There are two kinds of people in this world: those who would willingly, and dare I say enthusiastically, sign up for a public speaking course and those who will do just about anything to avoid it.
In fact, the Chapman University Survey on American Fears found that America’s biggest phobia is public speaking, with 25.3 percent of those polled admitting the dread they feel when communicating to a crowd is the the most terrifying thing they can imagine. Even more so than snakes, bugs, and needles.
When most think of public speaking, sweaty palms, racing minds, and shaky voices come to mind, however the benefits of public speaking can outweigh the terrors of talking once the fear has been overcome (or comfortably accepted).
Here are a handful of reasons why everyone (yes, that means you!) should take a public speaking course:
Fear? What Fear?
Fear of public speaking? Like we mentioned before, it’s a given with over a quarter of the American population. So by taking a public speaking course, you’re essentially kicking fear in the gut, letting it know it doesn’t control you.
Facing a fear is a guaranteed confidence-booster (and after you’ve overcome America’s biggest fear, there’s basically nothing you can’t do) and by the end of the course, you’ll be able to stand up in front of a crowd, making strong eye contact while delivering your words with conviction and vigor.
Face it, You Need it.
We might shudder in terror at the notion, but there are very few professions, college courses, and lifestyles that don’t require to never get in front of a crowd and communicate to some degree. From boardroom presentations, to giving your kid’s little league team a pep-talk, it’s difficult to avoid public speaking for your entire life. And while Jerry Seinfeld once famously said “…to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you’d rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy,” a 2013 survey by the National Association of College and Employers found that communicating effectively is the most sought-after quality in new employees.
Allow Yourself to be Heard.
When we reflect on some of the most influential people in history, it’s unlikely they never got up in front of a crowd and let their voice be heard. Public speaking can make a huge difference, from TED talks to Presidential addresses to elementary school book reports, it’s an opportunity to stand in front of an audience and captivate them. Make them feel, challenge them, influence them.