Is public speaking a skill? I am often asked this question by students. I will try to answer to encourage my readers to invest time in public speaking.
One purpose of this website is to help you develop your public speaking skills. Public speaking is not a single skill but a competency. Competencies are knowledge, skills, abilities, and attitudes that help individuals perform at their best. In another post, I mentioned that public speaking is an art. All of these show the importance of learning how to become an effective public speaker.
To become an effective public speaker, you need knowledge. You need information about your audience and everything that can help you empathize with them. You need to know more about your topic and the place of your topic in the greater scheme of things.
To become an effective public speaker, you need to repeatedly apply your knowledge to turn it into skills. That means that aside from knowing your audience, you need the skills to identify the right topic and come up with a compelling message. You need to use organizational patterns and illustrate your points through words, facial expressions, body language, gestures, and visual cues. When you apply your knowledge repeatedly and reflect on what you learned, you develop skills.
You have the gift or ability to communicate yourself. You learned that through experiences. Some say that some speakers are born. Actually, all speakers are born. They were not hatched. As babies, we tried to communicate ourselves to the world and we develop the abilities to get convey our messages.
Public speaking is a competency that will help us at work. Companies look for people who can influence how others behave and public speaking is a crucial competency.
Public speaking is a competency that will help us lead others. Our society looks for someone who can express their fears and aspirations in their words. Mastering public speaking helps you become a competent public speaker. Investing our time in public speaking is good for us.