Public speaking is one of the most important forms of communication. However, it is also among the most feared ones. A significant percentage of the population experiences anxiety over this skill. Taking classes can help you overcome this fear and learn or improve.
In this article, we have listed the top 10 online public speaking courses that will provide you with maximum value to help you overcome your fear. Through thorough research, we have compared the syllabi and length and considered other factors before listing them for you. Not to mention, some of the courses mentioned are also recommended by some of the top public speakers!
By the end of this post, you will find the most reliable public speaking courses that you can pick based on your needs.
With that, let’s get into the details!
Top 10 Public Speaking Courses – In A Nutshell (2023)
If you do not have time to go through the entire article, here is a quick summary of the courses we have picked so you can pick one quickly.
- Dynamic Public Speaking by the University of Washington: This is the perfect course for beginners as it does not require prior knowledge. You can also complete it at your own pace.
- Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course by Udemy: This course will teach you how to give the best speeches in personal and business settings.
- Public Speaking by Rochester Institute of Technology: This course is the perfect option for people who want a short course. You can complete it within 3 weeks.
- Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen by UCI: This course is designed to help you craft the perfect speeches with concise statements.
- Fundamentals of Public Speaking at the University of North Dakota: If you want to earn college credit upon completion of your public speaking course, this is the best option for you.
- Successful Presentation by the University of Colorado Boulder: This course is designed for students who want to overcome their fear and anxiety of public speaking.
- Public Speaking: A Crash Course on Elocution and Confident Speech: If you struggle with enunciation while speaking in public, this course can help you overcome the issue.
- Speak & Inspire – Lisa Nichols By Mindvalley: This course can help you in improving your public speaking and also give you the confidence boost you need to address your listeners.
- Speak Like A Pro – Public Speaking For Professionals: Learn public speaking from a professional public speaking trainer and overcome your fear of public speaking.
- Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills: Learn the necessary skills of negotiation from the University of Michigan.
Whether you are a student or just someone looking to improve your skills, these courses can help you become an excellent public speaker. Here is the complete review and list that top public speakers recommend.
1. Dynamic Public Speaking by University of Washington
In the Dynamic Public Speaking course offered by the University of Washington, there are four courses that you can complete to earn a certificate. They are: Introduction to Public Speaking, Speaking to Persuade, Speaking to Inspire and Speaking to Inform.
This course is number one on our list because it is a complete package for people serious about public speaking. The course is led by Dr. Matt McGarrity, an award-winning lecturer and communications scholar.
It is designed to increase your confidence, improve speech delivery, master speech writing, and build a speech portfolio. You can complete the course at your own pace and do not need to follow a specific time routine. It is the perfect option for beginners as the course does not require prior knowledge or experience.
Duration: 5 months
2. The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course by Udemy
The Complete Presentation and Public Speaking/Speech Course is among the best-selling on Udemy. The course is very detailed and explains public speaking from scratch. It was developed by a Tedx Talk speaker, award-winning professor, and author, Chris Haroun.
The course is divided into 12 parts and covers all the information you need to know to become the perfect public speaker. It is designed to teach you the basics of public speaking in both business and personal settings. Moreover, it helps you practice what you learn through exercises, examples, and templates.
Here are some things covered in the course:
- Identifying with the audience
- What to include in your speech
- Using good body language
- Acing Q&A of any questions about your speech
- What to do after the speech, and many more.
Duration: 16 hours of on-demand video
3. Public Speaking by Rochester Institute of Technology
Public Speaking by Rochester Institute of Technology is an excellent option for those who wish to complete the course in a shorter time. With this course, you can build your confidence, get rid of speech anxiety, and deliver a compelling speech within just three weeks.
Keith B. Jenkins teaches this course and is the vice president of diversity and inclusion at RIT. You can complete the course at your own pace during these three weeks by contributing only a few hours every week.
This course, again, is great for beginners as it does not require prior knowledge. Although the course is free, you can get more features by making a one-time payment of $199. The paid version gives you graded quizzes, speech assignments, and a certificate.
Duration: 3 weeks.
4. Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen by UCI (Coursera)
Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen is offered by the University of California Irvine’s Division of Continuing Education. Doing this course will help you learn tips and tricks to prepare for and deliver a speech confidently. You also learn to prepare a memorable speech with facts and concise statements.
One of the things we like about the course is that it offers opportunities to practice the skills you acquire. You can demonstrate the things you have learned and gain the much-needed experience of giving a speech. After completing the course, you can give speeches anywhere, be it your classroom or your job.
The course is free for all. However, if you want to get feedback and practice quizzes, you need to pay for them. You also get a certificate at the end of it.
Duration: About 25 hours
5. Fundamentals of Public Speaking at the University of North Dakota
The courses at the University of Washington and Rochester Institute of Technology are great, but none of them offer college credit. If you are looking for an option where you can earn college credit for a public speaking course, Fundamentals of Public Speaking at the University of North Dakota is the right option for you.
You can enroll in this program even if you have no prior experience or knowledge. It focuses both on theory and the practice of public speaking. It helps you perfect organization, speech content, and delivery.
The course comes with ten online lessons and two open-book exams. During the exams, you need to record a speech and upload it on the school’s portal for the professors to grade. However, you do not get the leisure of finishing the course at your own pace. Once enrolled, you have to complete it within nine months.
Duration: 9 months
6. Successful Presentation by the University of Colorado Boulder (Coursera)
Successful Presentation by the University of Colorado Boulder is one of the best options for overcoming the fear of public speaking. It is taught by professor William Kuskin and is completely a beginner-level program.
The sole purpose of the course is to remove the fear and enable students to become more powerful speakers. The lessons are all about overcoming social anxiety, not only in small personal settings but also in large crowds.
The course addresses the concerns associated with glossophobia, a term for fear of giving speeches. This course would be helpful for people who have a fear of speaking in public, rather than those who want to learn some skills.
Duration: 8 hours
7. Public Speaking: A Crash Course on Elocution and Confident Speech (SkillShare)
Public Speaking: A Crash Course on Elocution and Confident Speech is a short course that focuses on elocution and pronunciation. Ashley Keenan teaches the course. She was a public speaker for various nonprofit organizations and has worked in comedy shows.
Since the course is very short, you will find fewer topics covered than the other courses on the list. The topics included are inflection, elocution, projection, enunciation, and voice clarity. It focuses more on speaking rather than speaking in public.
Therefore, this course is recommended to those who want to improve their elocution. After completing this course, you can do another one to learn the “public” aspect of “public speaking.” It is also a good option for those who can speak in public but struggle with pronunciation.
Duration: 26-minute short video
8. Lisa Nichols’ Speak & Inspire By Mindvalley
Mindvalley is an amazing platform that helps you achieve mindfulness and improve yourself for the better. Lisa Nichols’ Speak & Inspire course is one of the best public speaking courses, and it is best for those individuals who are looking to improve their public speaking skills and influence other people with their communication. You only have to give 10 minutes in a day to start improving.
The course has four modules and a lot of verbal exercises. You will also learn how to influence your listeners with just your words. You only have to commit to this course for 30 days and along with that keep on doing all the daily activities. Once you finish the course, you will become the best version of yourself when it comes to public speaking.
Duration: 30 days
9. Speak Like A Pro – Public Speaking For Professionals By Udemy
The instructor of this course, Jennifer Hennings, has already helped thousands of people in overcoming their fear of public speaking and turned them into great public speakers. She has given training to famous organizations like Google, Facebook, and Apple. She also used to be an introvert who was really afraid of public speaking, and then she overcame that fear, and now she is helping others do the same with her course on Udemy.
With this course, you will understand the fundamentals of public speaking, conquer your speech anxiety, put your points without fumbling in a room full of people, and influence others with powerful stories. This is also a NASBA CPE-accredited course. The course is divided into eight sections which include 29 lectures.
Duration: 1 Hour 13 Minutes
10. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
We negotiate in our daily life, whether we are buying something or negotiating with our friends or family. Negotiation is a skill that is necessary for all types of business. The University of Michigan offers this Coursera course. The course teaches you four essential steps for successful negotiation: plan your strategy for negotiation, use important tactics for success, create a contract, and evaluate.
The course has seven different modules, and after completing all seven modules, you will need to take four different quizzes and one assessment to get the course completion certificate. In these modules, you will also get to practice your negotiation skills live. In the last module, you need to take 75 minutes of examination to show what you’ve learned from the course.
Duration: Approx 17 Hours (5 hours/week for three weeks)
Conclusion: Best Public Speaking Courses (2023)
The skill of public speaking is not something you learn in one day. It requires knowledge and months, maybe years of practice and experience. Sure, you can try sitting in front of the mirror and practicing speaking. But that won’t help when you are standing before hundreds of people.
An online public speaking course can help you examine the audience, craft your speech and get feedback on your speech and mannerisms. You not only learn new things but also unlearn the ones that can have a negative impact. Lastly, you also earn a certificate that can be a great addition to your job resume.