Last month we explored the rapidly changing virtual world of social media. These new and powerful online tools have helped change the way we report and read the news, connect with friends and family, and have even overthrown regimes. People are now able to state their opinion and start a movement without ever having to speak one word.
This month we transition to a topic that encourages you to find your voice…yes, your actual voice, and we explore how to use it successfully. Public speaking is an important skill to have in almost every industry. It certainly is in ours, public outreach. Whether we are breaking down the technical information behind a roadway widening or rail line extension at a public meeting, or trying to find the most effective message for a conservation campaign, we recognize the value in good public speaking and communication.
While social media may be helping the leaders of today through digital grassroots movements, good public speaking has always been used to motive and inspire us by great politicians and leaders like John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., It has also been used to entertain and even comfort us by other public figures like comedian Ellen DeGeneres who had the difficult task of taking the stage shortly after the 9/11 attacks to host the Primetime Emmy Awards and bring some normalcy back to a grieving country. But, you don’t need to be a world leader, celebrity, or Fortune 500 CEO to be a good public speaker. Knowing how to communicate well within different groups is something we experience in our daily lives whether it’s participating in a class, recognizing and taking your turn to speak in a meeting, or making a toast in front of family and friends at a wedding.
However, according to some studies public speaking surpasses death as people’s number one fear. As comedian Jerry Seinfeld once observed, “This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” So why are we so afraid of public speaking and how do those who do it well make it look so easy?
This month as we explore public speaking, we will hear from leading experts. We will learn how to incorporate public speaking skills in our daily lives, whether that involves speaking one-on-one to someone or one-to-a-stadium full of people. We encourage you to try your voice out and let us know how it goes. Keep reading and let us know what you think and what else you would like to learn.
The Collaborative Services Blog Team