Public speaking relevant in real world

Cody Boyer

Let’s face it: class presentations can be nightmares.Like many others at Northern Michigan University, I’ve given my fair share of public presentations. I would like to think some have been decent, while I know others have been utter implosions of performances.

Cody Boyer
Cody Boyer

I’m fairly certain animal noises and other strange phenomena occurred during those particular appearances.Whether students think they are good at them or not, the prospect of giving public speeches in front of a large group of people typically leaves one weak in the knees.

Similarly, it sometimes leaves them feeling like they have hot irons resting in their stomachs. In many occasions, they experience both symptoms, if not a wide variety of others.

Even though some people might love giving speeches or presentations, they still get that same old anxious feeling every time they know their name is the next one on the list after that tall, sweaty kid somehow stops stuttering about yet another form of communication theory.

Speech apprehension is a very real thing. For many people, the ability to speak publicly comes last compared to their ability to work a physical aspect of a job.

For many other students here at NMU, public speaking comes last to their ability to talk better only after getting “shwasted” from drinking alcohol.It’s a thing. We all know it is. Here’s why it shouldn’t be.

Speaking articulately is possibly the most powerful tool a person can wield when charging into the job field after graduating from college. When an employer sees a resume, they don’t get to experience any form of interpersonal communication from the owner of the document.

That is saved for the interview. A resume doesn’t mean a thing if a person can’t speak for it and present themselves appropriately.Let me break it down a little further.

During a majority of my five years here at Northern, I would be lying if I said I had my appreciation for proper public speaking during my entire extended stay. At first, presentations horrified me, even when they were about things I was really passionate about. Then I experienced some of the educational material of NMU’s Communications and Performance Studies department and everything gradually changed.

That’s when I began to notice the speaking skills of everyone around me. Most people, at some point, have noticed it at some point or has seen Internet-based “meme humor” about the latest generation’s ability to speak articulately to others.

Texting, instant messaging, inhibited speech (a.k.a. “shwasted”) and even emailing others have become primary methods for people to reach out to other people.

The public speaking classes at this university are incredibly beneficial, even if they might appear easier to some compared to other courses. Making it required for more than just communication studies majors (as well as a small number of other majors) would help more aspiring professionals develop stronger ways to represent themselves outside of written documentation.

It is a learnable skill. No one is born as the most skilled orator to walk the planet. While some may be born with genetics that could lead to faster brain development, studies from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. have proven the ability to speak is a skill to be honed by an individual, not homegrown.

We all are taught to speak at some point as infants. However, we can choose to continue the process of learning.Presentations don’t always have to be nightmares. Once college students grasp just how important the ability to speak publicly and confidently is, success is just a few words away. People just cannot know until they try.