Do you run a small business? If so, chances are you’ll have to face the daunting task of speaking in public at some point in your career. Whether it’s a team meeting, a webinar, or a community event, public speaking is a crucial skill to conquer. It’s common to be anxious about facing a large group of people, as 73% of the population suffer from public speaking anxiety, according to the National Social Anxiety Center. But fear not, because you don’t have to navigate this challenge on your own. Numerous resources, many of which are free, are available to help you improve your public speaking skills.
University of Washington’s Introduction to Public Speaking
If you consider yourself a beginner when it comes to public speaking, the University of Washington offers an introductory course tailored for nervous individuals. In this course, taught by Dr. Matt McGarrity from the Department of Communication, you’ll learn valuable skills to transform yourself into a confident public speaker. The course covers a range of topics, including understanding speech, delivering compelling ideas, overcoming fear, and developing great delivery. With five 2-hour lectures, this course can be accessed on Coursera for $79. Additionally, there’s an option to audit the course for free, albeit without access to course materials or a certificate.
Talk the Talk
FutureLearn provides a six-week course on public speaking that utilizes resources like TED Talk videos to demonstrate effective speaking techniques. This interactive online course encourages participation among learners and promises to guide you in creating a powerful presentation you can take pride in. By the end of the course, you’ll have the confidence to present effectively in various aspects of your life, be it your academic, professional, or personal endeavors.
Interested in refining your public speaking skills? Look no further than the “Six Minutes” website, curated by Andrew Dlugan. Here you’ll find a wealth of knowledge from speaking coaches, university professors, and professional speakers who cover an array of topics. Delve into articles about delivery techniques, effective presentations, speaking habits, and engaging with your audience.
The Accidental Communicator
Dr. Jim Anderson’s blog, “The Accidental Communicator,” offers a valuable and free resource for improving your public speaking skills. Drawing from 25 years of experience working with speakers and audiences, Dr. Anderson shares insightful tips and inspiration for aspiring speakers. Sign up for his newsletter and browse through his articles to gain valuable insights that will enhance your public speaking abilities.
Toastmasters International is a global organization dedicated to helping individuals become better public speakers. With over 16,400 clubs in 141 countries, finding a local branch to cultivate your skills should be relatively easy. If you’re unable to find a club near you or have limited time, their website provides a plethora of informative and helpful articles that can be accessed for free.
In the era of AI advancements, speaking in public can be improved with the help of Orai, a mobile app acting as your personal AI speech coach. Prior to any speech or presentation, use the app to receive instant feedback. Orai is a prize-winning app developed based on insights from over 100 speaking coaches. It offers encouragement and insight to make your practice enjoyable and rewarding. The app analyzes speech clarity, identifies pauses and filler words like “um” and “uh,” measures the energy level of your voice, and even informs you if you’re speaking too fast or too slow. Don’t miss out on this indispensable tool—it’s free!
Once your speaking skills are honed, it’s essential to ensure your presentation slides contribute positively to your delivery. Say goodbye to the traditional PowerPoint template and say hello to Beautiful.AI—a platform that takes your presentation to the next level. Beautiful.AI offers professionally designed slides that can make your delivery truly stand out. The best part? Signing up is free, and the platform is simple, easy to navigate, and visually appealing.
In conclusion, honing your public speaking skills is crucial for any small business owner. The fear of public speaking affects many individuals, but with these resources at your disposal, you don’t have to face it alone. From University courses to online platforms, there are numerous ways to improve your speaking abilities. So, take advantage of these resources and unlock your potential as a confident, influential public speaker.
Remember, practice makes perfect, and with dedication and the right tools, you’ll be able to conquer any public speaking engagement with ease.