How Public Speaking Can Make You Smarter

Done right, public speaking can make your brain bigger
Done right, public speaking can make your brain bigger
Image Credit: Michael Horton

Nope, I don’t think that there is anyone out there who thinks that despite the importance of public speaking that giving a speech is an easy thing to do. First there is the process that you have to go through to come up with a good idea for a speech, then you have to write the speech and this is followed by countless hours of practicing the speech and finally you have to go through the nerve racking process of actually giving the speech. Not an easy thing to do. However, working out is not an easy thing to do either. Could it be possible that giving a speech is similar to giving your brain a workout?

A Brain Is Either Growing Or It’s Not

In the world of business, we often say that a company is either growing or its shrinking. The concept of just standing still really does not exist. It turns out that when we’re talking about your brain, the same rule applies. Our brains have a very interesting characteristic called neuroplasticity which simply means that they are ever changing. What this means for you is that depending on what is going on in your life your brain will either be getting bigger or getting smaller.

When it comes to giving a good speech, this requires a number of different skills on our part. These skills include such things as being able to be aware of the time, not fumbling our words, etc. These skills don’t just happen, we need to practice giving speeches in order to make sure that our brains get a bit bigger and they record how we are supposed to give a speech. What’s happening is that all of the effort that we are putting into creating, practicing, and delivering a speech results in our brains forming neurons which then grow and form stronger and longer neural pathways.

Giving speeches will cause your brain to grow and will have real benefits for you. What other speakers have found is that by going through all of the effort required to give a speech they were able to do a better job of focusing, paying attention to what was being said, and not being distracted by other things that were going on in their environment were all enhanced by public speaking. Special speaking skills like storytelling can have additional benefits such as allowing us to build bridges between our short term memory and our longer saved memories. Overall, going through the process of creating and delivering a speech will provide us with a boost of intellectual stimulation that will have long-lasting positive effects on us.

The Brain Is In Charge Of Everything

I can only speak for myself, but I tend to view everything that happens in the body as being a part of a separate subsystem. It turns out that I’m a bit off in my thinking. Yes, there may be different parts of the body that control different functions; however, at the end of the day, the brain is in control of everything. The most important things that our brains are able to regulate for us are our emotions..

What regulating our emotions means to a public speaker is that what our brain is going to allow us to do is to reduce the amount of stress that we fell when we are giving a speech. As I’m pretty sure that we’ve all experienced, if we allow negative thoughts to enter our brains as the time to give a speech approaches, then our stress level just very well may go through the roof.

Since we are in charge of how our brain works, this give us the ability to regulate our emotions. When we start to detect the negative voices in our head starting to increase in volume, this is exactly the time that we need to take charge. When this happens, you can do several things. The simplest is to consciously banish the voices – tell them to go away. Another thing that you can do is to start to tell yourself positive things. The volume of your positive messages will grow to such a level inside of your head that you’ll no longer be able to hear the negative voices. Finally, sometimes you just want to remove yourself from the emotional situation that you find yourself in. Switch environments by going outside or taking a walk. This can help allow your brain to quiet your internal voices and thereby get your emotions under control.

What All Of This Means For You

Our brains are a wonderful thing. From the day that we are born to our final day on this planet, our brains are constantly changing. A brain is either growing or shrinking and what you are currently doing is will determine what its doing right now. It turns out that the effort level involved in preparing and delivering a speech in order to share the benefits of public speaking is something that we can do that will cause our brains to grow.

Giving a speech involves selecting a topic, writing the speech, practicing the speech, and then actually delivering the speech. All of these activities can cause your brain to get bigger. As your brain grows in size, you’ll discover that you now have other skills also. These may include doing a better job of focusing, paying attention to what was being said, and not being distracted by other things that were going on in your environment. Your brain is also in charge of your emotions and so this means that by using your brain you can quiet the little voices that show up in your head and start to boost your stress level.

What all of this comes down to is the simple fact that you, and your brain, are in charge of how your next speech is going to turn out. Your brain is an amazing device and you have full control over it. Take the time to understand how you can cause your brain to get bigger as a part of preparing for your next speech and you’ll be able to amaze and wow your audience as you show them just how smart you are!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that working with other people can provide you with a way to get your emotions under control?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

So what’s the hardest part of giving a speech? I think that the most difficult thing to do is to actually create a great speech – one that your audience is going to want to listen to. All of us want to create a great speech, it’s just that we really don’t quite know how to go about doing this. It turns out that what we really should be working on is our own personal creativity. The more creative you are, the better a speech you will produce.