become a public speaking teacher?
November 27, 2011 4:53 PM   Subscribe

How does one become a public speaking teacher? Is this an actual job? I am in the UK but worldly advice welcome?
posted by parmanparman to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It was an actual job in my middle school in Virginia in 1977. Everyone had to take 9 weeks of it. We were mostly petrified.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:55 PM on November 27, 2011

It is a real job, at least here in the US. I took at least one communications course in college, but it was mostly a wank.

You might consider the private sector. There are companies that can come into your organization and train people to be better speakers - how to tailor a message, deliver it clearly, deal with hecklers/interrupters, engage the crowd, and so on. I went through one awhile back (from this firm) that featured videotaped assessments (with some frame-by-frame analysis that identified several gestural 'tics' I didn't know I had). Effective communication being my stock in trade, I thought it was a pretty worthwhile endeavor.
posted by jquinby at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2011

Being a media coach is a more likely job than just a public speaking trainer.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:38 PM on November 27, 2011

In the U.S., public speaking is a required course in many community colleges (and is probably offered in universities as well). Not sure in the U.K., but yes, it's an actual job.
posted by too bad you're not me at 5:39 PM on November 27, 2011

I took an (elective) public speaking class in my Canadian high school.
posted by mellifluous at 5:58 PM on November 27, 2011

I teach public speaking at a community college in the US. What it takes is a master's degree in Communication and some luck getting hired.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:06 PM on November 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if your question is referring to a public speaking coach for professionals or a speech instructor for high school/college students. I'm most familiar with the latter, so that's what I'll talk about.

A degree and state licensure in secondary Language Arts/English education is necessary for most high school speech jobs. Many large (and some small) high schools in the United States offer speech classes as electives. When hiring, high schools definitely have a preference for teachers with a background in public speaking/communications.

The speech class I took in high school was one of the most valuable classes of my high school career. It sparked my long-term interest in public speaking that continued into college where I competed on my university's Forensic team (no dead bodies here . . . this is the real term for competitive public speaking). My coach was a college speech and drama coach. I believe he had his MA in Communications. More importantly, he had a solid background in competitive speech and performance.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 6:07 PM on November 27, 2011

Toastmasters International still exists, and is widely available in the UK. Not expensive (<100 per year) and you can take it as far as you want to.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 8:20 PM on November 27, 2011

Contact the National Forensic League.

Many states also have state organizations for communications teachers.

I'm a high school debate coach in Los Angeles and have had students actually do speaking/debating exchanges with schools in England.

Public speaking/debating is growing huge in South Korea as well.

You can pm me if you'd like me to point in more specific directions.
posted by bietz at 8:49 PM on November 27, 2011

I second what others have said: it's possible for you to become a public speaking teacher, but in reality the chances are very slim because so many people have masters degrees or doctorate degrees in communications or speech communication but many are not employed or underemployed.

I would try to become a media coach or PR and become involved with Toastmasters.
posted by sincerely-s at 9:53 PM on November 27, 2011

I found this recently when I was looking for a public speaking tutor. I didn't find one but would still consider it. And you could also do the teaching on skype so your students could be from wherever.
posted by kishky at 5:13 PM on December 9, 2011

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