The public speaking skills of Australians have gone backwards because of COVID

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The public speaking skills of Australians have gone backwards because of COVID-19, where enforced lockdowns have reduced levels of physical human contact and shattered confidence.

There has been a sharp decline in self-assurance when it comes to public speaking particularly in the workplace, with many employees now surfacing out of isolation after not having any contact with other humans for several months.

Face to face communication is important to maintain our communication skills, and I am seeing so many once-confident executives almost frightened and insecure about facing their teams as they slowly progress back to the office.

With Australians staying at home, this has limited the means of communication to calls, text messages, social media and online video platforms, and we really need regular human contact and conversations to maintain and develop our communication skills.

Professional speakers have credited their fluency in public speaking to the fact that they have always had platforms to exercise their unique communication skills. Sadly, though, the coronavirus outbreak has demanded that preventive measures be taken, which included the suspension of all activities involving the gathering of people, as well as the introduction of social distancing. This means that individuals can no longer actively participate in public speaking activities in front of large audiences.

Even for professionals, constant practice helps improve our ability to communicate effectively. With public speaking, it is no different. The lack of continuous practice, which the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, has been disastrous for our public speaking and presentation skills.

If you are not able to express yourself publicly at times when you want to, it has a way of affecting your morale and reducing your confidence level.

Public speaking involves the process of effectively communicating a message to an audience.  This is significantly useful when trying to propose an idea, advertise a product, communicate value, or attend a job interview.

With increased numbers of people out of work in 2020, it is encouraged for people to master and improve their skills through public speaking training.