The Role of Public Speaking in the Business World

Public speaking can be one of the most frightening tasks people must perform. Public speaking is a necessity for anyone wanting to express oneself, conduct business or exchange information with a group. When studying public speaking, one must understand the subject matter on which they are speaking, know how to curb anxiety and fear, and be aware of ways of conveying a sound message and relating it all to business settings.

Definition of Public Speaking

On a basic level, public speaking refers to the oral sharing of information with a group of people. Some individuals who are faced with the task of public speaking have the opportunity to learn about it from the ground up by attending classes on the subject. Colleges offer public speaking courses, some of which are mandatory for freshman. As people get further into their major, they learn to cater their public speaking skills for their particular field, which can then find use in business settings.

Public speaking is a valuable tool in business settings, because it can help foster new business, protect current business and allows for the exchange ideas that can revolutionize the entire landscape of an industry or field.

  • Public Speaking: The Basics – This University of Pittsburg article features information about the purpose of public speaking and its importance in reaching ones audience.
  • Public Speaking Tips – This MIT site features information on the definition of public speaking, along with do's and don'ts.
  • Public Speaking Skills – The San Francisco State University communications department provides a number of suggestions on how to perfect public speech.
  • Why is Public Speaking Important? – New Charter University discusses presentation skills as an introduction to public speaking, and explains why public speaking is an integral part of business.
  • Public Speaking v. Conversation – Penn State University discusses the differences between standard conversation and public speaking, and how these differences help or hinder the message speakers hope to convey.
  • Public Speaking Statistics, Quotes, and Tips – The University of Delaware Department of Communication provides tips and visualization exercises to explain the importance of public speaking.

Public Speaking Anxiety

The biggest threat to a speech or presentation is anxiety. When the butterflies arise, it's easy to lose ones place or forget the words that during practice came so naturally. The only way to get over anxiety is to practice public speaking often and recognize the indicators of anxiety. Even the most skilled public speaker still gets nervous from time to time, so taking deliberate action to breathe, focus and arrive prepared will go a long way.

Overcoming Fear

Studies have shown that for a great deal of people, they fear public speaking even more than other things that are known as scary such as sickness. The only way to get over a fear is to face it, which is why many people take public speaking courses to get over this fear. For a person in the business world, facing this fear is an absolute necessity, because one can't thrive in an environment in which fear is overwhelming.

Tips for Effective Public Speaking

The main thing a person can do in order to perfect their public speaking is to always show up prepared. This means practicing the material a number of times, so that it becomes second nature. Using visual aids and materials also helps to solidify points and leave a lasting impression. Knowledge of the subject is crucial, because opening the floor for questions also gives the presenter the opportunity to expand on information that may not have been covered thoroughly during the presentation. When a person uses tips for effective public speaking, their presentation will benefit from it.

Business and Public Speaking

Without question, the world of business and the art of public speaking go hand in hand. Everyone from the CEO to the freelancing salesperson needs to understand the art of a good presentation. The very foundation of business revolves around convincing others to partake in a product or service, and the way to do that is through effective communication. For this reason, people who conduct business for a living need to make public speaking a top priority, while making sure to continuously perfect it throughout the course of a career.