Take a Public Speaking Course

By Jessica Hetley - Last update


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Friends! Romans! Irishmen! Take a Public Speaking Course!

Speaking to a large group of people can be scary, even for a seasoned conversationalist. Learn how to give rousing speeches, tell interesting anecdotes, and generally be a raconteur of great renown.

What is public speaking?

Obviously, public speaking is speaking in public. But what does that really mean? Bus conductors, for example, speak to large groups at once, but they’re unlikely to need the sort of skills that a public speaking course will teach you.

Public speaking is really about the art of giving a speech. Whether you are planning on being the next Taoiseach, leading that big presentation, or addressing a conference, you will use a form of public speaking to do all of these things.

How can I learn to speak?

It’s not as silly a suggestion as it might sound! While all courses are different, the key elements of public speaking remain the same, so there is generally a common curriculum for all courses. It looks a bit like this:

  • Confidence building. Confidence is understandably key to speaking in front of an audience, so learning to build it up right from the off is important. This also means teaching students how to handle nerves when they strike.
  • Speaking exercises. Learning to talk off the cuff is a great skill to have, as if something goes awry during a presentation or speech, dealing with the bumps is much easier when you can fill up a gap.
  • Learn to write a good speech. This is obviously the essence of almost all public speaking. Generating brilliant ideas, structuring and organising your message and putting all the information in the right order can often make a big difference when you are in front of a crowd
  • Learn to speak. As in, with mouth words. Projection, good, positive body language and effective use of your platform are all elements of great public speakers.

Learning what works for you is part of the process, so attending classes will help you to hone your personal style. Before you know it, you’ll be a charming, charismatic speaker, who can wow a crowd or win a big contract.

Most Public Speaking courses take place in supportive environments that provide constructive, helpful feedback that aims to make you the best public speaker possible, so if you are worried about criticism, don’t be!

What can I expect to do when I finish?

Obviously, if you’re the world’s greatest wallflower, we can’t promise that you’ll come out of a public speaking course as the next Barack Obama, but we can promise that you will learn all the skills you need to survive having to speak in public.

There are obviously a great many jobs that require you to speak in public, so taking the time to make sure that your public speaking is the best that it can possibly be will always pay dividends.

If you work in a business environment and you’re chasing after a big promotion, then showing that you can talk to a group is an essential skill in almost every workplace, especially when there are meetings and pitches to lead.

If you have to make a toast at a club, then learning to tell a good story is never a bad thing. A captivating storyteller is always going to be in demand – perhaps you could even branch out onto speaking tours.

Whatever the reason you would like to be a better public speaker, there is sure to be a course somewhere in Ireland (and probably nearby) that allows you to brush up on your speaking skills in a comfortable, supportive environment.


Jessica Hetley

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