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The benefits of public speaking

14 reasons to let go of public speaking fear

By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 05-02-2021

Tell me more!

I'm so glad you asked.

The benefits of public speaking are many, so if you're among the hordes of anxious "yet-to-be-convinced-I'd-rather-spend-time-at-the-dentist-getting-my-teeth-drilled-without-pain-relief" people, for your own sake, please listen up. 

There are 14 excellent reasons below to rid yourself of public speaking fear.  

To put it bluntly, you'll be able to do more for yourself and for others if can learn to speak up competently and confidently.

A note for teachers

If you teach a speech class or lead a public speaking group use the list for motivating your students. It would make a good introduction to a course. You could offer it along the lines of: "This is what you'll achieve - the gifts you'll give yourselves, when you exchange paralyzing public speaking anxiety for can-do confidence".

Red apple with target circle

14 benefits of public speaking

When you learn to feel comfortable speaking publicly you will find you have:

1. More confidence

If the 'old you' suffered from doubt and anxiety, you'll find it gradually replaced by a new self image. You'll see yourself standing tall, talking easily and communicating well. You will feel empowered.

2. The ability to easily assume leadership in a group, or to readily talk for yourself.

If you let others do your talking for you in the past or found it hard to express what you wanted to say, that will fade. Not only will you be able to fluently speak your mind but you'll find yourself doing it for others too.

3. Become more definite

In other words, you'll no longer let things go saying "they don't matter" when what you really mean is you lack the confidence to state your case clearly.

4. Developed your listening, reading and writing skills

Preparing an effective speech involves considering your audience which means listening carefully, and sensitively, and then using what you've learned to shape your material for presentation.

You'll also  learn to hone your reading skills through research, and your writing through wanting to communicate effectively.

5. Learned a lot of performance skills in order to make your speech more effective

You'll have become conscious of timing - when to pause and how long for. You'll know about vocal variety - how to shift through changes of volume, speech rate, pitch and tone. Your articulation will be clearer. As you become more confident you'll know about mime, using props and story telling. All of these skills enhance your speech.

6. Experienced the joy of breaking down cultural and social barriers through knowing what to say and how to say it.

7. The pleasure of sharing, motivating, inspiring or helping people to help themselves.

You've become a change agent -a powerful conduit for spreading hope.

8. Developed your vocabulary and general speech fluency

You'll know the effect of the words you choose to express your message and you'll also know they need to be different for different audiences to hear or receive them the way you want them to.

As well as having a flexible vocabulary, you'll no longer "um" and "ah" or use any of the fillers we commonly hear in everyday conversation indicating that the speaker may be unsure about what they're saying, or anxious about saying anything at all.

9. Become more conscious of your personal potential

Minus public speaking fear you will aim higher whereas before you may have settled for much less.

10. Become more conscious or responsible for the impact you have on others

You will know your words are powerful and you will be more careful about what you say and how you say it.

11. No fear of impromptu or spontaneous speaking challenges

When called upon to say a few words at a moment's notice your heart will not pound. Instead you'll find yourself graciously accepting the opportunity given and speaking fluently.

12. Increased your social network considerably

Putting yourself forward makes it easier for you to meet others. You'll find people want to talk to you - your spirit of "can-do" is attractive, energizing. You will draw people to you.

13. Become a role model for younger people

14. Increased or opened up opportunities for career advancement

People who can communicate well are always wanted in any profession.


There you have it: 14 compelling benefits of public speaking.

It truly is worth "feeling the fear and doing it anyway". Try it.

References:

"Benefits of Public Speaking" by Lisa Schreiber and Morgan Hartranft, Millersville University, USA, LibreTexts, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.

"Stand up, Speak out: The Practice and Ethics of Public Speaking, Why is Public Speaking Important" produced by the University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing through the eLearning Support Initiative.