At PrepWorks we aim to cover all the skills the normal academic curriculum may not focus on: the skills that are what I would like to call the ‘last mile’ skills. It would be a shame to have worked so hard academically for fantastic grades and school reports, yet fall short of what a university inexplicitly measures you on – those softer, transferrable skills. And in fact, these skills carry you through life, even allowing those with a 2nd class degree to surpass those with the 1st class when it comes to job interviews, career progression and general success and leadership in life. Schools may invest a fraction on this but we would like to invest our 100% specialist attention. Because in most circumstances, and in a way unfairly, they can carry you further than being book-smart.
Most of the times we rely on our natural ability, and some of us are just better than others, but for those of us who are not quite so lucky to have the talent, fortunately, these skills can be improved through awareness and practice.
And one of these skills is Public Speaking or really the art of Speaking. There are many reasons why Public Speaking is important and I will outline a few in this blog.
First it helps overall self-confidence. If you have always shied away from the limelight and not volunteered answers, you will not have practiced speaking in front of others enough, or even been put in a situation where you thought “that’s amazing, the class valued my opinion”. Instead the reality is out of fear and inexperience, you automatically think the negative consequences far outweigh the benefits and you opt not to share or speak. I know this because I was just like that. By knowing one can express oneself better, you will gain confidence in yourself and realize there is so much you can contribute and feel part of. And of course improve public opinion of yourself.
Secondly it makes you feel more comfortable speaking and particularly to people you don’t know. This comes in very handy throughout life, particularly in interviews and making general conversation / building relationships. The corporates like to call this interpersonal communication.
Thirdly, it is an excellent skill to have for a numerous amount of careers: sales, leadership, research, even teaching. It will certainly boost your performance as it is the most effective way to get a message across and gain a legion of supporters, which is always a plus in whatever you do in life. It certainly helps to have people on your side.
Finally, it’s powerful. History was made through great speeches (and of course having the substance to back it up). Think of Obama and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech about breaking down racial barriers. One can make a difference in life, business community and career. By having the opportunity to influence people’s thoughts you can create a real positive change.
We recently held a Public Speaking course and discovered some 10 – 12 year olds who had huge potential, all incredibly smart and talented. I want to share with you some pictures and thank the parents for supporting our first course. We also had great support from our highly experienced teachers and contributors who teach Speech and Drama and Public Speaking at schools as well as give plenty of speeches and training workshops as a passion. Here are some testimonials I’d like to share from the parents and students.
“The course was very useful, I saw my child develop his writing skills in a thoughtful manner, his speaking skills with a confident approach and I could see that the teachers encouraged him to do all this independently which made it a valuable experience for him”
“I think that the course that my son took which was public speaking was extemely helpful and definitely increased his public speaking skills. I recommend lots of people to come for this course as it seems to work extremely well!”
“I am impressed how the course taught us values and how to speak confidently in a fun and interesting way.Thank you and I will definitely see you again on another fun and educational course!”
“Public speaking has made my child More confident and he is able to speak in front of a larger audience. He also developed a more creative style of thinking and is more quick to respond”