If you are wondering what the answer is, the response may surprise you!
Is public speaking required in college? The Answer: Yes and No!
Public speaking is a requirement in many college courses. Speech classes are often mandatory for students who are majoring in Communications, English, and other similar majors as noted in an article by classroom.synonym.com. Students also take public speaking courses to help them improve their skills to be able to speak confidently before an audience.
Public speaking is not only required in college courses, but it is also an important skill to have for your career. It can benefit your career by making you more persuasive, charismatic, and confident when talking with others or giving presentations at work. It can also help you become a better leader.
Being able to communicate your thoughts clearly will impact you're earning potential no matter the job you have. If you want to be successful in college and your career, learning how to speak publicly is a must.
Required to take a Public Speaking "Class"?
However, not all college majors will require you to take a "public speaking class". Majors such as chemistry, biology, computer science, etc, may not have an official "public speaking class" as part of your required curriculum, but consider the following questions:
- During any point in your college career, will you need to collaborate with other students?
- Will you have Class Presentations?
- Job Interviews (whether it be a part-time job, internship, or mock interviews)
- Networking Events/Mixers where you interact with people and inform them about yourself, your school, etc.?
Presenting in class is one of the most common ways students are required to speak publicly while they’re attending college. Whether you have a presentation for an English course or a speech for American History 101, these presentations can prove to be beneficial when speaking before others who may share similar interests as you do.
Public Speaking courses will also help improve your overall public speaking skills that can then carry over into other areas of life, such as networking events and interviews. In today’s society, being able to communicate is key!
So although not all majors will "require" a public speaking class, all majors require some form of public speaking. It will be helpful to learn how to speak confidently and with poise before an audience no matter what field you choose as your career path.
Do you have anxiety about public speaking? Do you fear public speaking more than you fear death itself?
Here are 10 tips to help you overcome public speaking anxiety while you are in college:
- Breathe! Take a deep breath before you begin speaking to calm yourself down and remind yourself that everything is going to be okay
- Practice makes perfect! Make sure to practice in front of others as much as possible. Ask for feedback on ways you can improve your speaking skills, such as timing and volume. Try practicing first without notes if it helps you be more natural when giving a presentation or speech.
- Speak confidently by projecting your voice, using gestures, pausing between sentences or at the end of each sentence if it helps you stay on track with what you are saying. Don't speak too quickly!
- Make eye contact with your audience and try to connect with them on a personal level
- If you feel like you're going to get nervous, drink some water so that your mouth won't get too dry. This will help ease your throat muscles
- Don't focus on yourself - focus on the message that you are trying to deliver. If you're too worried about how you look or sound, you'll lose focus and the audience will be able to tell
- Visualize yourself giving a great presentation. Imagine yourself speaking confidently and people being impressed by what you have to say
- Pause before responding, but don’t linger on a single point for too long or people will lose interest. If you're really nervous, practice the pause technique in front of a mirror so that it becomes second nature when presenting/speaking publicly
- Know your material inside and out! Make sure everything is working properly (i.e., PowerPoint, microphone, etc.) before you begin speaking. Nothing is more frustrating than having to deal with technical difficulties in the middle of a presentation
- Take a public speaking course online. There are many great online options to help you gain confidence and overcome your fear of public speaking like LinkedIn Learning, VirtualSpeech, Skillshare, Masterclass, etc.
Be Prepared to Speak Publicly in College Today!
For more resources to develop your public speaking skills while you are in the comforts of your own home, please check out the article ‘Online Resources for Public Speaking‘. This article will provide a detailed review of online resources for public speaking.