In 1949, a 19-year-old student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln worked hard with dreams of becoming a stock broker. He had great mentors and a successful father who influenced his professional growth.

When it came to schedule classes that year, this intelligent young man specifically chose courses that avoided one thing:

Public speaking.

He was terrified of it! When he graduated two years later, he decided that his fear of public speaking was hindering his ability to progress his career and reach his full potential.

That student’s name was Warren Buffett, and today he is known as one of the world’s most successful investors.

Buffett recently stated in an interview that public speaking was the one skill that can increase a professional’s value by 50%, and he isn’t alone in his thinking.

A 2016 study done by LinkedIn found communication as the most in-demand soft skill among employers and a recent blog post by Richard Branson hails the skill as equally important.

It’s clear to see that public speaking and communication skills top that charts, but why are these skills so sought after? Afterall, most conventional wisdom teaches that technical competency is the key to building a successful career.

Professional Growth

Great public speakers have mastered the art of influence and leadership by capitalizing on such a valuable skill. Being able to effectively communicate with superiors, colleagues, and employees is a must have skill for any professional.

Public speaking and communication help professionals form connections, influence decisions, and motivate change – all essential rungs on the ladder of professional growth.

Going a step further, the leaders that inspire are the ones that employees feel they can trust. Leaders with exceptional public speaking and communication abilities have an easier time influencing their co-workers, making projects run seamlessly.

Even for employees in non-leadership roles, public speaking skills are a tremendous asset. Great communication builds a culture of trust and leads to increased productivity in any venture.

Personal Growth

Personal growth and development is a hallmark of success. One of the biggest contributors to personal growth is a belief in oneself and one’s abilities.

So where does public speaking come in?

Public speaking is invaluable in increasing levels of confidence. If an individual can get up in front of a crowd and convey bold ideas without fear, they are working to master confidence.

Confidence helps everyone meet new people, manage stress, and stand up to even the harshest of criticism.

Biggest Takeaway

If you’re afraid of public speaking, you’re not alone! 75% of Americans fear public speaking. It is because the skill is feared by many that it is practiced by few.

The point of differentiation lies in those who are not afraid to take the initiative and learn public speaking. It is a worthwhile investment, guaranteed.

Learn from Warren Buffett and begin to master public speaking as soon as possible. It’s never too late!

Author’s Note

I was once shy and introverted with little self-confidence. At the age of fourteen, I was encouraged to join my school’s debate team. I did not enjoy being behind the podium and could not handle being the center of attention. Practicing and learning public speaking is what changed all of that, and as a result, my life has significantly improved.

My passion is helping others learn public speaking and improve their self-confidence. This has driven me to found Learn to SpeakOut.

If you would like help improving your confidence and public speaking skills, please visit learntospeakout.com, join our Facebook Group or email me.

It’s never too late to increase your value by 50%. The best investment you can make is in yourself.

#PublicSpeaking #LearntoSpeakOut #professionaldevelopment #personaldevelopment #StudentVoices #confidence #communication

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