The Pipeline

The Public Speaking Imperative: From Getting a Job to the C-Suite to the Gig Economy...Why Public Speaking is a Crucial Career-Spanning Skill

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By Kim Cole, Cofounder of The Sales Zone


Glamour Magazine featured a piece in its November 2015 issue by Jennifer B. Wallace entitled, "The #1 Skill You Need at Work". I had the opportunity to be quoted in the piece which you can read here; as you may have guessed, the skill discussed in the article is public speaking.

What stands out in Jennifer's piece is the fact that, according to a study done by researchers at Harvard, many people would rather endure an electric shock than do a presentation or make a speech! In order to get ahead, however, you don't have the choice of being wounded over giving a speech in public--now more than ever it's important to do away with your public speaking paranoia.

According to Merrium-Webster public speaking is defined as:

  • the act or process of making speeches in public; or
  • the art of effective oral communication with an audience

Thinking of these definitions, you might get a visual of Steve Jobs or the presenter in your favorite TED Talk. The reality is that YOU must develop and practice public speaking skills because they are crucial at every stage of your career. We are working in an era where public speaking skills have taken on heightened importance because of innovations in technology. The following graphic illustrates some of these technolgy innovations:


Settling the Active vs. Candidate Debate

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  • By Kim Cole, Cofounder of The Sales Zone

    Let's settle the "active candidates are better than passive candidates" debate once and for all!

    With unemployment among college-educated workers at an all-time low, a common misconception about active versus passive candidates is once again floating around. During the tech boom of the late 90’s we first heard the term ‘War for Talent’ which came about as a result of companies not being able to fill positions fast enough. Recruiters and hiring managers clambered for a more proactive way to find candidates. Somehow a perception formed that a so-called passive candidate was better than an active one. In addition to that, syndicated research companies sell data suggesting that passive candidates are somehow better. At The Sales Zone, we have a different perspective informed by more than 15 years of being in the search and placement business.