The article recommends what free online courses you can opt for to get better at public speaking. We have searched through dozens of platforms to find the perfect options for you to consider.
We first discuss whether we can study public speaking. Then we talk about where and how to improve public speaking for free and what courses are available for free for you to do this. Lastly, we cover how to train yourself to speak in public.
Can you study public speaking?
It is certainly possible to learn public speaking, and the theoretical knowledge and exposure given by a course can help you fulfil that. Almost every field requires some amount of public speaking and there are many ways it can help you in the future.
Note that you can gain certifications in public speaking through certain courses but you cannot get a degree in it.
Where can I study public speaking?
How can I improve my public speaking for free?
Most online courses will be free under the audit option. They typically charge you only if you want a certificate. A few other free options that you can consider include:
- Online tutorials: YouTube videos and shorts include many demos as well as practical suggestions. Ted Talks typically involve great speakers that you can learn from. Here are some great speakers you can model from.
- Books: Those written by great speakers can be inspiring and often include an autobiographical component that depicts their journey of getting past their fears in public speaking.
- Practice: Engaging in public speaking with friends and family is very helpful in understanding how an audience will perceive you.
- Exposure: Engage in activities that will require public speaking, like talk groups and hobby gatherings.
What are the free public speaking courses?
|Sl. No.||Course Name||Time Duration (in hours)||Certification|
|1||Introduction to Public Speaking from the University of Washington on Coursera||13||paid only|
|2||Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking from Harvard University on edX||16-24||paid only|
|3||Public Speaking and Presentations from Arizona State University on Coursera||7||paid only|
|4||Public Speaking from OpenClassrooms on OpenClassrooms||1||paid only|
|5||Become a Better Presenter: Improve Your Public Speaking Skills from Royal Observatory Greenwich on FutureLearn||9||paid only|
Introduction to Public Speaking from the University of Washington on Coursera
This is pretty much the best introductory course out there for people who want to learn public speaking online. Created by experts in the field of communication, this course will help you “master speaking fundamentals or elevate your public speaking skills to new heights.”
This course will teach you the fundamentals of effective speech delivery, such as how to organize your ideas, how to use your voice and body language, and how to handle different types of audiences and situations. You will also get to practice your skills by giving speeches and receiving feedback from your peers and instructors if you choose to opt for the paid option. The paid option also gives you a certificate that can be put up on your resume/CV. By the end of this course, you will be more confident and competent in speaking in front of others, whether it is for personal, academic, or professional purposes.
This is a self-paced course just like the others mentioned in this article, which means you can start anytime and learn at your own pace. It spans a total of approximately 13 hours. There are no prerequisites and it is open to all.
Some reviews: “Great introductory course which pushes you to actually practice what you learn. The lectures are interesting and well structured, the assignments require an effort but are not overwhelming.”
“This was a very good start to becoming a good public speaker, it has helped me reduce my stage fright and helped my presentation skills, as well as the packaging of good work proposals.”
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking from Harvard University on edX
Do you want to learn how to write and speak effectively to persuade your audience? This is a great option for you- it provides an introduction to rhetoric, which helps you be more persuasive.
By the end of this course, you will be able to craft compelling arguments, use rhetorical devices, and communicate with confidence and clarity.
This course will take you anywhere from 16 to 24 hours, ranging a total of 8 weeks (although you can certainly complete much before). There are no prerequisites and it is open to all. The certificate will only be there if you pay for the course.
Some reviews: “Overall this course was very informational. It was a great beginner-level introduction to how to break an argument down that you are making and challenge. The speech examples were relevant and made the lessons impactful.”
“Great content for every student to pick and learn. The content is well detailed and tailored to meet every student’s need in every field.”
Public Speaking and Presentations from Arizona State University on Coursera
This course is focused on public speaking and presentation skills, such as delivering a pitch, informative lecture, storytelling, and being persuasive. It is taught by experts who have taught thousands of students and professionals how to communicate effectively and confidently.
This course will teach you how to plan, design, and deliver engaging and impactful presentations in any setting. You will learn how to structure your content, use visual aids, overcome nervousness, and handle questions from the audience. You will also get feedback from your peers and instructors, and practice your skills in realistic scenarios in the paid option, which also gives you a certificate.
This course will take you up to 7 hours. There are no prerequisites and it is open to all.
Public Speaking from OpenClassrooms on OpenClassrooms
This course deals with public speaking in a multitude of settings and using various techniques for effectiveness.
It covers the basics of preparing, delivering, and evaluating a speech.
The course takes only an hour to complete. You will also get a certificate of completion at the end of the course if you choose the paid route. There are no prerequisites and it is open to all.
Some reviews: “An amazing training. Thanks very much.”
“I benefited from this lesson’s many advantages about public speaking.”
Become a Better Presenter: Improve Your Public Speaking Skills from Royal Observatory Greenwich on FutureLearn
This course will help you become a better presenter and improve your public speaking skills.
It will teach you how to plan, prepare, and deliver engaging presentations for different audiences and purposes. You will learn from experts in astronomy, education, and communication, who will share their tips and tricks on how to captivate your listeners and convey your message effectively. You will also get feedback from your peers and practice your skills in a supportive environment.
The course spans for up to 9 hours. There are no prerequisites and it is open to all. The certificate is available only in the paid option.
Some reviews: “Useful tips and insightful testimonies from seasoned presenters. Found this course very helpful.”
“I enjoyed this course and learned many skills.”
Note that most sites will let you access them for free for a limited period, after which the access expires. Make sure to complete them in the given duration!
If you’re up for paid options as well, you can access quizzes, certificates, and other resources in the same links given above after paying. A few good options that have only paid access are also there on LinkedIn Learning.
How do I train myself to speak in public?
After learning from any of the courses mentioned above, all you need is to put your mind to practice. You’ll be well on your way to becoming a great speaker once you put things to the test. Do whatever it takes- imitate, modify, and adapt. Public speaking is a lot about confidence and that comes from repetition just as much as preparation.
Related: Interested in paid but reasonable options? Check out these Udemy courses.
We covered various questions related to the domain of learning public speaking. The main point of the article was to provide you with a good idea of what options you have to improve your skills for free. Various courses were mentioned along with the links to their platform pages.
You can also check out public speaking coaching– a paid option to accelerate your growth and achieve great results.