This four-course specialization provides students with the instruction, experience, and practice to develop and deliver compelling presentations. Drawing from the established knowledge in communication, rhetoric, linguistics, and argumentation, each course balances proven ideas with lots of speech practice.
The courses in this specialization should help speakers at all levels. Learn more here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/public-speaking
This course gives you a reliable model for preparing and delivering effective presentations.
In business, in school, and in public life, we are often called upon to “make a few comments.” Often, people tasked with such speeches become flummoxed. They might not know what to talk about, or ramble without making a point, or simply be confusing to listen to. This course is designed to help you shine where others falter. We’ll learn how to organize talks clearly, write them memorably, and deliver them confidently. By the end of the course, you should be able to significantly reduce your fear of public speaking, use rehearsal techniques to develop a strong, vibrant speaking voice, and perform speeches with dynamic movement and gestures. The speech model that we’ll practice is useful for briefings, elevator talks, interviews, and even as a structure for hour-long presentations. If you’re a beginner, this course will help you quickly master the fundamentals of speaking. If you’re a seasoned speaker, this course will help you better understand public speaking and push you to the next level.
In the professional realm, most speeches and presentations we give are informative in scope. A scientist needs to explain her recent research findings. A financial officer needs to report on quarterly earnings to his company’s board. A technology professional needs to educate a consumer about a new product. Any time you need to convey ideas or demonstrate a process, you’re dealing with informative speaking.
Informative speaking is a fun puzzle. You need to think from the perspective of your audience to identify what they need to hear in order to understand the key ideas. How much does the audience already know? What are the most important elements to convey? How should one convey these ideas with appropriate breadth and depth given the time constraints of the speech? This demands a strategic approach to speech design that we’ll undertake in this class. By the end of the course, you should be able to explain complex ideas vividly and accessibly, design clear and compelling presentation slides, convey your passion for a topic while maintaining your professional credibility, and speak dynamically from notes and/or a manuscript. Learners will record speeches, providing and receiving peer feedback.
In the professional realm, we need to be able to argue without being argumentative. Whether you are fundraising for a nonprofit, pitching a business proposal, or suggesting a change to company policy, you are making arguments. In making the case for your topic, you often want to raise awareness, identify a pressing problem, discuss appropriate solutions, and outline specific steps for the audience.
To be persuasive, you must be clear (the audience may have little to no existing knowledge), you must be convincing (you are trying to sway the audience that your argument is valid), and you must be compelling (you are trying to motivate the audience enough so that they want to take specific actions). Persuasive speaking thus requires clarity, strategy, topic mastery, plus a sense of style and presence. By the end of this course, you should be able to design persuasive speeches that address problems and solutions and that motivate audience members. You should be able to use rhetorical style strategically and deliver passionate and compelling speeches. Learners will record speeches, providing and receiving peer feedback.
The most memorable speeches inspire, entertain, and praise. By blending stories and eloquence, great speeches highlight the core values motivating an audience. You might need to do this in a keynote address, a eulogy, or simply a business meeting. Inspiring audiences is a common, but difficult writing challenge. You want a speech that elevates the topic and the audience.
This course gives you a method for preparing and delivering speeches that inspire and entertain. By the end of this course, you should be able to compose and deliver moving speeches that praise core audience values through evidence, storytelling, and humor. You should be able to write eloquent passages in tones appropriate to the audience and occasion and speak fluidly from either a well-prepared manuscript or from memory. Learners will record speeches, providing and receiving peer feedback.
MOOC SUCCESS STORIES
Here are some of the comments and reviews of the courses in the specialization.
By Carlos A, Mar 16, 2020
“This is great course to take to get the idea and structure in producing a key point speech. A solid foundation to follow through in other areas in public speaking. I took this course to help in my public speaking presentations for self help topics in running a self development group and it helped tremendously. The concept are easy to grasp and the actual practice and having your actual speech reviewed by your peers and having you review speeches is powerful. The next level to the course would be to have a teacher involved to critique your review and your speeches. Finally, a little more engagement in the discussion forum could be included in the course work as the course introduces very interesting concepts. However, it was adequately fulfilled and paced.”
By Arlyn C, Jul 11, 2020
“This is my 1st MOOC experience. Let me share with you 5 skills I learned from this course:
1) I learned to craft and evaluate a speech project by using the rubrics;
2) In order to keep my speech delivery within the time limit, I applied the speech structure and practiced a lot to deliver my message succinctly.
3) By understanding that writing is different from delivering speeches, I learned that I do not need to memorize each word . This allayed my fear of forgetting what I was supposed to say.
4) By recording myself in video format, I was able to conduct a self assessment on areas of improvement in terms of body movement, gestures, mannerism, voice, pitch, rate based on the lecture and what was modeled by Prof Matt on top of peer evaluations .
5) I learned to create an unlisted you tube video.
Thank you so much Dr Matt McGarrity and to the University of Washington for offering this online course! I enjoyed learning from this course and I recommend that you to take this too!”
By Thomas L, Mar 12, 2020
“As said in the beginning of this course, Public Speaking is the one competency that you need to choose if you can keep only one.
2 weeks after starting this course, I presented a speech (that I had prepared with the learnings I had so far) in front of 100 persons. I was happily surprised by the quality of my preparation & delivery. Afterwards, several people from the audience told me they really enjoyed this moment.
I especially appreciate the fact that that this course offers a structured approach about speaking, as to me, it was quite difficult to imagine such concepts existed.
Matt is doing a great job at teaching, this course almost made me feel like I was in the class listening to him.”
By Taiwo O, May 20, 2021
“I jumped into this course for two reasons. First, my passion for speaking and writing. Secondly, I thought it will be a walk over and I would not sweat so much. But coming on board, I saw it was more than that. Though, it is a program that one can easily quit, but I got so glued to the teaching. Permit me to say that Dr. Matt McGarity is a gem. He made the course real and interesting. It was a well arranged package, no part of it is a waste, every part of it is knowledge impacted. Thank you to the whole of Coursera staff for making this possible. Now, I see me doing more of this by God’s Grace.”