Public Speaking Degree Programs and Classes

You don't technically need a public speaking degree to become a public speaker, but there are programs available to help you polish your public speaking skills. Many of these programs provide you with practice in real-world settings. Read on for additional information on public speaking degrees and classes. Schools offering Communications degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Public speaking is a required skill in many careers, but it is also possible to focus your career solely on this by becoming a motivational, professional or keynote speaker. Although a degree in communications is not required to become a public speaker, it can provide you with the knowledge and skills to excel in your field.

Degrees Bachelor's and master's degrees
Classes Public speaking theory, basic principles of communication and language, verbal and nonverbal communication, speech organization, effective delivery techniques, effective use of supporting materials
Responsibilities Expertise in the subject matter being spoken about, eloquence and ethical behavior

Can I Really Earn a Degree in Public Speaking?

Public speaking isn't typically a degree program, but you can earn a degree in a field that will lead to a career in public speaking, such as a bachelor's degree in communication. Potential public speaking careers include a professional speaker, motivational speaker and keynote speaker. A degree in communication isn't necessary to become a public speaker. In fact, you don't need a degree at all - just certain skills that make for a successful public speaking career. These competencies, as outlined by the National Speakers Association include expertise in a particular subject, eloquence, ethics and business smarts.

What Will I Learn in a Bachelor's Degree Program?

Your classes will focus on both public speaking theory and practice. The program may also cover the basic principles of communication, language, verbal and nonverbal communication, speech organization and effective delivery techniques. You'll also learn how to use supporting materials and other presentation aids to make your speeches more effective. These courses might be studied in a Bachelor of Arts in Communication degree program:

  • Literature
  • Philosophical inquiry
  • English composition
  • Argumentation and persuasion
  • Writing for the media
  • Organizational communication
  • Rhetorical criticism
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Public relations

What About Master's Degrees?

Students can study public speaking through classes in master's degree programs like a Master of Science in Communications with a Public Relations specialty. Another possibility is a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication. This program might offer online coursework. Topics may include communication theory, writing for strategic communication and the principles of strategic communication. A capstone project could potentially be required for the completion of your degree. Additional areas of study might cover the following:

  • Ethics in strategic communication
  • Social marketing for social impact
  • Grassroots digital advocacy
  • Political communication
  • Crisis communication
  • Strategic communication management
  • International strategic communication

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Communications degrees are available online as well as in the classroom. Course quality and content are the same in the online environment and the traditional classroom setting. You'll even get the chance to interact with professors and classmates via e-mail or chat.

You'll be responsible for turning in assignments and completing your tests by the predetermined deadlines. This typically occurs through the school's course management system which includes access to recorded or live lectures. Technical requirements for your classes might include high-speed Internet access, software, such as Microsoft Office, RealPlayer, QuickTime and a functional e-mail account.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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