Public speaking is a task many people avoid whenever possible. In fact, it's been said that people fear public speaking more than death. There are pros, though, to giving a speech, presentation or even a toast, that to some may balance out those cons.
Public speaking can boost confidence and, when work-related, have positive affects on job position and respect within the company. A successful public speaking engagement can boost confidence and encourage the speaker to tackle other difficult tasks.
It can be stress-inducing to give a presentation or speech, and time-consuming as there are hours of planning, writing and practicing involved with any public speaking engagement. There is also the risk of embarrassment and failure, which can deplete self-esteem, although the audience typically notices far less errors than the speaker imagines.
You can weigh the pros and cons of public speaking, but sometimes there's no avoiding it. Many professionals will cite the same list of public speaking tips including planning ahead, practicing, and greeting the audience beforehand, when possible. The last tip gives the speaker people to make eye contact with and ensures that the speaker's gaze shifts. This keeps the audience engaged and makes the speaker feel more confident.