Ask people to name the thing they are most terrified of, and a pretty large number of them will respond, “public speaking.” Standing up in front of a group and speaking loudly and clearly is an undertaking that gives many people the jitters. This fear can be overcome with practice and knowledge, but the average college student does not always have a lot of opportunities to practice and learn about public speaking.
NSCS can help with that! Our members have plenty of opportunities to practice and hone their public speaking skills. Not only can they learn to be more comfortable and confident on stage, but they can learn how to more effectively deliver messages that their audience will listen to and learn from. This skill and confidence will serve students well as they move into professional school or into the workplace.
What Students Have to Say
We asked some of our members how NSCS membership helped then develop their public speaking skills. Alex Rye, an NSCS member from Michigan State University, responded,
“It’s about getting out of your comfort zone. I’d never really public spoke before, but at the induction ceremony, I spoke to over 500 people at once.”
Alex’s response really illustrates how, from the very beginning, NSCS members have opportunities to speak to large groups. Alex spoke at the induction ceremony, during which new NSCS members were inducted. His speech was powerful and well-taken — and it gave as much to Alex as it did to his audience.
Alex went on to explain,
“It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but as I kind of broke the ice a little bit, it just started to flow. It felt great at the end. “
What he experienced during this public speaking experience is so common and typical. Students feel a bit intimidated by public speaking, but as soon as they actually get up on front of a crowd and practice, they quickly start to feel more comfortable and empowered. They learn, in a hands-on way, what it feels like to connect with the audience and get into the flow. We bet the next time Alex got up to speak to a crowd, he felt a lot more comfortable from the get-go.
The Benefits of Public Speaking Skills
There are so many reasons why it’s important for college students to form good public speaking skills, both through NSCS opportunities and other experiences.
Did you know that fear of public speaking tends to decrease wages? Students who take the time to hone their public speaking skills tend to earn more throughout their careers. This is especially true of students who plan on working in management. Public speaking fear tend to decrease the chances of promotion to a management role, whereas employees who are skilled public speakers are more likely to be promoted.
Public speaking skills also help students better spread their knowledge and opinions. The more composed a person is when talking, the more effectively they can deliver their message to the audience. They’re likely to be able to speak with more clarify and nuance, which helps them get their point across. This is true in a wide range of fields, from science to communications. So regardless of major or concentration, NSCS members can benefit from the public speaking opportunities the society provides.
Fear of public speaking is so common, even among the highly educated. NSCS is proud to offer our students plenty of opportunities to face their fears and improve their public speaking skills, which will serve them well as they enter the workforce.