homepage | How To Develop and Master Public Speaking Skills

January 5, 2024

How To Develop and Master Public Speaking Skills

by Pete Dulin

Master Public Speaking course available through UMKC TalentLink

Apprehension about mastering public speaking isn’t a new phenomenon. However, many younger adults today feel self-conscious about the public speaking and lack this key skill. Addressing small and large groups may seem daunting and, perhaps in a gig economy, to be a less-relevant need. However, learning how to be a confident public speaker is a timeless and versatile soft skill. Knowing how to be an effective speaker can be mastered for use in a work setting, participating in social causes, growing your own business, and other situations.

The disruption of the pandemic, shift to hybrid and remote work, and prevalence of online communication through apps and social media altered the need to communicate in person.

Socially, online and in-person bullying, heightened division among people on nearly any topic, and increased anxiety have fostered an aversion to public speaking. In some cases, these behaviors and attitudes impact interaction in professional and social settings.

Meanwhile, the workplace continues to adapt and adjust post-pandemic. More companies seek engagement with co-workers beyond screen time. So public speaking remains an important skill to develop and master.

After all, Gen Z and Millennial professionals certainly have a vital voice and perspective. They possess an abundance of creativity, ideas, insight, and tech know-how to communicate using media from video to messaging to podcasts. Those forms of communication don’t cover the full range of expression needed for every topic or situation, such as advocating for advancement or championing an initiative.

In essence, public speaking remains a fundamental communication skill to convey ideas, information, and goals in person. Whether delivering a presentation to clients, leading a team through a project, or delivering a report to peers or leaders, knowing how to deliver a message in a clear, concise manner matters.

Susan Biali Haas, MD, shares a few key tips in Psychology Today.

• Remind your brain of positive past experiences. 

• Imagine the presentation as a joyful, rewarding success.

• Write down your reasons for doing the presentation, along with the benefits. 

• Remind yourself that nerves enhance performance. 

• After it goes well, remember how anxious you were. 

While these tips are helpful, developing and mastering this skill takes practice and additional learning. Taking an online course on your schedule can be a low-stress approach to master public speaking. 

In Mastering Public Speaking, participants complete a 12-lesson course with instructor interaction in an online moderated discussion area. Topics include Taking the Fear Out of Fear, Developing a Confident Voice, Speaking Well in Social Settings, and Managing Questions, Conversations, and Conflict. Other key lessons include how to ace an interview and mastering both short talks and long speeches. 

Equip yourself with the skills you need to communicate with ease and authority on the job or in any social setting.

Mastering Public Speaking is a 12-lesson online course with six weeks of access. Check online for monthly start dates and more details about each lesson.