Public speaking: essential for introverts and extroverts alike

Ella Gage, Staff Writer

To get technical, the fear of speaking in front of large groups of people is called glossophobia, a phobia impacting nearly 70 percent of the world’s population. Globally, we have a roughly 50-50 ratio of introverts to extroverts. This is not just a problem introverts face, but nearly half of extroverts as well.
For a skill used so commonly and valued so highly in our society, in everything from English class presentations to parties to job interviews, one would think that more people would be confident talking in front of groups. In high school, as well as most other careers, people do it every day. And yet public speaking remains one of the largest fears globally.
There are a few reasons for this, including the fear of being in fearful situations, the pressure of being evaluated by others, lack of experience, and new audiences. Luckily, most of these problems can be solved to some extent by exposure and practice. The more exposure one has, the more comfortable they become in different situations involving communication to large numbers of people.
Considering how large of a role public speaking plays in success through high school, college, careers and in social skills in general, it’s essential for introverts to take possibly the most dreaded but most beneficial elective offered: public speaking. It prepares students for years of success and teaches an ability to communicate, even for a person whose default is being quiet. Better to learn now in a low-pressure environment rather than a high-stakes job interview five years from now, right?
An recent UCLA psychology study shows that people who have difficulty public speaking get paid wages approximately ten percent lower than their counterparts who are comfortable with public speaking. That could make a huge difference in where you end up working and how successful you are. It’s absolutely essential, not only as a life skill but as a virtual necessity to a career.
That being said, public speaking skills are equally as crucial for extroverts as they are for introverts. Just because someone’s comfortable in the spotlight doesn’t mean they know how to self-regulate, give structured presentations, or communicate effectively.
Public speaking is just one of those things that will always be significant, and not having the ability to speak effectively will always be detrimental.
Liberty offers its own public speaking class. Introverted or extroverted, comfortable in front of people or not, it’s worth taking since it’s better to learn sooner rather than later.
Think about years from now. From boardrooms to meetings to presentations, virtually every economic sector involves some form of public speaking, not to mention the infinite other situations in which one might find themself speaking in front of a large group. Might as well get a head start on a lifetime of public speaking while you still can.