Courses and Resources

On this page you’ll find details and links to various Public Speaking and Presentation Skills Courses and Resources.

Have a good rummage around and pick out the bits that will be useful to improve your own communication skills.


Practice makes perfect...

 and the best way to reach perfection is to get in some practice on a course or at a speakers club.

Read all about it....

Confident communication skills don’t come naturally to all. Underpin your practice with background reading.

Or try some online browsing

Lots of online public speaking resources to choose from. Some of our favourites are right here.


Public Speaking Courses

At some stage you have to stop reading about public speaking or looking at the video of the pro and have a go yourself

There are lots of great Public Speaking resources, and they will certainly help to improve your public speaking and presentation skills but at some stage you have to stop reading about public speaking or looking at videos and have a go, you need a public speaking course.

If you Google Public Speaking Courses you get over 64 million results! Go on give it a go. Fortunately you don’t have to work your way through the results, I’ve done it for you.

Here are a few links to help you find somewhere to practise your public speaking and presentations for real and to get encouragement and feedback.

Get up and speak as often as you can

Bob Orben talks about stage fright. He says… It’s not the stage that frightens me, it’s the audience….. Know exactly what you are going to say, memorise it, practise it and get up and give it as often as possible.”  Bill Gove

Speakers Clubs Versus Commercial Courses?

Commercial Public Speaking courses are generally high intensity courses, often with a high price tag, which take place over one, two or three days. They teach you the mechanics of public speaking and presentation skills. In such a short time you may learn the fundamentals, but you won’t learn how to cope with your fear, that can only be done over an extended period.

A club will also teach you public speaking and presentation skills, but in addition they will address the dreaded nerves. And because the training is extended, you will learn how to cope with those butterflies, sweaty palms, dry mouth and all the rest. Most speakers clubs are non commercial / non profit organisations, the membership fees are nominal, usually less than £5.00 per meeting.

Whichever path you take… stick at it. And when you finally hit the big time, don’t forget this little website.

Sans Souci Speakers Club (Solihull)

If you live in the Solihull, Coventry, Birmingham, Redditch or West Midlands area then contact us at Sans Souci Speakers Club.

We run an ongoing programme of public speaking and presentation skills training from September to July each year.

From a raw beginner in your A1 “Making A Start” assignment, through to your A10 “The Showpiece” and beyond in the plethora of Advanced Public Speaking Assignments, we will be with you every step of the way.

Our venue has excellent transport links with plentiful and secure parking.


Association of Speakers Clubs

“If you don’t live in Sans Souci’s West Midlands catchment area then contact the Association of Speakers Clubs (ASC) and find a club where you live”

The ASC was formed in 1972 and now has some 120 clubs throughout the UK with about 1800 members.

The ASC exists to promote effective speaking, communication and the conduct of meetings.

The ASC sets standards, produces resources to enable members to practise the techniques of effective communication and runs speaking competitions.

Other Public Speaking Courses

The Speakers Trust is a general site which, in their own words – is a charity that is dedicated to developing speaking skills throughout the UK and Ireland.

If you want something a bit more intensive, then try the College of Public Speaking – most of the trainers have links with the ASC so we have no hesitation in recommending them.

Another national site is SPEAKup a site primarily for people who are looking for information on coaching in general, but it has a section on public speaking, presentation skills and coaching related links.



Public Speaking Tip!

Speak eyeball to eyeball.

To accomplish this, you must eliminate from your very thinking that you ever talk to a group of people.

Never talk to an audience. Never talk to a class. Never talk to a meeting. Never talk to the PTA.

You talk to 1,000 people… at a time.

Hal Persons


Public Speaking Resources

There are lots of Public Speaking Resources out there, here are some of our favourites

If you live in the Solihull, Coventry, Redditch or Birmingham areas, then do come to Sans Souci Speakers Club to discover all that you need to know about the art of public speaking.

When you visit you will get lots of help, advice and feedback from other members. You will also get a great manual called “The ASC Speakers Guide”, which gives lots of helpful tips.

If geography won’t allow you to visit us, then please feel free to use any and all of the resources listed below. Whatever your preference, a book reader or an online browser, hopefully there’s something for everyone.

Use the web to your advantage.

Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without talking about the other.”    Bill Gates

Public Speaking Books, Websites and Blogs

To make life a little easier, we’ve split the resources into: Books, Websites and Blogs.

We think that we’ve found all the best resources but if you think that we’ve missed anything, be sure to let us know.

Public Speaking Books

First of all you need a good general book that covers all aspects of public speaking and presentation skills from openings to closings from nuances to nerves. Try this one:

“Public Speaking and Presentations for Dummies” by Malcolm Kushner

If you can only afford one book, buy this one.

Then you need to know something about how words are used to affect our emotions and get maximum impact. This is just the book:

“Lend Me Your Ears” by Professor Max Atkinson

There are lots of books on the subject of “rhetorical tricks” but they get very heavy with references to hyperbole, allusion, antithesis; all very confusing. But Prof Atkinson has simplified it and put it together in a very readable book.

And we all need a bit of humour to hold the audience and keep them listening. Even if you can’t tell a joke to save your life, this book will show you how to bring humour into a speech.

“Wake em up Business Presentations” by Tom Antion

A book full of ideas on how to liven up your speeches and presentations using humour.


Public Speaking Websites

Perhaps books are not for you, that’s okay because there’s no shortage of public speaking websites.

Patricia Fripp – here there are lots of public speaking resources plus free newsletters.

Patricia Fripp is a British girl made good. She went to America as a hairdresser and now struts her stuff in front of huge audiences.

You can sign up for a couple of free newsletters, both full of useful hints and tips, well worth subscribing. There are also a few free video clips of Patricia in action – take a look, and if you like what you see, you can buy the videos.

Wikipedia – various pieces and interesting articles about public speaking.

According to Wikipedia – “Public speaking is the process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner intended to inform, influence or entertain the listeners.” – sounds good to me.

TED Talks – TED is a nonprofit organisation devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues. 

Public Speaking Blogs

I use blogs all the time, for all sorts of things, problem is you have to find the right ones.

When it comes to Public Speaking and Presentation, there are lots. Fortunately for us someone has done all the hard work, and we can reap the benefits.

106 Public Speaking Blogs: The Public Speaking Blogosphere is the definitive collection of blogs related to public speaking and presentation skills.The blogs are broken down into types:

  1. General Public Speaking Blogs: 2-5 posts/week
  2. General Public Speaking Blogs: 1-2 posts/week
  3. General Public Speaking Blogs: Under 1 post/week
  4. Speech Humour Blogs
  5. Speechwriting Blogs
  6. Visual Presentation Blogs
  7. Professional Speaker Blogs
  8. Toastmasters Blogs
  9. Part-time Public Speaking Blogs

Check out the blogs, see which ones you like the style of and meet your needs. Then try out some of their suggestions in your next speech / presentation and then pop back and let them know what worked for you.

Before you know it you’ll be a seasoned Public Speaking blogger.


And Even More Public Speaking Books

“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser

“The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” and that just about sums up this book. This is not a book on writing speeches, it is a book on writing well, which applies to any form of writing, including speeches.

“Verbs are the most important of all your tools. They push the sentence forward and give it momentum. Active verbs push hard; passive verbs tug fitfully.”

“What to Say When…..You’re Dying on the Platform” by Lilly Walters

A book that tells you how to avoid things going wrong and what to do when they do. Just about anything you can imagine going wrong is covered, from your jokes bombing to a fire breaking out and each situation is covered with “saver lines.”

For instance what do you say when…..The Audience Starts Walking Out Before You Are Done… about “Honest to God sir, I get better.”

If you feel that you need a book that deals specifically with the fear of public speaking and public speaking anxiety…..and who doesn’t?….. try this one:

“Never be Nervous Again” by Dorothy Sarnoff.

A small volume with big ideas on tackling those public speaking nerves. Give it a try.

Your #1 speaking tool: Books.

You are the same today as you will be in five years except for two things, the people you meet and the books you read.”    Charles Jones CPAE


Public Speaking Tip!

If you use humour to make a point... then you won't bomb.

“ When you tell a joke that makes a point, people recognise that fact. So even if they don’t find the joke funny, they still realise that you’re making a point. 

Malcolm Kushner

Practice Makes Perfect...

So there you have it, lots of advice and information to get your teeth into.

But we’ve missed out one vital ingredient, and that ingredient is…

practice in front of a real audience.

The Sans Souci audience is ready and waiting for you.

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