Thursday, July 15, 2010
Public speaking training is a journey; You get to choose how to go
Taking an introductory class in public speaking at a college is like going on a bus tour. You’re part of a large group, and the professor is doing the driving. Like a tour, before you start you can see a description. You can check the catalog, look at a syllabus, and even look in the textbook.
Attending a commercial workshop is like hiring a guide with a luxury car. You are part of a small group, and will get a more personalized experience. You can see more of what you want in a shorter time, and get a very smooth ride, but in return you will pay more.
Joining a Toastmasters club is like driving your own 4x4 vehicle on a dirt road. You get a road map (the manual), but it’s up to you to take the initiative, decide how fast to go, and find your way.
Which will be best for you? That depends on how much time versus money you can devote to your journey.
You can find a balanced discussion comparing the pros and cons of those three options in a magazine article by Renate Zorn published in the Fall 2001 issue of Canadian Manager magazine called PUBLIC SPEAKING PROGRAMS: Finding the Right Fit.
UPDATE April 23, 2012
Using a speaking coach is like waving down and hiring a taxi. It’s quick and may be very effective - if you have limited time. However, it can get very expensive if you want to go far.