Why is public speaking important? It’s a good question and one that we’ve all heard before.
Whether you work in a large corporation or are developing the next incredible start-up business, being able to articulate ideas - the stuff that’s in your head - clearly and confidently will make all the difference. Maybe you have watched a friend or colleague speaking in public? Someone who was able to captivate the audience and leave a lasting impression. This is the power of public speaking. It allows you to communicate ideas and visions to others, it can also help you build credibility and influence within the industry.
Imagine being able to confidently pitch your start-up to investors, present your amazing research findings at a conference or even comment at a live event? These are the opportunities that will connect you with the world at large, the people from outside your network. They are type of things that can transform your trajectory, create whole new landscape to explore and learn, it can also be a lot of fun. In a nutshell, mastering public speaking simply cannot be ignored. It’s about investing in you, giving yourself the best chance, demonstrating who you are – your knowledge, enthusiasm and understanding.
The Fear Of Public Speaking
Let’s be honest, public speaking can be scary and a nerve-wracking roller coaster journey. The thought of standing in front of a group of people, with all eyes on you can trigger feelings of anxiousness and self-doubt. That’s perfectly natural and believe it or not, you should embrace those feelings, however weird that might sound. But it’s ok - it’s completely natural to feel nervous about public speaking, in fact it’s a positive sign, it shows engagement and importance.
There are many tools available, it’s about being honest with yourself about how you learn, where your strengths lie and knowing where your weaknesses are as well. Like any skill, there’s simply no substitute for experience. So it will be no surprise to hear that the first step is to practice, practice, practice. The more you speak in public, the more comfortable and confident you’ll become. Ideally you start small, presenting to a group of friends or colleagues and gradually work your way up towards larger audiences. Perhaps it helps to know that even the most seasoned public speakers make mistakes, it’s part of being human. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you stumble over your words or forget a point, the chances are no one else will notice.
Public Speaking Tips
A quick search online will soon have you deep down a rabbit hole of courses, coaches, whether to ‘Ted’ and not to ‘Ted’. It’s a minefield, not least because many of these people are experts ‘behind the scenes’, coaching and developing, but you can’t see or hear what they are actually like when faced with a real life, public speaking opportunity because nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, posture and gestures are more important than the words you say, including clothing choices.
What Is 'Enclothed Cognition'?
The clothes that someone wears send messages both internally and externally.
Internally, there is the inner critic. As mentioned previously, it’s perfectly natural to feel self-conscious and it is healthy to have some level of anxiousness ahead of public speaking. But to turn down the volume of the inner critic, the clothes that you wear have a significant role to play. What you wear influences your state of mind on two levels. First, it’s about clothing that is appropriate to the task, for example you wouldn’t wear your sweaty gym gear to perform heart surgery in the same way that you wouldn’t go to the beach in your surgical scrubs. The type of clothes that are worn change the outlook to the task at hand and they also set our anticipation of what’s to come. Second and most importantly, they ‘talk’ to the inner critic about the things we love, the happy, good stuff that puts a big smile on our faces – this comes through the choice of colours, design details, patterns and more and is very personal.
Externally, enclothed cognition is pervasive and clothes are projecting messages outwardly towards the audience. It is important once it is understood, that a big amount of daily decisions are based on visual assumptions as they help to make decision-making faster. Sending out the right messages with clothes, therefore, is a genuine skill that is always going to be relevant to the conversation, particularly within public speaking events.
Say Hello to Dan Sodergren
Dan Sodegren has been with DressCode from the very beginning. In 2018, he came to Cambridge and delivered a presentation at the launch of the business. He developed his public speaking profile over a number of years so that today, he’s a regular contributor on the BBC - across both radio and TV - he’s a TedX speaker, he writes for various professional publications and has been instrumental in redefining ‘the future of work’ through YourFlock after the coronavirus period.
Dress For Success
DressCode involved Dan in the design development many times since the start due to shared interest, aligned values and more but foremost because of his expertise on ‘enclothed cognition'. Most notable is the CashCuff contactless payment shirts, which were followed by the Climate Code.
At the time of creating it, working with the British Antarctic Survey and Professor Ed Hawkins, DressCode wanted to share the power of enclothed cognition, support the science and raise awareness of climate challenges. The label, however, was aware that environment and climate are subjects that can often overwhelm people and thus built in some good news stories within the design. The Climate Code shirt works on many levels, it has a great amount of scientific data within the design itself – 800,000 years - but there are also features that show ‘we can make a difference’, which is an important part of the ‘big picture’, it brings new angles into the conversations.
Dan Sodegren x DressCode
May 24th sees a limited edition of Dan’s book, “Overcome – The fear of public speaking”, launched with an introduction to DressCode and their Climate Code work. With this, DressCode wants to show their passion about the power of enclothed cognition, slow-fashion and protecting the climate.
Free e-book for DressCode customers
This is a limited edition of the book, so if you’ve already bought a Climate Code shirt from the label, a unique activation code for your free copy will be in your inbox on Wednesday. For any DressCode shirt bought during May and June there will be a free copy of “OverCome”. Simply order your shirt, men and women's sizes available, through the website and there will be a voucher for a free e-book.