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The History and Importance of Public Speaking

Since the beginning of time, spoken words have been of paramount importance in the arena of communication. Let’s look at the history and importance of public speaking today.

If one traces the evolution of mankind from its initial stage one will find that the nomadic family of savages relied wholly upon what its members said to one another. As mankind evolved, groups of families formed clans or tribes. In these tribes, the folks still heard the instructions of their leaders.

  • The Value of Public Speaking | Amalia Sterescu | TEDxCambridgeSchoolofBucharest
    YouTube Video
    The Value of Public Speaking | Amalia Sterescu | TEDxCambridgeSchoolofBucharest
Story-tellers, in all aboriginal societies were valuable spreaders of knowledge, entertainment, and religion. Story-telling was entirely oral those days. In well-structured communities such as the city republic of Greece, all matters were discoursed in open gatherings in front of the masses.

Many great periods of the world’s evolution has shown the paramount importance of speech upon human action, individual and communal. In the Roman Forum speeches were made that impacted the entire ancient world. Renaissance Italy, imperial Spain, unwieldy Russia, freedom loving England, revolutionary France, all experienced epochs when powerful men and women stirred the people into passionate action with their vociferous speeches.

The history of the United States was greatly influenced by great speakers who delivered inspirational speeches. The colonists were directed to resolute action by convincing speeches. The Colonial Congresses and Constitutional Convention were controlled by influential orators. The history of the slavery problem is largely the epic of famous discourses and debates. Most successful Americans rose to high levels of leadership due to their ability to influence their people. Presidents have been nominated and sacked because of their public speaking skills (or the lack of it).

During World War I & II, the billions of the world were as much anxious with what some of their leaders were saying as with what their other leaders were doing.

There is no facet of modern life in which the spoken word is not supreme in importance. Even written agreements are normally preceded by spoken words (such as debate, discussions and deliberation) first.

Representatives of the countries of the world deliberating upon a peace accord can easily be swayed by speech. In state assemblies, town councils, courts of law, religious bodies, theatres, hotels, societies, boards of management, shareholders’ meetings, business negotiations, classrooms, dinner gatherings, social events, or any other friendly call where two people meet there is communication by means of speech.

Therefore, it is crucial to learn public speaking and effective communication skills in order to influence people, change the world and uplift the spirit of the people.