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Cooperative Extension: Professional Development

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(Online) Public Speaking

November 9, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

One event on September 16, 2020 at 6:00 pm

| $125
Headshot of Tom Dowd public speaking instructor
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Do your knees turn to jelly when it’s your turn to speak in front of a crowd? Does your mind transform everything you thought you knew into a jumbled mess? Do you intentionally avoid uncomfortable communication situations? With COVID-19 forcing many to work from home, do you tighten up seeing yourself and your peers on a videoconference? Public speaking may not come naturally to many of us, but with the right support and training, it can be developed. Improving your public-speaking skills not only benefits your business, but it also benefits you personally.

This two-part program will increase your confidence and provide you tools to improve your public-speaking abilities. Learn how to communicate more effectively to engage and motivate your audience. Through reflection, interactive activities, discussion and PRACTICE, we’ll work together to improve your public-speaking skills. You’ll walk away with the skills to nail your presentation and the confidence to have conversations that will deepen any relationships and lead to your success.

NOTE: Due to physical/social distancing, this program was designed to be virtual and is being offered online via Zoom. Bonus: this course will also focus on public speaking via online platforms!                       

PROGRAM BENEFITS                                                                                     

  • Increase your public-speaking skills (with and without notes or slides)
  • Understand the power of storytelling to increase audience engagement 
  • Learn how to think quickly, speak logically and influence your audience
  • Recognize key stress drivers and learn how to use them to your advantage
  • Redefine public speaking to positively influence your everyday life
  • Adapt to the ever-evolving need to conduct business online


  • Prepared presentation methods
    • Defining public speaking
    • Understanding your anxious symptoms
    • Adapting to your audience
    • Making your message stick
    • Being an engaged listener
    • Balancing content with delivery
    • Incorporating personal stories
  • Reducing anxiety and increasing confidence
    • Mental and physical preparation
    • Preparation methods, tools and techniques
  • Impromptu speaking
    • Maximizing your ability to think and speak on the fly
  • Making the most of online platforms (such as Zoom)


We are surrounded by public-speaking opportunities. This program is designed to benefit anyone who wants to improve their public-speaking skills, especially:

  • Business leaders
  • Clergy
  • Educators
  • Managers
  • Municipal employees
  • Nonprofit workers
  • Researchers
  • Employees working from home
  • Anyone who has ever had a conversation with anyone else


Headshot of Tom Dowd public speaking instructorTom Dowd (DTM) Presenter Tom Dowd (also known as “Transformation Tom”!) received a communications degree from the University of Delaware. He is a prize-winning speaker, and an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author, trainer and coach. As a member of Toastmasters International, Dowd exhibits consistent success in speech competitions and achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster status in 2015. Dowd utilized his 25+ years of experience in the financial and customer service industry to start Thomas Dowd Professional Development and Coaching, LLC, where he helps people to creatively find their own paths to success.


Nov 9 & 16
6–9 p.m.



Need-based scholarships for Knox and Waldo County residents who plan to use the skills gained in the course to benefit their community. More information about need-based scholarships is here.

Current UMaine students are eligible for a 20% discount. Enter promo code: STUDENT20 when prompted at checkout.




For more information or to request an accommodation contact Michelle Patten, Conference and Professional Development Coordinator,; 207.338.8002.


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