Essay On What I Learned In Speech Class

Why Public Speaking is Important

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Public speaking is one of the most under rated skills learned in school, yet is one of the most valuable. The way you communicate shows a lot about you, and can influence other’s opinions of you. In every profession communicatiis important. Good communication skills, no matter what you plan to do in life, will help you out greatly and improve your chances against a harsh job market. I am majoring in Business Administration and Law, and communication is one of the biggest parts of business and law, yet communication is hardly ever taught in business classes for my major. I think that a communications class like public speaking, for example, should be not just for a college class, but taught in high school and middle school as well. I believe several classes would allow anyone to become an expert speaking. The only way to fully learn public speaking is to get up in front of people and talk to them. One can not learn public speaking from a book.

One’s career, school life, and even socializing are affected by communication. If you do not know how to communicate, you probably do not have many friends. Communication has been used since the days of the cavemen. When the cavemen learned to communicate they greatly increased their hunting potential. When they learned to communicate on the hunt and before the hunt, they caught much more game then when they were just randomly running after the animals with spears. In school, if teachers and students could not communicate well, how would anything ever get done? In a business, communication is the most important ingredient. Working at a corporation at a higher level, you deal with hundreds of important emails, meetings, phone calls, and other forms of communicating with your co-workers.

I like communicating with other people, and much of my life consists of me with my friends. Communicating with people is a good way to become social and comfortable around people. Public speaking is my least favorite part of communicating but I feel if I go into business, it will be one of the most important things to learn. If I have to give a big speech, it could be the first time several upper management bosses really hear what I have to say, and if I give a poor speech and look frightened, it could make them think I am incompetent and cannot communicate.

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"Why Public Speaking is Important." 13 Mar 2018

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According to Neher’s journal: Speech in the core, “The ability to express one's self verbally may become increasingly important in order to succeed in a competitive society.’’ Believe it or not, this journal was written in 1985, and Neher could not have been more right.

Out of all my schooling, I have never been required, or even had an option to take a public speaking class until I came to college. I have heard friends complain about having to take the class, but I figure that the class will help out greatly in my career, especially if I go into business. I think that speech should be introduced into high schools, and even middle schools, so that by the time most children get to college, they will already be good public speakers. This will benefit everyone in the job world, and will also just make everyday conversations better if everyone could communicate well. I feel that math, an extremely stressed subject for almost all majors, is not as important to most majors as communication is. The reason to establish younger children taking public speaking is that public speaking is different than most subjects; it is not like math, where you can learn from a book, the only way to learn public speaking is by standing in front of a group of people and talking to them. Also, enhanced communication skills would increase your confidence and perhaps even drive to succeed.

Public Speaking and communication courses are often underrated by students and others for their importance to one as a student, and in the future, as a worker. The class gives you fundamental skills that not only benefit you in the real world, but benefit you even when you are just hanging out with friends. My father has always stressed how important communication and public speaking are in business. He often has to give speeches to the CEO, president, and other upper level employees to him, and if he did not speak well, he would look like an idiot in front of these people, and probably not have a job. I realize how important communication is and hope I can improve on my public speaking in this class.

Public speaking is the number one fear in America. Death is, somehow, a distant second.

As the famous Jerry Seinfeld punch line goes, “This means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you’d rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.” From sweaty palms and bundles of nerves to a cracking voice and butterflies in your stomach, speaking in public can be downright terrifying.

(Photo by Ryan McVay)

So, even though your college offers a course in speech communication, chances are you might be tempted to avoid it like the plague. However, taking a public speaking class has some surprising benefits. Here are five reasons everyone should take a public speaking course:

1. You’re likely to need the experience it offers.

Although the majors that are most in demand vary from time to time, the skills that employers seek in their new applicants are nearly identical year after year. A 2013 survey by the National Association of College and Employers found that the ability to communicate effectively is the quality employers most want to see in new recruits.

Regardless of the career you have planned, you’re bound to find yourself in situations where you’ll need to give an oral presentation. Whether you’re an accountant, an architect, a surgeon or a scuba instructor — communication skills are essential for your career development.

Furthermore, outside of the workplace, the likelihood that you’ll end up speaking in public is also quite significant, whether that be at church, a school board meeting or a community event. Plus, if you are asked to say a few words at a funeral or are encouraged to give a toast at your best friend’s wedding, thanks to your speech class, you’ll be more than ready. You’ll be confident and experienced.

2. It will help you ace your other classes.

The skills you’ll learn in a public speaking course will help you succeed in your other courses. Regardless of your major, many college classes will require some sort of presentation. Why not go ahead and discover how to make your presentations interesting, informative, and entertaining? Additionally, a public speaking class will give you experience in applying your abilities as a researcher and critical thinker, which will surely aid you in other classes.

3. It will help you be a better listener. 

Listening may be a lost art, but a public speaking course actually teaches you to become a better listener. In the class you’ll hear several different kinds of speeches about a wide variety of topics from people who may be very different from you, which can be a beautiful thing. And while the instruction you’ll receive about being an active listener will help you do things like take better notes in your classes, the real benefits of being a better listener are relational.

Effective communication can help you develop more meaningful relationships with the people you care about and that, of course, starts with listening. After all, listening is the communication activity we do the most, but it’s the skill we’re taught the least.

4. It encourages you to voice your ideas and take advantage of the influence you have.

It’s no secret that people throughout history have used the power of public speaking to make a difference. A public speaking course, if you approach it with the right perspective, is a great chance to do the same thing.

You’ll hardly ever have a better opportunity to speak to a captive audience about what really matters to you. You’ll get a chance to influence your peers. You won’t change the world with every speech, but you can easily impact someone in some small way. Then, you can continue to speak up and make a difference long after the semester’s over.

5. It teaches you to punch fear in the face.

A public speaking course is almost guaranteed to build your confidence. You’ll learn to stand before a group of people, make a lot of eye contact, and engage them with conviction. While the nervousness that comes with speaking in front of a crowd won’t entirely disappear, the course will teach you how to deal with your fears and turn your weakness into strength.

By the end of the semester, you can emerge from the class having overcome America’s biggest fear, which is no small feat. After you’ve done that, think of what else you’ll be capable of doing.

Jeremiah Massengale is an assistant professor of communication arts at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He also works as a freelance writer and editor with interests in popular culture, religion and technology. You can follow him on Twitter @jeremiahpm.

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