Why Avoiding Public Speaking Is Sabotaging Your Career (And What You Can Do About It)

Three reasons to start using more verbal communication and presentations to get ahead in your career.

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By Anna Roberts

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Almost all of employers are looking for employees who have excellent communication skills. But this goes way beyond just the interview to get hired, by the way- it means you need to show that you are capable of communicating in writing as well as orally. However, with all of our professional communication relying on emails and memorandums, and with one barely using the telephone or presentations in some industries these days, this is essentially a skill that is starting to go by the wayside.

I've created incredible change in the businesses I've worked with through Nudge, by allowing staff to use verbal communication skills to bond closer and create a lasting impact with their clients. Here, I share my three reasons you need to start considering using more verbal communication and presentations to get ahead in your career.

1. It's your USP
Communication is a skill that anyone can learn at any point in their career, but most people don't because they are afraid of public speaking. Standing out can only but help your career. Communicating your ideas to your peers and managers means you have their ear. It also is a good way to demonstrate your knowledge. If you don't speak up, people won't know what value you have to share with them, and they won't know what you can offer to the team. Keep your point short and clear if you have an opportunity to sit at the board room table, or share your ideas in a meeting. Using abstract terms and rambling will only confuse people, and they won't want to hear from you again.

2. It develops your confidence
Understanding that you have skills, knowledge, and experience to share with a group is empowering. Knowing that you can effectively do this and see results means it's win-win for everyone. People automatically want to be around people they see as confident, so that's beneficial for your clients and those you are pitching to. Remember, you always want to engage and speak to your audience, not at them. People don't remember what you say, but they remember how you made them feel, so ensure that you create emotional links, and don't belittle them, but respect them and their knowledge.

3. To be considered for a leadership position, you need to communicate effectively
Effective communication creates trust in a team and with clients. If you can't clearly and articulately lead or sell, you can't do your job. Understanding your audience, sharing your ideas effectively, giving them a call to action and creating strong emotional connections means that you can use effectively you can influence and charm others to get the work done, or a sales deal sealed right there on. Remember, in presentations, it's not just the words you use but how you deliver them and what body language you use. Rehearse with a smartphone camera and record your presentations to be able to critique yourself before the big day.

Related: Making Your Speech Work For You

Anna Roberts

Founder and Managing Director, Nudge

Anna Roberts, a radio and TV presenter in Dubai, is the founder of Nudge, a communications advisory specializing in public speaking and media training. Anna has interviewed the worlds most high profile sports stars and corporate leaders and believes that business success stems from authentic and effective communication.

Her belief is that everyone should have the tools and confidence to give their ideas a voice, from entrepreneurs pitching for investment through to keynote presentations.

See her work across print regional publications and online on her website where she discusses everything from how to handle a media scrum through to elevating your confidence on stage. Visit http://www.thenudgeeffect.com and talk to her on Twitter @ImAnnaRoberts #TheNudgeEffect.

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