Updated: Oct 17, 2022
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Today’s guest is a fellow podcaster and public speaker like myself, which got me thinking about public speaking: what is it, why is it important, and why should an entrepreneur care?
Public speaking is the act or process of making speeches in public. It is the art of effective oral communication with an audience.
In short it is an oral presentation given live, and topics can vary widely: business, healthcare, cryptocurrency, and so on, and the goal is to do one of three things: educate, entertain, or influence.
This is not the same as an online presentation that is available online forever or until the link is deleted. Public speaking is typically a specific time or place.
For example: next week I will be presenting at a national conference in Atlanta – I have 3 public speaking events in 3 days. These presentations are done live, in-person and will not be recorded for later viewing.
The origins of public speaking can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome without the PowerPoint presentation. They used public speaking as a way to praise or persuade others.
The Greeks use to call public speaking rhetoric which is the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing.
I am thinking that is where the term, “get on a soap box” came from but I honestly do not know.
Eventually Rome adopted public speaking as part of their Senate, and the Latin style of public speaking became popular in the US and Europe around the mid-20th century.
But why is public speaking important?
Entrepreneurs must learn how to win over a crowd. The goal is to persuade and inform customers of products or services – it is the sales pitch.
Public speaking is also important to motivate others. The role of the speaker is to influence the listeners in hopes of creating an engaged audience. I always use personal stories to motivate others. I speak about my family, my upbringing, my career, and my missteps.
I use these stories to motivate. The goal is to highlight my trials and tribulations, and remind the audience: if I can be successful, anyone can!
And that is why an entrepreneur should care.
Everyone encounters a situation where public speaking skills become necessary.
I know, I know – to an introvert this may sound like the worst thing to hear, and maybe it doesn’t sound too bad to an extrovert, but public speaking skills are essential.
One former guest, real estate investor, said the best investment he had ever made was investing in ToastMasters, where members learn leadership skills such as listening, planning, motivating, and team building to give members the opportunity to practice those skills.
Another former guest is doing a training on how to be SUPERBOLD – a training on building confidence. Want to learn more? Go sign up for the newsletter!
As an entrepreneur public speaking will lead to opportunities, boost confidence, critical thinking, and improved communication skills. It also helps the entrepreneur reach people faster. Social media is great if the post goes viral, and the best reels are under 30 seconds.
With public speaking the entrepreneur has an opportunity to hold a crowd for a longer period of time, instantly inspiring many.
Public speaking can help make messages come to life much better than any billboard or poster could ever do.
However, as a public speaker, be prepared. A good speech makes sense. It has a beginning, middle and an end. Research the topic thoroughly and be prepared to answer follow-up questions about the speech.
Still feeling unease? Practice the speech out loud in front of a mirror or with a small group of friends. I recall getting my first training job and sitting in a training room, training an empty classroom. Just a room full of computers preparing myself for my first training a few weeks away.
Fun fact: I hated public speaking until I learned how to do it.
Everyone starts at the beginning. Remember that, entrepreneurs. We are pioneers without frontiers. We are a globe of innovators. We are entrepreneurs, and we have something to say.