What’s in it for you? Why is it important to invest in your abilities of communicating clearly, effectively and with confidence? In these series of posts I will help you break your mental status quo and show you where you are potentially missing out in life right now. And missing out sucks, doesn’t it?


Most people will not put their time into developing speaking skills. Chances are that before reading this book I would have found you in the same bucket. Don’t feel bad though…

There is something very important for you to realize. It is NOT your fault.

Now that you feel better about yourself, close your eyes and get back to your school times. Can you recall any focused, educational effort to make you a better speaker? Primary school? Secondary? College? University? Anything? If you can name something – perhaps you were are a member of a very small club.

But even then. Was this a focused effort? Or were you simply giving a presentation? Where was the focus? The content or form?

I bet it was the content. In most cases your teachers were also focusing on the content. This explains why half of the class either slept through the lecture or could not remember a thing the next day!

You see, no wonder that according to various studies 74% of humanity is afraid of speaking in public.

Why? Because this is a concept that is introduced to us way too late in our life. Usually at work, when we are exposed to other “speakers” who try to keep their heads above the water when giving a corporate presentation or during team meetings

Being afraid is absolutely normal and to be expected. It’s in our DNA.

How Much Would Warren Buffet Pay You Now?

I am sure you heard of Warren Buffett. If you did, then we don’t need to further elaborate on the fact that when it comes to business, when Warren speaks, we should listen.

A few years back Buffett was attending a TV show at CNBC where he answered Columbia Business student’s questions. Generous as he is, he said that he was willing to give $100,000 to anyone in the audience, in exchange for 10% of their future earnings.

Now, here is the twist, Buffet continued – If I would know that a person is a great public speaker, I’d be willing to give that person $150,000 for that 10% of future earnings.

Why?

Because success in life is directly correlated with your communication abilities. He would be willing to pay more because that is the safe investment of his capital.

A person with decent public speaking and communication skills is valued at least 50% more than the rest.

In another interview Buffett said that not learning public speaking could be your liability for the next 50 years of your life. Naturally, if you invest your time and attention – that would become your asset.

So here we have it. Black on white. A person with decent public speaking and communication skills is valued at least 50% more than the rest by one of the most successful business people of our times.

You Will Stand Apart From The Crowd

There is a reason for this outstanding perceived value on speaking skills which ties back to the lack of focused, educational effort we discussed above.

It is rare.

And that’s a good thing for you and me. Commodities are not getting paid a premium. Scarcities are.

Speaking well will get you the attention of customers, management, investors or potential business partners.

It’s the iron law of the market. The less goods available, the more they cost.

Speaking well will get you the attention of customers, management, investors or potential business partners.

It will pull people toward you. People who can open doors for you and support you in your career. Furthermore it will allow you to aspire to those leadership positions (if that’s your thing). Ever heard that not every speaker is a leader, but every good leader is a good speaker? Well, now you did.

Speaking well will allow you to stand out at work, as you will happily volunteer to run a meeting, deliver a presentation to the board or fill-in for your boss.

You will be confidently voicing your opinions in places where most people will look for a way to hide in plain sight so that they are not asked to say anything.

This stuff gets noticed.

Think about it. What could it mean for your career?


Want to know what else is in it for you? Check other posts in these series:

(more coming soon!)

Wojciech is a trainer, teacher and life-long learner on the topic of effective communication. He believes that speaking clearly, effectively and with confidence is essential to our success and taking advantage of all life’s opportunities. READ MORE
  • Last time at my company one of senior managers lead a presentation. Boring, not exciting and ugly power point presentation.
    I was asking myself “how it was possible for her to become the manager, seeing that she is not even able to make a presentation?”, so it is true – public speaking is a must if you want to achieve something and be respected.

    Warren Buffet example rocks 🙂

    • What a sad and familiar story. Unfortunately, I doubt someone has ever worked with that manager on his speaking/presenting skills. The worst part, in my experience, is this – even though most likely more people than just you had this opinion, nobody told him so.

      This is what I call “fear of heights” in the corporate structure. We are ok with giving honest feedback to peers, but somehow assume that we are not allowed to give feedback above. This is false by design. The only way an organization can grow and develop is by collecting feedback and experiences from bottom-up, and genuinely acting on it.

      The funniest part? Most executives are very welcoming to a well placed feedback, but they never receive it due to “fear of heights” of those below in the food-chain.