Presentation Skills Class can Build Self-Confidence in Other Areas as Well

Public Speaking Confidence is Seen by Others as Competence

Public speaking skills or presentation skills will often lead to greater esteem from coworkers and peers, so when up-and-coming leaders and managers focus on building self-confidence in public speaking, that same confidence often spills over into other areas as well. When a person speaks with poise and confidence, the listeners often promote the speaker to a position of being an expert in whatever topic the speaker is presenting. As a result, once the speaker begins to realize how others see him/her, the speaker begins to see himself/herself differently as well. An audience will always judge a speakers competence by the confidence that he or she portrays.

I try to never use politicians as examples, but a few recent political examples come to mind. In 2002, Barack Obama was asked to speak at the Democrat’s convention, and the crowd went wild when he spoke. He was the young, up-and-coming leader of the party. At the time, he had practiced law a few years, been an attorney for ACORN for a few years, and was recently elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, but because of the way that he spoke, the audience saw him has being a competent leader. (I’ll let you be the judge as to whether they made the correct choice.) In recent weeks, Donald Trump and Herman Cain have jumped into the fray and developed loyal followers from their speeches. Cain was the CEO of Godfathers Pizza, and he’s been a radio talk show host for a while. At a recent speech, political commentators were amazed when Cain “Ad Libbed” an entire speech, meaning that he delivered his presentation without any notes. His confidence is winning followers over.

Public Speaking Fear Causes Missed Opportunities

Self consciousness or public speaking fear causes a speaker to hesitate when opportunities present themselves. That risk of failure causes people to pause and say, “I wonder if I should say something here…?”  That moment of hesitation is typically all that a more confident person needs to get noticed in a positive way. Later, the person who hesitates will likely kick himself saying, “That was my idea! I should have said something.”

I remember when I was first starting out in the business world, I worked for a big oil company, and the a big problem with government paperwork was being discussed at a staff meeting. Because I was new to the group, I didn’t have the preconceived notions that the others at the table had.  The solution seemed simple and easy, but because I was so new, I paused. The discussion continued, and the more that each person contributed, the more that my idea looked pretty good. But I still kept silent. One of the directors who was in the room, Mary Lou, thought for a second and told the group a simple solution that was really, really close to the idea that I had. That idea was implemented, and Mary Lou was a hero. A couple of years later, when the price of oil dropped and over 300 people were laid off, Mary Lou was one of the few who were kept.  Executives look for people who contribute good ideas that create value for the company.

Public Speaking Training Classes Can Help

When participants attend public speaking classes or presentation skills courses (good ones anyway), the complete a series of successful presentations over and over. Once they have these successes, future presentations become easier.  The risk associated with presenting is lowered, so these speakers tend to hesitate less when opportunities present themselves. When confidence in speaking is paired with competence in your field, people around you begin to see you as the expert. You become more valuable to your company.

Attend a public speaking class, a good presentations skills class, and you will increase your success in many different areas.


Author: Doug Staneart, Date Published: 05/26/11

Doug Staneart is the CEO of The Leader's Institute. LLC and founder of the Fearless Presentations class. He is author of Fearless Presentations, Mastering Presentations, and 28 Ways to Influence People.

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