10 online public speaking courses to build your confidence at work

According to the National Social Anxiety Center, public speaking anxiety affects over 70% of the population. Luckily, public speaking courses exist to help you overcome your fears around public speaking.

Public speaking can be daunting, especially at work. Talking in front of people in person or via Zoom can produce anxiety ranging from minor nervousness to full panic.

Online public speaking courses are among the options to gain confidence in your public speaking abilities. Many are even free! We’ve included our top picks below.

Top online public speaking courses: Our picks

Public speaking courses equip you with strategies and tools for effective public speaking. Courses like the ones here offer public speaking tips, practice activities, and essential support to help you build your confidence and abilities as a public speaker.

1. Communication strategies for a virtual age (Coursera)

Cost: Free access to everything but graded materials for auditors, $49 for certificate

Length and format of course: Approximately seven hours, self-paced with videos, readings, and quizzes

What you’ll learn: Offered in conjunction with the University of Toronto, the course introduces techniques used for in-person and virtual communication alongside strategies for applying them. You’ll learn how to create presentations, persuade others, run effective meetings, and facilitate virtual collaboration within teams.

Who will this course most benefit? Designed for team leaders, project managers, and anyone who wants to develop leadership skills, the course provides practical and informative content through real-world examples. The course trains you to apply proven concepts as you build your emotional intelligence and communication efficacy.

Check out our Coursera review for more information on the platform and its courses.

2. Dynamic public speaking specialization (Coursera, University of Washington)

Cost: Free access with a 7-day trial or monthly subscription; certificate for $49

Length and format of course: Approximately five months, suggested three hours per week, four courses within the specialization, self-paced

What you’ll learn: The comprehensive dynamic public speaking specialization includes four courses. An introductory class in public speaking teaches you models for creating and delivering effective presentations, while the Speak to Inform course focuses on professional presentation technologies and strategies.

Speaking to Persuade, the third class, emphasizes using arguments and language constructively. The culminating class, speaking to Inspire, emphasizes using stories, humor, and evidence to inform and entertain. Through the specialization, you design, practice, record, and get feedback on your presentations.

Who will this course most benefit? The specialization accommodates professionals who want to improve public speaking at all stages of their careers. By learning how to develop and deliver presentations, use rhetoric and argumentation, and employ communication strategies, you become a more confident communicator.

3. Storytelling and influencing: Communicate with impact (Coursera, Macquarie University)

Cost: 7-day free trial, monthly subscription afterward, $49 for certificate

Length and format of course: Approximately 18 hours over four weeks, self-guided, videos, quizzes, discussion prompts, written assessments

What you’ll learn: The course begins by introducing you to theories of persuasive communication. From there, you learn how to develop a dramatic narrative and connect with people through authenticity. The class culminates with instruction about guiding conversations and meetings.

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