Man is unique in God’s creation. He has been endowed with the ability to smile and to speak. With the passing of time he learned to live in social contexts. Thus speech became a social grace; a democratic necessity and a leadership requirement.
Now, with the happening of technology, man is compelled to speak with much more clarity than ever before. But technology has not substituted public speaking. Instead, it has multiplied opportunities. More visibility and wider coverage has compelled leaders of all walks of life to really refine and fine-tune their speaking skills.
New avenues of expression are not confined to the media alone. Within an office or video-conferencing across continents, briefing your team or informing the launch of a new product, or answering questions from the floor are all areas where skill in public speaking is called for. The expertize required is so demanding that people are trained to deliver the goods.
Simplicity, clarity, brevity and impact are the watchwords for today’s speaker. If your speech is short, sweet, clear and memorable; then it could be said that it has succeeded.
But it would be too simple an equation to be realistic. The chances are that your message gets forgotten not because it was bad; but because it was another good message among others. So it points out the need for consistent quality communication. Maybe the reason why advertisements are repeatedly used by companies to stay strong in the minds of its target audience. Likewise your message should get across consistently without quality loss.
Noise level in communication has gone high too. Even a casual stroller across the street is confronted with so many messages. In this competition where colours and words, reality and fantasy, sense and non-sense all vie for your attention; the mind becomes a battlefield. It is in this context that you have to learn to communicate effectively.
Perhaps the saddest thought could be that people are relying on technology as a substitute for public speaking. It can never be. The best messages are wrapped in the individuality of a messenger. When that element is sacrificed a message hangs in thin air. It does not create impact.
Therefore the individual with his public speaking skills will always be in demand. Even though technology might change, the art of public speaking will remain.