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  • Writer's pictureTara McCarthy

Is Public Relations Training The Right Choice For You?

Updated: Apr 5

If you are constantly in the public eye, are considering a career in public relations or are looking to improve your speaking skills, you may be wondering if a public relations training program or speaker coaching program is right for you. Both programs offer distinct benefits that can help you reach your PR or speaking goals; the key is knowing which one is the best fit for your needs. In this article we will cover both programs, and highlight when either program would be useful.

Public Relations Training Programs

A public relations training program will teach you the basics of PR, including how to develop and implement strategies, how to write press releases and pitch letters, and how to work with the media. These programs can be done through traditional classroom instruction, online courses, or even on-the-job training from a more experienced PR practitioner. The advantages of this approach are that you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the PR field and how it works. You will also have access to resources and networking opportunities that can help you in your career. If you are just starting out in your PR career, enrolling in a public relations program is key as it will give you the foundation that you need to be successful. You will gain valuable insight from public relations professionals and be left with practical knowledge, best practices and an overall better understanding of the industry, all which are extremely useful as you continue on in your career.

Man being interviewed
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

In addition to those who are starting out as a public relations professional, seasoned communications professionals should be taking public relations courses in order to brush up their skill set. Regardless if you are working in communications management, government relations, not for profit organizations or media relations, the landscape is always changing so it is important that your skills are growing and expanding to meet your or your company's needs. Enrolling as a seasoned communications professional will also give you the advantage of applying your experience to the skills that you are learning or relearning, which will then lend useful when executing high-stress situations such as crisis communications.

If you are looking for a public relations course offered at the university or college level, there are many courses offered through various post secondary institutions. This option is often utilized by international students working towards their university degree, as these programs will give students a competitive edge in the public relations world, while offering complimentary courses such as social media marketing and reputation management. If taking a public relations course outside of the educational setting appeals to you, many private companies offer public relations and media relations courses. A benefit to enrolling in private companies is that you are usually able to work together to tailor the courses to best suit your needs. These courses will typically be smaller and more hands-on than if you were to enroll in post secondary education, and chances are you will be taught by a seasoned professional or someone who is currently working in the public relations world.

Speaker Coaching Programs

A speaker coaching program, on the other hand, will focus on honing in on your speaking skills. In some instances, public relations specialists may recommend that their clients participate in a speaker coaching program to enrich their overall goal of becoming a public relations professional. A speaking coach will provide feedback on the client's public speaking performance and will offer suggestions for improvement. When enrolling in a speaker coaching program, you will learn how to craft a killer speech, how to project confidence when speaking in front of an audience, and how to handle nerves. In addition, the coach can also help the client to overcome nervousness, identify weaknesses, and develop strategies for addressing difficult questions.

When public speaking and answering questions from the media, it is important that you project confidence and are sure in your answers. This is why many people find speaker coaching programs extremely helpful, as they have a large focus in building confidence. An interesting aspect of speaker coaching programs is that many programs will bring in various professionals who all have different strengths when it comes to public speaking, so that you will really finish the speaker coaching program with a strong and vast skill set.

Person public speaking to a large crowd
Photo by Teemu Paananen on Unsplash

Beyond learning how to craft a speech and project confidence, you will also learn how to become in-tune with your non-verbal communication. This is arguably one of the most important parts of learning how to be a successful public speaker, as non-verbal communication often speaks louder than spoken word. Your non-verbal cues convey your interest, engagement, and attitude.

Being aware of your non-verbal communication can help you to better connect with your audience and deliver your message effectively. For example, maintaining eye contact conveys confidence and shows that you are engaged in the conversation, smiling communicates friendliness and openness, and sitting or standing up straight conveys confidence and power. Non-verbal communication is an essential part of public speaking, so it is important to be aware of the messages you are sending with your body language. By being conscious of your non-verbal cues, you can ensure that you are sending the right message to your audience.

A good speaker coaching program will also help you develop your own unique style, therefore if you are interested in becoming a motivational speaker, giving TED talks, or working closely with the media, a speaker coaching program is probably a better fit for you than a PR training program.

So, which is right for you—a public relations training program or speaker coaching program? The answer depends on your specific goals and interests. If you want to learn the basics of PR and start or strengthen your career in this field, a PR training program is likely your best bet. But if becoming a confident and dynamic speaker is more aligned with your goal, then sign up for a speaker coaching program today. If you are looking for more information on either programs and the services that we offer, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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