The importance of oratory in professional life
Public speaking is becoming more and more necessary in most jobs and, with it, the importance of oratory in professional life is increasing.
The vast majority of companies are opting for a close relationship with employees, and this means that they must respond directly to their superiors and present the results of their work. In addition to this, globalization has always increased the interaction between companies, a context where it is vital to know how to expose ideas clearly and concisely.
But before we talk about the importance of public speaking at work and how we can improve it, let’s define the concept.
What is oratory?
When we talk about oratory, we are referring to the art of effective public speaking. It is the ability to convey ideas and messages clearly, persuasively and coherently to an audience.
The importance of oratory in the professional field is enormous, especially in different contexts such as presentations, meetings, interviews… This is because it allows to improve communication at work and establish a presence and an authoritative voice.
In short, public speaking allows to communicate effectively and, in order to improve it, it is important to take into account factors such as text structure, language and non-verbal communication.
Importance of oratory in working life
With this definition, it is clear that public speaking is important in the professional sphere of most workers. Although it is more associated with managerial profiles, the truth is that any employee can benefit from communicating effectively to improve their working conditions.
In general, these are the benefits of public speaking in the professional field.
- Improves self-confidence:
One of the keys to public speaking is the ability to express oneself under pressure. To achieve this, it is crucial to believe in the speech and in the ability to transmit it effectively. When one manages to communicate effectively, it is, in large part, because one has confidence in oneself and one’s ability.
- It fosters leadership:
Having an authoritative tone and knowing how to express ideas in a clear and meaningful way is one of the factors that favor employee performance. And the fact is that not understanding the reason for the tasks translates into demotivation, and having a leader who does not denote authority translates into procrastination.
- Facilitates persuasion:
Just as a leader who knows public speaking gets better results, the same applies to those who need to convince others. Salespeople, marketing professionals, sales clerks, even teachers, most profiles that deal with customers benefit from knowing how to convince people.
Therefore, teaching oratory to the employees who deal directly with the customer in public speaking will translate into better results.
- Improve written expression:
Writing and speaking are two disciplines that constantly interact. Many people write using the same style in which they speak, so improving in this area also means improving writing.
Although it is not as effective as a writing course, the truth is that the importance of oratory is also reflected at the moment of expressing ourselves on paper. Despite this, it only influences style and word usage, not punctuation or spelling.
- Encourages critical thinking:
One of the keys to public speaking is speech planning. And in order to plan a speech, it is essential to think about both our arguments and the responses we may receive. In other words, we must critique our own ideas in order to prepare our responses.
This way of thinking fosters our critical thinking, something that is not only important in the workplace. Someone who learns public speaking will undoubtedly improve his or her way of thinking, as he or she will learn to criticize his or her point of view and understand the point of view of others.
How can we improve our public speaking skills?
1. Prepare a structured speech
One way to improve our public speaking skills is to prepare a well-organized speech. This includes defining an introduction, a body, and a conclusion for the speech, and making sure that each section follows a clear and coherent logic.
It is also important to use tools such as key points and quotes to help enrich the speech and make it more memorable for the audience.
2. Use voice and body language effectively.
The content of a speech is much more than the words we are going to read. Making a good speech means speaking clearly and coherently, and using inflections and intonation to keep the audience’s attention.
Equally important as the voice is to use body language appropriately, making natural gestures and movements and controlling posture to convey confidence and security.
3. Learning to perform under pressure
Learning to perform under pressure is a point that is based on two factors: relaxation and confidence. Although they are closely linked, it is important to work on them separately. Working on relaxation is simpler at first glance: taking your time, breathing before you start, and controlling interruptions during the speech are key.
But it’s hard to be relaxed if you don’t trust yourself. One of the keys to public speaking is to assume you are right when you are speaking. Therefore, sounding convincing when you communicate something you don’t share is very complicated. For these cases, it is essential to work on your ability to convince yourself, since you will only need to express these arguments to sound coherent to your audience.
4. Call to action
Every speech has a specific goal, and it is useless if the audience does not understand it. Although it is applied in different ways in each sector, indicating the next action your audience should take is crucial in most speeches, especially those that take place in the workplace.
Something similar happens with marketing or political speeches, although in these cases it is more important to be subtle. You should indicate what is expected of the audience, but without giving a direct order; no one likes to be told what to do.
A speech without prior preparation is destined to fail. Unless you have very good communication skills and very specific ideas, it is best to have some degree of preparation.
This preparation ranges from writing a script to rehearsing in front of a mirror. If you have confidence in yourself, knowing what you have to say will be more than enough. But if you feel you need to improve your public speaking skills, seeing how you present will let you know where you can improve.