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Best Public Speaking Courses

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You’ve been tasked with delivering a presentation. Maybe you’re new to public speaking and you either embrace the challenge with gusto or would rather crawl under your desk to hide. Or maybe you have some experience under your belt and want to improve your skills. Consider an online public speaking course so you can speak with confidence and fine-tune your presentations. 

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Best Public Speaking Courses

Take a look at Benzinga’s top picks: 

What Makes a Public Speaking Course Great?

Look for these qualities as you explore public speaking courses so you choose the right one for you.

Led by an Instructor with Proven Results 

Does the instructor have a track record of molding students into remarkable speakers? How are his or her presentation skills? Take a look at the reviews from past students to determine if the course delivers on its promises. And it’s also a good idea to review the instructor’s biography and LinkedIn profile to get a feel for his or her experience in the industry. 

Comprehensive and Interactive 

The course should cover the mechanics of public speaking and include interactive exercises so you implement the strategies. While membership with the local Toastmasters chapter isn’t a must, the instructor should require that you submit videos of you speaking for feedback from your peers. 

Affordable 

Why spend a fortune on a public speaking course when there are free or low-cost options available? Start with affordable classes to test the waters and work your way up as you explore more advanced options. 

Our Top Picks

We researched hundreds of course options to come up with our top picks from Coursera, edX, LinkedIn Learning and Udemy. The top selections are organized by category — beginners, intermediate students and advanced students. And you will also find a brief description and pricing information for each course below. 

Public Speaking Courses for Beginners

If you’re new to public speaking, give these courses a try.

1. Introduction to Public Speaking by the University of Washington 

  • Who it’s for: Beginners 
  • Price: Free

This comprehensive course starts with the foundational elements to master the art of public speaking. It’s part of the Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization and offers 5 in-depth lessons. 

You will learn how to create an effective outline and transform your notes into a written message that will resonate with your audience. And if you’re terrified of speaking in public, you will learn techniques to quell your fears and be more confident during your resentations.

The class is led by Dr. Matt McGarrity, principal lecturer in communication at the University of Washington. There are no prerequisites and beginners are encouraged to enroll.

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2. Public Speaking Foundations by LinkedIn Learning (Formerly Lynda.com)

Public Speaking Foundations is another ideal course if you’re just getting started with public speaking and want to create and deliver speeches that will impress your audience. Do you suffer from stage fright? The course will teach you to put your fears to rest and deliver a speech that’s full of life. 

The course includes 5 modules — Preparing Your Speech, Preparing for Your Speech, Opening, Delivering and Closing. Facilitator Laura Bergells, a professional speaker, delivers each lesson by video, and there is a little over 1 hour of content to work through. 

Enrollment is included with a $29.99 monthly LinkedIn membership. Or you can sign up for a 1-month trial to secure a seat in the class for free. 

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3. Public Speaking by the Rochester Institute of Technology 

  • Who it’s for: Beginners
  • Price: Free

Offered the Rochester Institute of Technology, this is another excellent course if you have an upcoming speaking engagement and have no idea where to start. Instructor Keith B. Jenkins, the vice president and associate provost for diversity and inclusion, will show you how to prepare and deliver a memorable presentation in the simplest way possible. 

For 3 weeks, you will also learn the methodology behind recognizing main and supporting ideas and create a speech that’s both clear and impactful. You’ll also discover proven ways to minimize speaking anxiety. 

You can enroll in this beginner-level class for free. A $49 fee applies if you want to receive a verified certificate. 

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Intermediate Public Speaking Courses

Do you want to improve your skills to make your presentations more appealing? These courses may be perfect for you.

4. Presentations: Speaking so that People Listen by the University of California, Irvine 

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate students 
  • Price: Free 

Do you have experience delivering presentations but aren’t quite sure if they resonate with others? This intermediate-level free course from the University of California, Irvine, will show you how to craft speeches that captivate audiences and remain etched in their minds for years to come. 

Course material is delivered through instructional videos and handouts. But if you upgrade to the paid version of the course, you will also have access to quizzes. Another significant benefit of the paid option is the ability to upload recorded presentations (based on assignments) and solicit peer feedback. 

Expect to spend 20 hours working through the course material. You’ll receive a certificate of completion once you finish the class. 

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5. Public Speaking: Energize and Engage Your Audience by LinkedIn Learning (Formerly Lynda.com)

Tired of speaking to dull audiences? Learn to create presentations that will amp them up in this intermediate-level course from LinkedIn Learning. 

In a little over 30 minutes of video lessons, public speaking coach Shola Kaye, shares best practices for crafting a strong opening, delivering a dynamic and inspiring presentation and closing with impact. She also explains how you can use your body, words, energy, voice, inclusive language and storytelling techniques to engage every member of your audience.  

Already have a $29.99 monthly LinkedIn membership? There’s no cost to enroll. But if you aren’t yet registered you can grab a free seat to the class by signing up for a 1-month trial. 

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6. Speaking to inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides by the University of Washington 

  • Who it’s for: Intermediate students 
  • Price: Free

The thought of breaking down complex information in a way that your audience can understand may seem overwhelming. But you don’t have to spend another minute racking your brain to come up with ways to pull this off. This 5-week course will show you how to deliver an informative speech or presentation that will be clear to your audience. 

It begins with a discussion on targeting your presentation, followed by lessons on designing informative speeches and adding clarity to the content through slides. And in the final 2 weeks, you will explore best practices for delivering informative speeches. There are also 2 review sessions to refresh your knowledge of the material covered in previous lessons. 

Enrollment is free and the course takes 20 hours to complete. 

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Advanced Public Speaking Courses

Are you considering a career in public speaking? Or maybe you need to perfect the craft to pull off stellar presentations with corporate executives. Either way, you may find these courses useful.

Public Speaking and Presentations Pro: No Beginners Allowed!

Expert • 14 videos • 4.3 hours

7. Public Speaking and Presentations Pro: No Beginners Allowed! by Udemy 

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: $199.99

As indicated in the name, this course is ideal for professional public speakers who want to take their skills to the next level. You’ll receive instant access to 4.5 hours of on-demand video and 13 downloadable resources that unveil 117 advanced public speaking tactics to help advance your career. 

The enrollment fee is $199.99 and the class is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re unsatisfied for any reason. 

Facilitator Jason Teteak is an international public speaking coach and bestselling author. He offers 55 Udemy courses and an instructor rating of 4.5 and has also delivered keynote speeches through the prestigious TEDx Program. 

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Public Speaking: C-Level Executive Public Speaking Skills

Expert • 31 videos • 2.7 hours

8. Public Speaking: C-Level Executive Public Speaking Skills by Udemy 

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: $199.99

You don’t have to be a C-Level executive to present like one. In Public Speaking: C-Level Executive Public Speaking Skills, you will learn how to use PowerPoints to deliver your presentation in the most effective and engaging manner. You will also learn to speak with authority and earn the respect of board members, investors and employees. 

A seat in this course is $199.99 and includes 2.5 hours of on-demand video, 4 articles and 5 downloadable resources. Before you register, you must commit to completing assignments that require you to record yourself via a cell phone or webcam. 

The course is facilitated by bestselling personal development instructor T.J. Walker. He is the owner of Media Training Worldwide and has over 30 years of training professional speakers. 

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9. You Can Deliver a TED-Style Talk Presentation by Udemy 

  • Who it’s for: Advanced students 
  • Price: $199.99

Is delivering a TED talk on your bucket list? You can start honing your speaking skills well in advance with this highly-rated course from Udemy. 

Also designed by T.J. Walke, this class is ideal for thought leaders, public intellectuals, activists, authors, corporate executives and academic scholars. And you should have well-thought-out ideas to speak on and the willingness to complete video assignments before you register for a seat in the course. 

Enrollment is $199.99 and gets you 26 lectures condensed into 1 hour of on-demand video. You will also receive 4 articles and 3 downloadable resources to supplement your learning. 

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Choose the Right Public Speaking Course for You 

Whether you want to brush up on your presentation skills for the workplace or become a highly-paid speaker, public speaking courses are worth the time and investment. Not only are there courses for all skill levels, but many are taught by reputable instructors who do not have an enrollment fee. 

But before you commit to a class, confirm that it’s offered by a seasoned instructor. You also want a course that encourages you to give practice speeches so you can solicit feedback and help you soar. Looking for similiar courses? Check out our best communication course article for more efficient ways to communicate!