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Public Speaking Consultant


Many people are nervous about speaking in public and will do anything to avoid it. In fact, so many people have trouble with public speaking that some of us have been able to make a career out of helping those people get over their hesitation when it comes to speaking to others.

Public speaking consultants work with individuals and whole organizations, looking for ways to improve everyone's public speaking skills. They might work with professionals in a business setting, helping them to develop ways to deliver effective presentations, speak with clients, and improve interoffice relationships. They might be invited to hold seminars at training sessions for new employees, or a dissatisfied boss might bring in a public speaking consultant if the office isn't functioning in the desired way.

They also work with individuals, often heads of organizations, or representatives for associations and companies, or celebrities and soon-to-be-celebrities, giving them all tips on how to communicate with large groups of people.

Public speaking consultants often have a background in theater, because in the job they work as acting coaches, explaining concepts like body language, voice control, and audience relation. They are also psychological counselors, in that they discuss personal and interpersonal motivators and personality types with clients, in an effort to improve their public speaking skills.

In order to get across ideas of good communication and public speaking, they use games, workshops, individual coaching and group discussions to facilitate learning and development. They may cover anything from how to prepare and deliver a presentation to relaxation and breathing techniques. Their role is to get across the idea that public speaking is easy, fun, and fulfilling, and anyone can do it successfully, with a little help.
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  Interests and Skills  
A successful public speaking consultant has a lot of energy, is full of self-confidence, and is motivational to others. They are excellent communicators, who have clear, strong voices with good diction. They are also good listeners, who are patient, empathetic, and enjoy working with large groups, as well as individuals. They have an interest in theater, sales, and business. A second language is an asset.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Meet with clients individually or in groups
  • Meet as often as necessary until the client feels comfortable
  • Host workshops
  • Facilitate discussions
  • Make presentations
  • Advertise services
  • The typical day for a public speaking consultant involves meeting with clients, and hosting seminars, workshops, and counseling sessions hourly or for a weekend retreat. The job also involves making a few follow-up calls, taking care of administrative duties like financial planning and advertising, as well as keeping regular reports about clients' reactions to services. They don't do much work outside, unless an exercise calls for it, but they do travel if hired by an out-of-town client.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Public speaking consultants work in a variety of places, depending on the type of people they counsel. Some work for talent/modeling agencies, while some work with image consulting agencies. Others are self-employed. They may consult with large companies or government agencies, holding seminars in board rooms, or they may meet individually with their clients in their homes or offices. Public speaking consultants may also meet with clients in their own offices.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Public speaking consultants can start up their own business, or progress to advising key political figures and powerful business moguls. They can get into motivational speaking, comedy, theater, or any other field that requires public interaction. They can work in sales, design, and other forms of consulting, like fashion and image consulting, and weight loss consulting.

  Educational Paths  
There are no set paths to take to work as a public speaking consultant. Public speaking consultants will generally have a college diploma or university degree in communications. Courses in theater, communications, psychology, philosophy, business, marketing and public speaking are excellent ways to gain education and experience in this field. It is also beneficial to take part in as many opportunities as possible to speak publicly such as joining a toastmasters club.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

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Kaplan University


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