The Importance of Spoken Word in an Increasingly Digital Workplace
Should CEOs be encouraging more interaction between employees and putting in place initiatives that sharpen presentation, networking and collaborative skills rather than relying on technology?
Here Nick Gold, MD at Speakers Corner, talks about the importance of the spoken work in an increasingly digital workplace.
The internet, we were promised, would bring us closer together. It would make it possible to have communications with people on the other side of the world. We could be accessible from the comfort of our own homes, or, better still, from a beach in the south of France, smartphone in one hand and cocktail in the other. We could be present without really being present. As the MD of a speaker bureau, I wondered if I needed to be worried?
The Digital Threat?
With a wealth of videos, online talks, and podcasts available at the tip of our fingers, it once seemed that the internet might pose a threat to the speaker industry. If stimulating keynote speakers, conference hosts, and comedians were all available within a few clicks, would people still book speakers and travel to live events?
However, these fears have been proven unfounded. As we sit here comfortably living in the digital age, the shift to online media has actually benefitted the speaker industry. There is a power in having someone’s undivided attention at a time when we are bombarded with an overload of information. We spend an increasing amount of time looking at screens, scrolling through feeds and skipping across videos. But when such behaviour becomes second nature, the value of the live event and spoken word becomes stark.
The Power of Attendance
Time spent consuming events and speeches through a screen does not compare to those occasions when we are in a room with other people with a shared sense of purpose: to listen to the speaker delivering their story directly in front of us. The atmosphere of a live event is far more memorable than the monotony of scrolling through feeds on autopilot. Even the increased connectivity offered by social media cannot compare to the potential for bonding in light of a speaker’s comedy, motivation, or emotiveness. The real connection from live performance feels more necessary than ever before.
People leave a speech remembering how they felt. The mood of the room and the value of being present in that moment and with other people produces lasting memories that just aren’t possible after plugging into a screen and listening.
Bringing People Together
The thriving speaker industry has shown the lasting importance of the spoken word, despite the increasing digitization all around us. CEOs need to realise that real, face to face communication is a necessary tool in motivating and empowering the workforce so that they can come up with innovative ideas. Yes, there is space for new models of working, be this flexible hours or remote work, but the importance of real-life interaction remains strong. It is the only way to truly engage people’s hearts and minds.
A great way to benefit from personal interaction and engagement is through live events. CEOs can work with a speaker from their chosen field, collaboratively coming up with their message and desired outcome. When the live event takes place, the speaker is set on delivering a purposeful set, telling stories from their own experience to truly connect with their audience. In the workplace, such an experience not only invokes innovation from the team, but binds them together moving forward and delivering the CEO’s vision.