Leadership

Why you should master public speaking at a young age, according to the world champion of public speaking

Warren Buffett
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett

To be successful, it's important to get others on your side and be seen, admired and respected as a leader.

"That's where public speaking comes in," Manoj Vasudevan, the 2017 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking, tells CNBC Make It. "To be seen as a leader, you need to move people with your words."

Vasudevan says that learning public speaking is the one thing that can change your life forever and it's best to master the skill at a young age. A person who is able to skillfully express himself or herself as an orator, especially early in life, is more likely to foster better friendships and relationships and build a larger network of collaborators, he says.

Warren Buffett is a good example, according to Vasudevan. Buffett has previously disclosed in his biography, "The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life," that he had to overcome a crippling fear of public speaking when he was in his teens. "You can't believe what I was like if I had to give a talk," he recalls in the biography. "I would throw up."

The self-made billionaire says that he overcame his nerves by enrolling in a public speaking course. "[Buffett] realized early, the importance of mastering public speaking," says Vasudevan.

Mahatma Gandhi is another example, he says. "His presence, his body language, [and] voice were not masterful, but real," says Vasudevan. "He let his message speak louder than his mechanics because he saw himself only as a messenger of hope, non-violence and courage."

Vasudevan suggests that if you want to grow as a leader and persuade people to invest in your ideas, you must also invest in your public speaking skills. Words are extremely powerful, says Vasudevan, because you can use them to move people to act on your ideas.

Manoj Vasudevan is the 2017 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking.
Manoj Vasudevan is the 2017 Toastmasters World Champion of Public Speaking.

In fact, the public speaking champion believes that brilliant ideas are worth nothing until they are brought to life with the power of your words.

"If you can stand up and deliver a well-thought out speech that resonates," he says, "you achieve instant recognition and add momentum to further your purpose and help others achieve theirs."

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See also:

The No. 1 way for introverts to become better at public speaking

A man who's interviewed Bill Gates and Richard Branson says you need this skill to be successful

Top 3 public speaking tips, according to the world champion of public speaking