The 7 Best Public Speaking Courses

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Speaking in front of a large crowd can be a daunting proposition. Just the thought of it can provoke anxiety in most people.

Nervous Ted Striker GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY SSS - sweaty, stinky and  sticky...bleaah! | Giphy, Gif, NervousBut the good news is that public speaking is a skill – just like playing the piano or playing golf. It can be learned, and with that, some of the anxiety limited. A lot of it has to do with getting into the right mindset for public speaking.

There’s a term for this fear of public speaking; it’s called glossophobia. But to come across as a confident public speaker and to overcome glossophobia, you need exposure. Practice can help, and with the help of these courses, you can overcome that fear and then some.

So, what is the best public speaking course for you?

Before we start, I’ll just leave you with a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”

Best Overall: Introduction to Public Speaking (Coursera)

Platform: Coursera
Teacher: Dr. Matt McGarrity
Skill Level: Beginners
Price: Free to Enroll (Free with a 7-day Free Trial, Included in Coursera Plus)

Who is it For?

This introductory course to public speaking is for everyone willing to learn the art of public speaking. More notably, the curriculum of the course is especially suited to complete beginners when it comes to public speaking. It will take you from being a stranger to public speaking to having a solid foundation for the future.

What Will You Learn?

The course is split into 4 sections – each section lasts a week, so you can expect the course to last four weeks altogether. Each week has a different theme. Of course, you can complete the sections at your own pace, too.

Here’s how the syllabus of the course looks:

  • Week 1: Understanding speech – you’ll learn how speech differs from writing, the importance of rhetorical canons, and the art of being able to articulate correctly
  • Week 2: Making ideas compelling and memorable – in the second week, it’s all about the contents of your speech. You’ll learn how to plan your speeches and extract the key points while also conveying them clearly to your audience
  • Week 3: Illustrating and delivering your ideas – this week is all about speech organization, and being able to convey your ideas clearly and concisely, without filler words
  • Week 4: Overcoming your fear of public speaking and developing great delivery – week 4 is all about getting into the right frame of mind and being able to overcome the anxiety that comes with public speaking

If you have Coursera Plus, this course is a must. But if you want to try it out first, you can audit the course and see if it’s for you before you buy it. Learn how to audit this course here.

Overall, we truly believe this course to be one of the best courses for public speaking out there. Beginners will profit massively, but existing public speakers will also be able to learn a thing or two here. If nothing else, this course can give you a massive boost every time you need to clear your public speaking anxiety and want to get into the right mindset.

Best Short Course: Intro to Public Speaking – Give a 5-Minute Talk Without Dying (Skillshare)

Platform: Skillshare
Teacher: Nick Armstrong
Skill Level: Beginners
Price: Free with the 2-month trial

Who is it For?

This is more of a crash course rather than a full-blown course. It’s mainly for beginners looking to get into public speaking almost instantly. This 47-minute course can be a great introduction that will teach you everything you need to know to make a relatively short presentation in front of a large crowd.

What Will You Learn?

In this course, you’ll learn absolutely everything you need to know to start with public speaking. It will teach you how to create an outline, how to get new ideas, pick your topic, create a presence on stage, and how to deliver your speech expertly.

Here’s what you can expect to learn in this short course:

  • Getting into the right mindset for public speaking
  • Picking your topic and outlining your speech
  • Building your stage presence
  • Delivering your speech fuss-free and expertly

If you need a quick fix of public speaking tips, choose this course. It’s among the best ones on Skillshare on this topic, even though it’s relatively short. But we liked the fact that it’s packed with useful information and tips straight from the start.

And because it wastes no time introducing you to public speaking, it’s definitely worth taking a look at. And when you need a quick encouragement to eliminate the anxiety that comes with public speaking, you can use this course to get yourself pumped up. It’s free with the 2-month trial of Skillshare, so check it out now!

Best for Advanced Speakers: Powerful Speaking (Udemy)

Platform: Udemy
Teacher: Julian Treasure
Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced
Price: $35

Who is it For?

The Powerful Speaking course on Udemy by Julian Treasure is an excellent addition to anyone already practicing public speaking, but willing to improve their speaking skills to a higher level. It’s for everyone who wants to be more concise and persuasive in their speaking.

What Will You Learn?

Don’t get us wrong: this course is for everyone who wants to do public speaking, including beginners. But we believe it’s better for those who already practice public speaking, but want to be able to express their ideas more clearly and in a more powerful manner.

It doesn’t dive into the mentality and eliminating anxiety, which is what beginners usually struggle with; instead, it provides you with practical tips and tricks in order to be able to convey your ideas more clearly and to learn how to be more powerful. You’ll learn how to:

  • Avoid the most common vocabulary mistakes and fix them in your speeches
  • Experiment and discover the tools in your speaking toolbox (accent, register, timbre, etc.)
  • Get better at power speaking
  • Target your listeners more accurately

As you can see, the course is filled with useful information about how to overcome weak speeches, and how to resonate with your listeners better. You’ll learn how to eliminate distractions in your speech such as filler words, which can distract listeners and mask the true message of your speech.

It’s a relatively short course – only 1.5 hours of on-demand video, but if you’re looking for a course that’s packed with information, then you won’t regret buying this course.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Open & Close Presentations Like a Boss (Skillshare)

Platform: Skillshare
Teacher: Alex Lyon
Skill Level: Beginner-Advanced
Price: Free with the 2-month free trial

Who is it For?

This course by Alex Lyon is for everyone willing to learn how to close their speeches more naturally and seamlessly. It’s both for beginners and advanced speakers, as it contains many useful tips that everyone can incorporate into their speeches.

What Will You Learn?

This is a slightly more specific course on public speaking, as opposed to the majority of courses you’ll find on this topic. It focuses on two aspects of speaking: opening and closing your speeches.

The course is full of masterful techniques and tactics to open and close speeches and presentations in an expert way. If you’re wondering how you should start and you have no idea where to do so, then you need it. Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to open your speech with quotes, story, statistics, and illustrations
  • How to close your speech using the same techniques
  • Top tips for stacking
  • Fine-tune your speech openings and closings to perfection

On its own, this course is not very long – only about an hour long. So don’t expect it to help you learn how to do public speaking in entirety. Instead, it focuses on two particular aspects of speaking, which is opening and closing your speeches.

And that aspect can be daunting even to seasoned public speakers. If you’re able to master these techniques, then the rest of your speeches will be much more comfortable.

Best for Beginners: The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course (Udemy)

Platform: Udemy
Teacher: Chris Haroun
Skill Level: Beginner
Price: $19.99 (85% off – $129.99 normally)

Who is it For?

This course is perhaps one of the more complete courses out of all the courses. It’s for beginners looking to learn the essentials of public speaking, and master the more advanced techniques and aspects of it. It teaches you anything from identifying your audience to delivering your speech expertly.

What Will You Learn?

Chris Haroun’s course is a very comprehensive one. If you’re not sure where to start, this is arguably the best place to do so. It has over 150.000 students and a very high rating, which tells us a lot about the high level of quality in this course.

You’ll learn the whole process of public speaking:

  • Identifying your target audience and the purpose of your speech
  • Creating the content for the course based on the first two points
  • Creating slides to go along with your speech
  • Gathering confidence during speeches
  • Mastering the key delivery tactics
  • How to handle questions like an expert

And there’s even more to the course – you’ll learn what to do after your presentation, you’ll get a list of more than 150 quotes you can use in your speech, examples of some past public speeches, templates, additional articles, and much more. It’s as complete as it gets, and you should consider it if you’re a total beginner.

Public Speaking Masterclass for Every Occasion (Udemy)

Platform: Udemy
Teacher: TJ Walker
Skill Level: Beginner-Advanced
Price: $34.99 (84% off, normally $199.99)

Who is it For?

Everyone looking to learn the ins and outs of public speaking, from beginners to advanced speakers. There’s a lot to learn from this course, even for those who have been in the game for quite some time now. With more than 30 hours of on-demand video, this course is one of the most complete ones in this field.

What Will You Learn?

The course first demands you to get comfortable speaking your own mind instead of just reading from the slides. Secondly, it forces you out of your comfort zone and dives deep into the practice of public speaking without feeling anxiety.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • How to relax and look more comfortable when giving a speech
  • How to be more memorable when you speak
  • How to manage and entertain your audience, no matter its size
  • How to speak more clearly and fluently without disturbances

Whatever your current level of public speaking is, this course will take you to a higher one. It has all you will ever need to get started with public speaking, from preparing your speech to delivering your speech like an expert.

Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen (Coursera)

Platform: Coursera
Teacher: Tamy Chapman (University of California)
Skill Level: Beginner-Advanced
Price: Free to Audit (Included with Coursera Plus)

Who is it For?

This course is for everyone that practices public speaking, from beginners to more advanced speakers. It contains all the information you need to become more persuasive in your speeches and to be able to captivate the attention of your listeners. This can be applied at all levels of public speaking.

What Will You Learn?

Tamy Chapman from the University of California gives you a complete guide on how to become a better speaker in order to captivate the attention of your listeners. When you’re a bit nervous, you’re never as effective as you could be – your personality doesn’t shine through because of this inhibition.

There are four different instructors in the course, and they’ll teach you the following:

  • Become more confident and eliminate the anxiety before your public speech
  • Organize your presentation so that it contains all the information your listeners need
  • How to make your presentation more memorable
  • How to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely

The course provides you with a certificate upon completion, and if you decide to purchase the Coursera Plus subscription, you’ll also get access to some practical exercises (which are incredibly helpful for this type of course).

Final Thoughts

Public speaking can be tough, but it’s also one of the best things you can do for yourself. It helps you improve your speaking ability, it puts you out of your comfort zone, and it enables you to influence the audience.

Much of it has to do with getting into the right frame of mind, and it can be hard to motivate yourself at times. That’s where a course like these can be useful.

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About the author: Hey there! I’m Vince. I’m a trained and practicing teacher with experience in e-learning and course design, along with having an extensive background in building and maintaining websites. I started EduTest Labs to help course creators and students find the best resources (without the BS).