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: