Public speaking classes or ‘workshops’ can help you overcome nerves and build your public speaking skills. The classes are generally often a mix of content – tools, tips, and techniques – provided by a trainer and practical activities to help you apply these to your speaking.
The trainer may cover:
- Dealing with nerves before a speech
- Calming yourself down on stage
- Projecting your voice
- Making eye contact
- Adopting an engaging tone of voice
- Speaking with authority
Classes are usually quite small so that everyone feels comfortable, has an opportunity to ask questions and receive expert advice.
Towards the end of the session or course, the trainer may ask you to give a short speech or presentation and provide feedback on what you are doing well and how you can improve your speaking.
Benefits of public speaking classes
There are many benefits to attending a public speaking class including:
- Building your confidence and skills in a safe space
- Getting feedback on your speaking in a supportive environment
- Practice giving speeches to real audiences
- Learning from your peers and professional trainers
Public speaking classes vs one-to-one coaching
Classes typically focus on general tips and techniques, while coaching is more tailored to your individual needs.
With coaching, it is just you and the coach and the sessions are all about you.
One-to-one coaching is great if you have specific challenges you want to address (e.g. wanting to sound more authoritative) or are preparing for a particular speech/presentation.
It is also beneficial if you are short on time and would rather learn through shorter regular, tailored one-to-one sessions, rather than sitting through a full day or 2-3 day workshop to get what you need.
For this reason, senior professionals often prefer one-to-one public speaking coaching.
Again you will learn from a mix of content delivered by the coach and practical exercises. Many coaches will set homework to ensure you are continually building your skills.
Both classes and coaching have different benefits.
Ultimately the best choice depends on your needs as an individual. But the hardest bit is reaching out for help and doing something is always better than nothing.
Go for it and best of luck!
Want to discuss your speaking challenges/goals and see if we can help? Drop us a line!