Haris Ahmed of Chicago on the Repercussions of Bad Public Speaking

According to a Chapman University survey on American fears, our top phobias are public speaking, heights, and bugs. Most people panic the instant they realize they must, at some later date, speak in public. Haris Ahmed of Chicago knows exactly what this entails. He speaks regularly and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Notre Dame on the topics of change and leadership. His experience as a facilitator taught him the importance of public speaking for your personal and professional life. Public speaking is so important that it could be the deciding factor in many things such as your career development, your business growth and even in the relationships you have with your friends and family.

Most people would generally agree that a great deal of the presentations we have to sit through in the business world are awful. They are all too often passionless, boring, and dense with unreadable PowerPoint slides. Good public speaking is important for a lot of reasons. Here are some reasons why it’s important to ace that business presentation:

Bad public speaking cost opportunities.It’s expensive and time-consuming to gather groups of employees, or shareholders, or customers, or the general public together. You should have a good reason for doing so. And you should make the most of the time spent together. Especially in this virtual age, gathering a group of people is an enormous opportunity to move them, to inspire them, to re-excite them about your company, your products, or your mission. Giving a bad presentation can see all these opportunities out the door.

Bad public speaking can hurt your organization.If a leader of an organization gives a bad speech, some portion of the audience will conclude that company has lackluster leadership and therefore won’t do well in the future. It will also give the impression that the organization is wasting the employees time. You don’t want employees concluding these kinds of damaging things. You want them concluding the opposite of these notions, in fact. Make your presentations good.

Good presentations can save a bad situation.Because of the public nature of a speech, it’s a great opportunity to right a wrong done to employees, or correct a misapprehension, or change a perception. Things said from the stage to an assembled majority of an organization have the force of corporate legislation. Words uttered by a chief executive in public can heal. Employees will act on what is proclaimed, and an organization headed in the wrong direction can be righted.

Good public speaking can create enormous opportunities for innovation and healthy competition amongst employees.A good public speech can launch a decade-long quest for the moon, or inspire people to compete for a prize for the best new product, or find new ways to save money and make processes more efficient. A good public speech is a great way to throw down the gauntlet to the assembled people to find new solutions to difficult problems.