Public speaking is an art form, and like all art forms, it can be taught. In fact, the best public speakers bring together a certain amount of natural aptitude and mix it with book learning, formal courses, and a whole heap of practice.
If you want to be the best public speaker that you can be, it’s important to take advantage of as many resources as you can, and online courses are a great way to uncover new insights and sharpen your skills. Better still, a lot of them are either free or partly available as a free trial.
And so with that in mind, in today’s article, we’re going to take a look at five of the best public speaking courses that you’ll want to consider for 2021 and beyond. Let’s get started.
#1: Alex Lyon: How to Open and Close Presentations Like a Boss
They say that you only have one chance to make a positive first impression, and this course will help you to do exactly that. But while making a positive first impression is important, it’s also a good idea to end with a bang, with one key takeaway that you want people to remember.
This handy course by Alex Lyon will cover both, using 13 video lessons that take an hour or so to cover all of the key points about opening and closing presentations, along with why you should use a story to create a narrative that makes your presentation more approachable and memorable.
One of the good things about this course is that it’s delivered via Skillshare, which is well-known for its aggressive marketing program in which it offers a month’s membership for free. That makes it easy for you to sign up and consume the course.
And of course, Skillshare has other advantages, such as its community features, which mean that you can discuss the course with other learners and share insights or ask them any questions that you might have.
Find out more about this course: PUBLIC SPEAKING: How to Open & Close Presentations Like a Boss
Course #2: Matt Abrahams: Managing Your Anxiety While Presenting
Provided by LinkedIn Learning and presented by educator, author, and coach Matt Abrahams, this course has a good pedigree and comes with a certificate of completion that can be displayed on your LinkedIn profile or downloaded and printed if you prefer a hard copy.
Anxiety is only natural, and we all experience it at times. It doesn’t usually become a problem until it starts to interfere with our day-to-day lives, but public speakers put themselves under more pressure than most, and so can understandably find themselves struggling with anxiety when they’re addressing audiences.
In fact, the U.S. National Social Anxiety Center says that the fear of public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, and heights. With that in mind, it’s perhaps a little less surprising that this course is so popular, with nearly 200,000 learners at the time of writing.
Even if you’re not normally an anxious person and you generally have no problem with public speaking, it can still be a good idea to take this course so that you’re familiar with the techniques and have them to fall back on. You can also access it for free if you take out the trial of LinkedIn Learning.
Find out more about this course: Managing Your Anxiety While Presenting
Course #3: Chris Anderson: Chris Anderson on Public Speaking
Chris Anderson is the head of TED, so he knows a thing or two about public speaking. He’s also a successful entrepreneur, having founded a company called Imagine Media, which created IGN and published 150 magazines with a staff of 2,000 people.
These days, he focuses exclusively on working with TED to bring the world’s best public speakers on a variety of different subjects together to share inspiration and education. Because of that, he has a huge amount of experience at spotting good and bad public speaking, and he’s distilled all of that knowledge into this super useful course on public speaking.
The course only takes an hour or so to complete and has an average rating of 4.5/5 from nearly 5,000 reviewers, so you know it’s a good one that’s well worth your time. Throughout the session, Anderson will teach you how to create an effective through-line and how to structure your talk, as well as how to leave your audience with a memorable impression.
Because of the limitations imposed by the length, it’s not the most comprehensive course on the market. Still, it’s a great introduction to some of the most important concepts in public speaking, and you’ll also take away a certificate of completion and a number of worksheets and exercises that you can use to plan your next speaking engagement.
Find out more about this course: Acumen Presents: Chris Anderson on Public Speaking
Course #4: Dr. Matt McGarrity: Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization
Dr. Matt McGarrity is a principal lecturer in the communication department at the University of Washington, and his course is dedicated to sharing the master techniques you need to know to design and deliver clear and compelling presentations.
With free enrollment and over 50,000 people already enrolled, as well as an average of 4.8/5 from over 1,000 ratings, you know that this course is valued. It’s particularly worthwhile if you’re looking for ways to improve your delivery, in terms of the use of voice, movement, and gestures, and it’s suitable for a wide range of presentation types, whether you’re trying to impart information or to persuade someone to buy from you.
The other thing to note about this course is that it has four different sessions, each of them covering a different aspect of public speaking:
Course #1: Introduction to Public Speaking
Course #2: Speaking to Inform: Discussing Complex Ideas with Clear Explanations and Dynamic Slides
Course #3: Speaking to Persuade: Motivating Audiences with Solid Arguments and Moving Language
Course #4: Speaking to Inspire: Ceremonial and Motivational Speeches
This all combines to make it one of the best courses when you’re looking for an overall understanding of public speaking and the different techniques that you can use in different situations. It’s definitely not one to miss.
Find out more about this course: Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization
Course #5: TJ Walker: 2021 Complete Public Speaking Masterclass for Every Occasion
TJ Walker is a bestselling personal development and habits expert who also happens to be a highly rated Udemy coach, with a 4.4/5 rating from over 100,000 reviews. He’s taught over a million students on Udemy alone and has 240 courses on offer, spanning everything from personal development and public speaking to presentation and communication skills and media training.
In this course, you’ll learn a little bit of everything, with highlights including:
How to look comfortable, confident, and relaxed in speaking situations
How to speak clearly and understandably
How to speak in a memorable way
How to influence your audience
How to know exactly what to do when speaking to any size audience
Speaking about the course, Walker says, “I put every ounce of experience and insight I’ve learned from 30 years of conducting public speaking training courses all over the world into this course.” He also dodged writing his own marketing copy, pointing instead to the testimonials of the many satisfied students who’ve taken the course.
And despite being one of the most well-known instructors on the Udemy platform, TJ also has a reputation for being approachable, and so if you want further support after the session is over, feel free to contact him.
The course is also a bargain at just £99.99, with benefits including 31 hours of on-demand video, four articles, eight downloadable resources, a 30-day money-back guarantee and full lifetime access, along with a certificate of completion.
Find out more about this course: 2021 Complete Public Speaking Masterclass For Every Occasion
Now that you know about these five public speaking courses that we’d recommend for 2021, we want to hear from you. Have you taken any of these courses? If so, what did you think of them? And do you think that we missed any outstanding alternatives?
Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments so that we can keep the discussion going, and come back soon for more public speaking tips, tricks, and advice. We’ll see you soon!