Public speaking is the art of communicating with a large group or effectively addressing a large audience. It is entirely different from one-to-one conversations. It can be a little tricky as you might hold yourself back due to fear of speaking in front of a large audience.
If you are afraid of speaking in front of a large audience, there are many proven methods that can help you overcome it and effectively communicate with a large audience. One is by learning the art of public speaking.
Taking public speaking classes can help you calm your nerves, make your body language and voice language work to your advantage, improve your speech writing and persuasion techniques, and more.
It is important to hone your public speaking skills because it will enhance your listening skills and boost your confidence and turn you into a more effective communicator. To support you in your journey to hone your public speaking skills, we’ve shortlisted the 14 best public speaking courses online that can prepare you for success.
Public Speaking Courses Online – Overview
Communication is the key to growth and success. Developing good communication skills is essential for presenting ideas or visions, reaching an agreement, persuading someone, etc. So, it is essential to invest in honing your communication skills.
You will be taught the following core concepts in your public speaking courses:
- Preparation: It includes research, outlining, creating slides, rehearsing, and appearing. It pushes you to build confidence and overcome anxiety.
- Execution: You will learn body language, pitching, persuasion, rhetoric, and storytelling skills to deliver your message.
- Completion: You will gain more experience with Q&A and setting and achieving goals for your speeches.
Best Public Speaking Courses Online – Top Picks
To shortlist these 14 best online courses for public speaking, we compared several factors, including course content, the amount of time required, costs, reviews, certification, and instructor expertise.
1. Speak and Inspire – Lisa Nichols, Mindvalley
If you believe that you can bring change through words and communication, then this public speaking course on Mindvalley will help you transform and grow. It will help you learn how to use the power of words in different settings – meetings, motivational speeches, etc.
The course is 30 days long. Within this, you will start to look inwards, own your own voice and learn to speak without being afraid. You will learn how to connect with your listeners on a deeper level. All the materials you will receive during the course will teach you various techniques and strategies to become an outstanding speaker. This is by far one of the best public speaking courses available online.
Provider: Mindvalley | Instructor: Lisa Nichols | Time: 4 Weeks
Price: Subscription to Mindvalley at $99/month or $499 annually
2. Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization – Coursera, University of Washington
This online course is perfect for you if you are an inpidual or professional looking to build your confidence and learn to speak effectively. In addition, it will help you learn how to use your body language to engage with your audience.
The course is taught by Dr. Matt McGarity. He is the founder and director of the University of Washington Speaking Center. He has won various awards from the National Speakers Association and Toastmasters for his tremendous work. And this course of his is a beginner-level course where you will learn Storytelling, topic framing, discussing evidence, and slide creation.
Toward the end of the course, you will be asked to create and submit a video presentation for feedback. And you will also have the opportunity to review other students’ work and provide feedback.
Provider: Coursera | Instructor: Dr. Matt McGarity | Time: 3 months approx
Price: Ranges from $30 to $110 depending on the period of time you will take to complete the course
3. Public Speaking Online Course – Rochester Institute of Technology
If you are looking for a short-term course, then this is the best suitable option for you. In this course, you will learn how to control your public speaking anxiety which will help boost your confidence to give a compelling speech. Although the course time is said to be for three weeks, you can complete the course at your desired pace. The only drawback of this course is that the content is less interactive.
The course is taught by Keith B. Jenkins. He is the vice president and associate provost for persity and inclusion at RIT and a published academic scholar of communications and rhetoric. The mentioned course is one of the 6 courses that make up RIT’s Soft Skills Certification program.
You can avail of the course for free if you want to audit. But you will have to pay for the course if you want to participate in the graded quizzes, presentations, and other activities and to receive the completion certificate.
Provider: edX | Instructor: Keith B. Jenkins | Time: 3 weeks
Price: Free for temporary access. $200 for a certified certificate and full access.
Do you want to upskill and also earn college credit? Then this course by the University of North Dakota offers you just that. You can enroll in the course anytime and complete it at your own pace. In fact, anyone can sign up for this course, even without any prior experience.
With 10 online lessons, you will learn the theory and practice of public speaking and how to perfect speech content, organization, and delivery. The course consists of two open-book exams. You will receive 3 credits upon completion that can be transferred to other Higher Learning Commission-accredited institutions or used toward the bachelor’s degree in communications at UND.
Provider: University of North Dakota | Time: 3-9 months
5. Essential Public Speaking – VirtualSpeech
This is one of the most interactive and fun course options you will come across. Along with helping you overcome your fear of public speaking, the course will also support you in practicing speaking virtually in a mock conference room, formal ballroom, or lecture hall. In addition, you can practice specific skills with exercises that focus on impromptu speaking, improving eye contact, or navigating sound and visual distractions.
The course is taught by Dom Barnard. He begins the course with voice practices – canons of rhetoric, the pillars of persuasion, literary techniques, and speech planning. As a result, you will learn how to manage anxiety and deliver presentations using body language, eye contact, and gestures.
If you are looking for a course that allows you to live practice with multiple other people, then this one is for you.
Platform: VirtualSpeech | Instructor: Dom Barnard | Time: 5 hours
Price: $200 for one-time access. $45 per month for access to all courses
The Complete Public Speaking Masterclass for Any Occasion is currently one of the most popular public speaking courses on Udemy. If you are looking for a complete course to master public speaking, then this one is your best option.
The course is taught by TJ Walker, a renowned speaker, entrepreneur, and author. It is a comprehensive course with many real-world examples. You would be trained in over 20 different public speaking scenarios, which include, investor pitches, job interviews, and presenting during virtual conference calls. Once enrolled, you would be provided with 31 hours of video, six articles, and seven downloadable resources. You can finish the course at your own pace.
Platform: Udemy | Instructor: TJ Walker | Time: 31.5 hours
Price: $149.99, although it is sometimes on sale
7. Speaking in Public: Storytelling, Influence, and Presence – GetSmarter
If you are a professional who is mostly in the creative field, then this is one of the best courses for you to shape into a confident, persuasive, and compelling speaker.
The course is taught by Bruce Whitfield, an award-winning journalist and public speaker. In this course, you will learn essential communication skills and how to use them to present, pitch, brand, persuade or navigate complex and difficult public conversations. You will also be taught how to stitch stories that build powerful brands. In addition, you will have access to the public forum where you can receive actionable feedback for york work.
Provider: GetSmarter | Instructor: Bruce Whitfield | Time: 2 weeks
8. Storytelling and Influencing: Communicate with Impact – Coursera, Macquarie University
If you have any prior experience attending Public Speaking Classes, then take this course taught by Associate Professor Lawrence Ang (Program Director of Bachelor of Marketing and Media at Macquarie) and Arabella MacPherson (former actress and Director of Resonate Communications) to level up your skills even more.
It is a 6-week online course where you are taught story structure and presentation skills. In addition, you will learn the Milton Model (a set of NLP persuasion techniques that heads of state frequently use), how to build rapport, plan a meeting and execute it, and how to prepare for Q&As. The course is visually appealing as you will be taught through diagrams and acronyms for better understanding.
Provider: Coursera | Instructor: Associate Professor Lawrence Ang and Arabella MacPherson | Time: Approx 18 hours
Price: $80 for premium access
Among the complete list, this is another shortest course. In a span of 1h15m, you will be led by Jeff Ansell, a highly experienced presentation coach and communications leader, on how to express yourself and your ideas better and how to build confidence. Throughout the class, Ansell is very engaging and explains how to appear confident in front of an audience and how to connect with the audience. You can avail of the course for free if you have a LinkedIn Learning subscription and finish it at your own pace. If not, LinkedIn Learning offers a one-month free trial, which you can use to take this course for free.
Provider: LinkedIn Learning | Instructor: Jeff Ansell | Time: Approx 1hr15m
Price: Free with LinkedIn Learning Subscription. If not, LinkedIn Learning also offers a one-month free trial.
Chris Haroun, TEDx speaker, and lecturer, curated this course with his over 25 years of experience. This course covers everything from content creation to preparation, to successful Q&A sessions, to delivery, slides, appearance secret, to post-presentation work, to meet the goals of your speech – everything “from page to stage.” In addition, you will have access to download various presentation templates and guides.
This course is perfect for you if you want an overview of what public speaking is – types of speaking engagements, tips for public speaking, etc.
Platform: Udemy | Instructor: Chris Haroun | Time: Approx 16 Hours
Price: Approx $126, although it is sometimes on sale.
11. Intro to Public Speaking – Give a 5-Minute Talk Without Dying – Skillshare
If you are looking for a course that will help you plan your speech, then this is the perfect course option for you. The course is curated and taught by Nick Armstrong, “Geek-in-Chief” of WTF Marketing and experienced TEDx speaker. After taking up this course, you will be able to identify and eliminate verbal and physical tics, find free images for your slides, and look, act, and sound like a professional.
The added advantage of this course is that Nick keeps the sessions engaging and uses practical examples to convey the topic. Nick also offers other courses on Skillshare, which include courses on SStorytellingand more.
Platform: Skillshare | Instructor: Nick Armstrong | Time: Approx 47min
12. Jodi Glickman on Pitching Yourself – LinkedIn Learning
Here is another really short course (of 15min) available on LinkedIn Learning. However, it can be useful for both impromptu and scheduled conversations which will lead you to new opportunities.
The course is curated by Jodi Glickman, an experienced keynote speaker, founder and CEO of TED Talk, and a Communication and career expert. She provides simple formulas to respond to interviewers in this course. In addition, she shows her skills in pitching and storytelling and how she usually does it.
Platform: LinkedIn Learning | Instructor: Jodi Glickman | Time: 15min
In this self-paced TED masterclass, you will learn how to prepare and deliver a talk in front of a huge audience. The sessions would be engaging as Chris Anderson uses clips of many powerful TED talks to demonstrate various topics to you.
The course includes two sections – preparation units and crafting units. In the former units, you will learn how to identify the ideas worth sharing, how to prepare your script, how to use body language and voice techniques, and more. And the latter units will teach you storytelling techniques, how to express yourself effectively, how to use visuals, and more. In addition, at the end of the course, you can record your presentation and submit it to the TED curators. If it is selected, it will be featured on the TED website.
Platform: TED | Instructor: Chris Anderson | Time: Approx 11 hours
Price: $49.99 + tax for unlimited access
14. Public Speaking Mastery – Dale Carnegie
If you are looking for a perfect short course for a beginner, then this course by Dale Carnegie is what you need to shape your presentation skills and build confidence. In this course, you will be introduced to Dale Carnegie’s tried-and-worked techniques to research and organize your presentations, strategies for navigating Q&A sessions, handling heckling from the audience, etc.
To ensure that you build your confidence in your new skill, you will be asked to create and review videos of your presentations during the class. This will help you to keep track of how it has changed throughout the course. This is truly one of the best courses!
Instructor: Dale Carnegie | Time: About 8 sessions | Price: From $1,895
Choosing the Best Public Speaking Courses Online
Most people fear public speaking, and it is completely normal. But public speaking is an important skill you need to learn as a student and professional because you never know when you will have the best opportunity (be it an interview, presentation, etc.) to scale your growth. To ensure that you invest in building this skill and overcome your fear of public speaking, we have curated this list of the 14 best public speaking online courses. In addition to the description provided about the courses, here are other things you need to consider –
- Whether you want to sharpen your skills or need certification for the same?
- Whether you are looking for a career change?
- What are the possible public speaking events you have coming up to prepare for?
- Whether the course provides any additional resources? Etc.
Before going ahead with selecting any of the courses, make sure that you are aware of what you are seeking out of the course and why it is that you are taking it up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is an Online Public Speaking Class?
Public Speaking classes help people overcome their fear of public speaking and improve their communication skills. The classes will be conducted online, and you may be asked to upload the assignments on a portal where you will be critiqued. You will also be provided with a virtual platform to practice speaking facing a large audience.
What Does an Online Public Speaking Class Include?
An online public speaking class includes lessons on different public speaking techniques, enhancing body language and voice language, and tips for controlling public speaking anxiety among all. More in-depth sessions will include assignments, mock presentations, etc. The course length differs from course to course; some span for a period of 1-2 hrs, and some are taught for 4-6 months.
What Is the Cost of an Online Public Speaking Class?
Some Online Public Speaking Classes are available for free or low-cost. However, if you are looking for professional certificates and college credit after completion of the course, then it will cost you anywhere between $30 to $1200.
Is Taking an Online Public Speaking Class Worth It?
Yes. Taking an online public speaking class will help you become a better communicator and listener. The lessons will help you analyze and understand your audience, prepare your speech in advance with the help of feedback from peers, know your strengths and weaknesses while speaking, learn different techniques, etc. In addition, you will also earn a certificate which you can add to your resume.