Public speaking skills revealed as key area of development for businesses

public speaking

Conference and events specialists QHotels commissioned a YouGov survey to study UK adults’ attitudes towards public speaking, finding that up to 65 per cent of people are not confident in their public speaking skills.

Confirming that confidence improves with practice, respondents who were required to give presentations in the workplace were much more confident than the average person in their public speaking skills, with only 22 per cent responding that they were not confident.

Countering the assumption that confidence always increases with age, Full-time students were found to be much more confident than full-time workers, with 63 per cent of students having faith in their public speaking skills contrasted with just 48 per cent of people who work full time.

This difference suggests that younger people are having more exposure to public speaking and presentations, particularly in university, which could give them an advantage when it comes to their future careers.

Armed with these findings, the AA Hotel Group of the Year 2014-2015 commissioned former Tony Blair speechwriter Phil Collins to offer advice about how people can improve their presentation skills.

Mr Collins suggests that there are four main areas to the perfect speech: memorable phrases and images, a strong core argument, confident delivery and a sense of personality.

Claire Rowland, Director of Marketing at QHotels, commented: “Our research has brought to light the need for businesses to help boost their employees’ public speaking and presentation skills. These softer skills are often overlooked in the workplace, but are actually vital in career development. Not only does having more confidence in speaking help get your message across more effectively, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area and improve leadership skills.

“The data also suggests that confidence in public speaking tends to be lower among older workers, with 56 per cent of 45-54 year olds lacking confidence in their oratory skills compared to 40 per cent of 18-24s. Our report and perfect pitch crib sheet are now available to assist anyone with an interest in enhancing their skills and confidence in presenting.”

“Our Venue Verdict Award-winning hotels provide a range of conferencing facilities, which are perfect for hosting business talks and showing off those public speaking skills.”