The journey of verbal communication begins very early in our lives (between 7 months of age to a year). However this voyage may come to a screeching halt for many of us in Public Speaking scenarios, due to Glossophobia (the fear of public speaking), a prevalent phobia around the globe. This is because Public Speaking differs from one-on-one verbal communication, as it involves speaking in front of a significant number of people, with substantial thought and preparation put into your content (i.e. making speeches or conducting presentations). Hence, attention has to be paid to one’s body language, articulation, content and conduction of speech, making it a head-to-toe affair. Therefore, it is not necessarily a skill that comes naturally to most of us.
Public speaking in the current age
Public speaking skills are of great importance in the 21st century, as it has become increasingly difficult for us to avoid public speaking scenarios (just think of how presentations have become a part of the job scope for many). Moreover, these skills can improve various aspects of one’s life ranging from improving your grades to accelerating your career progression. Therefore it is not surprising to find out that many people in top leading positions are those who are not just capable but also confident public speakers. However, despite the buzz surrounding its applications, public speaking skills are still not offered in the school curricula. Hence, Public Speaking courses have been garnering increasing attention from parents of school-goers and educators in recent years.
Benefits of picking up Public Speaking skills and how they are applicable to our lives:
1. Improve your self-esteem/confidence.
This boost in self-confidence can occur for many reasons. One of which is that you have conquered a personal fear, giving you a sense of accomplishment. It can also be because you are now better able to articulate your thoughts to others, making you feel like your insights are more valuable. These factors influence your self-perception positively, making you feel more empowered and confident. And we all know the magic of self-confidence…it can move mountains! In fact, we’ve noticed marked improvements in students' body language towards the end of our Public Speaking programmes, as they have gained the confidence to express their opinions!
2. Help improve your interspersonal skills.
The ability to put forth your ideas in a coherent and comprehensible manner allows you to establish a better connection with your friends, family and even, strangers! Hence, you would find it easier to work with others, making group interactions such as group assignments, team projects and even daily office interactions a lot less complicated. In fact, it has been found that almost 57% of professional projects end up failing due to communication breakdowns! So, improving these skills will definitely come in handy!
3. Enhance language learning.
This is an important effect of Public Speaking programmes, especially for second language learners. Many second language learners nowadays, tend to have more exposure to the language through written texts (think textbooks and prescribed reading material), than verbal communication, as they tend to communicate with their families and friends primarily in English. Hence they may know how to spell certain words or fathom the contextual usage, but are often uncertain of the pronunciation and verbal application of these words. Honing their Public Speaking skills gives them the opportunity to verbalise the words and phrases that they have encountered through reading and writing, making their language learning a more wholesome experience. We have seen many Tamil students who are able to recognize words from their textbooks or worksheets; however, they often mispronounce them or lack the confidence to use them colloquially. Thus, these students remain significantly less fluent in the language. However, such students gain the confidence to speak in Tamil when they complete our Public Speaking programmes, as they gain exposure to several public speaking scenarios and the opportunity to learn proper speech delivery.
4. Improve critical thinking skills.
Most Public Speaking programmes would eventually require you to write your own speeches. The thought processes involved in mapping your speech can improve critical thinking skills. Delivering a speech also requires a certain level of preparation and a few rehearsals. Such constant reflection on your communication style will get you in the habit of evaluating your communication habits. This will eventually aid in making you a better communicator, which can in turn improve your overall quality of life, on both the personal and professional front.
Images: Students showcasing their certificates and skills upon completing our Public Speaking Programmes.
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The abovementioned benefits are best reaped through a well-planned Public Speaking Programme. A good Public Speaking programme will ensure that the fear of public speaking is addressed before commencing with the instruction of the necessary skills. It will also provide students with various forms of applications of Public Speaking scenarios in daily life, making the skills more relevant and the overall programme more relatable to the students.
We do just that at Brainworks Education! Our carefully planned and innovative Public Speaking programmes have been beneficial to several students who struggle with their Mother Tongue Language performance. Eager to find out more? Drop us a mail to receive additional information about this and many other educational programmes conducted by Brainworks Education!