PUBLIC SPEAKING CLASSES
Learn public speaking and presentation skills in-person or online in this two-day class.
In Public Speaking Classes, you will learn one of the most important and most dreaded forms of communication, the process or act of performing a speech to a live audience to inform, to persuade, and/or to entertain for the purpose of forming connections, influencing decisions, and motivating change.
- Learn industry recommended public speaking and presentation skills best practices.
- Receive training from a business professional with 30+ years of experience.
- Four ways to learn: public class, webinar, self-study, or on-site training.
- Public class and webinar limited to four students for maximum learning.
- Certificate issued on completion.
- Cost: Two-day class $1,399.00
- Available discounts
What will I learn in the Public Speaking Classes?
Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Training Day 1: Speaking Skills Training
Speaking skills are necessary to exchange information and ideas between two or more people through verbal or non-verbal methods. It often includes a face-to-face exchange of information by voice, facial expressions, body language, and gestures. We measure the level of one’s speaking skills through the effectiveness of transferring messages to others.
Speaking skills are the foundation for success in life. People with strong speaking skills tend to interact well with others, whether in teams or groups, formally and informally. Commonly used speaking skills within an organization include daily internal employee communication, client meetings, employee performance reviews, project discussions, and online conversations, making a large portion of employees’ interpersonal communication in the workplace.
For the better part of every day, we are communicating to and with others. Whether it’s the speech you deliver in the boardroom, the level of attention you give your spouse when they are talking to you, or the look you give the cat, it all means something. This course will help you improve your interpersonal skills by developing your awareness of how you interact with others. You will learn many speaking skills, such as listening and persuasive speaking.
The way you communicate with others is determined by your communication style and, conversely, how others communicate with you. Each person in a group may have a different communication style. What is your style.
In Module One, you will learn to identify your speaking style using Kolb’s Learning Styles questionnaire. Knowing your speaking style will help you understand how you communicate with others and, conversely, how others communicate with you.
The Big Picture
What do you think of when we say the word communication? Many people will think of the spoken word. People who are hearing impaired, however, might think of sign language. People who are visually impaired might think of Braille as well as sounds.
In Module Two, we look at the big picture. What is communication? How do we communicate?
Understanding Communication Barriers
On the surface, communication seems pretty straightforward. I talk, you listen. You send me an e-mail. I read it. Larry King makes a TV show; we watch it.
Like most things in life, communication is far more complicated than it seems. Let’s look at some of the most common barriers and how to reduce their impact on communication.
In Module Three, you will learn about speaking barriers such as language barriers, cultural barriers, differences in time and place, inattentiveness, strong opinions, lack of focus, and focus on the past.
Para-Verbal Communication Skills
Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”? It’s true!
Try saying these three sentences out loud, emphasizing the underlined word.
- “I didn’t say you were wrong.” (Implying it wasn’t me)
- “I didn’t say you were wrong.” (Implying I communicated it in another way)
- “I didn’t say you were wrong.” (Implying I said something else)
Now, let’s look at the three parts of para-verbal communication: the message told through the pitch, tone, and speed of our words when we communicate.
In Module Four: you will learn about paraverbal (the messages your body is sending as you speak) skills to include the power of pitch, the truth about tone, and speed.
When you are communicating, your body is sending a message that is as powerful as your words.
You will learn our interpretations are just that – common interpretations. For example, the person sitting with their legs crossed may simply be more comfortable that way and not feel closed-minded towards the discussion. Body language can also mean different things across different genders and cultures. However, it is good to understand how various behaviors are often seen to make sure our body sends the same message as our mouth.
Think about these scenarios for a moment. What non-verbal messages might you receive in each scenario? How might these non-verbal messages affect the verbal message?
- Your boss asks you to come into her office to discuss a new project. She looks stern, and her arms are crossed.
- A team member tells you they have bad news, but they are smiling as they say it.
- You tell a co-worker you cannot help them with a project. They say it’s OK, but they slam your office door on their way out.
One of the first goals of this module: is to help you understand how to use body language to become a more effective communicator. Another goal you will achieve with time and practice is to interpret body language, add it to the message you are receiving, and understand the message being sent appropriately.
In Module Five, you will examine non-verbal speaking. You will review the Mehrabian Study, learn about body language, and interpreting gestures.
Speaking Like a STAR
Now that we have explored all the quasi-verbal communication elements let’s look at the actual message you are sending. You can ensure any message is clear, complete, correct, and concise, with the STAR acronym.
This module will explore the STAR acronym and open questions’ six roots (Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?).
In Module Six, you will learn about the STAR method, a structured manner of responding to behavioral-based questions by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the problem you are describing.
In Module Seven, you will learn listening skills to include seven ways to listen better, understanding active listening, and sending the right signals to others.
Asking Good Questions
Good questioning skills are another building block of successful communication. We have already encountered several possible scenarios where questions helped us gather information, clarify facts, and communicate with others. This module will look closer at these questioning techniques you can use throughout the communication process.
In Module Eight, you will learn about questioning techniques.
The Appreciative Inquiry model is based on the assumption the questions we ask will tend to focus our attention in a particular direction. Some other methods of assessing and evaluating a situation and then proposing solutions are based on a deficiency model. Some other methods ask questions such as “What are the problems,” “What’s wrong,” or “What needs to be fixed?”
Instead of asking, “What’s the problem?” some other methods couch the question in terms of challenges, which AI argues maintains a basis of deficiency, the thinking behind the questions assuming there is something wrong or something needs to be fixed or solved.
Appreciative Inquiry takes an alternative approach. As a self-defined asset-based approach, it starts with the belief that every organization and every person in that organization has positive aspects that can promoted. It asks questions like, “What’s working well?” “What’s good about what you are currently doing?”
Some researchers believe the excessive focus on dysfunctions can cause them to become worse or fail to become better. By contrast, AI argues that when all organization members are motivated to understand and value its culture’s most favorable features, it can make rapid improvements.
In Module Nine, you will learn about appreciative inquiry, its purpose, and its four stages.
Mastering the Art of Conversation
Engaging in interesting, memorable small talk is a daunting task for most people. How do you know what to share and when to share it? How do you know what topics to avoid? How do you become an engaging converser?
Most experts propose a simple three-level framework you can use to master the art of conversation. Identifying where you are and where you should be is not always easy, but having an objective outline can help you stay out of sticky situations. We will also share some handy networking tips that will help you get conversations started.
In Module Ten, you will learn to master the art of conversation, including discussing general topics, sharing ideas and perspectives, sharing personal experiences, and networking tips.
Advanced Communication Skills
Adding advanced communication skills to your toolbox and using them regularly will make you a more efficient, effective communicator.
In Module Eleven: you will learn advanced speaking skills, understanding precipitating factors, establishing common ground, and using I messages.
Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Training Day 2: Presentation Skills Training
Public speaking has always ranked high on a list of the things people fear most. It is so common it even has its name, glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking. Some experts estimate that as much as 75% of the population has some anxiety about public speaking. Of course, many people can manage and control the fear. If your fear is significant enough to cause problems in work, school, or social settings, you may have this full-blown phobia.
It’s only natural to fear the unknown, so how do you overcome that fear…by making the unknown known. With this class and some practice, fear of speaking in public will become a thing of the past. Mastering this fear and getting comfortable speaking in public can be a great ego booster, not to mention a huge benefit to your career. This class will give you valuable public speaking and presentation skills, including in-depth information on developing an engaging program and delivering the skills necessary to deliver exceptional presentations.
Even if you don’t need to make regular presentations in front of a group, there are plenty of situations where good public speaking/presentation skills can help you advance your career and create opportunities. This course aims to help students design and deliver presentations that are concise, clear, and convincing. Please note: if your reason for taking a class is to improve your training skills, our Train the Trainer class would be more suitable.
Good public speaking is more than merely good delivery. If good delivery were all that is required, more people would be better at public speaking. To be good at speaking, you have to understand how oral communication works and how to design presentations that can be delivered well. For this reason, we will start the course by looking at all the opportunities and challenges you face when you speak in front of an audience.
Identifying Your Audience
The key to effective public speaking is preparation. The better you prepare, the more confident you will feel.
Preparation begins with identifying your audience. What do you know about your audience? What is important to them? What’s important to them? Do they have any misconceptions about your topic? These are the kinds of questions you should ask as part of your preparation. Sitting down and listing the questions and your answers to them will give you a basic structure for your speech around which you can add things and take them away as you see fit.
Holding an audience’s attention and speaking to what interests them is the most important thing about any public speech. It is not merely about what you say but also how you say it. If you have a message you wish to get across, think of how that message will communicate best to your audience.
In Module One, you will learn to identify your audience by creating an audience profile or analysis, identifying key questions and audience concerns.
Types of Speeches/Presentations
Whatever your reason for speaking, this module will help you understand and achieve your speaking occasion goals.
William Penn wisely remarked, “The primary goal of any speech is to be understood, not to impress the audience with eloquence.” Yet, there are secondary goals to one’s speech beyond simple communication. Your secondary goal might be to teach the audience a new skill, or you might want to persuade the audience one type of toothpaste is better than another, or you might want to entertain with warm and funny stories of the bride and groom.
Whatever your speech occasion may be, you will have two goals in mind before you even begin. The first goal is firm and fixed—to communicate and be understood—while the second goal will determine the type of speech you write.
In Module Two, you will learn about the different types of speeches/presentations, 1) informative speeches, 2) demonstrative speeches, 3) persuasive speeches, and 4) special occasion speeches.
Organizing the Program
The key to creating a well-organized speech or presentation is to keep your audience in mind. Start with something that will capture their attention and give them a clear idea of your topic.
Organize your presentation’s body in a way that will be easy for your audience to understand and plan to review your main points briefly and then wrap things up on a positive note, perhaps giving your audience a call to action.
The essential thing to remember is you are giving your presentation for the benefit of your audience. That means you need to organize it in a way that will make sense to them. The most important thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is not making the speech for yourself but your audience.
Think of how politicians do things. When they campaign, they will speak to diverse groups of different occupations, ethnicities, and ages. How they will speak to each change between speeches. When they speak to a cabinet meeting of fellow politicians, the language and the issues will be different again. Keep this in mind when giving a presentation.
In Module Three, you will learn how to organize the presentation with tips on making organization easy. You will review the most common organizational methods, such as problem/solution, classifying and categorizing, chronological, spatial, causal, and topical.
Creating a Basic Outline
If there is one thing less appealing than giving a public talk, it’s giving a bad one. If you haven’t prepared your speech, don’t have high expectations. Experience shows giving a speech without prior preparation often fails to impress.
Public speaking is not most people’s ideal way of delivering their message or selling their ideas and products. We would much rather write to people about our cause than give a speech to a group of people, especially if it will be in front of unfamiliar faces. Fear of failure, being unfairly judged, or even not accurately delivering what we are passionate about is what makes public speaking so unpopular.
A well-structured and interesting speech combined with the expression of passion and interest in the subject makes the whole experience easier and even enjoyable. Delivering a speech you have written means you will control expressions, examples, and conclusions.
You can decide how successful, interesting, informing, or humorous your speech is and how much it would influence those listening. Knowing the basic guidelines to write an engaging and enlightening speech will increase your confidence while delivering and ultimately plays an important role in increasing the rate of success in your personal and professional lives.
The main advantage of creating an outline is it helps you organize your thoughts. The audience gets more out of a presentation when it is well-organized. They are also more likely to think the speaker knows the subject thoroughly and has given some thought to presenting it.
Often this approach is seen as being similar to creating a body. You start with the skeleton – the basic outline, the bare minimum of the speech in something like the shape it will eventually take – and progress by adding meat to the bones and layering the rest on top of that.
At key points of the presentation, specific issues will need to be confronted. By allotting them a place in the basic outline, you will ensure these are prioritized and addressed correctly.
In Module Four, you will learn how to create a basic speech outline.
Providing the Details
Audiences are often skeptical about a speaker’s message, especially if the speaker addresses a controversial issue. You can build credibility with an audience by using reliable sources of information and backing up your statements with trusted authorities’ citations.
It would help if you thought about your presentation as though it would be written down on paper and distributed throughout the audience and their bosses. Throwaway lines that you assumed would pass over people’s heads will end up being the bits certain people remember – so be sure to keep a close eye on what you say and how you say it.
Often, people make the mistake of believing the more they say, the better their speech is. Others, feeling brevity is the soul of wit, keep what they say to a minimum. As with so many things, the truth lies somewhere in between, and the key to making a presentation as powerful and as well-received as it can be is to say enough and make what you say mean enough.
There is no point in filling a presentation with extraneous detail that no-one will remember. At the same time, you should avoid leaving out anything remotely important so your message is strong, coherent, and memorable.
In Module Five, you will learn how to build credibility with an audience by using reliable sources of information and backing up your statements with trusted authorities’ citations.
Creating Fantastic Flip Charts and Whiteboards
Information written on flip charts enhances the learning process. During a presentation, the use of flip charts serves to inform participants, record information, and focus attention on a topic. They represent a simple, low-cost learning aid with no power or technology requirements and no worries about burned-out bulbs or darkened rooms. Flip charts add versatility to a presentation and allow the presenter to use creativity to enhance the learning process.
A whiteboard is a name for any glossy-surfaced writing board where non-permanent markings can be made. Unlike the predecessor chalkboard, there is no chalk dust, and markings remain longer than they would on a chalkboard.
Whiteboards have been around since the 1970s and are now vastly improved and more affordable than early models. The use of a whiteboard helps to promote interactivity during a presentation.
In Module Six, you will learn how to create flip charts and use a whiteboard to include the required tools, the advantages of pre-writing, and using colors appropriately.
Creating Compelling PowerPoint Presentations
Microsoft PowerPoint is a commanding tool for creating visual screens for a presentation. Visuals created in PowerPoint and projected on a screen are often easier to see in a large room than information displayed on a flip chart. Using PowerPoint offers the following benefits:
- Allows you to add emphasis to important concepts, helping to increase retention of information
- Adds variety to your presentation
- Makes it easier to display images, charts, or graphs possibly too complex for a flip chart.
- PowerPoint files can easily be shared with participants or others after the session.
In Module Seven, you will learn how to create compelling PowerPoint presentations using the required tools and best practices. You then learn the three steps in the presentation process, 1) creating your presentation, 2) preparing for your presentation, and 3) delivering your presentation.
Vibrant Videos and Amazing Audio
Audio and video are very much a part of our everyday lives, so they are accepted –and even expected media in a presentation. They are attractive options for a presentation because they provide learners with more dimensions to receive information. While video and audio represent a one-way communication to participants, the opportunity to use them as part of learning exercises or in the ensuing discussions adds value to the presentation.
In Module Eight, you will learn about using videos and audio in your presentations to include the required tools and tips and tricks.
Putting It All Together
Once you’ve outlined your speech and lined up some solid evidence to back up your ideas, it’s time to put all the pieces together. Whether you plan to write out your speech word for word or speak from notes, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to say — the actual words, not just the ideas.
It is generally recommended not to have everything you want to say written down but rather a series of prompts. If you appear to be reading from a script, then there is less chance of you getting your point across with the power you want it to have.
Nonetheless, it would help if you refrained from improvising too much as there are clear disadvantages to this process, not least because this is filled with risks such as momentarily being lost for words. And this makes you appear less competent, and people will be less likely to take you seriously. The general impression is you should have in mind the body of what you want to say, and any additions which occur to you can always be included. Therefore, you do not have to worry about deviating from a pre-written speech while also avoiding the dangers of having nothing to say.
In Module Nine, you will learn how to put it all together—writing your presentation, best practices, reviewing, editing, and rewriting.
Preparation serves several important purposes:
- It boosts your self-confidence.
- It reduces the chances of something going wrong.
- It creates an impression of you as a competent, diligent person.
- It makes it easier for you to give a polished, professional presentation.
It is often said those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The reason for this is only by preparing properly will you eliminate the obvious potential errors that can turn what would be an excellent speech into a mess.
By taking the time to prepare, you can look ahead to the presentation and get an impression of how it should go. It will also allow you to consider what difficulties may arise and have a strategy for dealing with each of them.
Some people can walk into a room and hold their audience’s attention by speaking off the cuff for half an hour or more. These people are naturally gifted and quite rare. Usually, they make a living as stand-up comedians, as comedy is one of the very few fields where the act of preparing a routine is not hamstrung by the necessity for getting every fact right and every detail nailed down. Still, this does not mean delivering a presentation cannot be an enjoyable process. The right amount and the right kind of preparation can ensure the presentation is enjoyable, informative, and useful for your audience.
In Module Ten, you will learn how to prepare to deliver your presentation—checking out the venue, gathering materials, getting your voice ready, creating a plan b, and making a 24-hour checklist.
t’s OK to be nervous. It’s probably a good thing. If you are very calm before a presentation, you may be underestimating the difficulty of your assignment. If you’re calm because you consider the topic an easy one (a “no brainer”), you may not project enough interest in your subject.
If you’re not nervous, you may have a hard time projecting the energy and enthusiasm you will need to win your listeners’ attention. Nervousness can be a tool to communicate enthusiasm.
Channel your nervousness by forcing yourself to speak clearly and to make eye contact with your listeners. It cannot be stressed too often; the element of balance is important in delivering a speech.
Come across as too relaxed, and you will sound a little bit bored. If you are bored, then the audience will expect to be bored and need very little excuse to start mentally running through other things they have to do later on that day.
Conversely, if you come across as too nervous, they will wonder why you give the presentation rather than someone competent. Also, remember although eye contact with your audience is good, staring at them will make them apprehensive – or worse yet, amused.
In Module Eleven, you will learn how to overcome nervousness by preparing mentally, using physical relaxation techniques, and appearing confident in front of the group.
Delivering Your Speech
A few simple steps can help you improve the delivery of your presentation:
- Start strong by preparing an opening that will capture the audience’s attention.
- Think about your voice.
- Learn how to use visual aids effectively.
- Practice beforehand to check running time, but not to the point where the speech/presentation is automatic.
As long as you have the confidence to use the room to your advantage and have your ideas straight in your head, the presentation will take care of itself. You will find by saying it and hearing it often enough, and your speech will evolve to a point where you can make slight adjustments on the spot as and where necessary without it becoming confusing.
Don’t eat heavily before your talk and avoid milk products. Milk products coat your larynx and may cause you to do a lot of throat-clearing.
If you have the opportunity, mingle with the audience before you speak. You may learn some relevant things that you can incorporate into your talk. Or make a last-minute adjustment to what you were going to say.
In Module Twelve, you will learn how to deliver your speech and the importance your voice plays in creating an impression. You will learn about register and checking your voice volume, adjusting on the fly, gauging whether breaks are required, and wrapping up and winding down.
Public Speaking and Body Language
In today’s competitive world, presenting an idea to an audience is a skill no one can take lightly. If you haven’t spoken in public yet, eventually, as you gain more experience and knowledge in your field, there will come a time when you need to address an audience.
Many find public speaking daunting. For some, the fear is close to a phobia. However, public speaking is just a skill, and, like all skills, it can be mastered. You don’t have to be naturally gifted to do well; all you need is to follow established guidelines and succeed.
When it comes to public speaking, most people’s first concern is how they are received. Will people laugh at them? Will the audience take them seriously? What happens if they forget what they have to say? What if something goes wrong? Fortunately, all of these fears can be addressed by practice before presenting to the public. It turns out a large factor in the success of a presentation is the presenter’s body language.
Consider the following example. One of the world’s best experts on bees needs to give a public presentation. She knows everything there is to know about bees. The problem is that she is so good at research that she would rather be with her bees than presenting. She doesn’t like public speaking.
Nevertheless, she has to do it anyway. During the talk, she talks quickly. She has a lot to say and wants to say it all. She stands behind the podium and talks in a monotone voice. She has a low voice, which makes it difficult to understand. She doesn’t make any eye contact and is regularly looking at her slides on the wall when talking, facing away from the audience. She is holding a laser pointer, which she fiddles with throughout the talk, and points to the screen with a shaky hand. Her hair is in her face, covering one of her eyes. She pulls it aside once every minute.
Listening to such a presenter will be a chore. There will be so many distractions that no one could concentrate on the talk’s actual content, however groundbreaking. Being a world expert doesn’t make you a good presenter. Your public speaking skills and good body language allow you to deliver a compelling and engaging presentation or argument.
In Module Thirteen, you will learn how body language can impact your speech.
Questions and Answers
The way you respond to questions will have a major effect on the rapport you can build with the audience. If you answer questions thoughtfully and respectfully, people will feel you are taking them seriously. If you give flip, dismissive answers, people will feel you don’t have time for them.
People may ask questions that are not a hundred percent serious. Still, even then, you should not be dismissive. Take the question in the spirit it was intended and take the opportunity to display a sense of humor.
Questions may well be an opportunity for you to get information into the presentation you could not address due to overall time constraints. When someone asks a good question, begin your response with a sentence along the lines of “That’s a very good question, and I am glad you asked me that. I think the most important thing here is that…”
If someone asks a question which you find either you cannot answer or which is difficult, do not simply say “I don’t know” but say, “That’s a good question. I have to admit I hadn’t covered that issue – what do you think?” This way, you will not lose respect but will allow the discussion to flow more freely.
In Module Fourteen, you will learn about questions and your answers. Question ground rules, answering questions that sound like an attack and dealing with complex questions.