As organizations grow and technology allows us to easily do business internationally, communication skills are becoming increasingly necessary to rise to the top. While interpersonal skills are still the most powerful way to climb the ladder of success, another skill is becoming increasingly desirable and provides a great opportunity to get ahead: public speaking.
When you rise up in any organization, the number of people underneath you in the org chart grows. You also find yourself more frequently giving presentations to executives, external clients, the board of directors and even the media. In this type of position, being scared to speak in front of a group of 100 people won’t cut it. You need to be able to confidently and competently communicate to both those above and below you on the org chart – otherwise, neither will take you seriously.
As entrepreneurs, a quick way to grow your business is to go out and speak to groups. Many people think that pitching your message to larger audiences at once is the sole benefit of doing this. However, this is just a side benefit. The true benefit is that you come across as an expert in your area – otherwise, why would have someone invited you to speak?
Public speaking is by far the top social fear and that’s where the big opportunity lies. If you and another person are being considered for the same position (or promotion), your skills as a competent speaker can give you the edge. I once received a job offer over someone else with better technical skills than me because the company needed someone who could communicate effectively to groups.
Public speaking also has a nice side effect – it helps you communicate better and more confidently in one on one situations. So this helps with networking, job interviewing, sales and many other areas of communication. So as we begin the new year, perhaps you might want to make it a priority to improve your speaking skills.