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Public Speaking Is No Longer a 'Soft Skill.' It's Your Key to Success in Any Field

By Carmine Gallo: Keynote speaker and author, 'Five Stars: The Communication Secrets to Get From Good to Great' @carminegallo

Click here for the original post in Inc. Magazine.


The hard data show that "soft skills" are in high demand.

In a new LinkedIn analysis, "persuasion" was one of the top skills "most worth learning" in 2019. "Strengthening a soft skill is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style," according to the study.

After conducting dozens of interviews for Five Stars, my new book on persuasion, I've concluded that it's time to stop referring to public speaking and the art of persuasion as "soft skills." A wealthy entrepreneur at Y-Combinator, the iconic investment firm behind startups such as Reddit and Airbnb, persuaded me to stop using the term. During our conversation, he called out my mistake.

"Let's talk about a soft skill like storytelling," I said.  

"Soft?" he shot back. "If an entrepreneur...

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There's leadership. And, there's courageous leadership.

As I redesign my message on courage to be RESPONSE ABILITY: A Call for Courageous Leadership, I assert there are some of you who have asked the question, “What the heck is courageous leadership?” This is a very valid question, especially with so many definitions of leadership out there and many of them including some kind of qualifier: ethical leadership, servant leadership, organizational leadership, personal leadership…on and on. So, how is courageous leadership distinct from any general definition of leadership along with any variation of it? 
To answer this question, I must first provide my definition and then look at how this stacks up against others. First, to be clear, this is not simply about leadership.  It’s not about simply being courageous.
Courageous leadership is standing up, stepping in, and speaking out. That’s it. It’s that simple. Yet, it’s not easy. 
I can expand on this by defining...
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