(In-Person) Public Speaking

New! If your employer is a compact member of the Harold Alfond Center for the Advancement of Maine’s Workforce, you may be eligible to take this program at a reduced cost. Click here to learn more.


profile photograph of person with long black hair holding microphone in front of crowd

Do your knees turn to jelly when it’s your turn to speak (whether on Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet or live and in-person)? 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 also benefits you personally.

This program will increase your confidence and provide you with 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.             

Virtual presentations have become important in successfully conducting business and keeping in touch. There are a variety of options and recommendations of how to get the most of their use. Learn practical ways to ensure group interaction and engagement of your audience, leading to positive results.



🌱 Spring Session 🌱
Thu., May 4, 2023
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. ET

🍁 Fall Session 🍁
Fri., Oct. 13, 2023
9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. ET

(Snack and lunch included in registration)




This program will be offered live, in-person at the UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast (80 Belmont Ave., Belfast, ME).

Strict social distancing and COVID safety protocols will be in place. Learn more about our safety protocols here.

Our refund policy is here.

Planning a trip to Belfast for this program? Check out more information about Belfast here


PROGRAM BENEFITS                         

  • Increase your public speaking skills (with and without notes or slides)
  • Understand the power of storytelling to increase audience engagement 
  • Maximize your virtual presence
  • 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/virtual 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
  • Educators
  • Managers
  • Municipal employees
  • Nonprofit workers
  • Religious leaders
  • Researchers
  • Employees working from home
  • Anyone who has ever had a conversation with anyone else

Not sure if this program is right for you? Contact us at um.fhc.pd@maine.edu or 207.338.8002 and we can help you figure it out.


Headshot of Tom Dowd public speaking instructorTom Dowd (DTM) (he/him/his) 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.




Click here for more information about paying for your professional development, including information about need-based scholarships, group discounts and tips on how to get your employer on board.

Current UMaine students are eligible for a 20% discount. Use code STUDENT20 at checkout.


12 participants


6 hours / .6 CEUs

Certificate of Completion Available Upon Request.

Learn more about Continuing Education Units here.



For more information or to request an accommodation contact um.fhc.pd@maine.edu; 207.338.8002.

“Tom drew from his own experiences and had personalized stories on how to improve—it was one of the best presentations I’ve heard in a long time; he gave real practical tips that we can implement.” past participant