Speaking is everything. Whether you are going for a job interview, have to get around town or are proposing to the one that you love, you are going to have to speak up.  We speak with so much regularity people might wonder why they would even need to take a course in public speaking. After all,  it’s not like we need courses in eating. This lesson is going to cover the top five reasons why you should be taking a public speaking course.

First, your career. Communication is consistently listed as one of the top skills that employers are looking for, regardless of the type of job. One interesting story is when Google decided to investigate the skills that were most invaluable in their own company’s employees.    They even wrote up an algorithm that objectively looked at which skills moved people up within the company fastest. They assumed that it was going to be science technology engineering and mathematics or what you commonly refer to as STEM. But, to their surprise they found that it was the soft skills like communication that advanced people within the company. Michael Phillips, author of the blog Corporate Heights, also pointed out that learning these skills were the key to moving up within any corporation.  So, not only are public speaking skills important for you to get a job in the first place but once you get that job, your advancement highly depends upon the communication skills that you have learned.

Second, confidence. Communication apprehension is a very real thing that affects people at multiple levels. You may be familiar with the idea that public speaking is considered people’s #1 fear. Statistics show public speaking scares people more than death. However, practice in public speaking has a way of facing that fear and punching it in the face. Whether you need to give the toast at a wedding, are asked to give a eulogy at a loved one’s funeral, or want to confront a bully who is harassing you are someone near you, your experience with public speaking will give you the confidence needed to accomplish these things.   

Third, leadership. In a democratic society it is required that leaders voice their opinions and explain their approach to things.  If there is something that is unfair, you need to be able to speak up about it. You may need to speak up to a boss, or present your ideas to a panel of colleagues.  Maybe you are looking to start your own business. Someone who is able to explain their vision for what they want to accomplish, can build groups, and work well with others has the potential to build something larger than themselves.  A public speaking class provides all of these skills and gives you practice in doing them.

Fourth, it’s versatile. As you progress through your education the skills you gain in a public speaking class will help you do better in your other classes as well.  There are countless students that have said they got a high grade on an assignment in another class because of what they learned in their public speaking class. You become a better writer if you are a better public speaker. You become a better scientist if you are able to explain your findings.  Regardless your field of study, skills in public speaking will make you more successful and may even open up new doors. Bill Nye the Science Guy started at as a mechanical engineer for Boeing. He certainly did not plan on being the host of one of the most watched educational TV shows in the United States and a common household name.  

Fifth, technology. Vocal communication is all increasing in its popularity and importance. The ubiquity of video technology means that those people who have speaking skills are the ones who are going to get their messages out. Greater access to technology gives people an opportunity to reach audiences that they never have before. The technology exists. The question is if you have the discipline and skill it requires for you to present yourself through that technology.    

What makes a public speaking class unique is that the skills you learn will absolutely make a difference in your life. It’s like riding a bike. Once, you learn it, it stays with you forever. Public speaking opens up a world of possibilities that you may have never even dreamed of.