By: Bernard Abass Kargbo – Public Education Officer, ACC
Our society's backbone is communication. It enables us to build bonds, influence decisions, and inspire change. The ability to grow in the workplace and life would be practically impossible without communication skills. The process of creating and presenting a message to an audience is known as public speaking. Understanding your audience and speaking goals, selecting aspects for your speech that will engage your audience with your issue, and delivering your message successfully are all part of effective public speaking.
An important skill to have and hone in spreading anti-graft messages is public speaking. It improves a better understanding between the Commission and members of the public. It can also have a big impact on your career path and level of success in persuading people to turn away from corrupt practices.
Speak up if you disagree with something going on in your area. One of the best ways to change our culture is through the power of speech. Ordinary people use their voices to affect their communities in a variety of ways all around the world. To make a real difference in your community, people should speak up, for example, against corruption. One of the most fantastic benefits of being a citizen in a democracy is having the ability to speak up. Thus, if there is something you don't like, use your voice to demand the change you want to see.
Public speaking is another method of persuasion. Throughout our daily lives, we are regularly expected to convince, inspire, or in some other way persuade people to change their thoughts, take action, or reconsider a decision. Influencing people through public speaking is necessary for promoting a corrupt-free society and convincing others to quit doing so, as well as motivating high school pupils to establish the moral values of honesty, transparency, integrity, and responsibility in them.
There are numerous reasons why public speaking is vital in the battle against corruption, but for this edition, I will focus on three of the most important ones:
1. To Win Over People
A crucial tool in the fight against corruption is persuasion, or the ability to persuade others. This is especially true in the field of public relations. Public speaking enables you to make your point engagingly and convincingly when making an argument for or against anything to an audience. It all starts with brushing up on your public speaking skills. The power of persuasion can go a long way toward changing people's perceptions about the fight against corruption (dangers of corruption and benefits of having a corrupt-free society). Gaining confidence and, with it, a composed and purposeful demeanor in front of an audience are two benefits of becoming a skilled public speaker.
The capacity to speak in front of a crowd demands a compelling argument on corruption-related issues, which is not only essential but also required for advancement. For example, one must use strong, persuading language to arouse astonishment and attention while explaining why examination malpractice or abuse of office is horrible and thus a corruption charge. A good public speaker will inspire interest in learning and subsequent action on the part of the listeners.
2. To Motivate People
A great public speaker develops the ability to persuade an audience to act, refrain from acting, alter behavior, or accomplish goals. But, to advance thought, you must be able to engage and energize your audience.
Speaking in front of an audience might inspire them to work harder to achieve their goals. The ability of political institutions and society to overcome apathy and fragility, as well as individual readiness and attitudes, are all important aspects in the battle against corruption. As a skilled public speaker, it is your responsibility to persuade the audience that corruption is not normal or acceptable in our society and to foster an atmosphere where everyone is willing to roll up their sleeves and give up the "I can't influence anything anymore," "it doesn't concern me," or "it happens" mentality. Speaking is more than just trying to persuade an audience to do something; speakers may share their enthusiasm and drive because they are actively involved in the action.
Just being knowledgeable about the subjects at hand is insufficient; you must also inspire your audience to share your excitement. The fight against corruption has been on a winning streak over the last five years due to the Anti-Corruption Commission's robust public engagement and outreach, as well as the high level of awareness and acceptance of the Commission among citizens. Arguments on important issues have been won simply because one candidate was a better public speaker than the other.
3. To Inform
One of the most crucial parts of public speaking is the ability to inform. From presenting research papers and PowerPoint presentations in school to pitching ideas and pitches to your boss or client, effective public speaking is an important part of raising public awareness about the ills of corruption, the benefits of its eradication, and how the public can help the ACC fight corruption across the board. An excellent informative speech sharing your knowledge of a subject with an audience boosts their understanding and makes them remember your words long after you've finished, once you've gained their attention. For example, you might be asked to engage in discussions with students and employees at a secondary school about examination malpractice or bribes. This type of public speaking, whether it is presenting demonstrations or sharing critical information on a topic, is a necessary talent in today's fight against corruption.
The Public Education and External Outreach Department is one of the most important Departments at the ACC because they are the ones who interact with the public, and it is also their mandate in Section 7 (2) (o) "to educate the public on the dangers of corruption and the benefits of its eradication, as well as to enlist and foster public support in the fight against corruption."
Therefore, our hopes to better end corruption or keep it to its barest minimum lie in our willingness to speak up convincingly, with the needed data about what obtains and how. This has been the lifeline on which the Public Education and External Department of the ACC is anchored to inform and educate the public on what the Commission does and how. But can we safely say that this is all communication should be about? The public too must communicate these messages and use them to hold public officials accountable should corruption be tamed. If we speak up about the ills, we are sure to better handle them for the betterment of our society.
Undoubtedly, communication (public speaking) remains an unchallenged key to passing and receiving the information needed, without which a path is created for a continuous collapse of societal values.