Sure, everyone can speak in public. However, not everyone can speak the right way in public. By the right way, I mean in an engaging and comfortable way. People who speak the right way in public don’t just know how to convey their message. They also know how to convey that message in a way that won’t bore their audience.
In other words, public speaking is a skill. It’s something people learn. Put another way as noted in our previous article, great public speakers are not born. They are made.
So, if public speaking is a skill that can be learned, the next question is, how can you learn the skill? The good news is, the Internet alone is a goldmine of information. Then you have your traditional paperback books and the more modern e-books and audiobooks, you name it. The resources you need are out there. You just need to know where to find them. So, where exactly can you learn this art of speaking in public? Here are 20 of the best public speaking resources you should check out.
The Space 4 Speaking blog is the perfect place to learn public speaking for many reasons. The website of public speaking enthusiast Daniel Waldron doesn’t just have resources that can help you learn how to convey your message in public. It also has insightful articles on how you can use specific tools such as Powerpoint to make your presentation better.
The site doesn’t just focus on speaking, though. Since writing is a big part of the public speaking experience, Space 4 Speaking is also home to articles that teach people how to write all types of speeches. It teaches you how to become your own speechwriter, for example. It even teaches you how to write a speech for someone else.
In other words, the Space 4 Speaking Blog covers all the topics about communication, in general, you can think of.
The best part is the articles aren’t difficult to understand. They’re written in a conversational tone that will make you feel like it’s just your friend giving you some advice.
Make sure you check out this book by Mike Acker. What’s unique about this book is that it doesn’t just give you strategies on how to conquer that fear of public speaking. It also teaches you how to develop your own public speaking style.
Whether it’s a small meeting or a huge presentation, Mike Acker teaches you how to become a passionate speaker that clearly means what he or she says. Once you finish the book, you won’t just be comfortable speaking in public. You’ll have your own signature that will make you stand out from the pack, too.
VirtualSpeech is an online learning platform that allows learners to understand public speaking theory and then put it into practice through virtual reality or web-based simulations.
You can then get feedback on how you did so you can make the necessary adjustments to improve. There are over 25 public speaking courses to choose from. There’s one on how to make a presentation, another on how to give a sales pitch and close, and even another on how to prepare for a job interview. You name it and VirtualSpeech has it.
If you want to learn and be entertained at the same time, read this book by Malcolm Kushner. The book gives you strategies on how to speak before an audience without sounding preachy.
This friendly guide written in a language that’s perfect for the layman will get you hooked from start to finish with its witty references and fun language in general. It even comes with a tear-out cheat sheet you can use for when you start facing those public speaking fears!
If you’re the type who prefers the classroom setting, well, kind of, then this Udemy course is perfect for you. The course taught by instructor TJ Walker has had great reviews (it has a 4.4 out of five stars rating) because it covers everything you need to know, from learning how to present video conference calls to making investor pitches.
You’d need to watch all 31 hours of video to be considered to have finished the course. The good news, though, is that you can watch those at your own pace. You can download eight resources after you finish the course, too. All that for just a few bucks!
Do you want your kids to learn the art (and science) of public speaking as early as now? Check out this course on the Outschool platform. The course taught by teacher Catherine Reich is a best-seller because it does train kids to develop those public speaking skills at such an early age.
Through show-and-tell and storytelling sessions, the children don’t just learn public speaking basic principles (without them even knowing that’s what they’re learning). They get to practice them in front of other people, too! The course is relatively short, as well. It only lasts for three weeks, with meetings held twice per week. In just three weeks, then, your kid will be a trained public speaker.
This audiobook is for people who want to be great speakers like Steve Jobs. It’s perfect if you just don’t have the patience to attend online classes or read. You can just listen to bestselling author Carmine Gallo as he breaks down what makes the acclaimed TED talks so great.
Just put on your headset and listen to him while you rest for the day.
What’s great about the book is that the author doesn’t just rely on his own analysis. The author has interviewed communication and psychology researchers to shed light on how the greatest speakers think and convey their message. So, when you finish the book, you’ll know exactly what to do when you face that audience!
This course offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology on online learning platform edx promises to equip you with the communication skills you need to advance in your professional career.
The 2-month course (for four to six hours per week) is taught by lecturers from the university, which means you can rest assured they know what they’re talking about. The course specifically covers three topics: storytelling in the workplace, public speaking, and visual presentation. You can go at your pace when you enroll in the course. The best part? Once you’ve completed it, you get a Communication Skills Professional Certificate.
Introverts can have a more difficult time getting over their fear of public speaking. But with creative entrepreneur Joanna Penn’s book, they can get that inspiration they need to finally overcome that glossophobia.
That’s because in this book, the author dispels the notion that great speakers have some sort of extraordinary ability that makes them stand out in the public speaking sphere. With her great writing style, she persuades introverts that public speaking is something they can learn, too. And be good at.
This is just the book for people who want to perform better in Q&A sessions after their business presentations. So, whether you’re a business executive or an employee pitching an idea to your boss, this book is the one for you.
Presentation coach Jerry Weissman uses case studies to explain how you can answer even the toughest questions with all the confidence in the world. Once you finish the book, you’ll learn how to not buckle under pressure and avoid evasive answers that can ruin your reputation. In other words, you’ll be a master presenter after reading this one.
Google Digital Garage’s Speaking in Public is a great course for people who want to get rid of verbal mannerisms and tics when making presentations in public.
You can sign up for free and have access to bite-sized video tutorials on how to be conscious of what you’re saying and eliminate unnecessary “uhms” and “ahms.” In just 27 minutes, you’ll learn how to discover the speaker in you and define your speech objectives, which is critical to ensuring a structured presentation. You can also master your body language and finally deliver that great presentation. Don’t forget to test what you’ve learned by taking that quiz!
12. Public Speaking - Speaking Like a Professional: How to Become a Better Speaker, Present Yourself Convincingly and Increase Your Self-Confidence Through Successful Communication
Confidence is everything in public speaking. If you lack that, don’t worry. This book is just the resource for you.
Julius Loewenstein breaks down how you can overcome your fear of speaking in public and ooze confidence every time you’re in front of an audience. With its easy-to-read writing style, you can easily pick up tips that can help you choose the right words at the right time to get people to take your desired action. You’ll master the art of persuasion.
Ask any public speaking enthusiast out there and they probably already know this audiobook. Authored by Dale Carnegie and Joseph Esenwein, it’s perfect for people just starting out in the sphere of public speaking.
For 19 hours and 50 minutes, you’ll learn what hand gestures you should make and the body language you should have to emphasize points before an audience. You’ll also learn how to carry yourself with confidence in front of a crowd (even if you’re terrified) and answer questions masterfully, even if you don’t know the answers to them. The best part is this is an audiobook, which means you can just listen to narrators give you the best tips for public speaking. No need to strain your eyes reading long paragraphs in this one.
Skillshare has a popular public speaking course that can help you develop into the communicator you want to be. This course taught by Alex Lyon, a communication professor, has over 13,000 students so far, which speaks to how well Alex has structured the course that enables the learners to develop into skilled speakers.
The course covers eight lessons in 53 minutes. You’ll learn how to address long-windedness problems, convey concise messages in concise sentences, and emphasize important points clearly. You’ll also learn how to use those pauses that allow the audience to perceive you as an authority in your field, eliminate those fillers, and use nonverbal communication effectively. In the last lesson, you’ll find out how to translate all that theory into practice, whether that be a one-on-one meeting, a business presentation, or a team meeting.
This book by speaking consultant Lisa Kleiman focuses on teaching the art, not just of public speaking, but of authentic public speaking.
In other words, once you’re done reading the book, you won’t just be able to convey your message before an audience. You’ll be able to do it in a way that makes them feel like they can relate to you. For them, you’re not a speaker they can’t reach. You’re a friend they can go to if they need anything.
The book basically covers everything you need to know to be a great speaker. From managing public anxiety to planning your speech and answering audience questions, the author definitely has you covered. You’ll get worksheets, too!
You’ll find this course on the online learning platform FutureLearn. Mind you, it’s a very popular course, with 18,678 enrollees so far.
It’s easy to see why it’s that popular. For one, the course is absolutely free. For another, well, it lasts for only six weeks, which means in that span of time, you’ll have learned the tricks of the trade.
The course is perfect for people who can’t stand learning on their own. For the duration of the program, you’re expected to interact with fellow learners. So, aside from learning the theory from experts in the field of public speaking, you learn about the experiences of your fellow learners who are in the same situation as you are.
For people who want to know all the theory first before putting it into practice, this course by Saylor Academy is the perfect program.
The course covers 15 topics that have to do with basic public speaking concepts. You’ll learn why public speaking matters nowadays and understand why you feel anxious when you face an audience to speak. You’ll also learn the importance of listening to your audience in order to deliver good presentations. Unit 4 is all about how to conduct that audience analysis so you can adapt your speech to them. You’ll even learn how the body of a speech is supposed to look from this course.
You’ll be forced to listen here because at the end of the course, you’ll have to pass a final exam to get that certificate of course completion. The passing grade is 70%! Don’t worry. If you don’t make it, you can take it a second time (and a third, and a fourth, as many times as you want, basically) after a 7-day waiting period.
The series of lectures by Professor Deborah Bridges of the University of Houston can help you learn how to deliver persuasive speeches, not just by helping you understand the basic communication principles, but also by letting you learn from other speakers’ mistakes.
This is such a convenient way to learn because you don’t have to sign in to any platform to gain access to the professor’s lectures. They’re available on freevideolectures.com and even on YouTube. Besides, since the lectures are in the form of videos, you can listen to them whenever you want. You can go at your pace and avoid burnout due to an overload of information.
This book by storytelling coaches Heather Box and Julian Mocine-Mcqueen will give you a unique perspective on public speaking. The authors will teach you how to view your presentation as your own story to tell.
The book, therefore, teaches you how to be a relatable speaker, rather than a robotic speaker who merely repeats the words to a script he or she memorizes. Once you finish the book, you’ll understand that making presentations doesn’t need to feel that overwhelming. When you give your presentation, after all, you’re basically just sharing your story with the world.
This course on the online learning platform Coursera is great for both beginners and experts in the public speaking domain. The 10-week program taught by Dr. Matt McGarrity of the University of Washington’s Department of Communications takes a deep dive into the principles of public speaking and the ways these principles should be put into practice.
You won’t just learn how to emphasize points when speaking before an audience. You’ll also learn how to write great speeches that will get people’s attention and then rehearse them to ensure a bigger impact. The course will also help you develop the confidence you need to speak before a crowd and convey your message.
The greatest speakers at one point were struggling to get their message across before an audience. That just means they learned the art (and science) of public speaking. They weren’t born with that gift.
That also means, then, that you can also learn those public speaking skills. There’s a wealth of information about the field out there. And I’ve compiled the 20 best resources in this article. You want to be a great speaker? All you need to do is click on any (or all) of those resources and take the time to study. In time, you might just be the next Steve Jobs.