Why Do You Speak Publicly?
“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”– Jimi Hendrix
You are a public speaker. Something drew you to this activity. It may be a lifelong dream of yours. It might be encouragement from others. You might have even stumbled into public speaking.
Whatever the reason for you being a public speaker, I believe there are some common reasons you have with other speakers for speaking publicly.
These reasons are to express yourself, help others, and leave a legacy.
Think back to your earliest childhood memories.
Do you remember always wanting to be heard? Even unknowingly as a baby, the reaction you received others from your gurgling, laughter, and facial expressions felt good. It felt good to be recognized. You did something, and there was a change in another person. This good feeling of being heard has stayed with you to this day. It probably has gotten stronger throughout your life.
This feeling of wanting to be heard is inherent in all people worldwide regardless of the country you live in, what religion you observe, or where your place is in the economic hierarchy.
You speak publicly for the same reason you enjoy the laughter of your friends after telling a humorous story.
You speak publicly for the same reason you feel relieved after “getting something off your chest.”
And you speak publicly for the same reason why you have a good feeling after expressing yourself.
Expressing yourself certainly helps you and the world around you, which brings us to the second reason you speak publicly – to help others.
I am no psychologist, but living in this world for a while has taught me a few “rules of the road” when it comes to living.
One of these “rules of the road” is helping others helps ourselves.
When you help another human being, it gives you a warm feeling. And what is your public speaking but helping another human being solve their problem?
I have certainly not been spared life’s challenges, as I am sure you have not been spared either. There are times that you feel down. Welcome to the human race. It is part of the “contract” for living in our world.
If you are down, help others by volunteering in a soup kitchen, providing free tutoring to deserving but struggling high school math students, or visiting shut-in people.
Your public speaking is but another way to help others.
So, expressing yourself and helping others are two reasons why you speak publicly.
The third and final reason for you to publicly speak is to leave a legacy.
Leave a Legacy
Stephen Covey of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People fame wrote another book entitled First Things First. In this book, Covey says all humans have four basic needs – to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a legacy.
As the years pass in your life, you probably will increasingly wonder about the meaning of your life? What will you be leaving the world when you depart it? Will the living remember what you left to this world?
Your public speaking is one way to leave a legacy.
You may never see the effect of your public speaking in encouraging an insecure teenager, supplying critical business advice to a struggling entrepreneur, or providing inspiration to the mother and father at their wits end with seven kids.
One thing is for sure. No matter how old you are, you have accumulated an immense storehouse of knowledge over your life. Your knowledge can immeasurably improve the lives of countless others. You just have to realize this and then impart your knowledge through your public speaking.
Leaving your legacy is a gift to you and to those you leave behind. It will bring meaning to your life.
You know famous people who have left their legacy to the world – Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King, to name a few.
You may not realize the number of people you will never know of who have left their legacy to the world.
Leave your legacy to the world through your public speaking. Fulfill why you are on this earth.
We have explored why you are a public speaker – to express yourself, help others, and leave a legacy.
Public speaking is as old as humankind itself. You are carrying on a tradition that predates recorded history. It is a noble pursuit.
Be proud your public speaking is making the world a better place!
Call to Action
Fully express yourself in all your presentations – your audience has come to hear what YOU think
Help others through your public speaking – give your audience something they can immediately use to solve their life challenges
Determine your legacy and then give it away to your audiences
“Communication: 20% what you know, 80% how you feel about what you know.”– Jim Rohn
Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster, in 2002 because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.
Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.frankdibartolomeo.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals through improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Frank can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (703) 509-4424.
Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!
“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”