At one point or another in every person’s professional career they will undoubtedly find themselves suffering through a verbal presentation delivered by someone completely unskilled in the art of public speaking. The opposite will also most likely be true–some people possess such amazing skills they captivate us with their words and delivery.
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important skills any business professional can have. To some, this skill comes naturally. For others, just the thought of getting up in front of a group of people can be petrifying. There is hope for the latter, and it comes in the form of a quality public speaking course.
The purpose of public speaking courses is to improve all manners of speech to include off-the-cuff talks that come at a moment’s notice, job interviews, and formal speeches to large and small audiences. The key to picking the right course is to first realize the purpose of why one needs to take one. Here, we review three public speaking courses that aim to equip even the most nervous of orators with the skills necessary to wow any sized audience.
Coastal Carolina Community College’s Intro to Public Speaking
Jacksonville, NC’s local college offers a phenomenal introduction to public speaking in both a regular 16-week semester as well as an accelerated 8-week term that is specifically geared toward its professional students, including those on active duty at the nearby Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. In this course, students learn the fundamentals of public speaking to include learning key terms, studying famous speeches, and delivering different types of speeches themselves.
One noted graduate of this course is Christopher Pascale, the Chief Financial Officer of Portfolios With Purpose. He attended the course in 2007 while preparing to leave the Marine Corps.
Obviously, not everyone can attend the Intro. to Public Speaking Course at CCCC, but it is worth noting that there are many other community colleges across the country offering similar courses to working adults.
Dale Carnegie Course in Public Speaking
The Dale Carnegie course is comprised of 8 sessions that are 3.5 hours in length. This course has been going strong since 1912 and is broken down into three phases. The first phase involves connecting with others and building one’s confidence in social settings. The second phase deals with the motivation and coaching of oneself and others. And the third phase deals with leadership, including conflict resolution, attitude adjustments, and having effective meetings.
This course is a true winner that goes way beyond that of the entry level public speaking course, and should be considered by anyone who is in a leadership role, or seeking to be in one.
The Skill With People Handbook
Les Giblin’s Skill With People covers an incredible amount of ground in a few dozen pages from connecting with people, avoiding arguments because “no one wins an argument,” to how to give an effective speech. On the latter, Giblin stresses that giving a talk is the key, and to avoid a standard speech. The address should seem natural and free as opposed to being mechanical and solid.
This book should be in the briefcase of all young business men and women, because it contains the basics that never die. However, it lacks the real-life practice that the other two courses have, leaving it to the reader to create his own experience.
Overall, the Dale Carnegie course wins first prize. Coastal Carolina’s intro to public speaking comes in second, and Les Giblin’s pamphlet serves as a great complement to the two of them.
About the Author
Tonya Musser is a freelance writer who enjoys researching all things related to succeeding in business. Much of what she covers is about the importance of furthering one’s education. Check out more of her advice at Top 10 Online Colleges.