Entrepreneurs come up with new ideas. With new ideas we disrupt the world. When we take entrepreneurship as a form of art and not just a business activity to make revenue, it becomes important to share our ideas with the world.
Public speaking is an art that has been around since humans lived in tribal groups inside forests. The tribal leader would share his ideas with his tribe in a community meeting. Old and experienced men shared their life experience with young members of the tribe around a bon fire.
As an entrepreneur, you create your own tribe of customers, fans and team members. You are the leader of your tribe and you need to be good at sharing ideas with your tribe. You have to grow as a tribe and for a healthy growth everyone around you have to be in sync with your ideas.
A good public speaker can shared ideas more effectively, at scale. That’s why it is important for entrepreneurs to be good public speakers. Public speaking is a skill that can be learned. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, with practice you can learn how to speak on stage.
The first time I spoke on stage was in front of my class in college and I remember I was terrible at it. Over the years I’ve read books about public speaking and attended public speaking training programmes. The training programs gave me the practice ground to speak and overcome my fear of public speaking.
Today, I am a TEDx speaker and speak at least twice a month with an audience of at least 100 or more people.
Say Yes to Opportunities
From your first public speech, to your last, you will keep getting better at it. Every time you speak, you improve. There is no magic formula to become a great public speaker except through practice.
Whenever I get a chance to speak on stage, I take up the opportunity. I say Yes to almost every invitation and I get a lot of invitations because of my personal brand.
When you speak on stage, you are forced to structure your thoughts and words in a way that is efficient for communication.
If you are talking about a topic to a friend, you can be all over the place and it would be ok, because you are talking to a friend. You can go around your ideas and circles and take the luxury of time to communicate your ideas.
However, when 10s and 100s of people are listening to you, you have to be efficient because a lot more people are spending their limited time to listen to you.
When you make your talks more efficient, you are talking less and saying more. You are becoming a better communicator.
When you become a better communicator, you can pass on your ideas to other people better. Passing on your ideas to the minds of other people is very important for an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs have to make everyone believe in their vision. We have to share their ideas with our team, our customers, our investors and with the world. Communication is key to getting people believe in your vision. And you become a better communicator through public speaking.
Speak Under Time Pressure
Constraints always leads to higher efficiencies. You have limited time and limited opportunity to speak on stage.
TED and TEDx talks are constrained at 18 minutes for the same reason. People don’t have time and if you want them to listen to you, share your ideas in an efficient way. When I was preparing for my TEDx talk, I learned how to communicate 10 years of my life experience into an 18 minute talk. It was a challenge, but it made me a better speaker.
Use every opportunity to speak on stage and improve your public speaking skills over time. Getting an opportunity to speak on TEDx might be difficult, but there are plenty of similar platforms which you can try for.
If you have never spoken on stage, public speaking fear might be preventing you from getting started. The best way to overcome your fear is to join a public speaking training program or workshop.
You can also join local clubs like Toastmasters where they help you become a public speaker. My co-founder Sanjay Shenoy learned public speaking because he was a member of a Toastmasters club and he had good mentors.
Public Speaking Helps You Grow
Becoming a good public speaker helps you improve self confidence, become a better communicator, better writer and a better leader. If you dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur, becoming a good public speaker is going to help a lot in your journey.
Writing and speaking go hand in hand. You are communication the same idea in different formats. Speaking on stage has made me better at writing. Writing more for my blogs and books has made me a better speaker.
One of the best perks of public speaking is that you feel great after delivering a good talk, people gather around you and you feel popular, at least at that moment. Apart from money, most of us are looking for fame and recognition, and there is no better way to get there than public speaking.
Public speaking also helps you in growing your personal brand, which further helps you in getting more opportunities for speaking on stage.
So what do you think? Are you a good public speaker? Do you want to get better at public speaking?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.