Ten Public-Speaking Programs in Washington

These classes and workshops offer individual sessions and feedback to help build confidence in public-speaking skills

By: Gwendolyn Purdom

Dale Carnegie Training
800-231-5800
Programs—usually 8 to 12 weeks—are offered at rotating locations in all 50 states and DC. They focus on confidence and leadership skills in addition to public speaking.

Fairfax County Public Schools Adult and Community Education

703-658-1201
In “Effective Public Speaking,” students get constructive feedback in two five-hour Saturday sessions.

Georgetown University Center for Continuing and Professional Education
202-687-7000
In four weeknight workshops, Georgetown’s “Facing the Fear” course (not currently scheduled) covers preparing speeches, calming nerves, and using the voice and body effectively. Customized versions available for offices or organizations.

George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership
202-994-5304
In the intensive two-day “Step Up to the Microphone With Confidence,” government employees study videos and practice speaking to learn to deliver clearer messages to the media and in professional settings.

See Also:

Shine in the Spotlight: Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking

Graduate School USA
202-314-3300
Practice and individual feedback are designed to improve confidence and delivery during three-hour Thursday-night meetings at the school’s L’Enfant Plaza center.

Learning Tree International
888-843-8733
In “Public Speaking: Conveying Your Message With Confidence” and “Delivering Dynamic Presentations” students at education centers in Reston, Alexandria, and Rockville practice giving presentations. Courses last two to three days.

Prince George’s Community College
301-336-6000
In the six-week “At Ease With Public Speaking” course, students give weekly presentations to become comfortable in front of a group.

Shakespeare Theatre Company
202-547-5688
In the eight-to-ten-week “Acting for Business Professionals,” you can practice acting skills with members of the company. Courses are offered in fall, spring, and summer. One-day workshops are sometimes offered through employers.

Stagefright Survival School
877-657-8243
Alexandria attorney Burton Rubin and psychiatrist David L. Charney use distraction and focusing exercises in a small group setting to help participants overcome public-speaking anxiety.

Toastmasters International
949-858-8255
With 400-plus local chapters, members of this coalition of speaking clubs take turns giving speeches and offering feedback over lunch and in other casual settings.

This article appears in the August 2011 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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