Communication skills are critical for intellectual development, career trajectory, and civic engagement. Public speaking is universally applicable to all types of majors and occupations and is seen by U.S. employers as a critical employability skill for job seekers (U.S. Department of Labor, 2000). No matter what your ambitions and interests are, developing speaking skills will benefit your personal, professional, and public life.
— Lisa Schreiber & Morgan Hartranft, Public Speaking: the virtual text

Speaking & Presentation Skills


"10 Tips for Public Speaking: Overcome Public Speaking Anxiety" by a great freelancer, Jack Milgram    

Better Public Speaking   the Strategies section has links to great tools!
Communication tips   free from Dan O'Connor of
Diction for Public Speaking   your delivery does make a difference!  Read these quick tips
Dos and Don'ts   tips from an SFSU speech coach
"How Good are Your Presentation Skills?"   take this quiz from Mind Tools
Essential Presentation Skills   three things you must know
"How to Improve Your Presentation Skills"   an Inc. Magazine article
How to Speak so That People Want to Listen   Julian Treasure TED Talk
Maintaining A Healthy Voice   a ten minute free podcast from Dr. Ann Utterback
Oral Presentation Skills   a pdf from North Carolina State University
Presentation Skills   suggestions from Business Balls
Presentation Skills   an in-depth guidebook and infographic by Natalie Atterbury. 
Speak Up   MIT public speaking tips
Speech and Outline Checklist   from the Public Speaking Project
Your Voice Tone   can make all the difference in the world

Social Skills

Small Talk Hacks   28 minute video to improve your social skills
Assertiveness   from Mind Tools
Why is Assertiveness Important?   UC San Diego
Decoding Generational Differences   21 minutes podcast
How to handle difficult people   my notes from Dan O'Connor's free video
How to Remember People's Names   courtesy of Forbes

Body Language

7-Second Eye Contact   any longer is considered aggressive
"Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are"  Amy Cuddy, TED Talk, 21 minutes
Body Language and Microexpressions Predict Success   TED Talk, 14 minutes
Palm of Your Hands   TED Talk, 14 minutes

Our bodies change our minds; our minds can change our behavior; our behavior can change our outcomes.
— Amy Cuddy

Conflict Resolution

Read the book Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton, and Heen.  It covers both work and personal relationships.  Prepare to be changed!

With a passionate viewpoint comes the responsibility to be informed about the issues involved and to listen to how people with a different point of view see them. Not necessarily with the goal of agreeing or even of finding common ground. But at least with the goal of understanding how your neighbor sees it.
— Difficult Conversations

Crisis Communication   a MOOC covering intervention, grief, burnout, suicide, dysfunction, PTSD, hostages, gangs, and chemical dependency
Disagree in a Positive Way   Matthew May
Open & Honest Conflict   Ed Callahan
Facilitating Tough Conversations   promoting respectful dialogue between strong proponents of opposing views


Levels of Listening   scroll half way down the page to the large listening portion. P.S.  I thought "active listening" would be the highest level of listening, but there's two more beyond that! (groan) I've got so much work to do!

If finding “truth” is more a journey than a destination, then spirited conversation with those who see things differently is exactly what we need to shed light on our blind spots, recognize and test our assumptions, and expand and deepen our own understanding.
— Difficult Conversations


Becoming a Powerful Business Presenter   two hour self-paced course
A Memorable Presentation   using PowerPoint, two hour self-paced course
Intro. to Public Speaking   a course, sign up for email notification for when this course runs again.  University of Washington
PowerPoint Fundamentals  one hour self-paced course
Talk the Talk   a FutureLearn free course on how to give a great presentation

Master Polite English icon one hour training, great for native-English speakers as well!

British Pathe   historical speeches posted to YouTube

Book Suggestions

Check these out at your local public library -- woohoo! or purchase a copy online from one of these booksellers.

The Art of Public Speaking   by Dale Carnegie, a free e-book available from

Broadcast Voice Handbook: how to polish your on-air delivery   by Dr. Ann Utterback, 5th Ed., 2010   This book is for anyone who uses their voice professionally.

Difficult Conversations: how to discuss what matters most   by Stone, Patton, and Heen, 2010

Don't Just Talk, Be Heard!   by David Levin

How to Talk to Anyone about Anything   by Jill Spiegel

How to Win Friends and Influence People   download a free pdf of Dale Carnegie's book.

Moving Mountains: or the art and craft of letting others see things your way   by Henry M. Boettinger

Public Speaking, finding your voice   Pearson Publishing, 2011

Public Speaking: the virtual text   this EXCELLENT, free, eye-pleasing book is online!  Creative Commons Licensing, 2013