7 Ways Public Speaking Boosts Your Career
Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson each point to public speaking as the most valuable business skill for building a career. Going even further, Buffett, the billionaire investor and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., whose every investment is analyzed and scrutinized, has stated that developing his public speaking skills is arguably his greatest investment.
Why would he give so much credit to a “soft skill”? Buffett has answered that question, saying he realized at a young age that for others to understand his visions, objectives and initiatives, and to get the greatest return on his efforts, effective communication would be essential.
Here are seven ways that developing strong public speaking skills helps you move your career forward.
1. Build confidence.
One of the immediate benefits of developing your public speaking skills is that it builds confidence in three ways – the confidence you have in yourself, the confidence others have in you, and the confidence they have in the information you share.
2. Separate yourself from others.
We are always looking for ways to stand out. Doing so provides opportunities for advancement, including raises, promotions, and new career paths. By putting in the time and effort to develop strong public speaking skills, you can separate yourself from others in a meaningful way.
3. Demonstrate your leadership abilities.
Demonstrating the ability to communicate clearly and concisely helps position you as a leader in the minds of those who would promote or hire you. It is one of the attributes they instinctively and purposefully look for in candidates.
4. Manage your team more effectively.
A Gallop poll shows that only 13% of employees believe their top management communicates effectively. This results in greater stress, lower confidence in management and eroding efficiency. Reverse these trends by clearly communicating what you expect from your team.
5. Establish yourself as an expert.
Knowing your business is essential and understanding how to convey that knowledge in a compelling fashion provides you the opportunity to position yourself as an expert in your field. This leads to speaking at conferences, community events, association and organization functions, and sales meetings. In time, additional opportunities will open up, further increasing your reputation as an expert.
6. Increase sales.
All too often, sales presentations consist of the salespeople passionately delivering a list of features they believe will impress their prospects, if not demonstrate how their companies are the obvious choice to provide the solutions the prospects need. But this kind of sales presentation is in direct conflict with the unwavering axiom – buyers buy for their reasons, not ours. If you are involved in the sales process, deliver presentations that focus on your prospects’ wants and needs. You will see your sales increase and have a more enjoyable, less stressful experience. It is just this side of magical.
7. Make networking work for you.
They say that the key to networking is to realize you have one mouth and two ears, and you should use them proportionately. Accordingly, strengthening your public speaking skills serves you well when networking because you learn to focus on others while speaking succinctly. As a result, you build more substantial and meaningful connections.
Speaking in a way that both captivates and serves your listeners is a skillful blend of art and science – a combination that anyone can develop. Once you do, career opportunities that you might never have thought possible could come your way. They did for Warren Buffett. And though he understood that being a persuasive public speaker was essential, I doubt he could have ever imagined that one day people would refer to him as the Oracle of Omaha.