While it might send you into a spin and get your knees knocking at the very thought of having to stand up in front of people and give a presentation, the skill of public speaking is considered a valuable asset within many professions. Public speaking on your resume is a great quality to add to your repertoire. Many employers place a premium value on public speaking skills.
Candidates who possess polished and articulate public speaking skills are often placed in prominent roles within a company, with many finding themselves on a fast-track to securing leadership positions. This is because a leader often needs to speak and present to a roomful of people. You can’t ask someone who’s shy and retiring to do this. Or someone with a distinct lack of confidence. So you turn to the employees who have shown promise and know how to hold a crowd.
But what if you are angling for another role? How do you include public speaking skills on a resume?
No need to fret. You have come to the right place. We have the know-how you need to make employers aware of your valuable communication style by showing how to present public speaking on your resume.
What is public speaking?
First up, let’s quantify what public speaking actually is. It is the ability to stand up in front of an audience and deliver an oral speech or presentation. It works whether that is a live audience or a remote one, as you are still presenting to a large number of people in public.
It can be used to sell a product or a service to a client, galvanize your team, or pitch for a new contract. Presentations can incorporate many different topics and have many different goals – to entertain, educate, inform, or even influence listeners.
The presentation needs to be engaging, powerful, and memorable. You have got to hold the audience in the palm of your hand so as not to lose their interest. These are great assets to have throughout your career.
These types of presentations can be the difference between failure and success. So, presenting information effectively and clearly is key when connecting with your audience and getting your message out there.
Why do public speaking skills matter?
It’s important to understand why public speaking skills are in such high demand. For someone comfortable with communicating ideas effortlessly, public speaking skills might seem like something that everyone can do, at the drop of a hat. After all, we are communicating with other people every single day of the year.
However, lots of people are not that comfortable when speaking in a public setting. Many shrink from being called upon in class, business, or conference meetings, or other settings where there is a large group. Others are wary of being asked to make presentations, train up other employees, or take on a role that puts them under the spotlight.
Call it stage fright, if you will. The average professional just isn’t all that excited about being the center of attention in any training session or discussion. And employers understand that fact. Most organizations have dealt with employees who struggle to communicate ideas when they’re put in those types of settings. As a result, those employers recognize just how rare and important public speaking skills truly are--and really value those job candidates who possess them.
Read our experts' opinion on the best skills to put on your resume in 2023.
Public speaking and communication skills list
Unlike some types of skills, public speaking is not a single skill that you can simply list on a resume. Instead, public speaking skills encompass a variety of skills that combine to make you come across as an effective public communicator on your resume. Moreover, you are unlikely to find too many job postings that specifically ask for public speaking skills.
Instead, many of these postings will mention relevant key skills that might make you an effective public speaker. By learning to recognize these communication capabilities, you can more effectively convey your public speaking ability to a potential employer.
The ability to read your audience
One of the most important public speaking skills is the ability to accurately read your audience, or “read the room” as this modern phrase sums it up, by picking up on subtle, nonverbal cues of your attendees. You should be able to determine what they need to hear, adjusting your communication during the speech to accommodate their reaction. Do they seem engaged? Are they visibly bored? Restless? Confused?
A speaker who can read the room well knows how to stay on the right track to get across their message.
An articulate presentation of ideas
Are you an articulate speaker? In this scenario, articulate doesn’t just mean the ability to speak clearly. It means being able to convey complex ideas in an easily understood manner. If your skills include being articulate, be sure to mention those attributes of public speaking in your resume.
An engaging presence and style
Do you command presence when you are on a stage, enter a room, or during a meeting? Have you got that certain je ne sais quoi or X factor? The best public speakers, trainers, and educators have an engaging way about them. They also have a style that captures and sustains the attention of any audience. Employers can always utilize employees with these types of public speaking skills.
The ability to write a speech or presentation
Whether you’re a solid writer or someone who composes presentations on the fly, based on something you scribbled on the back of an envelope 10 minutes ago, composition skills are critical. If your public speaking skills include the ability to compose presentations, be sure to convey that information on your resume. And don’t forget to include key composition skills like research ability, organization of ideas, and storytelling.
Knowledge of presentation technology
These days, no set of public speaking skills is complete without some sort of familiarity with technology. For example, skills in this area include the ability to create presentation slides and manage the functional operation of a presentation.
But it can strike horror into the heart of any audience member when a speaker stands up, declaring, “I’ve just got 100 slides to get through this morning.” While PowerPoint presentations are commonly used for seminars, meetings, and other public speaking engagements, keep these to a minimum, reduce the number of words, and pack them full of images.
Your slides should not make that much sense without you telling the story alongside. You want members of the audience to be focused on you speaking--not on the slides.
Don't just say that you have public speaking skills. Instead, describe those specific skills that demonstrate your oratory abilities.
Job descriptions might mention leading meetings, presenting information, or speaking at conferences. This can encompass many job titles, such as teachers and educators, managers, and sales and marketing positions.
Examples of public speaking skills on a resume
Now that you have a clearer idea of what public speaking skills are, let’s put it into practice by showing off some examples of how to include public speaking on your resume.
You can tailor the examples below to suit your own situations, positions, and responsibilities.
Showcases well-honed public speaking skills, developed over the course of a 10-year career as a sales trainer, marketing consultant, and seminar speaker.
Presented technical studies and project proposals on a regular rolling programme across the year at ABC Corp.
Created and led the mentor advisory board at XYZ Inc, training more than 100 corporate mentors.
Conducted client / employee workshops for ABC Corp on a bi-annual basis.
Skilled in presentation composition, communications technology including PowerPoint, and engaging, articulate audience presentations.
Public speaking skills can be a quality that sets you apart from job search competitors. When you recognize that fact, and properly include them in your resume, those skills can be the key to landing you an interview and the great job that you deserve.
Best of luck with your ongoing job search.
Still not quite sure how to add public speaking onto your resume? Well, it’s your lucky day. Delve into a freebie by uploading your resume to ZipJob’s free resume review and see where it takes you.
Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer, Elizabeth Openshaw, Editor & Content Writer
Elizabeth Openshaw is an Elite CV Consultant with over 12 years of experience based in Brighton, UK, with an English degree and an addiction to Wordle! She is a former Journalist of 17 years with the claim to fame that she interviewed three times Grand Slam winner and former World No.1 tennis player, Andy Murray, when he was just 14 years old. You can connect with her at Elizabeth Openshaw | LinkedIn.