Public speaking is one of the most important skills that you can have in not only business but in life. Without it, how will you be able to sell your ideas, pitch your product or even just communicate with people? It's no secret that public speaking is an essential skill for any entrepreneur and their success depends on this talent.
Is public speaking an inborn talent and natural skill or something that can be learned?
Public speaking is a skill that anyone can learn and be effective in. Just like any other skill, public speaking requires learning the tools and techniques of the craft to be successful.
Let's consider this in more detail below!
Is Public Speaking An Inborn Talent And Natural Skill?
There are some people who believe that public speaking is an inborn talent. They think that you are either born a natural speaker or you're not. This is not the case! However, we could have some inborn and natural talents that may allow us to thrive as a public speaker.
5 Inborn Talents That Would Prove Helpful In Public Speaking
A confident speaker is someone who believes in themselves and their abilities, which gives them the strength to continue speaking even when things get tough. Some people are just naturally confident in all aspects of life, which bodes well for presenting in front of others.
A confident speaker is able to connect with his audience because it's clear the speaker believes in himself along with his message.
Charisma is what allows a speaker to connect with their audience on an emotional level, making them feel engaged and interested in what is being said through compelling attractiveness or charm. When these two qualities of confidence and charisma are combined, it creates a powerful combination that can help any speaker become successful.
3. Good Memory
A good memory helps because many speakers have to remember their speeches word by word. This talent will help them memorize everything they need to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks at the last minute!
4. Ability To Tell Good Stories
A great storyteller who knows how to captivate his/her audience immediately upon walking onto the stage, getting people interested in what he has said.
If a speaker is passionate about what he/she is saying, it means that it can be heard through their voice tone and body language when they are on stage.
Public Speaking Can Be Learned: 4 Key Examples
If you have a fear of public speaking or feel that you just aren't a "natural", then there is good news. Below are four great examples of individuals who were not "Born" speakers but were "Made" speakers.
- Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, was a poor public speaker when he started out with the company. However, he took speech classes and learned how to connect with his audience by means of a Bachelor of Science degree in communication in 1975. He is now one of the most successful CEOs in the world.
- Warren Buffett, one of the world's richest investors, once was terrified of speaking in front of others. Buffett then decide to enroll in a Dale Carnegie course on at age 21. This was the first step in building his confidence as a speaker.
- Steve Jobs, Apple's former CEO hired a communications coach to help him improve his public speaking skills.
- Martin Luther King Jr. was a great orator, but he didn't always have the confidence to speak in public. He once received a C in public speaking at seminary school in Chester Pennsylvania. However, in his final year, King was valedictorian with straight A’s. In the eyes of many, he is regarded as one of the best public speakers of all time.
Public speaking can be learned by anyone if they are willing to put in the effort. It's not an inborn talent!
Above are great examples of how public speaking can be learned. But it leads to the question:
If Public Speaking Is Not An Inborn Talent But A Learned Skill- How Do You Improve?
Let's consider seven ways below:
- Take a public speaking class. There are many great classes out there that can help you learn the fundaments of public speaking like Linkedin Learning, VirtualSpeech, or MasterClass.
- Watch videos of successful speeches. This will give you an idea of what makes a good speech and how to engage your audience. Good resources are documentaries or reading biographies of famous speakers like Martin Luther King Jr., John F Kennedy, Barack Obama, etc.
- Join a Toastmasters club. This is one of the best ways to improve your public speaking skills. The clubs are filled with people who want to help each other become better speakers.
- Get feedback from friends and family members. Ask them for their honest opinion about your speeches and see where you need to improve.
- Read books about public speaking. There are many great books on this topic that can help you understand the basics of becoming a successful speaker. Amazon has a great library!
- Practice. The only way to become a good public speaker is through experience and by practicing your speeches over and over again. There are good ways to practice public speaking at home which is covered in more depth in our other article "9 Killer Public Speaking Exercises You Can Do At Home".
- Join a debate team in school or participate in other speech competitions. These are great ways to get feedback from judges about how you can improve your skills.
Regardless of Inborn Talent, Continue To Develop As A Speaker
We hope this article was helpful for you to understand that anyone can develop into a great speaker. Yes, Public Speaking isn't in itself an inborn talent but a learned skill!
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, take advantage of the many online resources. Please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘ for a detailed review of some online resources for public speaking.