How public speaking skills can propel your career

Remember debate team in high school?

I wish I had joined.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved being an editor of my school’s paper, concert choir, DECA, acting in high school musicals and plays… but I didn’t really understand the value of debate team until later.

Preparing and delivering an argument has to be one of the skills we most need in life – no matter what we do for a living.

I think back now and wish debate team was required in schools. What’s a more valuable skill to learn?

Public speaking skills like being able to think on your feet, deliver an argument, defend your worth… these are all strengths that can propel your career.

My husband and I started watching the show, The Grinder, last night on Netflix. Have you seen it?

The show aired on Fox but was canceled in May 2016. It’s clever… it just never achieved high ratings.

The series follows actor Dean Sanderson, Jr. (Rob Lowe), who returns to his hometown of Boise, Idaho after his long-running television series ends. Though Rob Lowe’s character is not a lawyer, he thinks his experience playing one on TV qualifies him to practice law. He joins his family’s law firm much to the chagrin of his younger brother played by Fred Savage (who’s still as cute as he was as a kid), who’s a real-life lawyer.

Fred Savage’s character has the law degree and the real knowledge. He studies. He’s prepared.

But, over and over — people are attracted to the brother played by Rob Lowe who has NO legal knowledge or degree. They want HIM to represent them in court. Why? Besides for the fact that he’s Rob Lowe…

Because he looks and sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. He’s eloquent… convincing… and a little suave. He carries himself with confidence, makes eye contact, smiles … while Fred Savage’s character has all the real facts of each case… but reads with his nose stuck in his notes. No eye contact. Just awkward body language… and stern looks.

So imagine the power of knowing what you’re talking about AND having the delivery that attracts your audience? Imagine drawing people to you naturally without having to sell to them.

What could you do at work with that kind of power?

Whether you’re an electrician or an electrical engineer – you interact with clients – selling yourself each and every day.

Leaders speak calmly and clearly in an emergency. They stand out and more easily move up.

If you want to advance in your career, communicating effectively is essential. You must sum up your ideas and solutions faster than the others. If your job (or your dream job) requires any kind of presentations or just mingling – you need public speaking skills.

Some companies offer classes on this because they know it’s that important. If your company doesn’t, look for a local class in public speaking. I can help you too.

If you think colleagues would be interested, let’s talk about presenting the idea of holding a class at work to your company. You’ll get bonus points for organization and initiative.