Are public speaking classes worth it?

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If you find the right class with the right trainer public speaking classes are definitely worth it

Are public speaking classes worth it? This is the question. I’m Shola, I’m a public speaking coach and a professional speaker based in London. So you can guess what I’m going to say given that I’m a speaker trainer. Yes, they are worth it, but you need to make sure that you do the right class with the right person and it gives you the right skills. So what do I mean by that? Well, in terms of are they worth it, what is worth it? You can find public speaking courses that might cost you a thousand pounds a day, right down to ones that are free, right down to ones that will go on for 12 weeks or for a year, six months that can teach you to speak, to make more business, that might teach you to speak up in the workplace.

When you’re ready to chose think about what you want to learn

There are lots of different options that are out there. So the very first thing you’ve got to think about is what do I want to learn? What do I need to improve upon? Am I trying to grow a business? Am I trying to speak up better at work or speak at an industry conference? Do I just want to brush up on a few skills to make a toast at a wedding that’s coming up? So you’ve got to think about what it is that you’re trying to achieve. Think also about your budget. So if you are aiming for the top of your profession, then maybe it’s worth your while sinking a few thousand pounds or dollars into speaker training because you will more than recoup that income or recoup that investment in your future income.

Take your budget into consideration

So if that’s where you’re thinking to go, then you might be going for a premium course that is very focused on speaking in business. I have a colleague who works in the private equity industry. She’s a speaker coach. She only coaches people in that industry and she can charge decent amounts because it’s an industry that is quite a wealthy industry, and also the people in it want to get ahead and they’re ambitious and they probably have the disposable income to pay that amount or they work for companies who are happy to pay.

You want to think about your goals and where you’re headed in the future

So you’ve got to think about what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve, what’s the end point for you, and then decide. For example, if you’re an executive, you may not have time to go to a class. You may need a speaker coach to come to you in your office. I have clients, I go to them in their offices and I coach them and their company pays for it because it’s to their advantage for the CEO or the CFO or whoever it is to be a really good speaker because that business, that company will do better if they’ve got people at the top who are really good speakers.

Reflect on what you’d like to get out of the training and explore different options

You might just be curious about speaking and think, well, I just want to join a free course or a low cost program like Toastmasters, for example. Toastmasters is a charity. It’s global. You can find pretty inexpensive classes or training there. That’s a really great way to get started if you’re not sure how much of an investment you want to make in terms of money. But you’ve got to think about what are you trying to get from this, what’s in it for you. So when I started out with public speaking, I wasn’t really sure where I wanted to take it.

You can look around and decide which investments are worth your time and money

I just knew that I wasn’t very good at speaking and I wanted to improve. So I joined Toastmasters as a low cost way to get going. I’m still a member now, many years later, but also I’ve had coaching with people who have been $500 an hour. I’ve done courses that cost me many thousands of dollars or pounds. I’ve done a lot of supplementary training because I knew for me it was worth it. I knew that it would help me go to the next step. You’ve got to decide if it’s worth it for you. You’ve got to decide what your budget is because you will find coaches and training at every different price.

It’s worth thinking about all the rewards you may get from your investment

So for example, there are people out there who might be 60 pounds an hour or $60 an hour. There are people there who are $500 an hour and more. So you got to decide, what’s it worth to me. If you are in an area of work where if you can improve your speaking, you can improve your income because you can sell more, you can get paid more commission, you can get a better role, then that outline now paying a little bit for some or a big amount, depending on you, for some classes and coaching could more than be paid for in the increase in salary or income that you’re going to have later down the line.

Speaker training may open doors that will lead you to new paths

But you’ve got to decide. So is it worth it? How long is a piece of string? You’ve got to decide what your goals are, what your budget is, where you think you could get to, if you do do some public speaking coaching and training and what that future increase in revenue or salary or whatever it might be, how much is that worth to you. And then once you’ve considered all that, then you can decide is public speaking or public speaking classes worth it. But from my own experience, they definitely are. And I think you can’t always, sometimes when you open a door, you can’t necessarily predict where that corridor, where that pathway is going to take you to, but you’ve just got to trust that there’s something there for you.

You can get started by dipping your toes in – make a small investment

And that if you follow that pathway, goodness, me, there could be some really great benefits and bonuses that will change your life. So if you’re feeling curious, I would definitely go for it, but find a class or a package or a program or a coach that perhaps isn’t going to stretch you too much in terms of your finances to start with until you know that, yeah, this is the path I want to go on. However, if you know that this is what you need for you to get the next step up at work or in your business, you need this, then most certainly it’s totally worth it.

I recommend working with a coach

And I recommend that you find a coach. Could be me, could be somebody else. Perhaps you go on a program. I’ve got six weeks to speaking success. I’ve got get clients with speaking. There’s all sorts of ways that you could learn public speaking. Perhaps you encourage your office to bring in a trainer or run some sort of masterclass. But most definitely, I think that public speaking classes in terms of what they can do for your confidence, for your success in your business or in your industry or at your company, even in terms of if you’re a student, let’s say, what they can do for you in terms of your confidence among your peers, and then doing better in your exams, which could set you off regarding your entire career.

Goodness me, the opportunities are endless. So I hope that helps. I hope that’s a useful answer to you and wishing you best of luck on your public speaking journey. Take care.

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Shola Kaye is an award-winning speaker, author and professional speaker coach with clients around the world. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes, Harper’s Bazaar and on the BBC.
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