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Employers need to do more to help develop staff confidence

Employers should be doing more to help workers develop confidence in their public speaking skills, new research from conference and events specialists, QHotels, reveals.
QHotels commissioned a YouGov survey to study the attitudes of UK conference and events professionals towards public speaking. The survey found that a fifth of those people required to give presentations in the workplace are not confident in their public speaking skills.

The research also showed that of those who were not required to give presentations in the workplace, 65 per cent were unconfident in their public speaking skills. As part of the research, QHotels - the AA Hotel Group of the Year - collaborated with former speech writer to Tony Blair, Phil Collins, to offer advice to conference and event professionals about how they can improve their presentation skills.  

Mr Collins examined five successful contemporary speeches given by Steve Jobs, J.K Rowling, Emma Watson, Seth Godin and Sir Ken Robinson.  

He suggests there are four main elements to the perfect speech: memorable phrases and images, a strong core argument, confident delivery and a sense of personality.  

“The main argument is where you have to start. When speeches fail to capture the imagination of the audience it is almost always because it is not crystal clear what the speaker is trying to say,” Mr Collins said.  

“A good script, read out loud, is better than a bad script but it does not make a speech. That demands some individual magic. It is worth looking in turn at how each of these speakers brings themselves to the podium. It is, of all the skills, perhaps the hardest.”  

Claire Rowland, director of marketing at QHotels said: “Our research has brought to light the need for businesses to help boost their employees’ public speaking and presentation skills. These softer skills are often overlooked in the workplace, but are actually vital in career development. Not only does having more confidence in speaking help get your message across more effectively, it allows you to demonstrate your knowledge in a subject area and improve leadership skills.  

“Because of this, we have worked with Mr Collins to delve further into what makes a great speech and provide advice to people who are looking to improve these skills.  

“Our Venue Verdict award-winning hotels provide a range of conferencing facilities, which are perfect for hosting business talks and showing off those new-found public speaking skills.”  

QHotels has created its ‘Science of the Perfect Pitch’, a resource where conference and event professionals can find advice and tips when preparing a speech and download the QHotels perfect pitch crib sheet. Visit:

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