Why You Should Pursue Speaking Courses
As professionals, we know how important it is to be able to speak well in front of a group of people so why is it that we don’t take time to participate in speaking courses? In many cases, it’s probably because to take a speaking course means we have to speak in public – and that’s scary!
Public Speaking Courses
Like vegetables, public speaking courses are good for you. While you likely don’t have a fear of vegetables, it’s common to have a fear of public speaking and that’s often why we avoid enrolling in training. It’s a vicious cycle: the fear of speaking in public keeps you from doing it, and not doing it means you don’t need to take speaking courses, and not taking speaking courses keeps your fear of speaking in public alive. Nasty, isn’t it?
So what can you do about it?
Enrol in speaking courses. Don’t think about it, just do it. You’ll always fear public speaking until you learn how to deal with your fear and speaking courses are designed to help you with it.
Speaking Courses: How They Help
A rather interesting observation about those learning to speak in public is that they’re often less worried about what they’re going to say – the content of the speech or presentation – than they are about how they appear: what they look like, what to do with their hands, having a room full of people looking at them. When it comes to the fear of public speaking, the content is almost secondary because the speaker usually knows it pretty well. It’s the delivery that’s the most concerning.
Part of the process of public speaking training is to help learners handle all elements of speaking, including fear. The process also includes breaking-down the elements of public speaking: organizing the speech or presentation so it makes sense to the audience, vocal tone and expression, visual aids, body and face gestures, eye contact, and perhaps most importantly, many opportunities to speaking in front of people. These aren’t “regular” people either. They’re the other students (or learners) who are working on their speaking skills also and are there to be an understanding and supportive audience while you get used to speaking to the group.
Once you have learned the skills of speakers, you’ll likely notice that your fear has diminished. You’ll learn how to handle the situation and experience of public speaking. It’s amazing what knowledge and some techniques can do to help relieve stress of speaking in public and that’s a big part of what speaking courses offer.
Online Speaking Courses
If you’re not quite ready to go head-first into public speaking courses like Toastmasters (which is an excellent program), try an online course to begin with. Express Yourself to Success recommends Dale Mercer’s Step Up and Speak which is a fantastic 11-session program that will guide you through the process of learning to speak in public. It’s a useful and practical speaking course that will help you build your confidence and give you the techniques necessary to give a solid and effective speech, talk, or presentation.
Having the ability to speak effectively in front of a group of people is a necessary management and leadership skill. Investing in speaking courses is essential to your ongoing career success.