How to choose a public speaking course (Interview)

Posted by on Nov 17, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

How to choose a public speaking course (Interview)



Ever considered taking a public speaking course? Well, if you did, you know that there are hundreds of schools and coaches out there, offering you an instant transformation from terrified to confident. But what should you keep in mind when choosing a school or a coach? Former TV anchor, journalist and public speaking trainer Ljubica Vujadinovic gives us some insights.

What are the biggest fears people have of public speaking?

Speech anxiety, or glossophobia, is one of the most common fears. Some people fear that they won’t leave a good impression on their audience, mess up their presentation, forget what they were supposed to say or even experience a complete block and freeze up. Everyone has their own worst-case scenario – the more you’re afraid of public speaking, the more anxious you’ll become, which makes it more likely that you’ll deliver a poor presentation.

What’s the secret to being a good public speaker?

The very first and most important thing you can do to start improving your presenting skills is to become aware of yourself as a speaker. This means being aware of your words, voice and body language. Quite often, people get caught by surprise once they see themselves presenting (“I had no idea I was doing that!”). That’s why I always use video for my workshops.

Are public speaking classes effective?

I’ve heard about a wide variety of experiences. Some clients I worked with said they have already taken a public speaking course but didn’t improve. There are many reasons why some courses simply don’t work, but the main reason is a lack of practical exercises.

How do I choose a school or trainer that will fit me best?

If I were looking for a public speaking coach, it would definitely have to be someone who has concrete experience actually speaking in public – the more, the better. If I could afford it, I would opt for small sessions with a personal coach. Finally, I would choose practically oriented courses, since the best way to improve is to actually do it.

Are there any popular public figures today whom you admire as great speakers?

The first one who comes to my mind is the late Steve Jobs – his presentations were informing, entertaining and, above all, highly effective. A lot has been said about his presenting skills, but the recognition he earned as a public speaker demonstrates one of the most important qualities of effective communication – simplicity. He wasn’t using big words or dramatic techniques: He presented his ideas in a down-to-Earth way, and the world got it. It’s that simple.

I was recently interviewed for This article originally appeared at: and has been reposted with permission.


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