Friday, May 20 2022

According to the National Social Anxiety Center, public speaking anxiety affects more than 70% of the population. Luckily, public speaking classes exist to help you overcome your public speaking fears.

Public speaking can be intimidating, especially at work. Speaking in front of people in person or via Zoom can produce anxiety ranging from minor nervousness to full panic.

Online public speaking courses are among the options for gaining confidence in your public speaking abilities. Many are even free! We’ve included our top picks below.

Best Online Public Speaking Courses: Our Picks

Public speaking courses provide you with strategies and tools for effective public speaking. Courses like these offer public speaking tips, practice activities, and essential support to help you build your confidence and abilities as a public speaker.

1. Communication strategies in the virtual age (Coursera)

Cost: Free access to everything except graded papers for auditors, $49 for certificate

Course duration and format: Around seven hours, self-paced with videos, readings and quizzes

What you will learn: Offered in collaboration with the University of Toronto, the course presents the techniques used for in-person and virtual communication as well as the strategies for applying them. You will learn how to create presentations, persuade others, run effective meetings and facilitate virtual collaboration within teams.

Who will this course benefit the most? Designed for team leaders, project managers and anyone who wants to develop leadership skills, the course provides practical and informative content through real-life examples. The course trains you to apply proven concepts while developing your emotional intelligence and communication effectiveness.

Check out our Coursera review for more information on the platform and its courses.

2. Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization (Coursera, University of Washington)

Cost: Free access with a 7-day trial or monthly subscription; certificate for $49

Course duration and format: Approximately five months, suggested three hours per week, four courses in the specialization, self-paced

What you will learn: The Comprehensive Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization consists of four courses. An introductory public speaking course teaches you patterns for creating and delivering effective presentations, while the Speak to Inform course focuses on professional presentation technologies and strategies.

Talking to Persuade, the third class, emphasizes using arguments and language constructively. The culminating course, Speaking to Inspire, emphasizes using stories, humor and evidence to inform and entertain. Through the specialization, you design, practice, record, and get feedback on your presentations.

Who will this course benefit the most? The specialization welcomes professionals who wish to improve public speaking at all stages of their career. By learning to develop and deliver presentations, use rhetoric and argumentation, and use communication strategies, you become a more confident communicator.

3. Storytelling and Influencing: Communicating with Impact (Coursera, Macquarie University)

Cost: 7-day free trial, monthly subscription thereafter, $49 for certificate

Course duration and format: Approximately 18 hours over four weeks, self-guided, videos, quizzes, discussion prompts, written assessments

What you will learn: The course begins by introducing you to the theories of persuasive communication. From there, you learn to develop a dramatic narrative and connect with people through authenticity. The course concludes with instructions on guiding influential conversations and meetings.

This course is part of a specialization in influencing through storytelling, change management and governance.

Who will this course benefit the most? Ideal for people who want insight into effective persuasion through communication, the course also helps you develop strategies for building relationships, overcoming resistance and being accepted as a leader in the workplace.

4. Become a better presenter: Improve your public speaking skills (FutureLearn)

Cost: $49 for the course, $16 for a monthly subscription; both come with certificates

Course duration and format: Three weeks, three hours per week, self-guided, videos, active discussions

What you will learn: Engage the audience by reflecting on your presentation style and making adjustments to improve. The course teaches you how to streamline your presentations while properly incorporating improvisation and storytelling. Additional tips for overcoming challenges, integrating technology, and answering questions help you put theory into practice.

Who will this course benefit the most? Anyone who wants to improve the way they present and speak to colleagues can benefit from the course. The course gives you more experience as you gain confidence in public speaking.

5. Communicate with confidence (LinkedIn Learning)

Cost: 1 month or $40 free trial; certificate available

Course duration and format: Video lectures with six chapter quizzes, self-guided, approximately 75 minutes

What you will learn: The course begins by identifying what it takes to be a better communicator. You then learn how to hone your message, sound confident, use effective body language, and deal with anxiety. Six chapter quizzes accompany two real-world coaching exercises to help you gain experience.

Who will this course benefit the most? This course targets beginner speakers who are anxious to speak in public. Easy-to-use tips focus on how to communicate effectively using words and movement.

6. Introduction to Public Speaking: Give a 5-Minute Presentation Without Dying (Skillshare)

Cost: Free

Course duration and format: Nine lessons, approximately 50 minutes, self-guided, videos, hands-on class project

What you will learn: The course focuses on creating slides, connecting with your audience, and eliminating the anxiety that comes with public speaking. Through step-by-step video segments, you learn how to create a presentation and yourself. Apply tips on choosing a topic, preparing, and practicing to have a fully developed presentation by the end of the course.

Who will this course benefit the most? Fast, accessible and practical, the course is for anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of effective and confident public speaking.

7. Complete Public Speaking Masterclass for Every Occasion (Udemy)

Cost: $27 for the course; certificate of completion available

Course duration and format: Thirty-one hours of self-guided video, four articles, eight downloadable resources

What you will learn: Through 51 sections and over 600 individual lectures, the comprehensive course welcomes public speakers of all skill levels. The fundamentals of public speaking, including body language, video speaking, eliminating fear, and speaking to audiences of different sizes, command attention. Additional topics include using a teleprompter, introducing the team, making sales pitches, and addressing foreign audiences.

Who will this course benefit the most? This course contains information for any circumstance, event, or public speaking occasion. Choose the parts that interest you or take the whole thing. Check out our Udemy review to learn more about the platform.

8. How to break the habit of self-doubt and build true confidence (CreativeLive)

Cost: $30 for the course, $13 monthly subscription

Course duration and format: Sixteen video lessons, approximately five hours of content, downloadable and offline access, workbook included, self-paced

What you will learn: Designed to help you overcome anxiety, the course trains you to stop negative thoughts and change the way you think. By exploring self-doubt, you learn to build confidence, eliminate fear, and challenge yourself. The lessons provide information on avoidance, hypercritical personality, and overcoming learned helplessness.

Who will this course benefit the most? More than a public speaking course, the course aims to help you get the most out of your personal and professional experiences.

9. Complete Public Speaking Course: Become a Great Orator (Udemy)

Cost: $130 for the course; delivered with certificate of completion

Course duration and format: Approximately five hours of video content, five articles, five downloadable resources, self-paced

What you will learn: Presented in 10 sections and 140 lectures, the course teaches you how to create and deliver an effective, memorable and accessible speech. Core topics include the use of PowerPoint, mechanics of public speaking, and storytelling.

Advanced content explores how to handle criticism, persuasion, and different types of public speaking, such as toasting or delivering a eulogy. The course also includes a recorded question and answer session with instructor TJ Walker.

Who will this course benefit the most? The class welcomes anyone who wants to develop constructive habits of public speaking. TJ Walker aims to train you from a competent speaker to one who delivers memorable and effective presentations in any setting.

10. Essential Public Speaking with VR (VirtualSpeech)

Cost: Subscription $45 per month, $34 per month with an annual subscription; team and enterprise plans available; Certificate of achievement issued. VR headset required.

Course duration and format: Five hours to complete with 58 online video lessons (quizzes and case studies included) and eight virtual reality scenarios; at his own pace

What you will learn: Online courses and virtual reality technology combine self-paced learning with immersion to improve your communication skills. The course covers connecting with your audience, planning your speech, literary techniques, and dealing with nerves and anxiety. Virtual reality scenarios allow you to practice making eye contact, speaking impromptu, managing distractions and giving presentations.

Who will this course benefit the most? The course can benefit anyone who wants to hone their public speaking skills while using the latest technology. You can overcome nerves while receiving feedback on how to become an effective public speaker.

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