That is a question many have wondered about. Perhaps, maybe at this very moment, you are contemplating the answer to that very question. You have asked a few of your close friends and colleagues for their viewpoints, but they all have provided different answers. At this point, you are not sure which is the best option for you personally.
The fact that you are trying to find out which is the best option for you personally is a good thing. The optimal solution for someone else may not be the best solution for you, and that’s ok. To help you make the right decision we have narrowed it down to the basic facts. You will see the similarities between online and in-person public speaking classes, the differences between the two, as well as the benefits that each one offers. It is our goal that after reading this your choice will be clearer. Without further ado, let’s begin!
What Are The Similarities Between Public Speaking Classes Online And In-Person?
First, it would be best to establish some common ground between high-quality online and in-person speaking classes. They both will:
- Help you improve in your ability to communicate by giving you ample opportunities to practice
- Teach you how to craft an effective speech from start to finish
- Teach you techniques that will help you capture your audience attention and keep them engaged throughout your speech or presentation
- Show you how to enhance your presentation skills
- Show you how to manage and control your nerves and public speaking anxieties
- Show you the best way to deliver a speech
- Require you to speak in front of other people to complete the class
What Are The Differences Between Online Public Speaking Classes And In-Person Public Speaking Classes?
Although the online public speaking classes and in-person speaking classes have a common goal, there are different roads taken to reach the desired outcome. The differences are as follows:
- When it comes to in-person public speaking classes, you have a set time and place for the class. It is very structured. You must learn at the pace of the instructor and the other students in your class. Whereas online public speaking classes are more flexible. You can learn at your own pace and set your schedule
- The price point varies between the two. In-person classes are generally more expensive than online classes
- Different fatigues. Some people will feel fatigued from attending in-person public speaking classes because they have public speaking anxiety. Many people today suffer from some kind so social anxiety, which includes the fear of public speaking. This anxiety, in turn, causes fatigue. According to the “National Institute of Mental Health” being easily fatigued is a symptom from those who suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder
Those who attend online public speaking classes may suffer from computer fatigue also known as Computer Vision Syndrome. One study conducted in Malaysia showed that 89.9% of 795 college students surveyed, suffered from one or more symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome after using the computer continuously for more than two hours per day. Granted, you may not spend two hours a day on your public speaking class but if you use a computer for work this may be something to keep in mind.
For more details about this study and tips for how to avoid computer fatigue you can read or listen to “The 20-20-20 Rule Offsets Screen Fatigue And Improves Job Productivity” article on the Forbes website.
Benefits Of Taking Public Speaking Classes Online
Depending on where you are located, you may not have any, let alone, good in-person public speaking classes available in your area. Thankfully, you do not have to worry. You can access great public speaking classes online from anywhere in the world
You can set your schedule. You can learn at your own pace. This is great for those unexpected moments that occasionally pop up in life. Instead of having to quit or restart the class at a later time, you can simply pause where you are and continue when it’s convenient for you.
Potentially Less Stress
You can deliver your speech with less stress and pressure because you are not standing in front of a live audience. While you will still have others listening to you, it will be a completely different feel standing in from of a webcam rather than standing on a podium in front of a large audience.
Disadvantages Of Taking Public Speaking Classes Online
You Are Accountable For Your Progress
If you are someone who learns better with a set time frame, set end date, and structure that is monitored by someone else, this may not be the best option for you. You are accountable for making sure you complete the class. Self-discipline is a must!
Since your classes are online you do not have the opportunity to speak to a live audience face to face. However, it is important to note that the best online classes will mirror the experience that you would have if you were taking an in-person public speaking class.
Unfortunately, despite your best efforts, you may experience technical issues. There could be a glitch on your end or from your instructors.
Benefits Of Taking Public Speaking Classes In-Person
You can speak directly to an audience. This is what you will be doing at school, work, and various other opportunities that will come up in your life. The more you practice in front of a group, the more comfortable you will feel. The more comfortable you are with speaking in front of a group of people in the class, the more comfortable you will feel speaking in front of those outside your classroom doors. It will be a ripple effect.
If you are someone who thrives in a structured environment, this is your best option. Your instructor will control the pace of the class and help you to complete it.
Disadvantages Of Taking Public Speaking Classes In-Person
If you reside in an area where good public speaking classes are limited, you may have to drive far to attend. Also, keep in mind classes may not be offered regularly.
It may be a challenge to find a class that fits your schedule. Or if something comes up and you are not able to attend the full session of your class, you may have to pay to attend another one.
Steps To Benefit From Online Public Speaking Classes Or In-Person Classes
Realistically, the ball is in your court. The amount of effort, time, and determination you put in will result in how much you improve by the end of the class. There are active steps that you can take to benefit fully from your class. Regardless of if you are choosing to take an in-person or online public speaking class you can:
Go In With A Positive Mindset
The more positively you go into it, the more the class will feel like a privilege rather than a chore. When you have a positive mindset, you are also more open-minded to suggestions and can make the necessary adjustments. Do additional research for your particular class so that you can know exactly what to expect before you start. This can also really help to alleviate some of your anxiety.
Prepare Thoroughly For All Of Your Assignments
This includes doing research and writing high-quality speeches. You will also want to include appropriate and useful data to support your topic.
You Must Know Your Content Well To Present It Effectively
Practice until you can give your speech with your eyes closed. By taking the time to practice repeatedly, you will feel more comfortable delivering it in front of your class. Even if you cannot dedicate hours to practicing do what you can. Remember every minute that you spend practicing brings you closer to your goal. Practice your speech out loud so that you can get the feel of it. You can even ask the same trusted friends and colleagues that offered you their viewpoint, to listen to you practice.
Remember Everyone Is Nervous
Whether you are extremely nervous or just slightly uncomfortable speaking in front of others, it is helpful to bear in mind that the other students in your class are nervous and uncomfortable as well. That’s why they are there. You all will be able to learn and grow together.
Listen To Your Instructors And Do The Work They Assign
Regardless of your age, it is important to listen to your instructors. They are there to help you. You can show that you want to be there and are willing to learn by completing the exercises they assign you to do. It will also be helpful to take notes during class. These notes will help you to retain the information longer. If you are attending in-person classes, be sure you show up on time and are prepared to learn. If you are taking online classes, treat it as seriously as if you were taking in-person classes. You must hold yourself accountable to commit to learning.
Online Public Speaking Classes Or In-Person Classes: The Final Review
Taking public speaking classes online as well as in-person have both proven to be beneficial. They both offer different elements that add to a unique experience. When it comes to choosing whether to take a public speaking class online or in-person it comes down to personal preference.
Choose the one that best suits your learning style, goals, circumstances, and personal preference. Either option would be a good choice because you will be learning new techniques and sharpening your skills.
Whichever format you choose, just make sure you give it your all and you will be successful! Your advancement will be noticed and appreciated by all who listen to you! You can use what you learn in your personal, everyday life and the results will be fantastic!
The level of your ability to communicate will be impressive. Or you may choose to use what you will learn professionally. This could lead to increased employment options and a more stable career path. Focus on your end goal and work in harmony with it.
So now, the choice is up to you! The only question that remains is “will in-person public speaking classes or online public speaking classes be best for YOU?” The only one who can truthfully answer that question is you. Now the choice is up to you!
For more tips and to see how much online or in-person speaking classes cost, please read the “How Much Do Public Speaking Classes Cost? [The Truth Revealed] article and for public speaking resources, please check out "Online Resources for Public Speaking".