Imagine standing in front of a crowd preparing to tell them about your business. You want to tell them how it benefits the community and why they should help with your mission. All eyes are on you. Some stare in ways that seem to be encouraging, yet some appear disengaged. Others give a blank stare with no sign of their thoughts. It makes your palms sweat even more as you hesitate to gather your words.
In that moment, you realize your college public speaking courses weren’t enough. Your leadership depends on having strong communication skills. You may know that you want to improve, but don’t know where to start. Public speaking seminars and communication skills classes are a wise investment. That is if you pick the right one. Look at your goals, the course setup, and the coach’s skills to ensure you’re making a sound investment.
Think about your communication goal
Know your desired end result before committing to communication skills classes. Consider what you need to work on and how the class will help. What outcome do you want to have after taking a public speaking class? Where do you want to see improvements?
If your goal is for business purposes, you may want to become a skilled presenter. Being more comfortable in front of the crowd could be what you’re lacking. Engaging your audience may be important to you. You could also be looking at the growth of your organization. Good communication skills help employees work better together. It also helps retain and increase your client base. Whatever your goal is, find out if the course will help you achieve it.
Make sure the course has a process
Public speaking involves writing, grammar, self-esteem, and connecting with your audience. You can write a good speech, but reading it verbatim is ineffective. So is poor message delivery. Some of this ability comes from talent, but much of it is skill development. That’s what you should look to gain from public speaking courses.
In free or low-cost group sessions, members give each other feedback on public speaking. That may be a great place to practice, but you need a system to improve. Choose a communication skills class that starts with the fundamentals of speech. The course should lead you step-by-step. You should also gain strategies to increase confidence and capture the audience’s attention in your own style.
Look at the coach’s experience
What has this person accomplished as a professional? Take some time to evaluate their communication skills with individuals and crowds. View how others value this person’s authority when speaking. From there, decide if that’s the direction you want to take.
Don’t wait until your next big proposal to think about communication skills classes. Get started right away. Start identifying your goals and compare them to the benefits of public speaking courses.
If you’re serious about advancing your skills and making an investment in yourself, we invite you to our Excellence in Speaking Institute. Classes are filling up quickly in 2018 so don’t delay! Visit this page to read feedback from our graduates about their experience.