By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or consider yourself a well-seasoned professional, sharpening your public speaking skills is worthwhile.
“Being out there in front of people and projecting confidence helps people see you as a leader,” said Eileen Smith, founder of SpokeSmith.
Smith is the keynote speaker at the upcoming CORECon Core Skills Conference on May 23, and said public speaking is an integral part of the work environment. It impacts earnings, engagement and image.
Smith shared a story about Warren Buffett speaking to a group at Columbia University where he somewhat jokingly told them he would invest $100,000 in each person in the group in return for a 10% stake in their career earnings.
“And then he said if they would commit to taking communications classes and improving their public speaking skills, he would increase that investment to $150,000,” she said.
Warren told the group that strong public speaking skills can increase career earnings by 50%, Smith said. This information is worth considering when it comes to strengthening non-technical skills.
And while public speaking can be considered a worst fear for some, Smith said to avoid worrying about all the things that could go wrong and instead focus on proper preparation. Focus on positive visualization and think about how well the speech will go instead of leaning into anxiety or nerves.
“Speaking in front of people, whether it's at a formal event or speaking to your clients or in your workspace, gives you the image of a leader,” she said. “It helps people to see you as someone who's on their way up, and potentially someone who they might want to hire for a new job or offer a new opportunity.”