Updated: Jan 12
I remember the second time I went up on stage. I was in high school hosting a farewell party for our school seniors. I was shivering, sweating and fidgeting right from the moment I went up the stage. I was so scared and nervous that my mind went blank completely. I couldn’t think of anything! At least five hundred people were looking at me, and all I could do was listen to the sound of my rapid breathing. It seemed as if it was the end of the world.
At that moment, if you had told me, that one day I would be a Public Speaking Coach, I would have never believed you. Life has its own way of bringing about events that lead us to our destiny. What was my biggest fear is now my profession!
The benefits I’ve had by being on stage over and over again can never be compensated with any amount of money. Public Speaking has affected every aspect of my life and has transformed me completely in last few years. There is a miraculous power in ‘getting up on stage and speaking your heart out’. It brings out the best in you and me, always!
If you are wondering, “but …. how?”, here are 6 ways Public Speaking can impact your career and life:
1. Builds confidence and boosts self-esteem: When I started speaking in public initially during my college days and then at Toastmasters, the first thing that changed was my confidence level in my day-to-day life. I started looking at myself in a different way. I was now a speaker and I had to behave like one. Public Speaking changed the narrative I had about myself, and that led to a self-esteem boost. When you face your fears and start overcoming them, your confidence skyrockets, not just in Public Speaking, but in life too.
2. Transforms your personality: When inner life changes, it reflects in the outside world! When I started feeling more self-assured from within, it was evident in how I walked, talked and did everything. My friends and family could see that I was no longer the same person. In fact, I got better in other areas of my life too. It is so exciting that with just a few months of consistently practicing Public Speaking, one can see massive changes in their personality. You start looking more confident, your body language changes and you no longer fear social events. This is liberating!
3. Helps you build a powerful personal brand: When I started working on my personal brand, the pictures that I had clicked while public speaking helped me gain a lot of credibility online. There is a reason why you see so many successful people posting their 'public speaking pictures' on social media. It shows them in good light! When people see you sharing your bit of knowledge to a crowd, it reassures them of your capabilities. Although, some people are good at faking it, but fake ones do not last long in the game of social media.
4. Enhances your interpersonal communication skills: Every time I am speaking on stage, I am challenging myself to think and speak in a way that is 'easy to understand' for my audience. I try to speak more in less words, with more power and impact. This is how you give a workout to your articulation muscles. The more you do it, the better you get at articulation of thoughts, which in-turn helps you enhance your interpersonal communication skills as well. Over time, you become more spontaneous in impromptu situations.
5. Enhances Creativity: I was preparing a keynote speech that was to be delivered at a university festival where I was invited. While working on it, I found seven different ideas on how I could convey the same message. Public Speaking gave me creative freedom! I could put across my message in so many different ways, with so many different stories, props and words. It’s like experimenting and getting your creative juices to flow. This helps you to think about a same situation in many different ways. This approach doesn’t just limit itself to public speaking, but then overflows in all other areas of your endeavor. Public Speaking is a great way to find your creative self.
6. Overpowers limiting beliefs: I met Shashi at a networking event. When I told him that I am a Public Speaking coach, he said to me, “There are certain things I just cannot do in life. Public Speaking is one of them.” We laughed off and went our way a few moments later, but just before we said good bye, I told him to go and join a Toastmasters club.
Nine months later, I met him again. He said to me, “I just can’t believe that I can speak in public. I had always thought that I can never do it! I just wonder how much more I can do in life.”
Shashi’s last sentence was the testimony that his limiting belief was overcome and that he was capable of doing so much more in life. This could be true for you too. Public Speaking can be that vehicle that breaks your limiting beliefs and gives you the right momentum to arise and shine.
Have you started Public Speaking yet? If not, what are you waiting for?