By Gavin Meikle

I believe that there are some huge payoffs that come as a result of becoming a more confident speaker and that these far outweigh the initial temporary discomfort that comes with learning how to do it. Here are my top eight.

1 ) Make yourself more promotable:
These days, effective communication skills are an extremely valuable transferable skill. Many interviews now include the requirement for a candidate to make a short presentation and preference is given to those who can present clearly and engagingly.

2 ) Create a positive first impression with potential clients and employers:

Demonstrating a good ability to speak in public is a great way to get noticed in an organisation. By it’s very nature most presentations are “one-to-many” communications so you can influence a lot of people in one hit. Most people admire others who can speak in public, so by learning this skill you are your putting yourself on the fast track to success.

3 ) Broaden your circle of influence:

We all would like to feel we have an impact on the wider world, be it our company, our family or our community. Developing the confidence to speak in public gives you the power to influence more people more quickly. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”

4 ) Build your self-:

Being able to present effectively and receive the positive feedback that inevitably comes is hugely self empowering. I have had the privilege of watching people conquer the fear of public speaking and they all report that learning to speak with confidence brings with it a massive increase in confidence and self esteem.

5 ) Increase your networking effectiveness:

If you are trying to develop new business and new customers through attending networking events you will certainly need to learn how to present with confidence. Most network groups offer two speaking opportunities. a 40-60 second round table introduction session and a longer slot where members can present to the group. Far too many networkers never take up this latter opportunity because they are too afraid of public speaking and that slows down their business growth.

6 ) Set an great example to your kids:

Believe it or not, your children will pick up a lot of their most powerful beliefs from copying you. Do you really want your children to be shy, retiring wallflowers? Be a positive role model by learning how to express yourself in public.

7 ) Get your thoughts and opinions heard by a wider audience:

You have a unique set of experiences that others would benefit from hearing. Imagine how many more people would get to hear your story if you were able to reduce your fear of public speaking.

8) Improve your leadership abilities:

Leaders set a clear vision for their team and then communicate that vision with passion and belief. Mastering the art of public speaking will allow you to be a much more effective leader whatever the context. Writing memos isn’t enough. Your team need to see and hear your passion!