Why You Need to Be a Decent Public Speaker

By Karen Burns

Posted: June 9, 2010

You’re at a funeral. Where in the room would you rather be: lying in the casket or standing up front giving the eulogy? Most people pick the casket (at least according to Jerry Seinfeld).

OK, it’s a joke, but it’s true that many people claim they fear public speaking more than death itself.

If this sounds like you, you may not appreciate the following advice: To succeed in the workplace you need to become a decent public speaker.

Why? Because being able to speak in front of people is a tremendously helpful career skill. Whether you’re employed or still hunting, whether you’re on the first rung of the career ladder or in the corner office, knowing how to articulate your thoughts to your fellow humans is an essential component of success, no matter what field you’re in.

What better way to shine at job interviews, or in staff meetings, or at business luncheons than to express yourself clearly, confidently, coherently, and concisely? Speaking makes you visible. Speaking makes you memorable. Speaking can even make you look smarter than you really are. According to a study cited last year in Time, those who speak up in groups are perceived as more intelligent than those who do not, even when they are less knowledgeable.

Read the rest of the article on U.S. News & World Report