest ideas in the organization, people won’t pick you to lead if you find it difficult to communicate yourself.
Now, picture a colleague who always sidesteps chances to speak up, whether in meetings or events. Over time, he might be missing out on golden opportunities to shine and progress in his career.
You don’t want to be this person.
I’ll share 10 compelling reasons why every professional should consider mastering the art of public speaking. Along the way, I’ll sprinkle in some handy tips to help you get started.
As I have said, public speaking makes your thoughts visible. Through public speaking, you let people know that you have what they need to succeed. Professionals who have solutions to the problems of people unlock the doors of opportunities in their careers.
Whether it’s building your personal brand, forging strong connections, or simply becoming the go-to person in the office for presentations, the advantages are many.
1. Public speaking enhances leadership skills.
Public speaking and leadership often go hand-in-hand. When you can articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly in front of a group, you demonstrate confidence, authority, and clarity of vision—all essential traits of a good leader.
For professionals, leading a team or representing the company in public forums is an asset. It shows you’re not just an employee; you’re a potential leader.
Meet Jomar. He was a dedicated employee at a fast-growing tech startup in Manila. Despite being knowledgeable and hardworking, Jomar would always pass on opportunities to present updates to the team or speak at company events. He believed that his work would speak for itself. But one day, during a team lunch, his colleague Rica candidly told him, “Jomar, we all know you’re brilliant. But others outside our team don’t. They only see who’s at the front, speaking.”
Jomar realized he was being overshadowed, not because he lacked skills, but because he wasn’t showcasing them. Determined to change, he enrolled in a public speaking workshop. With time and practice, Jomar started leading meetings, presenting projects, and even representing the company at industry conferences. Not only did his visibility within the company grow, but he soon found himself being considered for leadership roles.
Start Small, Aim Big! Begin by volunteering to lead team meetings or give short presentations. As you gain confidence, seek larger platforms. Remember, every leader once started as a listener. By stepping up and speaking out, you position yourself as someone who leads by example. Give it a try, and watch your leadership potential shine!
2. Public speaking increases self-confidence.
Public speaking pushes you out of your comfort zone. It allows you to face your fears head-on. Every time you speak in front of a crowd and receive positive feedback or appreciation, it boosts your self-worth and belief in your abilities.
Confidence is a by-product of what you do. And when you position yourself in many speaking opportunities, you’ll find your confidence grows over time.
Confidence is more than just feeling good about oneself. It means being self-assured when pitching ideas, dealing with clients, or even navigating the challenges of office politics. A confident professional stands out and leaves a lasting impression.
Liza was a talented graphic designer at a renowned advertising agency in Cebu. Her designs were innovative and often chosen for campaigns.
However, when asked to present her concepts to clients, she’d hesitate and request her manager to do it for her. This went on until her colleague, Carlo, noticed and said, “Liza, your designs are amazing. But clients need to see the passion behind them. That passion is you.”
Taking this to heart, Liza sought mentorship from senior colleagues on presentation skills. She started by presenting to her team, then to larger internal groups, and eventually to clients.
The change was evident. Not only did she become more self-assured, but clients also began requesting her by name for their campaigns.
Practice in Familiar Territory. Begin by sharing your ideas or presenting in front of friends or close colleagues. Their feedback and encouragement can be the stepping stone you need. Over time, you’ll find that the nervousness fades, replaced by a growing self-confidence that permeates all areas of your work. Embrace the journey, and see how far you can go!
3. Public speaking provides networking opportunities.
You will gain more friends and influence lots of people when you are an excellent public speaker. People gravitate towards you. They want to hear you. They’ll be hoping you have something that will make them feel better and succeed faster.
Public speaking often places you at the center of attention, making you a magnet for connections and collaborations. By sharing your expertise or insights, you not only add value to your audience but also attract like-minded professionals.
Building a robust network can be the key to unlocking new job opportunities, collaborations, or even business ventures. Having a wide network means having a plethora of resources and opportunities at your fingertips.
He was an IT specialist in Davao, always behind the scenes, ensuring systems ran smoothly. While he loved his job, he felt isolated, rarely interacting beyond his department.
But when Paolo was asked to give a tech talk at a local seminar, everything changed. He was hesitant, but with some persuasion, he agreed.
Post-presentation, Paolo was approached by many attendees. Some were curious students, some were professionals seeking advice, and others were business owners looking for collaboration.
Realizing the potential, Paolo began actively seeking out speaking opportunities. Over time, he grew a rich network of contacts that brought him not just friendships but also lucrative freelance projects and job offers.
Put Yourself Out There! Attend seminars, workshops, or industry events, even if you’re just a participant. When you’re comfortable, take the leap to become a speaker. Every interaction is a chance to grow your network. Remember, opportunities don’t just come knocking; sometimes, you have to build the door. Dive into networking through public speaking and see where it takes you!
4. Public speaking makes you more persuasive.
The art of public speaking isn’t just about conveying information; it’s also about persuading your audience to see things from your perspective.
Mastering this skill can make you an influential figure, able to sway opinions and drive action.
Being persuasive can be pivotal, especially in roles like sales, marketing, or even management. It’s about getting clients on board, making your team believe in a project, or convincing stakeholders of a particular strategy.
A passionate environmentalist, she worked for an NGO in Quezon City that advocated for sustainable practices in businesses. But she faced resistance when pitching green initiatives to companies, often leaving meetings feeling defeated.
One day, her mentor told her, “It’s not enough to present facts, Clarisse. You need to make them feel the urgency, make them care.”
Taking this advice, Clarisse enrolled in a public speaking course focusing on persuasive techniques. She learned the art of storytelling, emotional appeal, and strategic argument structuring. Armed with these skills, her presentations transformed.
Instead of cold rejections, she began to see nods of agreement, and companies started implementing the sustainable practices she championed.
Stories Over Statistics! While facts and figures are important, it’s the stories that resonate with people. When trying to persuade, weave in personal stories or relatable examples. They humanize your pitch and make it memorable. Remember, it’s not always about what you say, but how you make people feel. Harness the power of persuasion and make a difference in your career!
5. Public speaking improves your communication skills.
Being a proficient public speaker means you’ve honed your ability to communicate ideas in a clear, coherent, and compelling manner.
It’s not just about speaking loudly or with charisma; it’s about making complex ideas understandable and engaging.
Effective communication is foundational. Whether you’re in customer service addressing client concerns, in engineering explaining a technical process, or in management articulating company vision, the way you communicate can set you apart.
Working as a financial analyst in Makati, Angelo was a whiz with numbers. He could spot trends and anomalies in data that were most overlooked.
However, when it came to presenting his findings to non-finance teams, he struggled. They often found his reports dense and hard to digest. Frustration grew until his coworker, Mia, suggested, “Angelo, your insights are golden. But you need to speak our language, not just finance lingo.”
Angelo realized the gap. He took a course on effective communication, focusing on simplifying complex ideas. He started using analogies, and visuals and broke down jargon.
The transformation was immediate. Teams began to understand and value his reports, leading to better decision-making across the company.
Simplicity is Key! Always tailor your communication to your audience. Avoid jargon and aim for clarity. A well-communicated idea is like a clear window – it lets the light of understanding shine through. Elevate your communication skills and see how it brightens your career prospects!
6. Public speaking builds your personal brand.
Standing out in a crowded professional landscape requires more than just expertise; it demands a personal brand. Public speaking can be a tool to craft and amplify that brand, positioning you as an authority in your field.
For Filipino professionals, establishing a strong personal brand can translate to increased job opportunities, business collaborations, and even invitations to speak at events or conferences.
Meet Camille, a digital marketing expert in Iloilo.
She had innovative ideas and successful campaigns, but her name was mostly known only within her company. She felt she was blending into the background despite her achievements.
One evening, while attending a digital marketing seminar, she struck up a conversation with JM, the public speaking coach giving a talk on personal branding.
“I’ve done some great work, JM, but I feel invisible,” Camille confided.
JM replied, “Have you considered sharing your success stories and strategies with a wider audience? By speaking at events, writing articles, or even starting a podcast?”
Camille pondered this and decided to take action. With JM’s coaching, she began speaking at local seminars. As she shared her insights and experiences, her personal brand grew. Soon, Camille wasn’t just another digital marketer; she was an industry thought leader.
Share Your Success! Don’t wait for recognition to come your way. Seek out platforms to share your knowledge and experiences. As JM would say, “Your personal brand is a story waiting to be told. So, tell it loud and proud.” Dive into public speaking and craft your unique narrative in the professional world.
7. Public speaking creates opportunities for career advancement.
For many professionals, climbing the corporate ladder isn’t just about hard work. Visibility and the ability to influence are equally critical. Public speaking provides a platform to showcase not just your knowledge but also your potential as a leader.
For Filipino professionals aspiring for higher roles, being recognized as a confident speaker can be a significant advantage. It signals to management your readiness to take on more significant responsibilities, lead teams, or represent the company in external engagements.
Meet Ben, a project manager in a BPO company in Taguig. He managed his tasks well, but always felt he was stuck in his role. Year after year, he watched others get promoted, often wondering what he lacked.
One day, over coffee, he shared his concerns with JM, the public speaking coach.
“I give my best, JM. Yet, it feels like I’m invisible to the higher-ups,” Ben lamented.
JM leaned in and asked, “Ben, have you ever showcased your achievements and leadership skills outside of your immediate team? Speaking at company-wide meetings or even external events?”
Ben shook his head. With JM’s guidance, he started presenting project successes and strategies in larger forums within the company. The change was immediate. Senior management started recognizing him, and within a year, Ben was promoted to a senior managerial role.
Spotlight Your Achievements! Don’t just work in silence; showcase your accomplishments and ideas. As JM often advises, “To climb the corporate ladder, sometimes you need to be both the performer and the narrator of your success story.” Embrace public speaking and let your career trajectory soar!
8. Public speaking makes you a critical-thinker and problem-solver.
Public speaking demands thorough preparation. Crafting a speech requires you to analyze topics deeply, anticipate questions, and address potential counterarguments. This rigorous process hones your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
These skills are invaluable. Whether you’re in negotiations, strategizing for a project, or addressing team conflicts, the ability to think critically and solve problems is a huge asset.
Reyes, an engineer in Cagayan de Oro, always had a technical mind.
However, when faced with unexpected challenges, he sometimes struggled to find quick solutions. While attending a workshop, he met JM, the public speaking coach.
“I can design and build, JM. But when unexpected issues arise, I sometimes get stuck,” Reyes shared.
JM responded, “Have you considered honing your problem-solving skills through public speaking? When you prepare a speech, you dissect topics, anticipate reactions, and craft responses. It’s a mental exercise.”
Motivated, Reyes joined a local Toastmasters club. Preparing and delivering speeches not only improved his public speaking but also sharpened his analytical skills. Soon, he became the go-to person in his team for troubleshooting and innovative solutions.
Challenge Your Brain! Engage in activities that require in-depth analysis and foresight. As JM would say, “Public speaking is like a gym for your brain. The more you practice, the stronger your cognitive muscles become.” Dive into it, and watch your problem-solving skills elevate.
9. Public speaking enhances listening skills.
It might sound counterintuitive, but effective public speaking also involves being a good listener. Tuning into audience reactions, answering questions, and adjusting your delivery based on feedback are all crucial elements of a successful speech.
Listening is a vital skill. It helps in understanding client needs, gauging team morale, or even in day-to-day interactions with colleagues. Being a good listener means being an effective communicator.
Rica, a human resource specialist in Bacolod, was great at giving presentations on company policies and workshops.
However, she often missed out on the concerns and feedback from employees. During a seminar, she chatted with JM, the public speaking coach.
“I can present for hours, JM. But sometimes, I feel I’m not truly connecting with my audience,” Rica admitted.
JM, sipping his coffee, remarked, “You know, Rica, speaking isn’t just about talking. It’s equally about listening. Are you tuning into your audience?”
Inspired, Rica started focusing on active listening during her sessions. She encouraged questions, noted feedback, and adjusted her subsequent presentations based on the responses. This approach fostered a better connection with employees, leading to more fruitful HR initiatives.
Two Ears, One Mouth! Remember, we have two ears and one mouth for a reason. As JM suggests, “Before you speak, listen. Understand your audience, and you’ll be better equipped to connect with them.” Enhance your listening skills, and see the difference it makes in your professional interactions.
10. Public speaking helps you become more organized.
Crafting a compelling speech or presentation requires meticulous planning and organization. You need to allocate time for research, structuring your points, rehearsal, and then the actual delivery.
This process naturally improves your time management and organizational abilities.
Managing time efficiently and organizing tasks effectively is essential in meeting deadlines, handling multiple projects, or simply balancing work-life commitments.
Karla, a budding entrepreneur in Davao, was juggling many roles – from sales and marketing to operations. While she was passionate, she often felt overwhelmed by her responsibilities. At a business conference, she found herself sharing her struggles with JM, the public speaking coach.
“There’s so much to do, JM, and so little time,” sighed Karla.
JM, with a knowing smile, said, “Karla, preparing a speech taught me a lot about time management. You need to prioritize, structure, and allocate time effectively. The same principles can be applied to your business.”
Karla took this advice to heart. She started attending public speaking workshops, not just to improve her speaking but to improve her organizational skills.
As she crafted speeches, she began to apply the same structured approach to her business. Tasks were prioritized, deadlines were met, and her business began to flourish.
Plan, Prioritize, Perform! As JM often emphasizes, “The discipline you gain from preparing a speech can be a blueprint for other areas of your life.” Learn to manage your time wisely and organize tasks methodically through the lens of public speaking, and watch your productivity soar!
Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking is a catalyst for personal and professional growth. The benefits extend far beyond the podium, touching various facets of a professional’s life. From boosting leadership skills to refining time management, the power of public speaking is obvious.
Embracing public speaking can help you stand out.
So, invest time to master public speaking. Create an opportunity for yourself, and let your stories inspire the next generation of leaders.
Here’s to a brighter, louder, and more confident professional journey for all of us!