Learn the secrets of effective public speaking and small group communication.
You can become an effective public speaker! In this course, you will discover how to talk confidently and persuasively to both large audiences and small groups. You will also learn how to plan and deliver your presentations skillfully and how to manage one of the most common public speaking barriers—fear.
You'll learn the secrets to presenting a speech, how to handle questions and manage conflict in meetings, and even how to shine in a job interview. You will get tips for training your voice and learn how to use both verbal and nonverbal communication effectively. By the time you finish this course, you'll have an entire set of skills you can use on the job, in social settings, and in any other situation where you need to communicate with ease and authority!
- This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac.
- PC: Windows XP or later.
- Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
- Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
- Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
- Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
- Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
Instructional Material Requirements:
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.Become an effective public speaker by discovering how to talk confidently and persuasively to both large and small groups. This course will help you equip yourself with the skills you need to communicate with ease and authority on the job or in any social setting.
You Can Do It!
You'll jump right in with this first lesson, which begins by discussing the most basic and common barrier to successful public speaking: fear. You'll explore why fear is a natural response in some situations and then review several tactics for managing the symptoms of fear. The lesson will also share some practical tips for discovering your unique speaking voice and building your self-confidence. You'll soon discover that by trusting in yourself, your natural abilities, and the ideas you have to contribute, you'll be well on your way to becoming a confident speaker!
Understanding How Communication Works
People communicate with one another every day, all day long. How do people communicate? And why do some people communicate more effectively than others? That's exactly what this lesson will discuss. As a public speaker, it's important to understand the communication process and how it works. This is a process that happens again and again—and the better you understand it, the better prepared you are to speak effectively in public. In this lesson, you'll explore the basic components of communication, such as senders and receivers, verbal and nonverbal communication, and noise and feedback.
Taking the Fear out of Fear
Everyone has experienced fear at one time or another in a speaking situation. Whether you're speaking in front of a crowd or just a small group of friends or colleagues, fear is a common reaction. The good news is that there are skills you can develop to control your fear, and with a little understanding and practice, you can even harness your fear and use it to your advantage. In this lesson, you'll explore why public speaking fear happens, the common symptoms of fear, and how to control these symptoms.
Developing a Confident Voice
Your voice has a major impact on how well you communicate. Have you ever noticed your voice shaking or cracking when you speak? You're not alone! In this lesson, you'll learn how to develop a confident speaking voice for both formal and informal speaking situations. The first step is to understand a few basic concepts about voice and vocal delivery, and the second step is to practice. This lesson will discuss concepts such as pitch, volume, rate, and vocal quality, and you'll have plenty of opportunities to work on developing vocal confidence and effective vocal delivery.
Harnessing the Power of Nonverbal Communication
People tend to think of public speaking as a skill that only uses voices. Yet, studies show time and time again that most communication occurs nonverbally. Nonverbal communication has everything to do with a speaker's success. In this lesson, you'll learn how to harness the power of nonverbal communication so that you communicate effectively. You'll find out how to use eye contact, facial expressions, gestures, posture, and even spatial communication to get across the meaning of your message.
Speaking Well in Social Settings
As you surely know by now, public speaking involves much more than just standing behind a podium and giving a speech. Everyone speaks daily in social settings, and even though this is an everyday occurrence, most people can still use some guidance when it comes to communicating effectively and delivering the messages they intend to deliver. Whether you could use practice speaking well in social settings such as dinner parties, children's birthday parties, or casual after-work happy hours, this lesson will give you the tools and practice you need to hone your social speaking skills!
Most people dread job interviews. These public speaking situations are known to be stressful. But as a public speaker in the making, you can put your skills to work to increase your confidence and ace that next interview. At its most basic level, an interview is really about answering questions effectively. And there are specific tactics you can use to ensure that you communicate well, enabling you to demonstrate who you are and why you're perfect for the position. In this lesson, you'll explore both the verbal and nonverbal communication that occurs during an interview, and you'll discover how to master both.
Do you ever find yourself blushing and stammering when you're called on to talk in a meeting? If so, you're not alone. Most people find this type of impromptu speaking nerve-wracking. With impromptu speaking, you don't have a chance to prepare your talk in advance, which means that you have to organize your thoughts on the spot—as you speak! But fear not. There are some simple tricks to impromptu speaking, and that's what you'll learn in this lesson. You'll also learn about a few things to avoid during an impromptu speech, as well as ways that you can support your fellow speakers.
Preparing and Delivering Short Talks
As a public speaker, one type of speech you'll give time and time again is the "short talk." A short talk is a short speech, often under ten minutes that you give at a meeting of some kind or even at special occasions. The short talk is often enough to terrorize the speaker, but in this lesson, you'll find out how to easily and quickly write, develop, and present a short talk. You'll see plenty of examples along the way that will make learning easy.
Managing Questions, Conversations, and Conflict
The odds are good that at some point in your life, you'll end up leading a committee or team meeting of some sort. If you've led a meeting before, you know how difficult it can sometimes be—especially when half the job is in managing the various personalities of the committee members. In this lesson, you'll focus on managing questions, conversations, and conflict in a typical meeting environment. You'll learn how to master these skills and how to make your next meeting a success!
Mastering the Long Speech
When people think of public speaking, they often imagine someone standing in front of an audience, delivering a "speech." And this notion of preparing and delivering a long speech is generally the most intimidating of all forms of public speaking. But fear not! The long speech appears more daunting and difficult than it really is. In this lesson, you'll see how simple it is to effectively prepare a long speech. This lesson will break down the process of outlining and developing the introduction, body, and conclusion of your next long speech.
Managing Equipment and Media
In a technologically advanced world, virtually every aspect of life is impacted with media and various forms of technology. Public speaking is no exception. As a public speaker, you may need to manage a number of different kinds of equipment and media during your speech. In the final lesson, you'll learn how to use technology to support your speech, and how to weave your media presentation seamlessly into your speech.
Curt Simmons, B.A., M.Ed, is a best-selling author, trainer, and multi-media expert. He holds degrees in English and communication studies and has more than 10 years of experience teaching English and writing in the classroom. Additionally, Simmons has authored numerous books on a wide variety of technology topics and has been a technical editor for numerous other titles.