Flying Solo Banner

Thursday, 18 August 2016 03:21

Is it worth it to take a speech class in college or better to find free platforms to gain speech skills?

Written by


I wouldn’t answer this question as an either or response. I would say yes to both and then some.

I have never taken a class on speech skills offered by a college. Nor have I ever seen one offered in my local college and/or university. There can be advantages to taking the course, as well as disadvantages.

I would expect that the program would only be as good as the instructor’s ability and passion for the subject. I have seen far too many adult educators that aren’t a good fit for what they are teaching. Classroom speaking training sessions often have a reputation of being rather stilted or stale. You would learn the mechanics, which is good, but you may be restricted in the advice and recommendations you get to be help you move to the next level.

The odds are high that many of your fellow classmates are taking the course because they need the credit for whatever program they are enrolled in, or hopefully they actually have an interest in learning to speak effectively. This has a downside in that they are only of limited value to you in providing effective feedback to help take your speaking skills to the next level. They don’t have the experience on the subject to be able to advise you.

So if you have the time, money and inclination, I would say take the speaking course. There is bound to be some merit to the program.

As for free platforms, I’m not sure what they would even look like. I would suggest that anyone interested in developing their public speaking skills build their own resource library. Books and manuals can easily be found at yard sales, rummage sales and thrift shops. I have used an on-line company called Abe Books for searching for inexpensive books on specific topics. I have found that even finding one gem in a book can make a big difference for my speaking and presenting ability.

There is a third choice and that is to check out a local Toastmasters club. It isn’t like a classroom session at all. That may cause some people problems. In a club setting, members run the meetings. The Toastmasters Communication & Leadership Program is self-directed and self-paced. At any given meeting, you could have a very experienced member deliver a speech as well as somebody brand new. Members provide constructive feedback whenever you speak. This is one of the main differences between a classroom program and Toastmasters. In a classroom you are more likely to be evaluated on your performance. Toastmasters is more like personal coaching. Like anything in life you are free to accept the feedback or not. Toastmasters is not a pass/fail program as a college program would be.

As a 22 year member of Toastmasters, so far, I believe that I am well aware of the pros and cons of our program. I truly believe that the program is the best that you can buy for your money. There is a caveat though. You can’t learn public speaking by osmosis. You have to actually get up and do it.

It is often said that “practice makes perfect.” That saying isn’t entirely true. If you keep practicing the same ineffective behaviours, in any endeavour, you are going to get the same ineffective results. However, if you act upon the constructive feedback you receive, you are more likely to achieve better results. It certainly has for me.

as originally posted on

Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANEI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic. He is a long-time member of Kelowna Flying Solo Toastmasters and is the driving force behind its long-term success. 

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or

Rae’s social … are you?


Linkedin? Rae is

Copyright 2015 & 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com