Does Public Speaking Matter in an Age of iPhones, Androids and iPads?
They seem to be taking over. Our surrounding, our lives, the way we stay in touch. It's those gadgets, smartphones, apps. Things have changed quickly and opened up many new streams of communication. And if you wait just a little while, there are bound to be new ones being released and embraced.
With all this impacting our lives and those of just about every one around us. Does public speaking matter any more? After all, when Socrates or Plato addressed the crowds in Ancient Greece it made sense people had to speak in person to get attention for their ideas. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address created a buzz because it was delivered on the spot - people who weren't there could only find out about it by newspaper accounts or from someone who had actually been there to hear it.
"But surely we don't need that any more," some people may think. We have so many other tools at our disposal.
It's actually the opposite. Live public speaking matters more today than ever. How can I be sure? Just look around at some of the top Internet marketing gurus, people like Fabienne Fredrickson, Ali Brown, Kendall SummerHawk, Suzanne Evans, David Neagle and more. Each of these people has lists of contacts that exceed 50,000 and some upwards of 100,000. They have all mastered video, they have mastered attracting attention for their programs and products. But when you follow their marketing approaches you see one thing in common - they spend the better part of the year working on ways to attract people to live events.
If anyone could prove that speaking isn't needed, they could. After all, if they could do it all from the comfort of their home base, don't you think they would? Don't you think they'd avoid the air travel, the expenses to put on events and all the possible headaches? Even in this day and age they know that being in a room together with prospects is the single fastest way to motivate them into action. It's at speeches like those that they can close sales in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Let's take someone like Gary Vaynerchuk, who's always been on the cutting edge of using technology to communicate with more people. He recently spoke about using the newest tech approaches to share our stories. How did he present the info? Was it just done right on video? Was it a PowerPoint recorded via Camtasia? Was it just typed onto his blog? No, the first way was to a room full of listeners. Later on the video of the speech was shared, and it was transcribed onto his blog. But the starting point was the live engagement.
If he wasn't still finding that crucial, he could have shot a nicely edited video of himself speaking to the camera and shared it with the masses.
Think too of the explosion of Ted talks. There are more and more of them every week. Why would that be happening if people could get the same impact by shooting a video of them delivering their messages? Because it doesn't have the same impact.
All those tools, devices and apps have created more and more things vying for attention at every moment. We have more and more noise competing with each and every message we're trying to get out there. That makes it harder than ever to have your message stand out when it's delivered electronically. You can improve your odds a little with a better video, a more clever subject line in your emails, a well-done Facebook poll. But the single way that remains to get people focused on you and your message for any appreciable time is this: a public speaking presentation. It's the one time your message can stand out. That's what the experts know. It's still the biggest way nowadays you'll keep having more powerful impact with your people. It's why you want to work with a great public speaking coach.
Don't think of public speaking as yesterday's news. It can make you stand out like never before!
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