The entrepreneur must also be a communicator: no amount of exciting, innovative ideas will get anyone anywhere without some fantastic communication skills to help get them across.
Sometimes, business is evangelism. Think Steve Jobs, whose keynote addresses and product launches came to define technology in the 2000s; think Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and progenitor of the “Lean In” movement. These are businesspeople who understand the power of speaking.
It’s true that, in business, speaking often means standing in front of a large audience and giving a speech; but it’s also the case that simply talking to one person at an informal networking lunch also uses many of the same skills. In this way, public speaking becomes one of the essential tools of modern business – one few can do without.
From a business pitch to a sales meeting, good communication skills are about projecting confidence, expressing an idea convincingly, and being memorable. These are all the building blocks of making a great speech, too – and that’s why public speaking training will make you more successful in business.
First, the approaches speakers take will help you. Considering one’s audience, understanding how to make compelling arguments, and structuring what you say to make it easy to understand – all these techniques will be useful in any number of professional contexts.
Secondly, the practical skills of speaking can be essential, too: having better diction, learning what good breathing feels like, and mastering body language will all help you project the sort of calm authority that can make a different in the boardroom as well as on stage.
Thirdly, being a good communicator actually helps you have better ideas in the first place. “Baking in” to new ideas your understanding of how to communicate them will ensure they’re better and more robust from day one. After all, the best ideas are the ones that proceed from an understanding of their audience.
In an age when communication is more and more important, and there are ever more ways in which to communicate, a knowledge of speaking and its associated skills isn’t just about being ready for the annual address. Being a great speaker makes you a more effective entrepreneur every day.