Public speaking is a skill that has many career benefits, even if you don’t seem to need it in your current position. Many people dread public speaking, so those who can do it have an advantage over others who avoid it. Here are some of the ways taking a public speaking class can improve your career.
1. Facing your fear.
There’s something about facing a fear that improves your overall self-confidence and makes you feel like you can handle previously intimidating experiences. Public speaking is one of the most common fears people have because of the potential humiliation factor if you freeze up, say something wrong, or make a mistake. A public speaking class can teach you how to avoid these problems and give you more confidence in all your interactions.
2. Acing presentations.
Whether you need to make a presentation at work or during another class you’re taking, a public speaking course can give you the skills to make those presentations more effective, both in the information you choose to present and the format in which you present them. Acing your presentations could lead to a better grade in a course, a more positive reception to your ideas at work, oreven funding and approval for projects you want to do.
3. Communicating better.
Public speaking courses teach you how to organize your thoughts, stick to your main idea, and get your point across clearly. These same skills are also useful for one-on-one communication with colleagues as well as communicating with a team. That way, even if you don’t necessarily get up and make a formal speech in front of a group of people, you will still use the skills taught in public speaking in your other workplace communication.
4. Becoming more adaptable.
As your public speaking skills develop, you will also gain another skill proving increasingly valuable to many employers today: adaptability. Public speaking teaches you to think on your feet and adapt to changing situations like different audiences and malfunctioning projectors. Let’s face it: the corporate world is always changing, and a person who can adapt to changes more easily will always have an advantage over those who have not developed that skill and are less able to roll with the punches that jobs inevitably throw your way.
5. Knowing how others perceive you.
Many public speaking courses incorporate constructive feedback from classmates about the speeches you present. While comments that indicate areas of improvement may not be easy to hear at first (or ever), these comments can help you improve your speaking and communcating ability over time and help you learn how others perceive you, not just while giving a formal speech, but at other times you are in the public eye as well.
Without taking a public speaking course, it is difficult to gain experience in public speaking withouth making a great deal of mistakes along the way. With a ready-made audience (your classmates) and a teacher to give you lots of valuable advice and pointers, you learning curve will be dramatically faster than it would be otherwise.
CCSU offers many continuing education courses including public speaking that will help you develop various skills to benefit your career. View all our open courses to see what options might fit your schedule and requirements.