As originally posted on Quora.com …
My short answer is that being skilled in public speaking is the difference between a professional that has lots of ideas, that nobody gets to hear about and a professional that becomes a thought leader who is sought after to hear what they have to say.
A big part of being a professional is being able to share your ideas with others and persuade them to take action, based on your suggestions. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, they share common characteristics. One of the basic tenets of being a professional is giving back to the profession by adding to its body of knowledge or sharing one’s experience with others.
Sharing ideas can be done in written form but it is oratory i.e. public speaking that appeals and persuades the masses. The same thing applies to politicians at any level of government. When they are running for office they may send us some written material but it is there public speaking that gets them elected … or perhaps not!
In my early adult years, I was a professional Registered Nurse. I got involved with my local professional organization. It was easy to get elected, likely anybody else was too fearful to run for office. What was limiting to me was my fear of public speaking. While I had the desire to be a leader, my leadership skills were rudimentary at that time. My lack of public speaking skills limited my advancement in the organization and in time put limitations on how I was able to perform the role that I did have.
In summary, you can lead a professional life without ever having to speak in public. Countless numbers do. However, being able to speak in public as a professional has a high likelihood of increasing opportunities, the ability to create change and a deep sense of personal satisfaction.
Thanks for your question.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.