Public Speaking Skills Training

Swallowing Butterflies and Living to Tell About It: Techniques for Better Public Speaking

Course Outcomes

This public speaking course will:

  • Improve participants’ public speaking skills.
  • Provide participants with a range of techniques for reducing nervousness.
  • Offer techniques for avoiding filler words and a monotone delivery.
  • Suggest a framework for visually and verbally blocking a presentation.

Course Overview

Some people live for time in the spotlight, and others hide in the shadows. This workshop is designed for the latter group. The program focuses exclusively on public speaking and feeling comfortable on stage. The workshop does not address presentation creation. During this seminar, participants will learn how to reduce nervousness, project an image of credibility, use their bodies and voices to maintain interest, and handle tough questions from an audience. Who should attend? This seminar is ideally suited for people who want to gain confidence in their ability to speak publicly and present information to others. 

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Manage nervousness.
  • Adopt body language that says “confident, calm, and collected.”
  • Share information without reading slides and use notes effectively.
  • Minimize their use of such filler words and sounds as “you know,” “uh,” and “like.”
  • Avoid monotone speech.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Take Six: Starting Small

This program begins with an exercise where participants will identify how strong presenters look and sound. During this activity, group members will also highlight their personal challenges and goals for the session. Next, each person will give a six-word presentation. That exercise will allow us to explore tactics for managing nerves, making eye contact, and establishing visual credibility.

The Look and Sound of Comfortable: Talking About What You Know

The next part of this workshop takes a closer look at feeling comfortable on stage and skills for creating a conversation instead of delivering a monolog. As part of skills practice, participants will give a two-minute presentation about something they know. For participants who struggle with this exercise, we will explore several techniques for feeling more comfortable. For those who find the activity easy, we’ll look at why that is and how to reproduce similar conditions with other material.

Magic Capes and Invisible Cloaks: Directing Eyeballs

This part of the program looks at visual aids and techniques for dampening the laserbeam-like feel of audience stares. During this segment, we’ll work through a series of exercises related to body language and moving with purpose. We’ll also talk about the dangers of slide reading and how to avoid falling into that trap. 

Like, Uh, and Um: Controlling the Inner Valley Girl (or Guy)

People who use filler words and sounds rarely know they do it. This portion of the workshop looks at tips and tricks for reducing those distractions. Whether it’s “actually,” “literally,” “really,” “basically,” “like,” “uh,” or “um,” in this part of the course, we’ll walk through a range of exercises to help participants learn why they use noise, and actions they can take to recognize a reliance on filler words and reduce their use.

Block by Block: Working a Plan

For people who don’t like to present, a great delivery will rarely happen without careful preparation. This seminar segment explores the idea of visual and verbal blocking and how planning movement can help presenters remember their content, reduce their nervousness, and maintain an audience’s attention. In this part of the course, we’ll practice methods for finding natural highs and lows in a presentation and how to take advantage of those discoveries. Participants will then plan a three to five-minute talk they will deliver in front of the group.

Tracking Progress: What’s Better and Where to Go Next

In the final part of this workshop, participants will deliver the presentations they prepared in the previous segment. Each person will receive peer feedback and an evaluation from the facilitator. 

By the end of this course, participants should have command of a range of tools they can use to feel more comfortable on stage. They should also understand how they have improved since the session’s start and the areas on which they should focus as they continue to develop their public speaking skills.

Available Formats

  • Half-Day Training Course

Onsite Training Course Reminders

Our instructor-led training courses are available to private groups.  These workshops are not offered in a public seminar format.  Please contact us to speak with a facilitator about your needs and bringing training to your organization.

We offer training in the following US states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We also travel to Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, Canada, Central America, Continental Europe, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

Please contact us about your location.

Onsite Workshops