Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper

Training in delivering speech vital to future career

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Reed Markham :
Higher education websites often list public speaking as the most feared course in colleges and university today yet training in speech is vital to a student's college experience and future career. Some college students say they would rather die than take a course in communication skill development. Over the years of teaching communication courses, I have yet to hear of a student who passed away due to learning about speech. National experts agree that oral communication training has tremendous value. One of the top universities in the Nation, the University of Colorado completed a survey of faculty and students across the curriculum. Both groups agreed that students are deficient in the following: expressing ideas clearly, organizing messages, expressing ideas concisely, using evidence, using a speaking voice, controlling anxiety, and listening effectively. College training in oral communication will is a remedy for each of these deficiencies.
Leaders of several college admit that students are increasingly deficient in the about to present an organized and coherent presentation.
Yet this skill has become steadily more important in a world which requires collaboration between specialists in widely varying fields. Requiring an oral presentation course is a great way to help students who are deficient in their presentation efforts.
The highest unemployment rate is among new college graduates. I am sure that many of these graduates found a way to avoid taking a speech class in college and now realize that confident public speaking skills can be their ticket to a successful job interview.
According to many job forecasting websites, verbal communication is ranked as one of the most sought after skills.
In today's highly competitive job market, strong public speaking skills will help our students get that first job and later advance in the workplace. Public speaking course can teach college students how to be successful speakers.
It was reported this year that Warren Buffet's net worth is 87 billion dollars. Buffet has repeatedly shared with college students that you can substantially boost your value as a business professional by improving your speaking skills. Buffett once told a class of business students that he would pay anyone in the audience $100,000 for 10 percent of their future earnings.
If they were strong public speakers, he would raise his bid by 50 percent. He recognized the value of public speaking skills in the workplace. Students who successfully complete an oral presentation course raise their value in America's very competitive work environment.
National survey have found that only a fraction of today's college graduates possess the speech skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Strong oral communication skills are often cited as the quality employers look for in a new employee. I remember attending a professional conference that brought together CEOs of several companies, college presidents and faculty. The convention focused on the problems in higher education together. Every company leader identified a lack of communication skills as a major problem with new college graduates. Millennials struggle with communication skills. I imagine a lack of communication skills is a reason why many millennials have difficulty keeping a job and why many are getting fired from positions. With our continuing technological advancement, it's likely that the need for strong communication skills instruction will become even more vital in colleges and in the workplace. There is a reason why public speaking is a required course in America's leading college preparatory schools.

(Reed Markham teaches public speaking courses at Daytona State College. Daytona State College has one of the leading online business programs in the Nation).

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