Communication is the transmission and exchange of information, expression of feelings, ideas, and facts by using any medium such as writing, speaking, etc; and one of them is Public Speaking. It plays a key role in forming bonds, shaping decisions, ideas, and inspiring people towards change. Without communication, the development of the working world and the progress of life, in general, would not be possible.
COMMUNICATION AND SPEAKING
One of the major mediums of communication is speaking. Speaking is an action of conveying information and expressing one’s feelings, thoughts, and ideas via speech. Learning to speak and understanding language is an important part of brain development.
Communicating with someone and speaking to someone are two different things. We speak to communicate but, in many cases, all we do is further confuse things. Communication altogether has different principles such as clarity, attention, consistency, etc. Verbal communication is just a small part of the whole picture.
Communication is a total of several important parts, not just words spoken or sounds heard. It is the transformation of thoughts and words into meaningful action. Speaking is the result of opening our mouths and letting words flow.
There are two types of speaking skills: informal speaking skills and formal speaking skills. Informal speeches are those which we use while communicating with our friends and families, it helps us to convey our personal and emotional thoughts. Formal speeches on the other hand are those which are used during public speaking. This skill is necessary to communicate with people in a formal setting such as the workplace, schools, interviews, and general presentations. It is much easier and more relaxing to communicate with informal speech as it is more comfortable, casual, and spontaneous. Public speaking skills are those which are dreaded most of the time.
It is, especially in a formal setting is many times frightful to few people. Glossophobia, which is speech anxiety is a common fear people have across the globe. Fear of public speaking is also known as ‘Stage Fright’. People who suffer from Glossophobia typically experience persistent anxiety and fear when speaking in front of a group of people or someone who they do not know. As a result of this phobia, they may avoid speaking in public altogether to avoid being embarrassed. In school, it is easy for a student to avoid being the center of attention and speak in front of a group, but, in a larger setting and for personality development, acquiring the skill of formal speech is crucial.
IT CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS-
Informative speaking is one of the most common types of public speaking. The focus of this type of public is to share one’s knowledge regarding a subject with an audience. Informative speaking has examples in many occupations, such as a teacher lectures about their course of knowledge to their students, a musician will deliver a speech to a group of people on how to hold their instrument properly, etc.
Public speaking could also be performed to persuade people. In our everyday lives, we are often in a situation wherein we must convince, motivate, and inspire other people to change their opinions, ideas, beliefs or reconsider their decisions. For example, convincing a customer to purchase any product or motivating school students before their exams and inspiring them to study hard.
This type of speaking means speaking to entertain. It can be spoken on multiple occasions such as wedding toasts, comedy stages, funeral eulogies, presenting/accepting awards speeches, etc. The purpose of entertainment speaking is to entertain the listeners, and not just inform or talk about something.
BENEFITS OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
1. Enhances oral communication skills
Oral communication is the ability to communicate verbally. Fluency in oral communication will not only apply to any speeches we may give on a platform, but this skill will also boost your power in carrying out everyday conversations. Via public speaking not just your power to have daily conversations, it would also enhance the skill to process thoughts into words and sentences.
2. Build-up confidence
Public speaking can boost your confidence on a greater scale. Overcoming the nervousness, fear, and anxiety of speaking in front of people is empowering. Moreover, the positive feedback you will receive after giving a public speech will further motivate you to perform more, increasing your confidence. Also, speaking to a large audience is a good way to receive validation that your opinions matter and are heard.
3. Power of thinking critically
Public speaking is one of the ultimate ways to enhance critical thinking. From formulating a speech to its delivery, public speaking requires a lot of research work, analysis of various perspectives, drawing premises and conclusions of the research. Moreover, public speaking is not just about the ‘quantity of information delivered, it is also inclusive of the ‘quality of the information and how one is delivering the information.
4. Making social bonds
Public speaking is many times audience engaging. It is a great way to meet people who have similar ideas and are like-minded. Learning how to engage more audience after the speech by asking and answering questions, letting people share their point of view is also a key feature in public speaking skills.
5. Developing leadership skills
Public speaking lets you have a command over people. When you are at a platform, with the power of persuading people and making your opinion heard, you are reflecting upon a good leadership quality. Public speaking skills will help you sharpen your ability to speak up and take a stand in a group full of people. You will know when, where, and how to speak and what to speak, to influence others with your ideas and thoughts.
6. Enhancing vocabulary and fluency
To deliver a speech, critical research work is required and many times, you will come across new words and phrases. Now instead of changing those words, you would normally search the new ones up for your knowledge, this would help you in developing vocab and fluency.
Also, to create an impact on the audience, it is important to remember the effect of words we choose to deliver our message. Moreover, having a vast variety of words and phrases in mind will help you to avoid using repeated sentences and ‘filler words.’
7 Build-up. Improve listening skills
To give out public speeches, you must attend many public conferences yourself to know new opinions and thoughts. This would make you a good listener and a quick and effective note-taker.
HOW TO OVERCOME STAGE FRIGHT
1. Rather than focusing on the audience and your fear, try focusing your attention on the purpose of the speech, and why you are delivering that speech.
2. Try to avoid pessimistic thoughts, such as what all might go wrong, instead focus on the validation feedback you will receive after you have aced the speech; visualize your success. Try to picture a more calming and reassuring image in your mind. Avoid thinking about thoughts that lead to low self-esteem and confidence.
3. Practice ways to calm your body and mind, take a deep breathe multiple times before appearing in front of an audience, try meditating for a short period, or do something which makes you feel calm.
4. Prepare your material in advance, make notes and bullet points on what you are about to speak.
5. Practice out loud in front of the mirror or give your speech to someone with whom you are comfortable.
6. Trust your knowledge: know that what you are speaking is professionally researched and revised, by doing this you deliver your speech more confidently and comfortably.
7. Make yourself comfortable with your audience, smile at people, and greet them kindly, think of them as your friends rather than strangers.
8. Make eye contact while speaking, it helps to make a bond between you and the listener, they would listen better, which would lead you to speak better. Stand or sit in a confident but also comfortable posture.
9. Lastly, remember it is okay to make mistakes. Being perfect is not the goal, the goal is to make people understand by being natural.