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The Benefits of Public Speaking

For many people, public speaking is one of the most nerve-racking things you can do. As Mark Twain once said, “There are only two types of speakers in the world: those who are nervous and those who are liars”. However, it is one of the best things you can do for your career and personal growth.

Improves critical thinking

Every decision you make regarding your talk requires you to think critically - from when you decide the topic of your talk to when you present on stage. It makes you think about things like:

  • What’s the focus of my talk?
  • How should I structure the content?
  • What’s important to my audience and what would interest them?
  • What message do I want them to take away?
  • How do I deliver my talk within the time limit?

Improves communication

Even if you know a topic well, explaining it in a way that people understand isn’t easy. I find this especially true when explaining technical topics. When presenting, you need to be able to explain your ideas in a succinct and engaging way. On top of that, you also need to do it within a set time limit! It really forces you to think about how to communicate your message in the simplest way.

Builds up your confidence

Even for the most confident person, presenting in front of a crowd can still be scary. But like with any skill, it gets easier with practice. Start with doing lightning talks at work or at meetups, and with time, you’ll become more confident at it.

Establishes your credibility

Giving talks in front of your peers increases your profile in the community. When you’re being thought of as someone who understands their subject matter, doors to new opportunities will start opening up. After I started doing more public speaking, I was asked to contribute to publications and was invited to speak at conferences. In the audience might also be potential employers and future colleagues. They might remember you and reach out when they need to hire.

Very rewarding experience

Most importantly, public speaking is a truly rewarding experience. At the end of your talk, people come up to ask you questions about your topic and tell you how much they’ve enjoyed it! For me, it’s most rewarding when people say they’ve learnt something from my talk. Nothing beats knowing what you’ve shared has helped someone gain something useful out of it.

I believe everyone has something valuable to talk about, whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re a seasoned professional. Meetups and conferences can only exist if we have speakers, so I hope you’ll consider giving a talk some time. Not sure what to share? Let me know and I’d be happy to help you work it out :)