Speak to Your Best Self

Written by Swathy Sanjay Sindhu, The Young Vision Ambassador (Since Oct 2014), University of Southampton

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Public speaking is a pursuit that is close to my heart, and a passion I believe to be advantageous to everyone if fostered. Here’s why:

Corporate skills

The reason thrown around most often as to why public speaking is a valuable skill is that it is an essential part of the corporate culture in the modern context. Imagine Apple without their elaborate displays of products; it would be an exercise in futility for them to conjure up new designs and technology without these! If you’ve watched Hidden Figures, you’d know that Katherine Johnson’s mathematical prowess would never have been proven if it had not been for her magnificent show of it at one of NASA’s crucial meetings in front of top officials and others, bringing me to my point that you needn’t be an aspiring barrister, motivational speaker or stand-up comic to attempt to hone your skills of speaking in public. Whatever your temperament, whatever your career orientation or area of expertise, this is a speciality that will propel you forward in multiple areas of your life.

Experience

A debate, discussion forum, elocution competition, speed moot, model UN forum or even just a casual talk about a topic, are all varied experiences that give you quite a lot to reflect upon. From preparing your talk and yourself to present your view, to being around people with differences of opinion, to the actual purpose of coming together to talk about a certain issue, a situation that entails public speaking is much more than just that; it is a gathering of ideas, attitudes and personalities, and this causes it to be a rather enriching niche. In addition to this, these are also opportunities to create fun and fulfilling memories!

Confidence

Believe me when I say that the most skilled public speakers are usually those who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves. Speeches that expose your flaws and vulnerabilities or a controversial and unusual perspective give people a chance to see your personality and will help you reach out to them. This kind of personality boost can go a long way in shaping you into a self-assured and resolute individual.

I truly hope this inspires you to go out there, talk to crowds and make changes – massive or tiny – because that will give you something to be proud of, and probably talk about in your next speech!