What is Public Speaking?

Think about a time that you had to stand in front of a bunch of people and tell them something. After gathering your materials and preparing what to say, you arrived at the podium and started talking. This type of speech is deliberately structured with three general purposes:

1. To inform.

2. To persuade.

3. To entertain.

What makes public speaking different than, say, just talking to a crowd of people, is in the way information is conveyed. In public speaking, the information is purposeful and meant to inform, influence or entertain a group of listeners. Public speaking is an oral presentation in which a speaker addresses an audience, and until the 20th century, public speakers were usually referred to as orators and their discourses as orations. Unlike its predecessor oration, public speaking involves an interplay of not only body language and recitation, but on conversation, delivery and feedback. Public speaking today is more about the audience’s reaction and participation than an orator’s technical correctness. The importance of public speaking in the 21st century has grown significantly with the boom in electronic technologies. Television and the internet allow public speakers to reach a significantly larger audience.

Public speaking in the 21st century is an important field of study, as it serves as an effective tool in various spheres of social life, including politics and advertisement. Public speaking is one of the most important and most dreaded forms of communication. Glossophobia or speech anxiety, is the most common fear people have across the globe. Throughout primary school, it is easy to be the student who sits in the back of the classroom and avoids raising his or her hand to dodge such situations. But in the working world, public speaking is a vital skill to have and to hone. It effects simple, everyday interactions between coworkers, bosses and employees, marketing professionals and clients, etc., and it can have an enormous impact on your career path and your level of success in your industry.

Everyone is a public speaker. Any time we speak in public, we are public speakers.

Mastery of public speaking will empower numerous other skills, abilities and personal enhancement will be the result. If you learn and master public speaking, you will be ahead of the competition. Anyone who has mastered public speaking, speaker skills will prosper. It will set them apart from others in the same field. If your job hunting, you will be a better candidate for prospective employers.

You might be speaking to inform, persuade or inspire; but the principle is the same: you must be able to bring your message across effectively if you want to lead well. If a leader is good at doing his job but not good at communicating through public speaking, he will not be fulfilling his own full potential as well as the potential of the organization. Have no qualms about it; if you are a leader, you have to understand the importance of public speaking and its role in your leadership. And not just understand it; you have to become extremely good at it.

The thing to understand is that, Public speakers are not special people, anyone can become a public speaker, the only thing is to win the battle inside the head.
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