public speaking


Why should anybody learn new skills? After all, we’re all adults here, and there’s that whole adage about teaching old dogs new tricks. That didn’t just come from nowhere, so what’s the point? Right? Well, first off, that’s quite a negative outlook. Learning new skills can be hugely beneficial for a whole host of reasons. Here are just some of our favourites.

Increased self esteem

You’re awesome. We already know that. But sometimes it can be difficult to keep in mind. One way to remind yourself exactly how great you are is to learn new skills. After all, who would have though that you’d be speaking five languages in your thirties when you spoke none as a kid? Amazing. There’s nothing like taking on challenges and smashing them to make you feel like a badass.

The chance to get in the zone

Learning new skills gives you the opportunity to get in the zone. The zone is a great place to be. For the uninitiated, it’s that moment where you’re concentrating so hard on the task at hand that everything around you ceases to exist. That means all of your stress, distractions, other people, everything. It’s almost like magic, but a magic you can recreate any time.

Increased satisfaction

Can’t get no satisfaction? Maybe you need to make a positive change in your life. If you feel stuck in a rut it can be difficult to see a way to improve things, but learning a new skill is a small step in the right direction. Maybe you usually go home and log straight on to Netflix. It’s not so different to go home and then join an online class. The only difference is that you’ve suddenly become super-productive with no extra movement involved, and that’s an achievement.

Increased creativity

You might become an amazing creative genius as you continue to develop in one particular discipline. However, you might also find that adding to your roster of skills can give you a chance to work out problems in another area of your creative life. For example, suffering from writer’s block? Pick up a ukulele or learn to cross stitch, and stop worrying about it for a while. You might be surprised how much it helps.

Improve your memory

Learning something new is a great way to keep your mind active. This is especially important as we get older. Sure, you could just do a bunch of Sudoku puzzles, but wouldn’t it just be that little bit cooler to become a badass guitar-playing rockstar instead? Thought so.

You could literally change your life

Always fantasised about moving to Italy? You could start learning the language. If you do that, you’ve just taken your first step to actually living the actual dream. Similarly, if you’ve always wanted to be a chef, you could start with a few basic cookery classes. The world is so well-connected these days that you can find somebody who can teach you all of the new skills you’ve ever wanted to learn to change your life.

Higher income

Maybe you want to make more money. Firstly, we do not blame you. And secondly, it’s all about adding value, and new skills can do that. Learning a second language, picking up some writing skills, or improving your public speaking could all help you on the road to earning more. And if your current employer isn’t bothered that you’ve gone the extra mile, you might find somewhere else that appreciates your increasingly-abundant talents.


So what new skills are you raring to learn? At HowNow we’re making it possible to learn awesome stuff from experts all over the world. We can’t wait to see what you choose.

Public speaking can be a necessary evil in a lot of industries, whether you’re speaking up at the big sales meeting, or giving a lecture about horticulture in Spain. So how can you find the confidence to get up there and say what you have to say? Standing up in front of a hundred pairs of eyes might not be in your comfort zone, but it doesn’t mean it has to become the bane of your existence.

Public speaking tip No. 1: Don’t write a script

If you’re nervous it can be very tempting to over-prepare and write everything you have to say into a script. But what happens if you get thrown off? If you’ve practised but not scripted your talk, the chances are you’ll have at least a vague idea of what you have to discuss next. If, however, you’re reliant on cues to know what comes next, you might find yourself feeling stuck if you skip a line.

Public speaking tip No. 2:Remember that nobody else knows what you’re going to say

Unless you’ve given out a copy of your speech in advance (which we would recommend avoiding in accordance with point 1), nobody knows exactly what you’re going to say. If you skip a line or say the wrong word they’ll never know. So while it might feel like the end of the world when you’re standing there with your heart racing and your palms sweating, nobody will know there’s anything wrong if you don’t let on. Public speaking is all about styling it out.

Public speaking tip No. 3:Practise makes perfect

Practise what you’re going to say, yes. But if there’s likely to be a big element of public speaking in your career you should practise that too until it becomes simply a matter of fact which, in time, it will.

Public speaking tip No. 4:Let yourself be bad

If you have more than one speaking engagement lined up, the chances are one of them will be bad. Just like if you have more than one train journey in your calendar, one of them will probably be delayed. It’s not a comment on your abilities, it’s just simple probability. It will never be as bad as it feels at the time anyway, and once you experience the thing you’re afraid of, you’ll know just how little it matters in the long run. A bad performance could be a very positive thing.

Public speaking tip No. 5:Ask for help if you need it

If you need to test out what you’re trying to say on somebody impartial, do it. Your friends and family might not be the most willing volunteers but they’ll probably be prepared to sit and listen in exchange for a drink or more trivial things like your self-confidence and possibility of career progression. Minor things.

Public speaking tip No. 6:Don’t picture the audience naked

It’s classic public speaking advice, but yuck.

public speaking
We’ve tried to give some basic pieces of advice here, but everybody is different. A more tailored approach can often be better. For more individual advice take a look at HowNow for your chance to learn from the masters.