Your Secret Weapon to Leadership Development: Public Speaking

Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

Our voice is powerful. We attract or repel people depending on how we use it.

Public speaking skills enhance our ability to communicate effectively with others.  Public speaking in a broader sense is anytime we speak to others.

Speaking publicly can be scary, but it is a crucial part to our success.

So crucial, that I believe it is the secret weapon to leadership development.

We are all leaders because we have the power to influence others. If you are a parent, a co-worker, spouse or person breathing on this earth,  you are a  leader. 

Speaking demolishes fear, specifically the fear of public speaking.

All my life, I wanted to be an author. But there was just one problem.

I was terrified of social media and speaking in front of strangers about personal details of my life.

The key to reaching the life of my dreams was literally right under my nose.

All I had to do was open my mouth and open my life up to the deep dark web.

In the fall of 2017, I took the plunge with the help of my accountability partner and joined the dreaded Facebook. That next spring, I launched my website and wrote my first blog post.

I thought that I was going to pass out right then and there while pressing the publish button.

Then last year, I joined a public speaking club, an author support group and started writing my first book.

In August of this year, I was asked to be part of a speaking panel. I shared stories about my past and even invited the audience to my join my private Facebook group. Imagine that.

And guess what? I did not die. I am still alive. 

Speaking up creates opportunity for promotion and helps you stand out.

In a previous company, the head of Human Resources said that we would no longer be able to hire new employees over the next 12 weeks because our trainer was taking a leave of absence.

I had a decision to make. Do I let her know that I used to be a teacher/trainer, or keep quiet?  

I took a risk and spoke up. I ended up training new hires for the next three months and became the backup corporate trainer. When there was time for promotion, they offered me a position training new hires at a satellite location.

Let’s use the power of our voice to speak up when opportunity comes our way.

Just like speaking is crucial to our development, not speaking has consequences.

In the TV series Once Upon a Time, there is a line that was used in most episodes, “Magic comes with a price”.  I believe silence does too.  It costs us something.

The first way silence cost something is by losing time.

The boring spreadsheet with outdated graphs and formulas that won’t work because it doesn’t calculate correctly – wastes everyone’s time.

If only someone would speak up.

Do you have a solution? Enlighten us. Free us from our pain and misery!

What you have to say matters and impacts your team and sometimes the whole organization.

Lost time is the first way we pay the price when we are silent, another is the loss of confidence.

I have failed as a leader, not because I was not qualified to do the job. 

I failed because I stopped believing in my abilities.

This happened when I was in a new supervisory role.

I stopped sharing information with my supervisor and stopped asking questions because I thought it would make me look incompetent. I lost my confidence when I lost my voice. I stopped believing that I could do the job and so did my supervisor. When funding was lost in another department, she asked the supervisor to take the lead of my department. I stopped speaking, lost confidence and basically handed her my job.

What has lack of confidence stolen from you?

Let’s use the greatest weapon ever given to us – our voice!

Let’s speak as though our dreams, jobs and future depends on it! Because as we saw today, it does.

Is the fear of speaking holding you back from anything or has in the past?

 I would love to hear about in the comments below.

%d bloggers like this: