Hate public speaking? You’re not alone. But being good at it can change your life

Developing oracy skills can help individuals to navigate complex social and professional environments, writes Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Saturday 15 July 2023 16:13 BST
<p>Effective communication is necessary in every aspect of life</p>

Effective communication is necessary in every aspect of life

How many times have you heard someone say they were afraid of public speaking? Whether it was a colleague, a family member, a friend – or even yourself – standing up in front of a crowd is enough to send shivers down the spines of many. On the other hand, some seem destined to be in the spotlight and positively thrive in situations where they can hold court.

People often assume that being good at speechmaking is an innate gift, leaving no hope for everyone else to reach such levels of poise. This could not, however, be further from the truth. Indeed, the ability to express oneself concisely, clearly and convincingly is a skill that can be acquired just as you are learning to read or are taught to add up.

While literacy and numeracy are widely recognised as the essential academic skills, the importance of oracy – the ability to express oneself through speech – is often overlooked. Literacy enables individuals to comprehend and share ideas through writing, while numeracy equips them with the ability to understand and work with numbers.

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