Public Speaking Courses

By Frank Bolger - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

For many people, having to speak in public is an unwanted inconvenience; for others, it is a terrifying ordeal. However, the thing to remember is that public speaking is a skill that can be learned. While some may be born with silver tongues and silky-smooth voices, most of us will have to learn to master our public performance by practicing until we become comfortable speaking to a roomful of people in any setting. A part-time course in public speaking can help make this goal a reality by transforming your shy mumblings into the kind of delivery that a politician would be proud of.

What does it involve

Occasions, whether personal or professional, almost always require speakers, and very few of these speakers take to the stage or podium without feeling some jitters. This is only natural: nerves prepare us to respond to situations we perceive to be challenging. Public Speaking courses use a variety of methods to teach speakers how to deal with their nerves and even use them as a source of additional energy from which to draw.

One area that Public Speaking courses will give plenty of attention to is that of preparation. Making notes beforehand will help speakers remember key points that they want to address and will provide them with a structure on which they can focus some of their attention. These should be kept relatively short and straightforward an abundance of facts and information is likely to result in confusion both for the speaker and audience alike.

Of course over-relying on notes and memorised points can also make speeches or presentations seem uninteresting and mechanical. To overcome this, many courses in Public Speaking will encourage participants to relax by teaching them breathing techniques, which can be employed both before and during a speaking performance. By learning to control their breathing, speakers can begin to focus on their vocal delivery.

This is another key area to which Public Speaking courses will dedicate much attention. By getting participants to speak in front of the class (note that class sizes tend to be small in order to ensure individual attention), instructors can identify and deal with any vocal issues that may be acting as a barrier between a speaker and his or her listeners. Training in voice-strengthening and projection techniques will help participants develop a clearer communicative style. They will also receive training in how to keep their voices healthy, thus ensuring greater confidence if called upon to make an address to a crowd of people.

With an improved level of focus, greater control over one s breathing and a more confident delivery, the remaining element in learning to become an effective public speaker lies in body language and physical presence areas in which Public Speaking courses will also provide guidance. By using body language in the right way, speakers can illustrate their points more clearly, engage their audience and project an air of natural confidence.

Why do it

Whether you are giving a best man s speech at a wedding, speaking at a corporate event or interviewing for a job, a Public Speaking course will enhance your ability to communicate effectively.

And the advantages of doing a course are not just restricted to delivering your message authoritatively either once you get past the jelly legs and dry throat, public speaking can become enjoyable as it’s one of the few opportunities that will give you the chance to put on a show for others. Speakers can be compassionate, silly, informative, helpful or witty it s up to you. Audiences appreciate a good speech, and will always applaud at the end. Standing up in front of a crowd and making a successful speech can be a real confidence booster and can have positive knock-on effects on other areas of your life too.

What comes next

Developing good public-speaking skills will help anyone looking to work in communications, teaching, politics, sales, marketing and management. Indeed, it is a skill that can help advance a career in just about any area.

At a glance

Public Speaking courses tend to be quite short. Some of the more intensive programmes may only last for a single day, while others can run for up to 5 weeks or more.

Frank Bolger

Back to Class
The Checklist