Have you ever come across the term Glossophobia? Probably not! But what it means may resonate with many of us. Glossophobia, a Greek term, means speech anxiety or the fear of public speaking. While some may just feel slightly nervous before any important presentation, others can almost freeze because of a panic attack. You would be surprised to know that almost 74% of the American population suffers from stage fright.
Whether your job role may or may not require addressing a live audience, public speaking is a skill that we all aspire for. In fact, public speaking is not just restricted to the workplace, each one of us does come across a situation where you need to address people, whether it is raising a toast on your best friend’s wedding or expressing your thoughts in front of your schoolmates, or speaking in front of strangers to influence their opinion on any general matter, you cannot escape public speaking.
It is said that the best way to overcome your fear is to face your fear. However, learning public speaking doesn’t need to be so dramatic. To put you out of your misery, we at Trump Learning along with 12 experts on public speaking have filtered down for you the best online public speaking courses that can help you become a confident speaker.
11 Best Online Public Speaking Courses, Classes & Certifications
- The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course [Udemy]
- 2020 Complete Public Speaking Masterclass for Every Occasion [Udemy]
- Introduction to Public Speaking By University of Washington [edX]
- Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization By University of Washington [Coursera]
- Public Speaking Foundations [Linkedin]
- Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking [Linkedin]
- Intro to Public Speaking-Give a 5 Minute Talk without Dying [Skill Share]
- Public Speaking: A Crash Course on Elocution and Confident Speech [Skill Share]
- Public Speaking [Alison]
- Introduction to Public Speaking [Coursera]
- Public Speaking By RIT [edX]
This is one of the most comprehensive and best public speaking courses that you can enrol yourself in. This 16 hour-long course has been divided into 12 modules or Acts as the mentor calls them. These Acts in total contain 206 lectures. The lectures cover topics such as identifying the audience, defining the purpose of your speech, ways to make and begin a presentation, and how to structure the content. You also learn the use of audio-visuals and animation in a presentation. Coming on to developing personal skills, the course teaches you how to build confidence, how to connect with the audience, what words to use, and how to manage your body language.
There are a whopping 307 downloadable resources at your disposal and you are also provided with a public speaking certificate upon completion of this online public speaking course. Though the course can be labeled as a beginner’s course, there is something for everyone to take away. Hence, you can either take up the entire course or take classes for only the skills that you need to polish.
This Udemy public speaking course has been termed as a bestseller amongst the best public speaking courses. With a rating of 4.4 it has 153045 students already undertaking the course. The course has been created by Chris Haroun, an award-winning MBA professor and TEDx speaker.
Review by Denneve Hamilton-Rogers:
This course was very detailed and intense. I liked that Chris was transparent enough to point out what he could've done better or not do at all when critiquing his own presentations.
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This is another one of the brilliant public speaking courses for beginners that our experts can vouch for. This course has 31 hours of on-demand videos along with 7 downloadable resources. The 603 lectures in this course cover topics such as fundamentals of public speaking, body language, public speaking on digital platforms, and techniques to make better PowerPoint presentations. The course extensively covers how to improve public speaking for different occasions which may not necessarily restrict the work environment such as public speaking for political candidates, speaking at a wedding, giving a retirement speech, giving an acceptance speech, etc.
Deemed as a bestseller, this Udemy public speaking course has a rating of 4.4 and is suitable for beginners, intermediate as well as advances speakers. These public speaking classes online are mentored by TJ Walter, personal development and habits expert. The course can be accessed on mobiles and TV, and you are also provided with a certificate of completion.
Review by Benjamin Sterne:
Comprehensive, informative, easy to understand. This course covers so many bases in speaking it is hard to think of anything that TJ Walker hasn't covered.
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Providing interactive public speaking classes online this course breaks down the principles of public speaking. This 10 week-long online public speaking course requires 3-5 hours of your time every week and is an instructor -led course available on select dates. The course teaches how to write and deliver different kinds of speeches such as impromptu speech, informative speech, and persuasive speech. It also helps you understand the difference between oral versus written communication and which is better under what circumstances. The students can interact with the mentor and each other by studying their speeches as well as speeches delivered by others.
The course is mentored by Matt McGarrity, Senior Lecturer in the Communication Department at the University of Washington. The course is currently available as an archived course. The future dates of commencement are yet to be announced. This course does not offer any certificate of completion.
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Unlike the rest in the list, this is a five-month specialization in public speaking courses, i.e. it is a set of four courses. Each course aims at developing specific skill sets. You can either take up the entire specialization or choose from the four courses you are interested in. Since this is a subscription-based course, you will automatically be subscribed to all the four courses. This is also an interactive course where participants will plan, practice and record their speeches, and receive feedback for improvement.
The four courses in this Coursera public speaking specialization are as follows:
- Introduction to Public Speaking
- Speaking to Inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides
- Speaking to Persuade: Motivating audiences with solid arguments and moving language
- Speaking to Inspire: Ceremonial and Motivational Speeches
This specialization course has been curated by Dr. Matt McGrrity, Principal Lecturer at the University of Washington. It is available in English, Arabic, Portuguese (Brazilian), Vietnamese and Spanish. It has a rating of 4.7 and has 20,554 students enrolled already. The course is suitable for beginners and also has the facility of financial aid. The candidates will be provided with a public speaking certificate on completion of all courses and the hands-on project.
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Looking for short public speaking courses? This one is a short and sweet public speaking course online that you can take if you are a beginner. Offered on Linkedin, the course has a series of 23 short videos that you can even download on your android and iOS devices and watch at your convenience. This online public speaking course teaches you how to prepare before you begin your speech, how to have a powerful opening, how to use visual aids and body language to your advantage, and finally how to have an impactful ending. There are two downloadable exercise files that you can use for practicing. This public speaking course, however, does not provide any certificate.
You can either take a subscription or buy the course with a one-time payment. The instructor of the course is Laura Bergells, who has over 14 years of experience in public speaking and community building. Almost 84,493 have already watched this course on Linkedin.
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One of the biggest hurdles in public speaking is stage fear. This is one such public speaking course that focus on getting rid of stage fright. The course has 8 video classes that help you with techniques that you can use to calm your nerves and feel more confident on stage. Since every speaker has his or her unique way of giving a speech, the course guides you to identify what works best for you and work your way around.
The course can be bought as a part of a Linkedin subscription or you can pay a one-time fee. The course has been created by Dr.Todd Dewett, who is a global keynote speaker. Around 20, 941 people have already taken and benefitted from this course. This course again does not provide any certificate.
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One of the excellent public speaking courses listed on Skill Share, this course in 47 minutes, spread across 9 video lessons, helps the candidates to get past the stage fear. To sharpen your skills the mentor, through these videos, guides you to choose the topic that you wish to speak on, how to outline and prepare for the presentation, how to connect with the audience, how to get past the awkward pauses, and how to stay focused on your topic. The instructor of this course has also created a project which you can do to put all your learning from this course into practice.
This is a subscription-based online public speaking course suitable for beginners. It already has 2983 students signed up for the course. It is mentored by Nick Armstrong, the brain behind WTFmarketing. He is also an author and speaker at Ignite, Tedx, etc. The course does not provide a certificate upon completion.
Review by Richard Salinas:
This was my first ever public speaking class and it was really useful, I sometimes freak out when it comes to speak in front of an audience but this course gave me some actionable steps and confidence in what I have to do to deliver an idea in a stage. And isn’t longer than a Netflix episode so yeah, worth the watch.
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This is another quick course that you can undertake for public speaking training online. Unlike other elaborate public speaking courses, this one takes just half an hour of your time. Spread over five video classes, the course aims to teach how to be clear and confident in your speech.
Other topics covered in this course are how to face a large audience, reading with clarity, enunciating words with proper emphasis especially in storytelling and poetry, using inflection to stress on key points, use of gestures to engage the audience during a live performance, and ways to make your speech interesting and easy to understand.
This is a subscription-based beginner level course with 1309 students enrolled already. No certificate is awarded for completing the course.
Review by Emma Freson:
This class is very easy to understand and she does a good job staying focused on the objectives. There's no filler content which I really like.
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In case you do not wish to spend on public speaking courses, yet want to master the trade, you can undertake these public speaking classes online for free. This course teaches the basic principles and techniques you need to apply to become an efficient public speaker.
The course has been divided into 12 modules covering 33 topics and takes 1-2 hours to complete. The topics covered in these modules are:
- Understanding your target audience and planning the speech accordingly
- Outlining and structuring the speech to cover all the topics that you want to share with the audience
- Organizing the topics keeping in mind the target audience
- Building up the speech using the right sources to add more credibility
- Preparing yourself and overcoming nervousness to feel more confident on the stage
- Using visual aids and other tools to deliver a speech
- Ways to tackle questions from the audience and how to answer to build rapport
This online public speaking course has been rated 2.9 by 11,065 enrolled students. To get a certificate for this course, you need to score 80% or more in each assessment. You can then purchase a digital public speaking certificate or can also opt for a physical or framed certificate.
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Dr. Matt McGrrity brings to you another set of public speaking classes online under the course named introduction to public speaking. While his other course focused more on framing speeches for different occasions, this course teaches how to organize, write, and deliver your speech effectively. The course also covers various rehearsal techniques to help build confidence on stage. The techniques taught under the course can be applied for briefings, job interviews, as well as lengthy onstage presentations.
Though categorised under best public speaking courses for beginners, this Coursera public speaking course can also help intermediates and expert speakers to upgrade their skills. The modules in this course are divided across 5 weeks and will take 13 hours to complete.
With a rating of 4.8, this Coursera public speaking course already has 95, 676 subscriptions. You can avail of a 7-day full access free trial. Financial aid is also available for this course. You will be awarded a certificate on the completion of this course.
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The last in our list of best public speaking training courses is this edX public speaking course. Again a beginner’s level course, it aims to help the students to reduce stage fear, become more confident as a speaker, and structure the speech in a way that proves beneficial both for the speaker as well as the audience.
This course touches on the basic principles of public speaking, focusing on structure/organization, use of right language, ways of delivery, ethics of public speaking, and the correct use of audio/visual aids.
This course can be completed within 3 weeks and if you can dedicate 4-6 hours per week. The mentor of this course is Keith B. Jenkins, Vice President & Associate Provost for Diversity & Inclusion at the Rochester Institute of Technology. You can get a certificate upon completion; however, you would have to pay for it.
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Now that you have a long and detailed list of best public speaking courses at your disposal, it is time to reflect on what you desire out of your public speaking training online and which of the above courses is in tune with your needs. We sincerely hope that along with our expert’s advice we were able to give you all the information that you need to undertake your first public speaking classes online. In case you have any feedback or suggestions, do feel free to reach out to us. With that, we wish you all the very best and hope that you successfully overcome your fear of public speaking and become an excellent speaker that you always dreamt of.