Ok, so clearly I’m a fan of everyone becoming a good speaker. However, the question as to why someone should invest the time in becoming a good speaker is a valid question. We all have a lot of demands on our time and taking the time to polish our speaking skills will use up some of this time – is it really worth it? I think that the answer is “yes”. The reason is because you never know when you’ll be called on to give a speech. A speech does not always show up with you taking the stage and addressing an audience. It can take on many different forms.
Speaking Opportunities Happen All The Time
All too often speakers can assume that the only time that they’ll be called on to give a speech is when there is an audience and a stage. It turns out that life really does not work out this way. One very common situation that we might find ourselves in is having to accept praise. Let’s face it, many of us get flustered by compliments, whether they are offered to us in public or private. As speakers we can respond to everyday praise with both sincerity and grace. Likewise, we all live in communities of other people. Most of us care about people and issues in our communities. Now by using the speaking skills that we’ve taken the time to develop we can take charge of a meeting or bring much-needed information to a committee.
Becoming a good speaker can help us out at work. Knowing how speak can help us to find ways to defuse conflicts with our teammates. Nobody wants to derail the workplace with petty quarrels. Speakers know how to navigate these waters. It’s not just about speaking at work. There are times that we may be called upon to speak in a courtroom. If you choose to defend yourself against a traffic ticket you will find yourself having to tell a story to a judge. Do a good job and your ticket may be either reduced or dismissed. Clearly there is power in this speaking stuff! Speaking as it relates to work also encompasses the customer service complaints that we make. When we are telling a company what has gone wrong with either their product or their service, we need to be both clear and concise.
A lot of us view giving a speech as a type of a job. However, it turns out that there really is another side to doing this. When we give a speech we have a real opportunity to entertain our audience. What this means for us as speakers is that we can both read aloud and give storytelling speeches that enable us to command children’s attention by delivering engaging stories. Another type of story that we may be called on to give as a speaker is a eulogy. These are the final words that we say in regards to someone who has passed and they can create powerful memories in those who hear them.
Speaking Opportunities Can Happen When We Least Expect Them
The need to give a speech can arise as we go about doing a number of different things that we never though would require us to give a speech. One such activity is event planning. When you are planning a training or conference, you will recognize all the work and know-how that goes into it. Giving speeches to coworkers and to attendees goes along with this role. If you choose to involve yourself in a house of worship then you may be called on to present portions of worship services, deliver readings, teach Sunday school or take leadership roles in religious groups.
You may also be surprised to discover that your ability to give speeches will serve you well when you are involved in a job interview. Let us agree that being able to confidently speak off the cuff during a job interview is an invaluable skill. Another unexpected speaking opportunity can come about if you choose to mentor young people. Mentoring takes place not only in the office, but anytime a more experienced person supports someone less experienced. Giving a speech is a great way to share the information that you have. If you choose to serve on a nonprofit board then you may have opportunities to give speeches at their meetings.
In our modern era, more and more communication is being done online. What this means for you as a speaker is that speakers who communicate online learn to be precise, concise and timely with your online messages. When we choose to go out with our friends, we may find ourselves taking part in an open-mike night activity. Now not many of us are professional entertainers, but using our speaking skills we can still sparkle at amateur events, particularly as master of ceremonies. Finally, the next time that you attend a retirement party you can use your speaking skills to deliver some good-natured teasing. This type of speech has a time and a place, and retirement parties among family and friends are a great time for funny stories and jokes about the guest of honor.
What All Of This Means For You
Let’s face it: becoming a good speaker is a challenging thing to do. It takes time and effort on our part. It is entirely possible that we may take a look at the effort that is involved and question whether or not it is really worth it. One of the reasons that we might be thinking this is because we think that speaking only happens on a stage in front of an audience. However, it turns out that there are many more speaking opportunities that we may encounter in real life.
Speaking opportunities can arise when we are called on to accept praise or work in our local community. We may also use it to defuse workplace conflicts, if we go to court, or if we file a customer service complaint. We may not realize it when a speaking opportunity presents itself to us. We may be planning an event or working with our local church. The ability to speak well can serve you when you are interviewing for a job or mentoring young people. The ability to communicate clearly online is a valuable skill to have. Knowing what to say at a retirement party can make the event more enjoyable for everyone.
It turns out that the ability to speak well in public is a valuable skill. Taking the time to develop this skill is something that will serve all of us well. We need to understand that we can’t anticipate all of the different situations that we may find ourselves in that will require us to use our speaking skills. However, we can be well assured that these situations are out there and so we need to make sure that we are ready to deal with them. Becoming a good speaker will make you ready to deal with whatever comes your way!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: Do you ever think that there is a situation where you should decline to give a speech?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
All speakers know that if we can work more humor into our next speech we will be able to make our audience laugh and they will have a better chance of remembering what we are telling them. I think that many of us have thoughts on what we can add to our next speech to make it more humorous. However, making our humor work for us can be a big challenge. What we all need to learn is how to make the humor in our speech work for us once we have added it.