Fear public speaking? Here's why it's a vital skill to have and own

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Completely irked and rattled by her homework to write a speech, a girl asked her mother, ‘Why is public speaking so important for me? It's not like I aspire to become Darren Tay one day’.

Keeping her calm, the mother chuckled at the little girl’s innocence and said, “How would countries gain great leaders in the absence of great speeches? How would the global and social issues draw attention if no one voiced them out? If speeches aren’t important, why are TED talks watched by millions? Think about it!”

I bet, the little girl in this introduction is not the only human alive who questioned the importance of public speaking. You, too, might have found yourself asking the same questions. A lot of us tend to look at public speaking as a burden more than an opportunity, but clearly, it is a necessary life-skill.

Communication is the one thing that helps us connect with others, and persuade and motivate them. A world without communication is unimaginable. To share ideas, emotions and establish connect with fellow humans, communications skills are necessary.

Public speaking is a much feared form of communication, but a vital skill to have and hone. We need this skill to be effective in classrooms, in meetings and even in building interpersonal relationships.

With the passage of time, civilizations have risen and fallen, kings have come and gone, politicians have made promises and disappeared but there is one thing that has remained faithful to mankind’s success – Public Speaking. Be it the great emperors of yore, the business leaders of today, your favourite professor in class, or Meryl Streep delivering a speech at the Golden Globe Awards, public speaking has continued to help us influence, inform and connect with people at social, mental and emotional levels. Not only in the past or present, but till posterity, public speaking will be an indeed significant, valued and useful skill in all domains of life.

Though speaking in front of an audience can get palms sweaty, knees buckling under pressure and heartbeats frantically faster, it is one of the most essential parts of the working world. Some people are born public speakers, but it is also a skill you can develop; the more you do it, the more you master it.

What Robert Brown says in undeniably true, “If you can speak, you can influence. If you can influence, you can change lives.” Do you think Malala would have been who she actually is if she hadn’t boldly raised her voice? As she stood up, she influenced people, and brought about winds of change for those young girls.

While, the world today is bombarded with over millions of social media sites, the significance of public speaking remains completely unique; it is the only tool in this world that gives us the power to change the way one person views an idea or situation based on a mere ten-minute speech or conversation. In this 365/24/7 dialogue of life, one’s ability at engaging and influencing a mass of people can go a long way in determining his or her future.

(The article has been authored by Ipsa Yadav, a class 10th student of Shiv Nadar School, Gurgaon)
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