Public Speaking: I know, I know, you probably think it’s the worst. When most people hear those words, they think of sweaty palms, a racing heart, and a dry mouth. It is normal to be concerned because speaking publicly can be very nerve-racking. However scary it can seem, you should want to improve upon your public speaking skills.
Why may you ask? Well, that’s what I will be discussing in this blog post!
I have come up with 3 reasons as to why public speaking is the best college course that you can take.
1. The act of writing a speech for a public speaking class can help you think of concepts in more complex ways
If you take a public speaking course, you will have to write at least one speech about a social issue and how you believe that issue could be fixed. While you are writing your speech about the social issue of your choosing, you are diving deep within yourself to think about what you want to say and how you want to put that into words.
In doing this, you are thinking very critically about something that you haven’t put much thought into before. Research by Sullivan (2005) states that audiences often “expect to find solutions they didn’t know existed”. When you are speaking about a solution to a social issue, you are challenging the audience’s opinion on something. You are also thinking deeply about how to solve an issue which can lead to you being a great problem-solver in your future workplace.
2. Your confidence from taking a public speaking course will soar
Yes, getting up in front of a crowd and talking for an extended period of time can be intimidating. Despite having an initial fear of delivering a speech, as with anything, practice makes perfect. Conner (2021) wrote in the Gibraltar Chronicle that “tap[ping] into how you feel”, or channeling negative energy into excitement, can really make a difference when you speak.
When you are able to present more frequently, like you would in a public speaking class, you are able to get more comfortable speaking in front of people. Once this occurs, you are able to live more confidently because you are able to speak to small groups of people and be less nervous. You also will be able to bring your true self out more because you are used to expressing yourself in front of an audience. Once you’re able to be comfortable speaking to others, your confidence and self-worth can really improve.
3. Being able to speak publicly can make you a major asset in your future workplace
Jobs everywhere are getting more and more competitive. As they get more competitive, we, as students who will be looking for jobs in the near future, need to be able to have a competitive edge. Being a great public speaker is that competitive edge that we need.
As a great public speaker, you are able to show your employer that you are confident, professional, and can properly communicate a message to an audience. These are all skills that employers look for in future employees. Public speaking can also help you move up positions once you get the job. Paynich (2019) writes in her article that “if [a future employee] is willing to do some training to get comfortable in public speaking…it might be the difference between a manager position and a director position”. Commanding an audience and keeping them engaged can make you look very valuable to the company, and therefore, earn you a better position.
In conclusion, take a chance on that public speaking course
Whether you’re a STEM major or a Communications major, public speaking is a class that you should take. When you take a public speaking class, you learn how to properly communicate. That’s a skill that anyone, regardless of what their career focus is, can use in all facets of their life. Next time you see an open public speaking class, take it. I promise you won’t regret it.