Essential Public Speaking

The easiest way to become a great public speaker. Learn with online classes, practice in online simulations.

Course overview


CPD Certified

58 online lessons

Digital certificate

5 simulations

5 hours to complete

Course outcomes

Overcome a fear of public speaking and feel comfortable speaking in front of audiences of various sizes

Know key theory and techniques to deliver effective and memorable speeches

Easily design your presentation to engage and persuade your audience

Manage nerves and become a confident public speaker with practice in online simulations

Engage and connect with your audience through storytelling

Enhance your message with body language, eye contact and gestures

VirtualSpeech courses have been completed by employees at companies including:

Accelerate learning with realistic practice

70% of HR professionals say that public speaking is essential for a successful career. Feeling confident in your ability to articulate yourself and inspire your audience can transform your professional and personal life, and help you to reach your full potential.

This course gives you the tools and techniques to successfully deliver a presentation, pitch or speech whenever you want. We'll help you write and structure your speech, use literary techniques for maximum impact, and transform your nervous energy into authentic connection with your audience.

Online Simulations: Practice makes perfect

A unique feature of this public speaking course is that you can practice everything you've learnt:

Conference room
  • Unlock access to 5 realistic simulations, which you can access from your web browser
  • Mock conference rooms, meeting room, Zoom presentation and more
  • Practice your skills with various audience sizes
  • Receive detailed feedback on your performance

What is an online simulation? A simulation is an online recreation of something. For example, one of the simulations in this course is a conference room with a pre-recorded audience. This allows you to practice public speaking in your web-browser and receive automated feedback on your performance.

The easiest way to become a great public speaker

We combine online learning with simulations for a unique learning approach. At certain points throughout this public speaking course, you'll be prompted to practice what you've learnt in the online simulations.

Learn online courses

Learn online, anytime

Complete a series of videos, quizzes and case studies at your own pace - available to access at any time.

Practice in simulations

Practice in simulations

Build your skills and confidence by putting them to the test with computer-generated audiences.

Improve with feedback

Improve with feedback

Receive instant feedback on your performance to help identify your strengths and weaknesses.

Reduce nerves

Reduce nerves through practice

Practice as often as you need to in the realistic virtual environments, ensuring you're confident for any future public speaking events.

Course participants have stated that practicing in simulations has reduced their anxiety, as they get more used to speaking in front of an audience.

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Course curriculum

  • Overview of the VirtualSpeech simulations and course. We explain how to access the simulations and how they help you improve your public speaking. We end this section with a brief history on public speaking.
  • Course overview
  • Welcome
  • About the simulations
  • History of public speaking
  • Rhetoric is an important part of public speaking and persuasion. This section covers the key aspects of rhetoric, as we explain what makes speeches easy to listen to and how to add these to your speech.
  • What is rhetoric?
  • Rhetorical situations
  • The canons of rhetoric
  • Ethos, Pathos, Logos: 3 pillars of persuasion
  • What makes speeches easy to listen to?
  • It's vital that you understand and connect with your audience during your speech. This section covers the different types of audience members, how to maintain their attention and cope with distractions.
  • Example: Connecting with stories
  • 4 types of audience
  • Maintaining the attention of your audience
  • Making your presentation more interactive
  • Interacting with the audience at the event
  • Example: Be careful with audience interaction
  • Simulation: Connecting with the audience
  • Questions from the audience
  • Guide for handling audience questions
  • Planning is a vital part of public speaking. Learn how to pick a topic and what to ask yourself before writing your speech. We also show an example product demo, to help you plan for this scenario.
  • Questions to ask yourself
  • Choosing a successful speech topic
  • Purpose of your speech
  • Using statistics in your speech
  • Example: Planning for a product demo
  • Impromptu speeches are amongst the hardest you will do. Learn how you can prepare for these situations and practice in our impromptu simulation.
  • Think fast, talk smart
  • Simulation: Impromptu speaking scenario
  • Impromptu speech topics for practice
  • In this section, we provide frameworks and examples for how to write and structure a speech, with a particular focus on the introduction.
  • Structuring your presentation
  • The importance of the beginning and end
  • How to start a speech
  • The INTRO model
  • INTRO model example - Jamie Oliver
  • Example: Comparison between two introductions
  • Opening phrases to avoid
  • How to end a speech
  • Presentation and slide design
  • Literary techniques are a powerful way to engage your audience. We examine the techniques used by Obama, Churchill and King in some of the world's most famous speeches.
  • Useful literary techniques
  • Literary techniques example - Barack Obama
  • Example: Two speeches analysed
  • Great speeches that use literary techniques
  • Simulation: Practice literary techniques
  • Nerves are an inevitable part of public speaking. Practice your speech in our large virtual conference room, before learning how to manage anxiety from an expert.
  • VR Preparation: TEDx Talk at short notice
  • Simulation: TEDx theatre
  • Example: Body language and nerves
  • Managing anxiety
  • Reducing your nerves
  • Example: Nervous speaker
  • From warming up your voice, to actually delivering your speech, this section covers all the fundamental topics required when delivering a speech.
  • 3 easy to implement speaking tips
  • Exercises to warm up your voice
  • Example: Comparison between two vocal ranges
  • Average speaking rate, with examples
  • Example: Speaking pace
  • Importance of eye contact
  • Simulation: Meeting presentation
  • The final section of this course gives you simple communication tips and a checklist to go through before your next speech.
  • Simple rules for effective presentations
  • Checklist for before and after a presentation
  • Course completed

Your instructor

Dom is your author and instructor for the Essential Public Speaking course, which was named by Forbes in 2020 as one of the ten best online business courses. He's an entrepreneur, engineer, public speaker and immersive tech enthusiast with a passion for finding new ways to learn using technology.

Dom previously worked at Jaguar Land Rover before developing the VirtualSpeech app, the first VR app in the world designed to improve public speaking, and he now speaks about his experience at events around the world.

Online simulations in this course

Throughout the course, you'll be prompted to practice your new skills and techniques in one of the following simulations.

Note: You can practice in these simulations and repeat them as often as you like.

Explore all the exercises available on the VirtualSpeech platform.

See all exercises


Learners in simulations


Faster than classroom training


Learning awards

Features in the online simulations

Our simulations are full of features to give you the most realistic practice and help you quickly improve.

Presentation Slides icon

Presentation slides

Upload your own presentation slides into the simulation so you can practice with the slide deck you'll have on the day.

Voice Analysis icon

Speech analysis

Receive instant feedback on your pace, volume, confidence, use of hesitation words, and more.

Audience distractions icon

Audience distractions

Learn to handle a variety of common distractions, from phones ringing, to coughing, and technical issues.

"As someone who suffers from public speaking phobia, this threw me right into the lion's den... I encountered flaws in my approach that I would not have discovered until the actual event."

- Ish Laos

"Insanely useful for someone who wants to learn to speak in front of people... I'm now the 'pitch man' for our company, and my pitches opened the door to our (now completed) seed round of funding."

- Jordan Brook

"VirtualSpeech helps conquer stage fright and get someone accustomed to what it feels like to be presenting to a crowd, and thus prepare for the same situation in real life."

Kit Eaton - The New York Times